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Recollections of William Hope, W2EWT (SK)

Three stack passenger steamer

Above: SS City of Detroit III ( WNCN) docking at Detroit, MI (1933). This was a paddle boat that sailed between Buffalo NY and Detroit MI. >

Young man with glassses in ship radio room

Bill Hope W8EWT at the key in the SS Greater Detroit (WSBI) Radio Room (1933). The receiver is an RCA IP501-A

In the mid-1930s Lake freighters all used spark transmitters but passenger boats were not allowed to do so and used modulated transmitters.

The pilot house portion of the radio direction finder on the SS Greater Detroit

Direction Finder in the SS Greater Detroit (WSBI) Pilot House

Big open rack with two large meters at the top and a number of knife switches and other gear below

Relay rack in the SS Greater Detroit showing battery charging panel for emergency power batteries. Motor generator showing below - (1933)

The 3 ft. high spark transmitter at the rear has two large meters at the top and assorted controls below. The KDWA callsign is painted on the wall.

Str. Standard Portland Cement Radio Room. has a Wireless Specialty quenched-spark transmitter. Note double row of quenched spark-gaps on front panel at lower end. Gaps could be cranked in or out to change power. Was a very late model. A sleeping bunk for the operator was just to the left. (1935)

Only the operator is visible through the radio room doorway

SS Western States radio room was very small - just room to get inside to operate - Svend Gormsen - Senior Operator (1933)

Two radio operators on deck with the bottom of one of the ship's stacks in the background

Old-timer Senior Ship Operator on City of Detroit III (WNCN), radio ham, Charles Leonhardt “8QD” is on the left. Bill Hope, W8EWT, is on the right. (1933)

Three radio operators on deck with the bottom of one of the ship's stacks in the background.

Three Wireless Operators on “D & C line” Taken on the top deck in 1933. Upper left - Unknown, Upper right - Bill Hope, Lower right - Svend Gormsen

A 4 ft. high black box with two meters and assorted controls showing.

WNCN “City of Detroit III” – Front view of RCA Transmitter (4 50 watt tubes in parallel)
For 410 Kc, 415 Kc & 425 Kc - (1933)

Side view on the transmitter. Hard to make out the details.

WNCN “City of Detroit III” – Side
view of RCA Transmitter (1933)

Midget Radio Operator Peterson

WSBI “Greater Detroit” – Chief Operator Peterson.
“Pete” was a midget at 4’-4” (1933)

Table showing dates of W2EWT's service as a radio operator on 11 Great lakes ships <p style=

Front of Bill Hope's FCC Second Class Radio Telegraph License.

Back of Bill Hope's FCC Second Class Radio Telegraph License.

Here's Bill Hope at his ham rig in early 2006. He is in fair health (for 94), and is on the air almost everyday (mostly on 2 meters) from his home in Buffalo. However, see p.s. below.

William Hope, W2EWT
March 2006

E-Mail to William's son Bob - Reconstruct the E-Mail address: bob-at-rbhope-dot-ca

p.s. Bob Hope recently reported (01/2007) that William Hope passed away on 12/25/2006.

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