ICE found at used bookstore


Today, I went to lunch with some high school friends in Detroit. On the way back, we stopped at John K. King Used and Rare Books. This place is a real Detroit institution. Housed in a former glove factory, the store claims to have more than a million used books stashed in closely-spaced bookshelves on four floors.

Just as we were about to leave, I spotted a box near the door labelled, “Ham Radio Cards & Ephemera.” In the box was about 100 QSL cards from the estate of Carlton R. Lindell, W8MNQ, 1250 Eastlawn Ave., Detroit, Mich. Some were blank cards of his, others were cards he received in the late 1930s and 1940.

I found two with callsigns that spell words—VE3ALE and the one above, W5ICE. There are a couple of remarkable things about this card. First, it only cost a penny to send a postcard back in those days. Second, the description for W5ICE’s transmitter and receiver are not model numbers, but actual descriptions of his “rig.” The transmitter used H125 tubes in the final amplifier, while the receiver was an “8 tube super(het).”

Also notice that there’s no line for the mode being used. It was probably assumed that the mode was CW.


  1. Elwood Downey, WB0OEW says:

    Nice card. 1940. Boy, bet they didn’t expect what was just around the corner.

    I think mode could be reliably inferred from the 3-number RST. Phone would be just two numbers. Also, the suffix X I think means “stable tone as from crystal control”.

    [third try to get the captcha right -- argh]

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