CENTENNIAL 1915-2015

Founded in 1915 to promote the art of amateur wireless telegraphy and telephony


The Radio League of America was founded by Hugo Gernsback, publisher of The Electrical Experimenter magazine, in December 1915. Introducing the league, the magazine reported it was a "purely scientific organization" and established "under the auspices of the world's greatest wireless men, who thoroughly indorse its principles." The league organized "relays" to send morse code messages along a chain of amateur radio stations. On Dec. 31, 1915, a message originated by William H. Kirwan at station 9XE in Davenport, Iowa, was relayed to most of the central states. To mark Washington's Birthday, a message originated on Feb. 22, 1916 was relayed across the country and delivered to President Woodrow Wilson and other government officials. The league was instrumental in encouraging amateur radio operators to lend their skills to the military and enlist when the U.S. entered World War I. It was Gernsback's opinion that "if Uncle Sam grants the amateur the free use of the ether it is certainly up to the amateur to give something in return for the privilege," the magazine said. As far as can be told, the Radio League of America faded into history after the final edition of The Electrical Experimenter was published in July 1920. Prior to the league, Gernsback founded the Wireless Association of America in 1909. In the 1930s, he established the Short Wave League in conjunction with his Short Wave Craft magazine.


To receive free 8 1/2 x 11 Centennial Certificate, send SASE or IRCs to WB2KQG.  (see qrz.com for QTH)





Aug. 16, 1884 – Aug. 19, 1967

Radio pioneer Hugo Gernsback, founder of the Radio League of America, is best remembered as a science fiction writer and publisher of the magazines Amazing Stories and Wonder Stories. The World Science Fiction Convention's annual awards are name "The Hugos" in his honor.