Updated 12-23-2008

Updated -November 2008 Column - See BIO below + Movie


A Classic 1930 Transmitter

I would be interested in hearing what happened to W1FPE, Clinton Albert Potter, who lived at 21 Canal Street, in Plainville, CT. (If anyone knows of him, please tell me and I’ll add the information to this web page.) E Mail Me
See Emails below, information has been found.

I would think if he came back and took up ham radio again he would have picked up his rig, if for nothing else, for the parts. Lucky though for us he didn’t part it out. Now we can enjoy his fine work.

W1FPE's Power Supply

P-P 45's - Transmitter designed by George Grammer, this is W1FPE's excellent version of it.

See and hear one of these transmitters on the air. Thanks to Niel Wiegland for his excellent videos.

From: Niel Wiegand <nielwiegand@aggienetwork.com>
To: k2tqn@arrl.net
Subject: Re: Nov 1930 TNT
Click to visit Niel's web page


After using my TNT transmitter and SW3 in the AWA
1929 QSO Party I put together a web page including
YouTube demos.

Niel - W0VLZ
Click here to download 5-MB Adobe PDF file of original article
Click page to download 1.5-MB Adobe PDF of original article

Click to see his license enlarged,
Front page - Back of page

Email Received about this article

Subject: Clinton Potter, W1FPE

BIO just arrived - The rest of the Story.

Hi John,

Enjoyed your article on the "P-P 1930 transmitter".   Here's some more info on Clinton Potter.  He was born on 15 Feb 1907, in Plainville, CT, the son of James C. Potter, a barber, and Sarah J.  Their home at 21 Canal Street in Plainville may have been the home of Sarah's first husband, William Williams, whom she married at the age of sixteen shortly after immigrating from England.  Young Clinton grew up there without a father; James died before the boy was three, so the family influences on his young life were his mother, his sister Ruth A., 2 years older, and two half siblings from Sarah's previous marriage, Bertha Williams, 19 years older, and Ralph Williams, 7 years older.
By the time Clinton was a teenager, his mother had taken in a boarder by the name of Edward Conlon, who was about the same age as she.  Conlon was employed as a bookkeeper in a factory, a profession that the father-less Clinton would eventually take up, thus perhaps he was influenced and guided by Conlon.  He remained with his mother until at least 1935, by which time he had graduated from his job as a clerk in an electrical factory, probably the Trumbull Electric Mfg Co., "manufacturers of equipment for power and light distribution and control," where his sister Ruth also worked as a clerk.  In 1935 he was working as a timekeeper in New Britain. 

It's interesting to contemplate on what happened to make Clinton "retire" the "P-P 1930 transmitter" to the attic in 1933.  As you know, he was licensed in December 1932.  He was 25 years old, single and probably still working at the electrical factory at the time, hence perhaps the electrical influence and the availability of parts.  If, according to his surviving log, he only operated a few months in 1933, what happened?  Did his mother, then 64, require too much care?  Both he and sister Ruth were still living at home at that time.  The depression was in full swing, times were hard, and he had recently started working at a new clerical job in New Britain.  Perhaps his new job consumed too much of his free time.  Or did he find a young lass and, as has happened to many youngsters in the hobby, did the warm glow of budding romance replace the warm glow of those two Type 45 tubes?   

Clinton left Plainville sometime after 1935, about the time that he married Clara Marshall.  His mother also is missing from Plainville at that time and presumably had died.  That same year his sister Ruth married Herbert Ewald, a foreman in the same Trumbull Electric factory, and had moved to 123A Broad St.  In 1938 Clinton and Clara were in New Britain, at 212 McClintock St.  He was a traffic clerk at the Stanley Rule and Level plant ("Stanley Tools") on Elm St.  She was a sales clerk. 

After the war Clinton and Clara were living at 454 Eddy Glover Blvd in New Britain, where he was now a bookkeeper at Stanley Tools.  Two years later they returned to Plainville, Clinton commuting to his job in New Britain.  They moved into 122 Broad St, next door to his sister Ruth, where they remained for about the next ten years.   By 1955 Clinton had been promoted to accountant and he and Clara had moved to 16 Peace Court and later, 20 Peace Ct, in Plainville, where he was living in 1981 when he died.  His sister Ruth Ewald died on 2 Feb 1997 at the age of 91, not too long before that precious transmitter first caught your eye.  Clara remained in her residence at Peace Ct for another three years; she died on 1 Jan 2000, at the age of 92. 

Bill Wornham, NZ1D
Lady Lake, FL


Just received my November QST and read your article on the classic 1930 transmitter.  In the article you expressed an interest in learning a little more about Clinton Potter.  Being an amateur genealogist, I did a quick look up on him.

I found him in the 1910 census and 1920 census living with his mother and siblings in Plainville, CT.  I also found him in the Connecticut Death Index with the following data: Died 03 DEC 1981 at the age of 74 years; Place of residence at time of death was listed as Plainville, CT;  Date of birth listed as 15 FEB 1907 in Connecticut; Occupation listed as a retired accountant in the tool manufacturing industry.  I was unable to find him in the 1930 census.  From this information, it appears that he may have lived his entire life in or around Plainville.

I hope this information might be helpful in your search for more information about him.

Dennis Kennedy, K6DSK

Hi John,

Nice article on the 1930 transmitter. I did a little research on Clinton Potter and came up with the following,Was born 15 Feb 1907, died  2nd or 3rd Dec 1981, 20 Peace Court, Plainville, CT.

You can search for others you are looking for at WWW.rootsweb.ancestry.com and click on social security death index.

I also checked the Hartford Courant 4 Dec 1981 on line but it only listed the death notice, no obituary. I think it was a omission when the paper was microfilmed.

John Malley N1LZI


Your QST column is one of the first I look for each month. Thanks for the fine articles/information/work.

I fall into the category of one of those "many collectors building and using replicas of this exact rig in the old radio contests." Mine won the 1989 AWA Convention Matlack Transmitter Award. I've continued to use it in the AWA CW contests. You can see my writeup on it at http://www.io.com/~nielw/tnt/tnt.htm Another shot of it is at http://www.io.com/~nielw/shack_tours/shack_panarama_dec2105.htm . When showing it off I also show an original TNT transmitter that I found, picture attached (above).

73,Niel - W0VLZ
Rochester, MN


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