The History of the QSL Card

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K0LWC, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. K0LWC

    K0LWC Ham Member QRZ Page

    QSL cards are a cornerstone of amateur radio, but where did they come from and who started the idea of exchanging postcards via postal mail? I discuss that and more in this week's video on my YouTube channel.

    Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel
    K1TGX likes this.
  2. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I'm guessing this is a rhetorical question?
  3. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Per Wikipedia:

    The concept of sending a post card to verify reception of a station (and later two-way contact between them) may have been independently invented several times. The earliest reference seems to be a card sent in 1916 from 8VX in Buffalo, New York to 3TQ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (in those days ITU prefixes were not used). The standardized card with callsign, frequency, date, etc. may have been developed in 1919 by C.D. Hoffman, 8UX, in Akron, Ohio. In Europe, W.E.F. "Bill" Corsham, 2UV, first used a QSL when operating from Harlesden, England in 1922.[2]

  4. N5AL

    N5AL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    K0LWC, thanks for the interesting history lesson!

    ...and to think, I always thought the very first QSL card came from the Little Print Shop, in Austin, TX., just weeks before the official birth of amateur radio. :) Just kidding. For some of the newer hams here, it's a long standing joke that "back in the day", you first knew that you had passed the FCC ham exam when a QSL card advertisement, bearing your brand new callsign, arrived in the mail from the Little Print Shop. They somehow always managed to beat the Gettysburg FCC office in getting to you mailbox!
    W4NNF, NL7W, WZ7U and 1 other person like this.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    You forgot "Brownie", Walter Ashe, and WRL with their QSL ads plus WRL and their little plastic call letter stand, with your new call, all before the little white envelope arrived from the FCC!

    One of the WRL call letter stands can be seen, in the attached photograph, on the left hand side sitting on the Heath SB-200 and another on top of the Collins 75A-2.


    Glen, K9STH
  6. CX3BZ

    CX3BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most exotic QSL I`ve seen was a coconut engraved with the QSO data, a ham radio operator sent to a continental US colleague. It was depicted in a QST, but don't remember the year/month it was published. 73 de Horacio, CX3BZ
    N0NB likes this.

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