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Radios and My Grandpa

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Diane

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5942fd5a2a5f5_1930BlueandGoldRadioClub.thumb.jpg.1d949efe5a79693a2a358468de44418f.jpg

In the 1930 Blue and Gold, my Grandfather was listed as a member of the Radio Club at Findlay High School in Ohio. My Grandfather, Frank Hoy, graduated just one year later in 1931 so this membership would have been in his Junior year. It is unknown whether he was a part of the first year for this Club. Attached is a picture of the members; my Grandfather is in the first row to the far left.

The club had a station and their call letters were W 8 A R M. "The purpose of the club is to teach its members to become good radio operators. The meetings include code practice and a study and discussion of transmitters and receivers. The members are encouraged to learn the code, build transmitters and receivers, and apply for licenses. A number of motion pictures on the building and operating of radio stations were shown at the club meetings." According to Wikipedia, radio education began as early as April 1922 when Tufts College professors broadcast the first of a series of educational lectures, described by the press as a sort of "wireless college".

The Congressional Radio Act of 1912 required amateurs to be licensed and provided restrictions on transmission. It was noted that three members of the FHS Radio Club had already become licensed amateurs and others had applied and would receive their licenses in the near future. I would be curious to know if my Grandfather was one of those who had an interest in becoming licensed.

Regardless of my Grandfather's interest in radio, his parents had an interest in the entertainment that radio brought as the 1930 census reflected that they owned a radio. Beyond the Ham Radios, the beginning of radio was definitely focused on variety shows, as noted at the website Behind the Dial, primarily of the comedic nature although dramas also gained popularity. However, crooners and dance music did become the mainstay of radio. Frank Thomas' parents and my Great Grandparents were dance enthusiasts and I was told that they often had dance parties at their home, rolling back the carpets and dancing the evening away.

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