The Wireless Age, December, 1915, pages 164-168:
clippings   National  Amateur
Wireless  Association

    A  Few  Comments
    of  the  Press  Following
    the  Announcement  of  its
    Organization  Given  in  Brief

ARTICLES comprising more than 2,000 words announced the organization of the National Amateur Wireless Association in the New York newspapers of October 31. It is impossible to reprint here the many columns of favorable newspaper comment made all over the country, but the few extracts which follow give some idea of how the press of the country viewed the undertaking.
    On its editorial page, the New York Sun said, in part:
    "The National Amateur Wireless Association--a comprehensive organization formed for the development and training of amateur wireless workers throughout the country--comes into existence tomorrow.
    "Its founders, headed by Guglielmo Marconi, of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, hope to interest the 200,000 amateurs in a greater development of their experiments by co-operative or group working, so that in case of emergency the nation may have a reserve body of operators.
    "It is the view of the organizers that the amateur wireless operator, whose efforts are generally frowned upon by Government officials as well as other individuals, should be encouraged; that the merest tinker may develop into an enthusiast and by proper study become a great radio engineer. The association plans to help young men in this field. Cooperation, coupled with direction of experimental work, is the means by which this service is to be performed. Existing wireless clubs and organizations will be recognized and properly accredited officers may have a share in the councils of the national association.
    "Every amateur who is properly indorsed may join as an individual. According to his abilities and geographical location he will be entered for eligibility in an existing club or association, published recognition of anything noteworthy he accomplishes will be given, and in clue course admittance to an engineering body will be arranged. Progressive courses of study will be placed in each member's hands, experiments far removed from text-book humdrum will be added, and a monthly bulletin of new calls and other items included.
    "One arrangement that is being planned is this: Small clubs in their entirety or larger organizations divided into groups will be permitted to affiliate with some military organization as accredited members and officers of signal corps. Next summer these corps will enter military training camps similar to those recently held in the East. Thus a third line of defence will be available. The importance of this is emphasized by the fact that 1,100 men employed by the Marconi Company were requisitioned by Great Britain for wireless service at the outbreak of the war.
    "It is pointed out that the United States in time of war would need hundreds of operators and these would be available. Among the distinguished men in the advisory board of the National Amateur Wireless Association is Major William H. Elliott, a signal officer of wide experience and Adjutant-General of the Junior American Guard, who will serve as military adviser.
    "Mr. Marconi will be president and J. Andrew White, of the Marconi Company, administrative officer. Mr. White is editor of THE WIRELESS AGE. Clayton E. Clayton, associated with Mr. White, will be managing secretary; Prof. Alfred N. Goldsmith, of the College of the City of New York, an instructor in radio engineering; Prof. A. E. Kennelly, of Harvard, another radio expert, and Profs. Samuel Sheldon, of Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, and Charles R. Cross of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and E. E. Bucher, instructing engineer of the Marconi Company, also will act on the advisory board. To assist them will be a national council made up from existing clubs, State and interstate organizations.
    "The headquarters of the new organization will be at 450 Fourth avenue. It is to be strictly a co-operative body. Personal contact with national officers will be possible through conventions to be arranged."

Promotion  of  Existing  Organizations

    The New York World included in its 200-line article, the following:
    "A new organization for preparedness will become a reality to-morrow when the National Amateur Wireless Association enters upon its official existence.
    "According to Mr. White, the association has been formed in order to develop and help young men interested in the subject, so that, in case of war, there will be a large body of trained wireless operators upon which the United States Government can rely. There are fully 200,000 amateurs in this country who need and are anxious to receive the instruction the association purposes to give.
    "Close relations will be established with a large army of lieutenants, in the persons of those active in the direction of the many community clubs, State and interstate associations. Existing organizations will be aided to further growth, and, where a community lacks a club, every effort will be made to establish one. Officers of existing clubs will be admitted to the national council and conventions will be held at regular intervals.

Importance  of  Signal  Corps

    "Membership in the National Association will be open to every amateur who is properly indorsed. According to his abilities and geographical location he will be entered in some existing club or association and published recognition of his accomplishments will be given and eventually he will be admitted to some engineering body. He will be supplied with progressive courses of study, including experiments, and everything that a body of national officers of wide experience finds essential to the welfare of the amateur will be provided for.
    " 'Within a short time,' said Mr. White yesterday, 'it will be possible for small clubs in their entirety, or larger organizations through division into groups, to affiliate with military organizations as accredited members and officers of signal corps. Next summer these signal corps will enter military training camps similar to the one recently held at Plattsburg. Those who wish may become full members of a third line of defense for the safeguarding of the Nation in event of war.
    " 'Should this country be invaded the work of the wireless signaling corps would be of the utmost importance. Wireless is a most important adjunct to the modern war machine. A reserve corps made up of amateurs would be of inestimable value to the Nation.
    " 'We would have difficulty at the present moment in mustering sufficient wireless men of experience to provide for the defense of even a small strip of our coast. The solution of the problem lies evidently with the amateurs. Official figures give 3,836 licensed amateurs. I can say conservatively that double that number could pass the examination. Under the guidance of the National Amateur Wireless Association a reserve force of competent wireless operators adequate for all our needs can be developed within a year.' "
NAWA member certificate

Interesting  and  Valuable  Experiments

    The New York Press devoted a full column to the announcement, saying in part:
    "The formation by the leading radio experts of the East of a country-wide organization to be known as the National Amateur Wireless Association, by which amateur wireless enthusiasts can be aided toward maximum efficiency and grouped into national defense units, was announced yesterday. Guglielmo Marconi will head the movement.
    "By means of the proposed association, which becomes officially existent to-morrow, November 1, the country's radio engineers hope to direct the activities of the many thousand amateur wireless enthusiasts along standardized scientific lines. "Marconi will act only in an advisory capacity. In fact, his position at the head of the new league is the first official post he ever has accepted. The active work of the association will be carried on by J. Andrew White, editor of THE WIRELESS AGE. Clayton E. Clayton is to be secretary.
    "Major William H. Elliott, a signal officer of considerable experience and one of the leaders in a juvenile patriotic organization known as the Junior American Guards, is to be vice-president of the association. Upon his shoulders will rest the highly important work of developing, from the countless wireless enthusiasts of the country, efficient military signalers ready to fill up the gaps in the Nation's wireless reserve in time of war.
    "The first act of the experts heading the new movement will be the recognition of various community wireless clubs, State and interstate associations.
    "The most important work of the association will be in finding the true radio enthusiast, finding equally as active coworkers for him, and directing their experiments along the most productive lines.
    "There are almost 200,000 amateur wireless enthusiasts in this country, ranging from the youngster with a backyard communication set to the wealthy radiographer with an expensive and highly efficient set of instruments. A large percentage of the 200,000 belongs to wireless clubs or associations, but, with few exceptions, such organizations fall far short of their purpose.
    "The radio experts backing the movement say they have devised many interesting and valuable experiments and wireless stunts that the average enthusiast never heard of. It is by supplying such channels of instruction and development to the growing crop of wireless operators the association will organize a large corps of radio engineers and experts. The association will institute a bulletin service, keeping its members constantly posted on wireless affairs.
    "Perhaps the most important phase of the national wireless plans is that which deals with training military wireless operators. It is planned to have those of the youngsters interested in such branches of the work form signal corps detachments of the Junior American guard. The older wireless enthusiasts will be used as instructors.
    "From a statement made by Marconi to directors of his company recently, it was learned that Great Britain, despite the thousands of radio operators on board her warships, in her army and aboard the many vessels in her merchant marine, had to call time and time again for recruits with a knowledge of wireless telegraphy. It is understood that even the schoolboy wireless clubs in England have rendered valuable service to their country. The new association hopes to fit many thousands of the country's amateur experimenters to pass the Government tests and be ready for any emergency.
    "By reason of its organization the many operators and their home stations throughout the country are to be grouped for military usage. Each member of the association will receive information concerning all radio stations, and will be placed in a position where, with average application, he can make himself a military necessity."

Prediction  of Celerity  in  Organizing

    The Christian Science Monitor, of Boston, had this to say editorially:
    "Marconi is co-operating heartily with the National Amateur Wireless Association in which it is planned to enroll the 200,000 persons in the United States, who, for the love of it, have taken up with the new mode of communication and have acquired apparatus and mastered use of it. He foresees much aid, both theoretical and practical, from the co-ordinated and directed service of this large group. Evidence of their capacity to serve the Government has been shown since the war opened in more than one strategic way. The celerity with which schemes of this kind are worked out in the United States, once the plan is given a definite shape by a man like Marconi, well-nigh insures the ultimate achievement."

Large  Membership  Expected

    An editorial in the Rochester, N. Y., Chronicle stated:
    "The extent to which wireless telegraphy has interested American students of electricity is shown by the formation of a National Amateur Wireless Association, with the intention of systematizing instruction to wireless enthusiasts, their clubs and state and interstate organizations. The membership roll of the association is to be wide open and every amateur in the absence of a local club or organization, can join the parent body as an individual by giving local references and receiving indorsement. It is almost needless to say that the membership of the National Association will be large."
    A lengthy editorial in the Syracuse, N. Y., Post-Standard, said in part:
    "Not long ago the average amateur wireless operator came into disrepute up and down the country for his habit of meddling in commercial and governmental business. Youths with sufficient ability to construct simple wireless systems continually eavesdropped, interfered with legitimate radio work and generally made themselves nuisances.
    "It now develops that the amateur wireless man has his use in the world.
    "Older radio experts have decided to turn the activities of every amateur in the country into work that will be valuable instead of destructive. A countrywide organization, to be known as the National Amateur Wireless Association will be formed, and its members will be aided toward maximum efficiency and then grouped into national defense units.
    "The first problem is to organize the 200,000 amateur radio workers into clubs and other divisions. When this is done, the leading men of the country in wireless knowledge will lend their services for instruction.
    "The amateur has come into his own and his hitherto frowned upon labors will shortly be recognized as of value when directed into proper channels."
    Scores of other press clippings from all quarters of the country have been coming in daily to headquarters. Space does not permit printing even a small fraction of the newspaper comment. The unanimous support of the press, however, is appreciated by the officials of the National Amateur Wireless Association and this opportunity is taken to thank the leading papers of the North, East, South and West for their unsolicited efforts in the Association's behalf.