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Sunday, July 24, 2022

A Surprisingly Good Movie from the Late 1960s: "The Ham's Wide World" (Video)

I found this movie to be surprisingly good.  Narrated by Arthur Godfrey, it features Barry Goldwater, and a lot of other hams.  There is a homebrewer too!  Lots of  old rigs we know and love:  a Drake 2-B, a couple of Galaxy Vs, a Benton Harbor lunchbox, Heathkit SB-series rigs, many Swans, and was that an HQ-170 that I saw in there?  There are also many cool antennas, including a 15 meter quad set up by a bunch of Southern California teenagers. 

Near the end, when they visit ARRL Headquarters, we briefly see none-other-than Doug DeMaw, W1FB!  FB!  

Please take a look at this video and post comments about the rigs, antennas, and radio amateurs that you see in the film. 


  1. Thank you for this Bill! Makes me think about how times have changed since I got licensed in 1969. The average age of hams was certainly a lot lower then! Now it is about age 62 even though the Maker do-it-yourselfers are getting some younger people more interested in radio.

    One of my Dad's friends Mike Sannella W1LR (licensed in 1917) gave me some advice on setting up my station Heathkit DX-60B and a Grundig SWL receiver, soon replaced by a Hallicrafters S38C. Even used a knife switch at first! I remember my Dad and I visiting him at his station in Arlington Heights overlooking Boston. It was a great location though he did admit that location plus high power made DXing a little too easy to stay interesting. Mike told us that he had built a spark station for an exhibit at MIT. He confided that he couldn't resist putting it on the air (that had been illegal for decades) for a test. He said that he must have wiped out TV reception for a block around. He said one his treasured 'QSL' cards was a note from the FCC that somebody in New York City had complained that he was interfering with their television reception! The distance from Boston to New York City made that very unlikely!!

    It is hard to imagine that now I have been licensed as long as Mike was when I met him!
    That fine movie made me think of something a bit less serious but fun --- Tony Hancock's 'The Radio Ham' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stmSok14-IU&ab_channel=TonyHancock-Topic

  2. Wow … great video and a nice reminder of ‘the days that were’. Interesting to see all of that LA smog even back then and so nice to see young teens so focused on the hobby … kind of MIA these days when it comes to the importance of growing up with a hobby. I well recall as a very early teen, listening on 20m every evening, as some of our local DX big guns waited and called for Pitcairn’s VR6TC … it might as well have been Mars they were calling as it seemed so far away back then.

    I must have blinked and missed it but I didn’t see Doug Demaw, one of my very favorite authors and homebrewer’s friend.

    Steve VE7SL 73

    1. DeMaw appears for a few seconds when they visit the ARRL labs. 73 Bill

    2. I’ll watch again … I guess it’s shortly after they show the original headquarters building.

  3. The name Arthur Godfrey caught my eye ... another Arthur Godfrey was president NZART 1977-1983.

  4. The U.S. version was a very well-known entertainer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Godfrey
    He was a ham -- K4LIB. And apparently a difficult character.


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