News items of interest to Antique Wireless Museum Followers and AWA Members

The KeySpark Archive Comes to the AWA

For those of you that attended Rachel Isbell Branch’s Conference presentation on The KeySpark Archive, you understand that KeySpark Archive is the significant and historic collection of the ephemera of her great uncle, Arthur Abner Isbell, IAA, the fourth wireless operator in the US.

The KeySpark Archive is composed of original photos, letters, newspaper clipping and postcards from the formative years of wireless.

Authur Abner Isbell

Arthur learned telegraphy as a boy and had been a schoolmate of Lee DeForest. He became a General Manager at the original DeForest Company, joined the Massie Company in 1906 and while employed there equipped and operated on the first ship with wireless to sail the Pacific (the S.S. President). He later designed and built a 10 K.W. spark station at Kahuku, Hawaii for the Wireless Telegraph Company, Ltd., became New Orleans Division Superintendent for United Wireless, erected the first wireless station in New Zealand, worked for Marconi, where he became a construction engineer and later became a General Superintendent at RCA.

Rachel Branch and Bob Hobday, on behalf of AWA, have signed an agreement conveying the ownership and copyrights of KeySpark Archive to AWA for its preservation, digitization, and promotion as primary wireless history research.

This is an incredible collection and we are very honored that Rachel chose to place AWA in the role of stewardship of the KeySpark Archive.   

100th Anniversary Event Story

AWA President, Robert Hobday, has created the story of the 100th Anniversary of the IBCG transatlantic test.

October 2021 “Museum Sparks


The Volume 5 No.3 issue of the AWA “Museum Sparks” has been posted.

To view or download this issue, click on button to the right.



The AWA LEARN IT, BUILD IT, FIX IT class series is now scheduled to begin October 16, 2021. Learn Stereo Applifier. Details are available by clicking on button to the right.

AWA Launches a New Series of Monthly Zoom Meetings called “AWA Shares


Each month on Wednesdays, there will be a one hour well researched presentation by an expert in their field followed by a short question and answer period from the attendees.  AWA Webinar Wednesdays on Zoom will be held the third Wednesday of the month with a refreshing new topic with each meeting. You do not need to be an AWA member and the meetings are FREE!

You must register for each session. Details can be found on the AWA Shares page.

AWA Journal Summer 2021 Issue


The US Postal Service has been taking longer to deliver our publications.  The Summer AWA Journal was mailed on July 13, and should be in everyone’s hands soon.  This issue is being mailed in an envelope rather than a wrapper, and we will evaluate whether this improves delivery and reduces the number of damaged copies received by members.

David D. Kaiser, Editor

Raymond Shatzel – Silent Key


I am sorry to report that long time AWA member Raymond Shatzel W2XC of Lancaster, NY passed away on June 24, 2021. He was the loving brother of Charlene A. (Paul) Blakita; dear father of Royce, Navarre and Marina Shatzel. Ray was an avid amateur radio operator (W2XC) and was Vice President of Electronic Sales at Hammond Manufacturing. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Hammond Manufacturing, HEL Hammond Electronics Limited (UK) and the Hammond Museum of Radio in Guelf Ontario Canada.

Ray will be missed by all who knew him.

Bob Hobday

Ray Shatzel

Tom Peterson – Silent Key


It is with a very, very heavy heart that I report that Tom Peterson passed away in February 2021. He was a gentle man, inquisitive, quick to laugh, and brilliant.

Tom Peterson served for 22 years on the AWA Board of Trustees and 17 years as AWA Director. Under Tom’s leadership AWA has achieved international recognition as a premier communication’s historical organization with a world-class museum. Tom led the way to develop the Thomas Peterson AWA Campus which includes 4 buildings on five acres. Tom’s leadership and support made that possible.

Tom Peterson

Tom filed for his first patent (for a perpetual calendar) at 13. He established a home laboratory and continued to invent and publish in peer-reviewed journals for decades. Tom attended MIT, but returned early to help with the family firm, Preformed Line Products. His father had founded the firm in 1947 after inventing an advanced protective rod to cover conducting lines for electric utilities. Tom also had a passion for photography that had been inspired by one of his MIT professors. Even as Tom continued to support his father’s enterprise, he also pursued this emerging art. He eventually founded Motion Picture Sound, Inc., which provided audio services for corporate and government projects as well as Hollywood movies like A Christmas Story.

Upon his retirement as AWA Director, the AWA Board of Trustees elected him Director Emeritus. Tom received the AWA President’s Award in 2007. Also, a member of Radio Club of America, Tom received the RCA Ralph Batcher Award in 2017.

I always enjoyed our long conversations (they were never short), his enthusiasm, his thoughtful counsel, his encouragement, and his support. He will be missed by all and especially by those lucky to be able to call Tom their friend.

Bob Hobday

“Silent Key” October 21, 2020


Howard A. Corey W1CL

It is with a heavy heart that I report that Howard Corey (“Howie”) of Randolph Center, VT passed away October 21, 2020 after a brief illness. He attended the AWA Annual Conference each year and I looked forward to chatting with him every year. Howie was a quiet man worth listening to and always was trying to learn something new by asking questions. He grew up in Bristol, CT and after high school attended the General Motors Institute where he majored in engineering. After graduation, he worked on brake design at the Bristol GM plant for several years.

From 1961 to 1964, Howard served in the Air Force. He attended electronics and radio school and served in Korea where he maintained aircraft navigational aids. After his service, Howard returned to Connecticut where he worked in television as a transmitter engineer at WTIC in Hartford.

From 1961 to 1964, Howard served in the Air Force. He attended electronics and radio school and served in Korea where he maintained aircraft navigational aids. After his service, Howard returned to Connecticut where he worked in television as a transmitter engineer at WTIC in Hartford.

Howie retired from WTIC and moved to Randolph Center where he lived high on a hill assuring good radio reception. He was an active member of the National Association of Amateur Radio, American Radio Relay League, and the Antique Wireless Association.

Howie enjoyed dinners with family and his many friends and conversing with his radio friends all over America. The Annual AWA Conference will not quite be the same without Howie to talk to.

His smile, humor, conversation and friendship will be sorely missed.

Bob Hobday