W0BMU, Tex and the Lake Erie Canal Swing

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D.J.J. Ring, Jr.

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May 13, 2022, 11:35:38 AMMay 13
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On Fri, May 13, 2022, 10:29 AM Carmen K1LKP <K1...@comcast.net> wrote:
A BIG THANK YOU GOES OUT TO 
N1EA - DAVID FOR THE FOLLOWING
INFO.
https://archive.org/details/W0bmuHowardtexHarveyW0bmu
ENJOY
TEX WAS A MEMBER OF THE CFO CLUB.
SADLY, HE IS NOW A SILENT KEY.
73 ES HAVE A FUN FILLED WEEKEND.
K1LKP

Tex was really funny, he'd brag that since he was a Radio Officer on a barge at age 15 on the Erie Canal he proudly claimed he had a "Lake Erie Swing" (LES), and of course I corrected him: TEX YOU DON'T HAVE A LAKE ERIE SWING, YOU HAVE A LAKE ERIE CANAL SWING. Oh, did he think that was funny!

Listen to the way he sent on his 1912 Vibroplex Blue Racer. https://archive.org/download/W0bmuHowardtexHarveyW0bmu/lake_erie_swing.mp3 and https://archive.org/download/W0bmuHowardtexHarveyW0bmu/w0bmu_1.mp3

The Lake Erie Canal inland waterway connects the Hudson River at New York State capital, Albany, NY (the most northern Hudson River deep water port) through a series of locks to Lake Erie at Buffalo, NY and from there navigation to the USA Midwest is available directly from New York City's deep water Atlantic port on the confluence of the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean at Lower Manhattan.

This was a very big deal: The Erie Canal allowed for east–west navigation from the coast to the Great Lakes within US territory.

The canal system thus gave New York a competitive advantage, helped New York City develop as an international trade center, and allowed Buffalo to grow from just 200 settlers in 1820 to more than 18,000 people by 1840. 

The port of New York became essentially the Atlantic home port for all of the Midwest—because of this vital connection and others to follow, such as the railroads, New York would become known as the "Empire State" or "the great Empire State". [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal]

Howard Harvey, most often called "Tex" took his Radio Officers license before the U.S. Commerce Department and lied about his age and obtained a job as a radiotelegraph operator on a barge travelling the Erie Canal. He had been using this Vibroplex Blue Racer made in 1912 for over 75 years. He would often tell me that he had a "Lake Erie Swing" and he did as he learned that particular method of sending while on the Lake Erie Canal, but I would correct him being much too precise, by saying "No, you have a Lake Erie Canal swing." to which he would just double over laughing. Tex last lived in Creve Coeur, Missouri about 1,000 miles from me in Massachusetts but he would put in one of the few audible signals (the other was K0PNB from St. Louis, MO) from the Western side of the Mississippi River during daylight hours on 40 meters- which means he had an outstanding signal. This is a one of the recordings that Macalee "Lea" Hime, AB5TY of Texas made of him at my request. Also heard is Kenneth Cooper W2BNA who breaks in at an inportune time during the recording for posterity. Tex was so happy about this recording being preserved as an example of "Lake Erie Swing" that he even spoke about it on his death bed. 73 and BV OM.

Included in this archive is a PDF file of a letter from Macalee "Lea" Hime, AB5TY, "Girl Railroad Telegrapher". It also includes a transcript of the recordings. The letter is here. https://ia800606.us.archive.org/22/items/W0bmuHowardtexHarveyW0bmu/19990403_letter_from_macalee_hime_ab5ty.pdf

The last recorded archive of the Queen Bee Net web page is here. https://web.archive.org/web/19990204024557/http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/vine/82/

Many of the Queen Bee Net members were (are) members of CFO.

73

DR
N1EA 

w8...@sssnet.com

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May 13, 2022, 12:41:24 PMMay 13
to Chicken-Fat-O...@googlegroups.com
I know David knows the origins of the Lake Erie Swing, but others may not...
The Great Lakes shipping season is summer time. The 2-3 MHz band was full
of summer
QRN. To help readability the ops used extra long dashes that would be
readable compared to
the short blips of dots that could be lost by a static crash. KB0PB was
fun to copy...
The L E Swing can be very musical.

Perry w8au
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D.J.J. Ring, Jr.

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May 13, 2022, 1:42:55 PMMay 13
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W0BMU used 600 and 300 meter spark on the barges, it was 1912 or so. I imagine he used BL in Buffalo, if it existed, if it existed and it probably did, American Marconi was running things then having absorbed United Wireless Telegraph Company in 1912 and later USA pushed several corporations to create Radio Corporation of America.

United Wireless Radiotelegraph Station "WA" at Waldorf Astoria, New York City.
1.jpg
73
DR

S. Steltzer

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May 13, 2022, 2:38:22 PMMay 13
to D.J.J. Ring, Jr., 'David Eisenberger' via Chicken Fat Operators Club - CFO
Interesting stuff David, thanks.


Mel Whitten

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May 13, 2022, 2:48:06 PMMay 13
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Real Interesting reading.  Thanks!  

 

I believe ”(the other was K0PNB from St. Louis, MO)” was Frank KB0PB who lived in Webster Groves, MO suburb of St Louis.  But I could be in error.  K0PNB held this call from 1960 in Colorado and later in Washington state.

 

Mel, K0PFX

--

D.J.J. Ring, Jr.

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May 13, 2022, 2:52:52 PMMay 13
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I'll correct it. How could I forget Frank KB0 Peanut Butter one of the ONLY Two signals I could hear regularly from west of Mississippi River on 40M in daylight hours!

73

DR

CARMEN DROGO

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May 13, 2022, 6:29:05 PMMay 13
to Chicken Fat Operators Club - CFO
KBOPB - FRANK - CFO # 450.

FRANK WAS AT THE DAYTON 1982 CFO CLUCK- IN .

CFO_dayton 1982 cluck in.jpg

===============pointing_up_7.gifSEE CHART FOR GOOD INFO
CFO_list_for_grid 1982 cluck in.jpg
73 ES EVERYONE HAVE A FUN FILLED WEEKEND

CARMEN DROGO

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May 13, 2022, 6:43:08 PMMay 13
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MORE SCOOP / CHICKEN FAT

w8...@sssnet.com<w8...@sssnet.com>
Jul 10, 2012, 2:46:30 PM
to chicken-fat-o...@googlegroups.com
Gents and Ladies:

I have been reading every communique sent under the banner of CFO,
and it's been amusing.

As an early inductee into this "unorganized" (Jim's directive - 9TO)
group, I wonder what Big Bird
would have to say if he was still on our lower plane of existence. :-)

Of course, we didn't have as much internet texting in his tenure,
with occasional emailing handling
most off-air inquiries.

Jim didn't quibble about anyone's idiosyncrasies, or sending -- as
long as they hung in there at a speed that
kept him awake. :-) The only criticism he had was of someone who
used their PC to read the cw, if it
became obvious. And it usually did.

And, top clucker and friend, Stan W9WBL, just could not get over
anyone that did not use an electronic
keyer. Copying a bug, to him, was torture. He was a
perfectionist. (being a Mechanical Engineer may
have had a lot to do with it)

Being on the air since prior to puberty I have seen a lot of
change. I went from hand key to home-made
side-swiper, to bug, and then to the breakthrough digital keyer
invented by Big Bird. Up until this keyer,
I had wanted all along to sound like W1AW, and I was very careful to
handle the bug so that it copied,
as much as possible, the 1 to 3 dot-dash ratio and proper
spacing. The W9TO keyer made that much
easier!

When the keyboards came into more general use, the "perfectionist"
ideal faded as everyone now
had the capability of sounding perfect. And, the inevitable followed
-- the CW bands became really
homogenized -- everything was neat, perfect, and it began to take a
really sharp ear to determine
just who was who without waiting for an ID. To some it became
somewhat boring, ;-)

That's when I, and some others, began to wonder "where the music
went?" Kris, K9AMC, the musical
master of the bug, had a stroke and became absent on CW (although
still on Fone until his demise.
Frank, KB0PB,hung in there until his passing,,,, This is when
human nature took over and some of us
desired to "hear the music" again....the Swing (a pun?). Banana
boat, Lake Erie, or whatever you call it...
the off-ratio of dits to dahs..and spacing.

I got out my dusty bug and, like others, found that I was not able to
handle it, being spoiled by the
keyer, (and sometimes KB). So, I practiced....and I have the keyer
and bug side by side now...
and can handle them both. And, lastly, I am no longer trying to make
the bug sound like a keyer.

Still inspired by maestro Kris out in Chicago (rest his soul) and
others of my distant memory, I
try to "make music" from the ham shack, while still being tied to the
keyer while CW mobile
for practical reasons.

So let's keep in mind the founding principles and wry humor of our
dear founder, who was dedicated
to CFO as a most "unorganized organization." This applies to
"unorganized sending" also...:-)
To paraphrase an old proverb," what you HEAR is what you
get." While Stan, WBL may be
turning over in his grave at that statement, I think the rest of us
can handle it. ;-)

Now..back to sending with one hand, instead of typing with
two. 8-) (cool....)

dit dit dit dit-dahhh,

Perry

END OF SCOOP
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w8...@sssnet.com<w8...@sssnet.com>
Jun 1, 2012, 4:44:29 PM
to chicken-fat-o...@googlegroups.com
At 11:27 AM 6/1/2012, Bob Dillon wrote:
>The Saturday morning net was SSB hosted by KB0PB (KB0 "Push Botton")
>who had a radio announer's voice and a comedian's sense of humor.
>Lots of fun. I still recall his story about trying to show his
>grandson how to ice skate, and he wound up on his posterior.

KB0PB... a real pro on the bug. Good CW music.

Perry w8au
END OF SCOOP
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73 ES KEEP SMILING
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