1933 World Wide Radio Amateur Convention
by: Rod Blocksome

This convention was held in conjunction with the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and featured a technical program presented by a host of “pioneers” in the world of radio. The program speakers included:

Rufus C. DawesPresident of the 1933 World’s Fair
Paul H. Davis, W9GES, W9BT & W9LKRadio operator on MacMillian 1931 expedition to Iceland
Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AWFounder of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
Harold D. HayesActing inspector in charge Federal Radio Commission Chicago district
Boyd Phelps, W9BPOwner Phelps Precision Laboratory; later became famous ham for work on 160 meters.
Don C. Wallace, W6AMProminent Amateur & Professional Radio in California
John L. Reinartz, W1QPRadio Operator on MacMillan expedition to northern Greenland 1925; Proposed first ionospheric “skip” theory in 1925 using experiments with young Arthur Collins in 1925.
Robert S. Kruse, W1YDO & W1FGConsulting engineer, text book author, pioneer work on ionospheric propagation
Clinton DeSoto, W1CBDEmployee of ARRL; later authored book “200 Meters and Down”
Lt. A. A. Hebert, W1ESTreasurer of ARRL; earlier ARRL’s first Manager and Vice-President
Lt. Cmdr. Fred H. Schnell, W9UZEarly Traffic Manager at ARRL; organized first transcontinental amateur relay
H. F. Wareing, W9NYCollege instructor & radio communications consultant
Prof. J. Barton HoagPhysics instructor and researcher of ionospheric propagation
Arthur A. Collins, W9CXXOwner, Collins Radio Company (formed in 1930)
B. C. BurdenTelephone & telegraph engineer and author
Kendall Clough, ex 9AAMChief engineer The Clough-Brengle Co.
McMurdo SilverOrganized Silver-Marshall, Inc. in 1924 and McMurdo Silver, Inc. in 1932
W. J. LeidyPresident of the Chicago Transformer Corp.
James MillenVice-President of the National Company of Malden, Mass.; later formed the James Millen Co.
F. Dawson Bliley, W8GUBliley Piezo-Electric company
A. J. McMasterPresident & Technical Director G-M Laboratories, Inc.
R. H. FreemanChief engineer Communications Dept. United Airlines
Loy E. Bartondeveloped Class B low cost modulation
Capt. G. Everett Hill, Jr.U. S. Army Signal Corps Officer
Ralph R. Batcher, ex 9IT & 9IHResearch Engineer Decatur Manufacturing Co.

Interestingly, the registration fee for the entire convention was $4.50 and a single room at the hotel could be had for as little as $3.00 per night. However the charge for valet parking your car was 50¢ for 24 hours.

Anyone interested in the history of radio communications technology will enjoy reading the biographical sketches of the program speakers which also include a photograph. Arthur Collins would have been 23 years old and the youngest member of the program speakers. Five weeks after the convention, the Collins Radio Company was incorporated on September 9, 1933 – coincidently Arthur’s 24th birthday.

The Convention was held at the Medinah Michigan Avenue Club, Chicago, Illinois, on August 3-4-5, 1933.

A PDF of the 44-page convention program booklet can be found HERE.


May 27 - November 1