Hairy American Magician ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N4UP, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What is it with HAM? I don’t know where it came from or why some people use the expression HAM instead of ham or ham radio. HAM is obviously an acronym for something. Maybe Hairy American Magician?

    I have heard people say they “have been involved in ham” for three years. Not ham radio. But ham. Apparently they are not vegetarian.

    Did the English language leap through some sort of discontinuity or did I just miss the transition? I missed the one where “who” turned into “that” so maybe I missed another one.

    And where does “shack” come from? Does it not predate Radio Shack? Are we shacked up with our radio stuff? Or are our radio rooms descended from small rundown buildings? Or from wooden sheds housing spark gap transmitters?
    N2EY, K8AI and WA7PRC like this.
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I sometimes like HAM.

    And when I was younger I spent more time shacking...
  3. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Huge Ass Modulation
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  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My avatar explains the shack bit. :)
  5. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Like many terms in ham radio date back to the telegraph days 'shack' is one also. As in 'telegraph shack' typically indicating a small room or possibly lonely outpost where the telegraph operator worked.
    WQ4G and N4UP like this.
  6. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, instead of primarily reading in there, you pound..... brass? :eek::D

    Be careful of sparks.
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  7. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page


    Think that's a vertical antenny on this dugout. Qualifies as a shack to be sure! ca. 1940
    K9ASE, KC8YLT and NL7W like this.
  8. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the early days, some operators had a separate outbuilding or "shack" where their station was located. Some still do. When I first started out in the late '50s there was a ham in town who had such a setup.
    AC8UN likes this.
  9. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    According to

    If you search the Web for the origin of the term "HAM" for radio amateurs, you will find two or three accounts that are evidently most believed. However, this version seems to be the most credible. It was provided to me by a very active and accomplished HAM, Mr. Cornell D., who is not given to propagating bad information. I tried unsuccessfully to locate an original version of the "Florida Skip Magazine" from 1959. If anyone has a copy that can provide a scan of the article, it would be a great service to all HAMs if you could send it to me for posting. Thanks.

    All copyrights acknowledged, but unknown

    Why radio amateurs are called "HAMS"
    (from Florida Skip Magazine - 1959)

    Have you ever wondered why radio amateurs are called "HAMS?" Well, it goes like this: The word "HAM" as applied to 1908 was the station CALL of the first amateur wireless stations operated by some amateurs of the Harvard Radio Club. They were ALBERT S. HYMAN, BOB ALMY and POOGIE MURRAY.

    At first they called their station "HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY". Tapping out such a long name in code soon became tiresome and called for a revision. They changed it to "HY-AL-MU," using the first two letters of each of their names. Early in 1901 some confusion resulted between signals from amateur wireless station "HYALMU" and a Mexican ship named "HYALMO." They then decided to use only the first letter of each name, and the station CALL became "HAM."
    KC8YLT likes this.
  10. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Google maps found my address!!

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    KC8YLT, K8AI and WR2E like this.

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