Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wireless Communication, Radio-Style

Listening to a couple of "oldies" talking the other day, I recalled how wireless had a different meaning to people in the first half of the twentieth century, and maybe a few decades beyond that. "Wireless" meant radio. The conversation I was listening to was between "ham" radio operators who used to contact others via short wave radio. The hobby still survives but is much reduced in numbers as what was once a major exercise, but a thrilling one - long distance wireless communication - has since become mundane with the advent of the likes of Skype etc. Short wave operators issued their own postcards to confirm they had made contact with other "hammies" around the world.

The postcard above, of course, is not of ham radio operators but a World War II signal team using radio in the field, reminding us of the importance of the wireless in military operations. Its use extended to civilian industries such as marine shipping, aviation, and commercial radio. The radio set in the home for receiving news and musical entertainment was usually simply referred to as "the wireless"

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