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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crossing the Pond to KZ1H

We were out the Sabine Hills this weekend and on Sunday afternoon I go on 20 CW with my trusty HW8. I made just one contact, but it was a GOOD one. KZ1H pulled me out of the noise and we had a very nice chat. My fist was not at its best, because it was COLD in those hills -- I'm arranging now to move the shack off the front porch and into the heated (I hope!) library.
Anyway, from the courteous way in which he persisted in copying my QRP signal, I knew that OM George, KZ1H, was a FB ham. Sure enough, when I plugged his call into Google this morning, I was taken to a site with the above picture of George in his younger days. Note the bug and the mill, and the homebrew transmitter. Here is George's story:

I grew up in Corona, Queens, NYC. I became interested in radio at the age of ten or so. My father bought an "Eilen" and I was introduced to Morse code. I met many hams around town (W2HDK, W2KAP, W2APT, W2KCD, W2JGV?). They were all very cordial and happy to show off their rigs.

In April of 1939 (age 14), I took my test at the FCC office at 641 Washington St, Downtown NYC and became W2MDE. My father bought me a Hammarlund Comet Pro (plug-in coils with shield cans). I built an oscillator/ transmitter using a type 59 tube.

I was invited to join the W2USA radio club at the 1939 NY World's Fair. W2KU was the Chief Op and my boss. We handled a lot of traffic for the fair visitors and kept the station on the air during the winter when the fair closed between summer sessions.

At 16, I graduated from high school and went to work for a large patent law office as a clerk. From there I went to work for Hazeltine in Little Neck, NY. I thought I might faint when I saw that my first check at Hazeltine was signed by Jack Binns, the radio operator who was the subject of the book "SOS to the Rescue".

At 17, I was made chief inspector of Hazeltine's first war-time production line and worked along side of Frank Hinners.

When I turned 18, Mr. Bailey of the ARRL became head of the Bureau of Scientific Research and Development in Washington, DC. He invited me to become a member of the Army Intelligence Service when I was drafted, which I accepted.

After the war, I attended the Cooper Union School of Art in NYC. I worked for PAA, Grace Lines, Andrea, Sperry Gyroscope, Varian Corp, and Global Systems. Much of my career has been in microwaves. I have been retired for 20 years and am still active on the bands. My present call is KZ1H.

I have been married to my wife Mildred for 53 years. We have three daughters, Jean, Janet and Diane.


  1. This is great! As a part time NYC resident,it really intrigues me to know about what "went on there" and goes on. Kudos for the Cooper Union School of Art, too! ¡Esto sí que es muy buen material! 73 desde Guadalajara...XE1GXG WB7AVF

  2. Thank you for the note. I've surprised to find George's callsign here - usually I've heard one for many times on the Ether. Yes, I have a lot of great long chats with George using a straight key on 20m, he told me about his father, early times of ham-radio etc. I'm glad to hear this callsign, even read about one. Tnx agn ..

  3. 29.1.11 15.40hrs GMT

    Just finished talking to George KZ1H
    on what is a typical January day here in Cheltenham UK: cold and overcast.

    As always, George persevered with my 1 watt CW signal; the perfect gentleman.

    Best regards....David G0 UTR


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