Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Three Earth- and space-themed vintage QSL cards

It's been awhile since QSL cards — confirmations of the receipt of a radio transmission used by amateur radio operators — were featured, so here are a trio of Earth- and space-themed cards dating to the 1950s and 1960s.


I love the graphics on this QSL, which was sent from Long Island, New York, and confirms a connection that was made with TI2EA on September 26, 1958 (almost exactly one year after the launch of Sputnik).


This QSL was mailed from New Milford, Connecticut, to Colebrook, New Hampshire, in early January 1966, confirming a "loud and clear" connection on January 3, 1966. It was mailed with a 4¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp that has a PRAY FOR PEACE cancellation. (The "Pray for Peace" cancels were first used in 1956. That's just one of the many fascinating tidbits I learned in this Stamp Community Family forum.)


Neither the scanner nor my camera could accurately capture the bright color of this QSL. I would describe it as Traffic Cone Orange. It records a "very strong" signal connection between WPE5EXG and TI2EA on July 24, 1968. The space capsule on the front of the card resembles John Glenn's Friendship 7, which orbited Earth on February 20, 1962.

1 comment:

  1. The second of the three QSL cards is better described as a "shortwave listener card" ("SWL card") rather than a true QSL (verification) card: SWL's only listen; they do not transmit, and thus they can not verify a transmission.

    SWL "call signs" are not issued by any governmental agency and carry no legal weight. Nonetheless, some SWL's go through the motions of "applying" for a unique call sign -- see: http://swling.com/blog/2012/01/popcomm-monitors-get-your-own-shortwave-listening-post-call-sign/

    The call sign ("SWL/W1") on the second card posted above is rather generic; for example, compare (but do not contrast): https://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog/ua021_428-001-cb0008-000-332#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&z=-301.7116%2C0%2C3926.4232%2C1945

    Much has been written about the demise of international shortwave broadcasting since the end of the cold war and the rise of the Internet. Former powerhouses such as BBC, Radio Moscow, and VOA have stopped broadcasting to the United States or have ceased their transmissions entirely.

    In fact, Radio Australia is about to become the latest international broadcaster to leave the shortwaves: 73's ["Best wishes" or "Goodbye"] in just a few days (January 31 of this year): http://swling.com/blog/2016/12/radio-australia-to-end-shortwave-broadcast-service-on-january-31-2017