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

Below are news stories of interest to AWA Members or those interested in antique radios. Should you have an item of general interests, contact the Website Administrator here.

Len Gessin – Silent Key


Len Gessin, AWA Member, Museum Volunteer and Radio Amateur WA2ZNC, Dies at 89

It is with a very heavy heart, that I inform you that Len Gessin passed away on Monday, September 19, 2022 at age 89 in FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, NY. He was born in Rochester, NY to the late Robert and Pearl (Rosenberg) Gessin. Len is survived by his children, Leonard Gessin Jr. (Lisa Beadle), Scott (Karen) Gessin, Terry Green (Dick Milton) and Jeffrey (Dorene) Green; his brother; Bernard Gessin; and his grandchildren, Jennifer (Tom) Frechette, Jeffrey Green (Janessa Davis), Nicole Mason (Chris Mack), Michael Green (Natalie Pope), Michael Gessin (MarKayla Nash) and Megan Gessin, along with a very large beloved extended family.

After graduating from High School, Len serves his country in the Unites States Army during the Korean War. After Len’s discharge, he began his career with the Monroe County Department of Public Safety, where he became an Assistant Superintendent. Len had a passion in wireless communications. He was a lifelong amateur radio operator (WA2ZNC).  He volunteered for the Antique Wireless Museum in Bloomfield NY, where he was a Museum Historian guiding tours of the Museum. If the Museum was open for visitors, Len usually was there.

Len was a member of multiple organizations, including Antique Wireless Association, Rochester Amateur Radio Association, Honeoye-Hemlock American Legion, Eagle Lodge 619 and the Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance.

Len was an interesting, likeable friend. He was always ready help in any way he could and very knowledgeable. He made friends easily. Len will be sorely missed by his many friends who lives he touched.

Bob Hobday
AWA President

AWA Printed Circuit Board Brings Excitement to Young Radio Enthusiast


Troy Taylor and his nephew Ben, a young radio enthusiast, are shown during the spring of 2022 when they revived Ben’s Atwater Kent Model 20 Big Box radio.  With Uncle Troy’s guidance, Ben utilized the AWA Universal Battery Eliminator circuit board.  This was the first time Ben had ever heard a radio wake up from many years of silence.  The first broadcast they received was a Mariner’s game.

(The “’AWA Universal Battery Eliminator circuit board’ mentioned above is the AWA Universal Battery Eliminator (UBE) PCB available for purchase here.)

Dick Ransley – Silent Key


Richard Grant Ransley

July 2, 1934 – June 28, 2022

Longtime AWA member Dick Ransley, age 87, passed away on June 28, 2022.

After graduating from Alfred State College, Dick enlisted in the Navy and completed the Navy Electronic School. During his four-year enlistment, he specialized in radar and communication equipment. He was discharged as Petty Officer 1st Class, Electronics Technician. He served an additional 4 years in the Reserves.

In 1959, Dick accepted a job in the Heavy Military Electronics Depart of General Electric Co. in Syracuse, NY. He was proud to have worked on radio guidance systems which were installed on rocket boosters used on the Atlas, Gemini and Apollo NASA manned space programs. In 1965 he transferred to the Semiconductor Product Department, working as a Reliability Specialist. He also worked for GE in the capacity of an Application Engineering Specialist in semiconductors, in Auburn and Syracuse NY. In 1989 he worked as a Supplier Quality Specialist in the GE Aerospace Division in Syracuse and later in Utica. The Aerospace division was subsequently acquired by Lockheed -Martin. He retired from Lockheed-Martin May 31st, 1996 after 38 years.

Dick was an avid history buff and longtime active member of the Antique Wireless Association. He was an enthusiastic collector of radios and phonographs and all things related. At AWA he served on the AWA Board from 1973 to 2002, as AWA Board Secretary from 1977 to 2008, 2nd Vice President from 1989 to 1990, 1st Vice President from 1990 to 1995, AWA Journal Want Ads Editor from 1983 to 2018, and Official Photographer from 1989 to 2019.

He was a quiet, thoughtful gentleman and he will be missed by his many friends at AWA.

QST July 2022 Item


AWA Awarded Grant


Floyd Jury – Silent Key


With a heavy heart, I want to inform you that longtime AWA member Floyd R. Jury, age 96, of Lancaster, passed away on May 10, 2022, at Willow Valley Communities. He was born in Canton, OH to Cloyd Jury and Ada Ophelia (Laird) Jury. He was married to his dear wife Erma from 1960 to 1982 until she passed away. Floyd was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Landisville, PA.

Floyd served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II where he received Radio Mechanic, Electronic School, and Radar School training. After his discharge he received additional training in Radio, Television, and Reliance Industry Maintenance. He worked as an electronic technician for Hamilton Watch Company for 38 years before retiring in 1981. He was a licensed Ham Radio Operator (W30LV) for over 60 years. He was a life member of the American Radio Relay League and the Antique Wireless Association. He was also a member of the MidAtlantic Antique Radio Club and the Tube Collectors Association. He enjoyed collecting early tv camera pick up tubes, early cathode ray tubes, early radar tubes, oscillographs, and oscilloscopes. His hobbies included building, repairing, and converting radios and other electronic equipment. He and his twin brother, Lloyd, started building radios and televisions at a young age. Floyd was a pleasant and easygoing man who will be missed by his surviving family. Floyd is survived by 2 nephews, Charles (Skip) Schiefer and Thomas Jury, 5 nieces, Susan Tomlinson wife of Craig Tomlinson, Amanda Rosh, Laura Sage wife of Alan Sage, Jennifer Jury, Elizabeth Hahn wife of Edward Hahn, 4 great-nephews, and 3 great nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife, Erma (Earhart) Jury, brother George Jury, sister Catherine (Jury) Schiefer, and identical twin brother Lloyd Jury, and a great nephew.

Robert Hobday, AWA President/Chairman of the Board

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.   

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 Guelph 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.

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