Updated 6-18-2008

July 2008 Column



3ZO and Mr. Horace Beale Part 3
Miss A. Bertha Hilton, 3KO


There was a small error in QST this month. Somehow the first line was cut out of the article. Shown here is the correct first paragraph.

                    73, John Dilks, K2TQN


Slide Show of the photos that were on Ebay - (65 slides)
Click on any photo to see a larger version

Photos taken by the seller and used with permission.

Miss A. Bertha Hilton, 3KO

Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, had one other station of prominence, and an operator of significance. This was A. Bertha Hilton, first licensed as 3KO around 1923. She was recruited by Mr. Horace A. Beale Jr. to be his telegraph operator. After he built his ham station 3ZO, she passed her Amateur Radio test was issued the call 3KO. She was the primary radio operator for Mr. Beale.

A Philadelphia newspaper originally published an article about Miss Frances Rice, W3AKB, of Philadelphia in late1930 or early 1931 saying that she was, “believed to be the only girl in the state holding such a license.” On April 30, 1931 they printed this story along with a small photo of A. Bertha Hilton,

“Two Penna. Girls Licensed Amateur Radio Operators - Miss A. Bertha Hilton, Parkesburg and Miss Frances Rice, This City.

Parkesburg, Pa. - April 30. - There are two girls in Pennsylvania, licensed as amateur wireless operators, it was revealed here after publication of an article concerning Miss Frances V. Rice, Philadelphia, who was believed to be the only girl in the state holding such a license.

The other girl is Miss A. Bertha Hilton of Parkesburg who has had a similar license for the past eight years. As present her station W3KO, which she has built herself, is not in operation, but Miss Hilton stated it will be "on the air" again after minor repairs.

Shortly after Miss Hilton received her license she became operator of station 3ZO, owned by the late H. A. Beale, Jr. of Parkesburg. Miss Hilton said she has "worked" nearly all parts of the world. While she was operator of this station she was elected Superintendent of the third division of the American Radio Relay League. Miss Hilton is manager of the Western Union Telegraph Office at Downingtown [ Pennsylvania].”

On November 20, 2005 Ebay listed a beautiful early ham radio station. The seller was one of those stores who sell things belonging to others. But the description and photos were excellent, they certainly attracted my attention and I started bidding. Soon I realized that this was going to be expensive, so I bid some more, in fact I bid a lot and for a while I was top bidder. It was not to be, as a last minute bidder came along and bid enough to win.

Part 1 - Part 2


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