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Austin Radio Club Organized, 1916

By Joe Fisher, K5EJL
ARRL Technical Specialist and CLM
(and self-appointed AARC Historian)

On Sunday evening, January 9th, 1916, five guys met in the home of David Harrell, Jr., and started the Austin Radio Club. We know this from a short article that appeared in the January 12th issue of the Austin American newspaper.

Three of the five were licensed, and two were still trying to get “set up,” one would suppose.

 Whether more members joined in the next 16 months is not known, but Amateur Radio operation was suspended when the U.S. entered World War I in 1917. And it would be late 1919 before amateurs were again allowed, by the Navy Department, to operate.

But by December 5th, 1919, the Club had grown, applied to the American Radio Relay League, and been approved to become an Affiliated Club.

The announcement of the League’s Board of Directors’ action to approve the initial ten clubs appeared in the January 1920 issue of QST.

And Wesley Hope Tilley, 5AL, reported in the December 1919 issue of QST that he was hearing stations from around the country. Being the first president of the Club, he was then likely still president.

Amateur Radio was off and running again in Austin.

Early Club History

Joe Fisher, K5EJL, our club historian, has rounded up information about our early club history, presented in this video. Among other things, he was able to find some 1950s home movies taken by a former club member, and rescued them just in the nick of time, since they would have been thrown out otherwise! Anyway, please enjoy the video Joe has put together.

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