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United States/Covers & Postmarks : QSL cards

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philb
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29 Apr 2018
05:05:17pm

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i picked up a collection of QSL cards from ham radio operators today..both from the USA and foreign countries. If there ia any interest here i will list a few.Image Not Found

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
philb
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29 Apr 2018
06:50:17pm

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re: QSL cards

This one goes into my collection---Image Not Found

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Bobstamp
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29 Apr 2018
09:37:01pm
re: QSL cards

I think that QSL cards are a "forgotten" — or possibly unknown — postal history resource. I learned about QSL cards from my Uncle Phil, who was a ham radio operator before the Second WorldWar.

I clearly remember Uncle Phil's call sign — “W2 OSY,” with “OSY” spoken phonetically as “Ocean Sugar Yesterday”. He also used the phonetic “Old Sleepy Yokel,” but I don’t recall that. In conversations with my aunt, I learned that before the war his call sign had been “W8 MRA” “Mice, Rats & Applesauce”.

I only have a couple of QSL cards in my collection, because i generally only buy items that I think might help to illustrate points I try to make in my web pages and exhibits. This particular QSL card was made for me:

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The ham who posted this card, Dean Battishill, lived in my home town, Silver City, New Mexico. Dean was one of the first people I met when my family moved to Silver City from Savona, New York State, in 1949. I was just six years old at that time. Dean and my uncle had communicated as hams for several years before that.

Flash forward several years, to 1966: I had been admitted to the Air Force hospital at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, during my evacuation from South Vietnam after I had been wounded. An Air Force enlisted man asked me if I'd like to talk with my parents. He set up a series of phone patches via landlines and short-wave radio to connect me with my parents' home telephone; Dean Battishill was the last ham in the line of communication. When he got the message that I was on the phone and had been wounded, he phoned my parents (at about 4:00 a.m.) and I was able to speak with my dad. My parents were relieved to hear that I was safe, although facing a long hospitalization. The Navy didn't inform them for another week or 10 days that I had been wounded.

Ham radio seems to be on its way out these days, largely because of the ease of communication provided by the internet. But in the mid-1900s, it was a communication king, and the only way that individuals could communicate with friends and acquaintances worldwide. I mention my uncle, above. He joined the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942, hoping to do whatever the Army wanted him to do. He failed a test that would have sent him to air gunner school, which was a good thing: the recruits that he would have travelled with to gunnery school were all killed when their plane crashed. One day while he was waiting for whatever orders he might receive, he passed by a building with an open door. Inside, he could hear radio operators practicing Morse Code. He stuck his head in the door to see what was happening; an officer noticed him, and asked him what he wanted. Phil said that he'd heard "code". The officer asked him if he knew Morse Code. He did, of course — knowledge of Morse was a requirement for a ham radio license — so the officer asked him if he would be interested in becoming a radio repairman. Phil was interested, and was sent that day to radio-repair school.

He spent the rest of the war in the South Pacific, flying from island to island in often hostile-skies, repairing radios. At one point, he was seconded to the Australian Air Force to work on the development of radio triangulation to rescue downed Allied fliers.

QSL cards are generally dirt cheap, but can be a fine source for rare or little-known postmarks. Ebay currently is offering 124 QSL cards. Some were posted in covers, which are often included in the offerings, but most are QSL postcards.

Bob

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philb
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29 Apr 2018
11:21:17pm

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re: QSL cards

Bob, i agree..i think people might relate to a card from their area rather than a collection. I was a radio operator in the service..but that was the end of my interest.The hams shared a common interest which made it easy to find one another.

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1938324
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30 Apr 2018
08:09:51am

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re: QSL cards

I had access to many QSL Cards a couple of years ago, but because they tend to be a little large and bulky I was much more interested in the higher value stamps used to mail them.

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philb
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30 Apr 2018
05:11:06pm

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re: QSL cards

only one of the foreign qsls had stamps affixed..one from Morocco,,the others must have been sent in envelopes..i tried to get as many foreign countries as possible as well as from less populated United States. Being i have the collector gene(for paper products) it is hard to resist when i see something different.Image Not Found

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JohnnyRockets
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30 Apr 2018
07:51:51pm
re: QSL cards

I can see collecting these!

I'm a ham, and that would be cool!


JR

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philb
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30 Apr 2018
11:01:54pm

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re: QSL cards

do you want me to list one on the auction ?

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
jmh67
02 May 2018
12:53:46pm
re: QSL cards

For the non-hams, a little background information: Not all amateur radio QSL cards travel by mail, at least not individually. There is the so-called "bureau", a way of exchanging QSL cards in bulk between countries and clubs. Usually, hams need to be members of the national amateur radio organization to take part. They sort their outgoing cards by country and send them in bulk to their "outgoing bureau" who forwards the cards to the "incoming bureaus" of the various countries. There, the cards are sorted by recipient. The recipients get their cards either via their local clubs, or they provide their incoming bureau with postage and get their cards package by package by mail. It can be a rather slow process, but it is cheap. As far as I know, domestic QSL cards in the USA do not go via bureau at all.

73 (telegraphers' jargon for "best regards"), Jan-Martin



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JohnnyRockets
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02 May 2018
01:22:07pm
re: QSL cards

Hi Phil,

Not for me. I'd better stick with just what I'm collecting for now!

Before things get out of hand! Thinking



JR

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musicman
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APS #213005
02 May 2018
01:27:47pm
re: QSL cards

Jan-Martin is correct;

domestic U.S. QSL cards go through the mail, via postcard rate or first-class 1oz.rate,
depending on the mailer's choice.


I have two albums of almost all domestic cards that I inherited and also some I purchased.

My great uncle was a long-time avid ham radio operator/enthusiast.

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philb
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02 May 2018
04:16:40pm

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re: QSL cards

The U.S.QSL cards i selected 1939/41 era were mailed with one cent stamps.

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michael78651
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02 May 2018
05:21:08pm
re: QSL cards

Quote:

"I'd better stick with just what I'm collecting for now! Before things get out of hand!"



Now what's that phrase? Oh yes, "Famous last words!"
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philb
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02 May 2018
07:29:36pm

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re: QSL cards

There have been men strong enough to do it..perhaps one in twenty or fifty !Sad

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JohnnyRockets
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03 May 2018
07:53:33am
re: QSL cards

I know. As soon as I said it, I questioned my own reserve...! Winking


JR

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Linus
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03 May 2018
08:37:30pm
re: QSL cards

I have this card in my collection from a Sergeant Ed. R. Hoover, COB, 716th Military Police Battalion, APO San Francisco 96243, Viet-Nam. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this is a QSL card from the Vietnam War time period. This was not mailed, the back is blank.

Linus

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philb
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03 May 2018
09:38:21pm

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re: QSL cards

That is probably his handle...but a QSL card is usually like a receipt when you have made contact with another radio operator.Image Not Found

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musicman
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APS #213005
03 May 2018
10:13:02pm
re: QSL cards

I believe the Viet Nam card is a 'hand-out';

My great Uncle Roy had both kinds - QSL's and info cards just with his identifying information that he kept handy to pass along if he ran into another operator somewhere.

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Linus
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05 May 2018
08:13:44am
re: QSL cards

Thanks Phil and Randy for adding to this thread. I am starting to understand these cards now, since I was never a ham radio guy.

Hams had:

1) Handout info cards
2) QSL cards mailed in an envelope
3) QSL postcards mailed as a postcard.

I had to look through my own albums, and I found the item scanned below. This is a QSL postcard mailed from Hong Kong in 1951.

Thanks for starting this thread, Phil. Learning all the time on Stamporama.

73's Tks Cuagn!

Linus

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musicman
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APS #213005
05 May 2018
08:50:46am
re: QSL cards

Here are a couple from my collection;


here's one with an auxiliary marking -



FRONT
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BACK
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And here is one of my (great-)Uncle Roy's handout cards -

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I have many, many more examples of QSL's - mostly from the US - if anyone would like me to post more pics here...

some have quite interesting artwork on them.

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keesindy
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15 Mar 2021
11:12:28pm
re: QSL cards

As mentioned by others, amateur radio was not the only area where QSLs were issued and collected. Many AM radio and shortwave radio stations also issued QSL cards (or letters). They did so in response to a listener’s request. It was the listener’s responsibility to provide accurate details of the broadcast for which a QSL was being requested. Station operators were under no obligation to respond and it was sometimes helpful to include a stamped return envelope for domestic stations or an International Reply Coupon for overseas broadcast stations. Many commercial shortwave stations did not produce QSL cards and might not reply at all. Fortunately, some commercial shortwave station engineers would authenticate, sign and return unique QSL cards produced by the listeners when they were self-addressed and the cost of postage was included. An example of this situation was my ZLP Royal New Zealand Naval Radio QSL from 1974 that was returned in an envelope.

It was also helpful to address properly the envelope in which the custom QSL card was being mailed. In 1968, I was trying to obtain a QSL card from the WCC marine radio communications station, but incorrectly addressed my request to Chatham, New Jersey. It was returned by the post office with back cancels from Dunellen and Chatham, New Jersey. The station was actually located in Chatham, Massachusetts. The “CC” in the WCC station call sign was a reference to the Cape Cod location. I can no longer find the WCC QSL I created and never got verified.

Marconi Wireless and Telegraph Company of America began construction of their Chatham, Massachusetts site in 1914 to replace an older facility. This was one of a series of new U. S. radio communication stations that would compete with the Transatlantic undersea cables. This station handled radio traffic between a handful of similar European stations and the U. S. All communications were in International Morse Code.

The U. S. Navy operated the facility during World War I. After the war, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) replaced Marconi as operator, apparently for national security reasons.

In 1921, the station’s function changed from being a point-to-point communications station to a ship-to-shore station. The station became the premier ship-to-shore communication station on the east coast after the war, but the Navy once again took over the facility during World War II. Commercial use of the facility resumed after the war and the station was handling on a daily basis up to a thousand messages to and from commercial ships and ocean liners (including messages to and from passengers).

In its heyday, the station handled high-profile communications for “Richard E. Byrd's two expeditions to the South Pole, the first around-the-world voyage by the Graf Zeppelin in 1929, Lindbergh's 1933 flight, and Howard Hughes' 1938 trans-global flight. The station also relayed weather information to Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Wiley Post, during their ill-fated attempt to fly around the world.”

Primary source of information: http://www.imradioha.org/Recaptured/WCC/WCC%27s%20History.htm

Tom

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"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
Gudgie
P!ease ask by private message if you wish my home address.
16 Mar 2021
09:05:21pm
re: QSL cards

My brother in law is a ham radio buff. He has been for many years. Some years ago he cleaned out a cupboard and gave a large collection of Airmail covers to my wife, his sister. In those days The QSL cards were enclosed inside the envelope. The covers were from all around the world. They take up a great deal of space and I remember asking on SoR when should you keep covers with stamps On and when should you remove the stamps.

He had so many covers from the USA I arranged the collection by alphabetical state order. I ended up with 1 complete cover set of 50 states. From memory I think I was about 3 states short of having a second full set. My brother in law has offered to hand over more recent covers, as he's been on the flip flop non stop over the last year and the cupboard is full once again.

Is there any market for airmail covers? Are there people who collect such items?

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banknoteguy
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17 Mar 2021
08:32:30am
re: QSL cards

The image below is an old QSL "card" that my father received and kept. I believe he did this with a radio he designed/built in high school. He went on to become an electrical engineer and designed electric motors. I have several others from around this date.

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Can anyone provide an explanation of the info on this card?

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dani20
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17 Mar 2021
08:45:28am
re: QSL cards

CQ-CQ as I recall that was the way to start the communications. (Seek you-seek-you for the non-ham folk)

I also recall stamps specifically for that group - but relying upon my memory is a treacherous road to travel. Any help here from this group of long ago?

Best,
Dan C.

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smauggie
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18 Mar 2021
06:06:49pm
re: QSL cards

QSL Card from Sydney with early A1 Neopost meter with uncommon value of 2d.

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smauggie
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19 Mar 2021
10:34:15am
re: QSL cards

Going through covers I found this other QSL card from Toyama, Japan.

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On the back there was nothing but this uncancelled cinderella stamp.

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banknoteguy
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19 Mar 2021
04:50:18pm
re: QSL cards

Does anyone know when these kinds of "cards" first were first issued?

Another different early Australian VK2ME QSL card:

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musicman
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APS #213005
19 Mar 2021
10:17:08pm
re: QSL cards

Research indicates they have been around since about 1922...

...and are still being used today!



https://cheapqsls.com/


http://www.radioqth.net/qslcards

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banknoteguy
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20 Mar 2021
11:48:05am
re: QSL cards

1922 -- that is coming right up on 100 years!

My last one of these is not a card but a letter.

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