Updated 3-22-2008

May 2008 Column



3ZO and Mr. Horace Beale

What if you had unlimited funds, what kind of ham station would you build? Would you build it for yourself, or would you build a station that would benefit others? Back in 1922 Mr. Horace A. Beale Jr. did a little of both, to the great benefit of the local hams and for our hobby. He was born into a well-connected family that owned the Parkesburg Iron Company in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Beale had a passion for automobiles, owning more than a dozen of them, and for Amateur Radio, starting in 1910. He built a station that would rival any amateur station anywhere at the time. The station was the headquarters for the Chester County Radio Association, with over 130 members in June 1922. Mr. Beale was their President, and they affiliated with ARRL in December 1921. The station was built on his family’s estate and regular meetings were held there. This station was first written up in the May 1922 QST. Mr. Beale was also a director with the ARRL.

He assembled a team of regular operators that would keep the station on the air most of the time, and CCRA members would also visit and operate. The station was actually located in a home-sized building which at one time contained as many as 19 transmitters and 20 receivers. He also recruited an engineer who would design and build most of the equipment, Tom Appleby, W3AX.

Thanks to the following hams for contributing information and the photographs of this station: Ludwell Sibley, KB2EVN, Floyd Jury, Lloyd Jury, W3OLV, George Gadbois, W3FEY, and Tom Appleby’s friend Johan K. V. Svanholm, N3RF, for making the autobiography available to me.

Click here to visit Part 2 of this story, and included are photos of the antenna masts as they look today.


John Dilks, K2TQN    125 Warf Road, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234-8501   e-mail: K2TQN@arrl.net