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Steve100B April 2, 2012, Berkeley, CA. The California Historical Radio Society (“CHRS” — by Steve Kushman, its President) and the Society of Wireless Pioneers, (SOWP), are pleased to announce the merger of the Society of Wireless Pioneers into CHRS. The Society will become a program of CHRS, as is the Bay Area Radio Museum. The primary purpose of the merger is the preservation of the archives of the Society of Wireless Pioneers, founded in 1968, at the CHRS museum in the historic KRE radio station building in Berkeley, California. Additionally, to the extent practicable, CHRS will continue the work of the Society in honoring marine radio operators, ship board and shore side, and other Morse code commercial and military radio operators, by way of electronic and other publication. This will include the CHRS website: Ben Russell, N6SL, the President of SOWP, and Waldo Boyd, K6DZY, its Executive Secretary, have have expressed their pleasure at the merger and their gratitude to the California Historical Radio Society for its undertaking to continue the historical work of SOWP. CHRS plans to reinvigorate the Society’s website as part of its own public presentation which includes Facebook. All active members of the Society of Wireless Pioneers are invited to contact CHRS, especially those in Northern California, through its website. More details of the merger will be announced as its implementation progresses.

The California Historical Radio Society is pleased to honor the The Society of Wireless Pioneers in this merger. The Society of Wireless Pioneers is a unique and outstanding society of professionals and amateurs nearly all of whom have a common bond of having mastered the art of radio communicating over world-distances via ‘Morse Code’ with hand key or ‘bug.’ As that Society has so rightly said:

“Many of us have had the weight of responsibility for safety of life directly upon our shoulders. We traveled and were paid for it. At the core of everything we did was our ability to hear through atmospheric noise and make sense of ‘dits’ and ‘dahs,’ voiced code-words, and even at times to ‘make sense’ out of unusual silences. And in our amateur radio operating today the thrill is still present, we have a language that relatively few members of the world’s population even remotely comprehends.

The art and science of wireless communicating is changing more and more rapidly as each year comes into focus and disappears over the horizon. But in spite of the adoption of geo-positioning satellites, burst transmissions at thousands of characters per second, and spread-spectrum techniques for making our communications confidential, CW is an art that we hope will be with us for centuries to come. It is done with the minds and muscles of man, the only artifacts being the key and the ear and their meld with the mind.

SOWP is dedicated to the preservation of both the history and the art of CW radio communication, and of its offshoots. We collect and preserve the history of each advance in the art, but our hearts remain with Morse, and we are content to know that one day some one’s life may be in our hands and only our knowledge of Morse Code will bring help to preserve that life.” Click here for an archive of old SoWP Journals in PDF format

Press contact: Steve Kushman / CHRS  [email protected]


Richard Singer / SOWP #662  [email protected]



This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Unfortunately lost the SOWP out of my eyes and mind for a longer period after changing my profession from radio officer (merchant marine) to radio engineer/teacher after 1990.
    Beeing far away from all the things I am surprised with the news around SOWP merging to CHRS now which is a good information and will help to keep SOWP and cw communication running. Please inform about the present procedures for SOWP foreign members all over the world to keep contact and hold their membership in future. Thanks in advance,

    Ulli, DK7AU SOWP 4921
    Adress/email via

    1. Ulli,

      Anyone that can copy the signal from N6SL in Florida “Ben” can check into the 20 meter transcon net on 14055 KHz at 1500Z every Thursday morning here in the U.S.The time change for DST will be 1600Z

      We also have a SOWP Net on 3556 KHz at 0300Z U.S. standard time or 0400Z DST U.S.All R/O’s are welcome whether or not you are a SOWP member. Presently K6KSG in Colorado is NCS.

      Dick/K6KSG SOWP #662

  2. It is so rewarding to know that CHRS has taken the SOWP web site and the artifacts to safely keep. Many many thanks to John Dilks (K2TQN) for his work and sweat to put all the Sparks Journals on this web site for folks to download or just read. Thank You CHRS.

    Dick Singer/K6KSG SOWP #662

  3. The work incident to keeping the Society on a steady course is carried on by officers and members, all of whom volunteer their services and time without pay, a deserving tribute to our founder, William A. ‘Bill’ Breniman, who remained at our helm for over 20 years! Ours is a not-for-profit corporation registered in the State of California USA, with 501-c-3 IRS and post-office status. We invite you to apply for membership in our world-wide organization. If you are interested in fraternalism, memorabilia, and history of wireless and radio communications above and beyond the call of duty, we invite you to complete the accompanying application and return it to the address thereon. We’ll do the rest.

  4. Retired Coast Guard Radioman. A brass pounder from 1960 until somewhere around 1976 at Coast Guard Communication Station Kodiak. Will always fondly remember my SpeedKey days. I still have a brass key from the Coast Guard Cutter Duane WPG 33 73’s to all

  5. Amateur Call NC7K. US Coast Guard RM2, 1970-74. Served aboard USCGC Wachusett out of Seattle and finished up at Commcen CCGD13 in downtown Seattle. SOWP member #4998M.

    Keep up the good work and CW forever!!! ZUT 1629

    1. Thanks for your service and your comments! We’d be happy to add you to our list of SoWP members. If you’re not a CHRS member already this should entitle you to some perks. If you’re interested, just send your email and snail mail addresses to me via the link at the bottom of the SoWP home page and we’ll add you to the list (currently at 21).


  6. I was a SOWP member several years ago. I was under the impression that SOWP had folded. Had some time on my hands today and was reviewing some SOWP publications. That led to ‘I wonder if ……. Are you still active and if so, how does one join?
    Bill Rendall

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