100 years ago

Last night, I received an e-mail from Bob W3BBO about an item he saw in The County Hunter News.  The article was written by Bob Voss N4CD, and it concerned a book written 100 years ago, entitled  “Bert Wilson, Wireless Operator“.  The book has been made available through Project Gutenberg.

The book was available in various formats, including kindle format.  Bob and I are both kindle owners and avid readers, especially (although not exclusively) when the topic is Amateur Radio.  I downloaded the book last night and began reading it today.  Even though the book is 100 years old, it is a fun and easy read. It’s not terribly long, and I’m already a third of the way through.
You do have to keep in mind that this was written in 1913.  The author, J W Duffield makes an early mention of “the unfortunate accident and loss of life” that happened “last year”. Of course, he’s referring to the Titanic, without directly mentioning the ship by name.  The language is a bit different, with a lot of “By Jove”s, “Great Scott”s appearing throughout.  Friends are referred to as “fellows” and there’s a lot of back slapping that occurs instead of the “high fives” that we have become so accustomed today.  Further examples – baseball teams are referred to as “nines” and ball fields as “diamonds”, all fitting descriptions, but all very old-timey. There are also some very un-PC descriptions of things in there, so if you’re offended by that kind of thing, please be aware. We are talking 1913, here.
But as I’ve mentioned before, it is a very entertaining little story. I can only imagine that the target audience back then was the same audience for which the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift books were written in my younger days.
In fact, if you go to Project Gutenburg and type in “wireless” into their search box, there are a couple dozen various books that you will be led to.  Some appear to be fiction, while others definitely are not.  But they are all free and readily available to be downloaded for your reading pleasure.
The other thing that I wanted to mention is that there’s another unbuilt HW9 up for bid on eBay:
A couple of weeks ago, John AE5X mentioned an auction for one of these.  That kit ended up selling for close to $2000.00.  This one is up to $305.00 with 5 days to go.  I am pretty certain that any unsuccessful bidders from the first auction learned a lesson about holding their cards closer to their vests.  I am predicting that bids will probably (and I mean probably, but I might be wrong) not move much until right before the end of the auction in an attempt to keep the winning bid lower than the $2000.00 neighborhood.  It will be interesting to see how much this unbuilt Heahtkit will end up selling for.
Almost makes me want to buy a K2 and just stash it away somewhere for my kids to sell in about 30 or 40 years.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!
Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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