Amateur radio is as old as the art itself. There were amateurs before the present century. Shortly after the late Marconi astounded the world with his experiments proving that wireless telegraph messages actually could be sent, "amateurs" were attempting to duplicate his results. But amateur radio actually began when private citizens discovered this means for personal communication with others, and set about learning enough about "wireless" to build home-made stations.
Amateur radio is a grand and glorious hobby but this fact alone would hardly merit such wholehearted support as was given it at international conferences.
The "public service" record of the amateur
is a brilliant tribute to his work. These activities can be
roughly divided into two classes, expeditions and emergencies.
Amateur cooperation with expeditions began in 1923 when an ARRL
league member accompanied MacMillan to the Arctic on the schooner
Bowdoin with an amateur station. Since 1913 amateur radio has
been the principal, and in many cases the only, means of
outside communication in several hundred storm, flood and
Amateurs have played a major rôle in the relief work and earned wide commendation for their resourcefulness in effecting communication where all other means had failed.
Throughout these many years the amateur was careful not to slight experimental development in the enthusiasm incident to international DX. The experimenter was constantly at work on ever-higher frequencies, devising improved apparatus, and learning how to cram several stations where previously there was room for only one! In particular, the amateur pressed on to the development of the very high frequencies.
The amateur is constantly in the fore front of technical progress. Many amateur developments have come to represent valuable contributions to the art. The complete record would fill a book!
Emergency relief, expedition contact, experimental work and countless instances of other forms of public service - rendered, as they always have been and always will be, without hope or expectation of material reward - made amateur radio an integral part of our peacetime national life.
CONSIDERATE. . . never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL. . . offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs.
PROGRESSIVE. . . with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY. . . slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED . . . radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school, or community.
PATRIOTIC . . . station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928