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History Archive

CALLBOOK HISTORY

About WIA Callbooks

The first Australian callbook was produced in 1914. It was titled Wireless in Australia. An earlier single page listing of members and commercial stations was published by the Wireless Institute of NSW in 1912.

The 1914 edition listed all stations which were licenced in Australia at the time. The exact cut-off date is unclear, possibly the end of December 1913 or very early 1914.

This section of the website is designed to provide you with some historical background to callbooks published over the years. It may also help family historians in their research of amateur relatives.

The Very First Callbook

The very first Australian callbook was published by the Wireless Institute of Victoria as a result of discussions, commencing in August 1913, with the Commonwealth Wireless Director, John Balsillie. He offered to provide an up to date listing of stations, both experimental and commercial in an attempt to help minimise interference to "official stations".

The book contained some 401 Experimental (amateur)stations, 33 Land stations and 14 Australian Navy ships together with a listing of 293 other ships from Australia and around the world.

Due to the outbreak of World War I, the life of the callbook was abruptly curtailed as on August 14th 1914, all Australian Experimental stations were closed down.

A 1927 Call Sign listing in Homecrafts 1927 Catalogue

The "House of Homecrafts" was established in about 1903 by P.H. McElroy. It was a national supplier of all types of hobby products including Meccano, Hornby Trains, Photography, Magazines and Books, Fret Work, Chemistry, Model Engineering including Steam Engines, Phonographs, Small workshop Engine Lathes and Electrical Engineering Models. Their range of products was extensive and they were well respected, especially by their country clients.

As Wireless became more popular, Homecrafts quickly established themselves as a major supplier of components and receivers. McElroy could obviously see the potential of wireless and absorbed a number of wireless men into his organisation. In September 1911 he convened a meeting of wireless enthusiasts "to form a Society so as to bring together all gentlemen who are interested in Wireless Telegraphy and by the exchange of views, to encourage and assist experiment in this extremely interesting branch of science". The resultant organisation was initially known as the Amateur Wireless Society of Victoria changing to the Wireless Institute of Victoria in May 1913 and later still, the Wireless Institute of Australia, Victorian Division.
By the Mid 1920s Homecrafts Catalogues had grown to some 112 pages.

A copy of only part of the 1927 catalogue is available as a down loadable file. Please note it is a large file but it contains interesting material including 1927 callsign information. The original copy together with a number of other editions, was donated, by Pam VK3NK and Graeme VK3NE whose families lived in country, North-East Victoria.

Files For Download

First National Callbook - 1914
1914 WIV Call Book .pdf

Adelaide Advertiser report 1914 Callbook (extract)
Advertiser (extract) - 1914 Call Book.pdf


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