October, upstate New York
Back when digital cameras first began to overtake 35mm film in terms of resolution and fidelity, I did a weird thing – I bought a large-format film camera kit which I built from wood, glue and a bit of ground glass.
The camera used 4X5 inch sheet film and required a lengthy amount of time under the dark cloth in order to compose and focus an image.
Its design and movements allowed things not possible with any other camera type in terms of focus thanks to the Scheimpflug principle.
At the time, it did for me what QRP would later do – it got me out and about on various trails. I discovered the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey – places I would later go on QRP excursions with Sam Morse’s code. Continue reading 'The appeal of retro'»
After seeing The Clandestine Radio Operators mentioned recently on Larry’s (W2LJ) blog I decided to order a copy as I know of no other book that covers this aspect of WW2 in such detail (there is at least one exception…more in a future post).
The photography in the book is very high quality. This is good because the bulk of each page’s real estate is dedicated to images rather than text. The photos are modern studio shots of old radios as well as original B&W photos taken during the war.
One thing stood out among the original photos – the radio operators and their equipment were almost always guarded. Either an armed soldier was pictured nearby or the radio’s position on the table or ground also included a weapon in the scene – M1 Garand, handgun or machine gun. Continue reading '“The Clandestine Radio Operators” review'»
Depicted as operating from Le Chanbon sur Lignon with resistance fighter Edmund Lebrat operating the generator. (Click for larger image)
It’s not often that a portable QRPer operating CW captures the imagination of an artist.
The painter in this case is Jeff Bass and the woman at the key is Virginia Hall, aka “the spy with the wooden leg”.
Born in 1906, Hall grew up in Maryland and was educated in Radcliffe College & Columbia University before going to Europe to continue her education and study of languages.
She was in France when WW2 began, then left for England where she volunteered to serve the Allied Forces as a spy. The Brits sent her back to France for 8 months to help coordinate activities of the French Underground. To those not in the know, she was simply a journalist for the New York Post. Continue reading 'Portable CW operation under duress: A YL in WW2'»
Tony Casdagli displays his father’s handiwork
Please pardon the profanity and consider the historical context in which it occurred:
From 1941 to 1945, Major Alexis Casdagli of the Royal Army Ordinance Corps was a prisoner in four German POW camps.
With a belief that it was every prisoner’s duty to defy their captors in any way possible, Casdagli took up sewing.
Using thread scrounged from decaying uniforms and disintegrating pajamas, the good Major created a tapestry that would eventually hang on the office walls of his captors in all four different prison camps. Continue reading 'A WW2 POW sticks it to Hitler, (tele)graphically'»
We Are Comrades, John
Yes! comrades, John, for thirty years,
Not in the usual way,
Comrades, though we have never met,
This may seem strange to say.
You’ve worked one end – I the other,
Of a circuit all these years,
We’ve shared our joys – the fates bestowed
Our sympathies and tears.
We both are growing shaky, John,
Our Morse is not so clear,
And not so musical as when
Our cups were full of cheer. Continue reading 'Jerry Newton – railroad telegrapher, poet'»