|Back to Main Page||Introducing The AWA|
The Antique Wireless Association is an organization of some 2,000 members linked by a common interest in the history of electrical and electronic communications. AWA members come from all walks of life and our ranks include teenagers, octogenarians, and beyond in both directions. At one of our meets, you might find yourself shaking hands with a retired broadcast executive or military electronics specialist, an engineer in a high-tech electronics firm, or an eager young man looking for advice on restoring his first radio.
Some of us are most interested in the technical background behind the epoch-making discoveries that now make it as easy to communicate across the globe as around the corner. Others enjoy the romance surrounding the men and institutions that put these discoveries to work: the maritime radio operators who averted disasters with their alert ears and quick thinking; the short-wave stations that radiated glimpses of exotic cultures and mindsets; the giant radio networks that delivered unparalleled entertainment and timely news to our homes while hawking toothpaste, cigarettes and soap flakes.
Though AWA members share this common interest, which many can trace back to early childhood, they express it in different ways. Some of us collect radio-related literature and manuals. Others collect and restore hardware: Morse keys and sounders, battery radios of the 1920s, telephones, advertising signs, cathedral and console radios--you name it! Collections can become very specialized, restricted to such things as radio components crafted of shiny Bakelite and gleaming brass or perhaps the fragile and intricate vacuum tubes that made the communications miracles possible. Among our members are meticulous craftsmen who enjoy replicating vintage receivers and/or transmitters. Those who are licensed amateurs frequently operate such equipment in special communications events sponsored by the AWA.
Once a year, hundreds of enthusiastic AWA members congregate at our major conference near Rochester, New York, to enjoy several days of total immersion in our hobby. They renew friendships, shop for treasures at the flea market, show off their acquisitions and restorations at the equipment contest, present and attend seminars, and enrich their collections at the major radio auctions.
It's just a short trip to our world-famous Museum and Museum Annex in nearby Bloomfield, New York. Both buildings are crammed with too many treasures to describe here, but you can see some of the exhibits on our museum page. At the Conference Awards Banquet on the last evening of the meet, those who have made major contributions to the AWA and to our hobby are honored, and there is good food, good drink and entertainment.
During the rest of the year, there are other AWA-sponsored meets and events. But the "glue" which holds the organization together is the The AWA Journal (Old-Timer's Bulletin). Averaging 72 pages, this 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" quarterly publication gives our multi-talented members an outlet to share their historical research, equipment restorations, troubleshooting and servicing tips and other information of common interest. In addition, a group of contributing editors author regular columns on a wide variety of topics. Visit the Contents page of our current issue to get an idea of the information packed between its pages!
Another AWA publication is published once a year and usually debuts at the Annual Conference. It's The AWA Review, a volume of a few hundred pages containing longer, more scholarly articles. As of this writing in the spring of 2009, a copy will be given to each member every year as part of his or her membership package.
|Back to Main Page||
Copyright © 2010