Message from discussion "Bucking", by Hiram Percy Maxim, 1929
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Subject: "Bucking", by Hiram Percy Maxim, 1929
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2012 15:08:49 -0400
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The President's Message [from QST, August 1929]
A Word From Hiram Percy Maxim,
President of the American Radio Relay League,
and of the International Amateur Radio Union.
Some of us always buck every change. We come by it honestly enough,
for some of our forefathers bucked good and plenty over the steam
engine and the railroad. I am old enough to remember the bucking
that followed the advent of the telephone, the bicycle and the
electric street car. Probably many A.R.R.L. members recall the
bucking that accompanied the introduction of the automobile. Half
a dozen buckers threatened to shoot me in 1895 because I ran a
"horseless carriage" around the streets.
Unfortunately for the bucker, he cannot prevent changing conditions
and restrictions attendant upon progress. I used to drive my
"horseless carriage" without registration numbers or operator's
license. The streets and roads were as free as the air used to be
for radio amateurs prior to 1912. But increased traffic changed
all this. We had to get license number plates, we had to carry
lights, we had to have mirrors and wind-shield wipers and operator's
licenses. Lately we have had to obey red and green traffic signals
and accept highly restricted parking privileges.
Bucks and howls galore always come over each of these added
restrictions. Many of us were almost driven to do murder over the
red and green traffic lights. A few of us still froth at the mouth
over them. But they are necessary and justified and proper because
they serve the public interest.
In radio the same old inexorable rule works in the same old
inexorable way. In 1912, when traffic began to make trouble,
amateurs had to get down off any old wave and limit themselves to
200 meters and below, a pure wave, a fair decrement, and limited
power. We thought at the time we were done for, and how some of
us did buck!
When congestion grew worse and hundreds of broadcasting stations
and millions of the public added themselves to radio, amateurs had
to be still further restricted. It was perfectly just and proper
that they should be, since the public interest required it. But
When the ultra-efficient high frequencies came into use, the problems
of traffic control became international. A congress of delegates
from most of the nations of the earth was called in 1927 to agree
upon still further restrictions. The amateurs, together with the
other interests, had to give ground again.
Of what avail is it to buck this sort of thing? Just about as much
as it was for the red Indian to buck the white man when he came, or
for those rebellious souls to buck the traffic lights.
So, fellow radio amateurs, don't be misled by the hooey that is
dished up to us every so often by the well-intentioned but misguided
bucker. He cannot stop the progress of the world. He cannot change
the traffic lights and he cannot change the radio regulations that
seventy-three nations laid down in 1927 after a month of the hardest
kind of hard work.