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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

YL 33: The First Female Ham Radio Operators

...and their Awesome Legacy

by Ashley Hennefer

I found this great article about some of the early women amateur radio operators. Very interesting stories and details. You can find the entire article here TheMarySue.com but below is the intro...

...Female hams are called “YLs,” which is short for “Young Lady,” regardless of the operator’s age. While that seems simultaneously antiquated, cute, and patronizing, keep in mind that the ham radio subset of men is referred to as “OMs,” or “Old Man.”

Photo from TheMarySue.com

Historically, literacy—in its many forms—has given the marginalized a way to speak and participate in a system that previously prevented them from doing so. And while the printing press revolutionized the way writing was exchanged and shared with the world, the invention of radio as entertainment, emergency, and communication technology had a similar effect on oral storytelling. From this, ham radio, also known as amateur radio, was born as a subset of commercial radio. The appeal of communicating independently to others across the globe struck a chord with many people in the early 20th century—including women looking for ways to participate in war efforts, and connect with other women around the world.

Although enthusiasm for ham radio as the medium of choice for hobbyists, veterans, and emergency responders hasn’t waned much over the last fifty or so years, the hobby is making a strong resurgence as aspiring makers acknowledge radio’s contribution to the movement. Many hams consider amateur radio to be the original maker skill, requiring knowledge of electricity, geography and communication. And it’s one of many mediums that gave women the chance to have a global voice—and they took it.

Read the entire article HERE !!



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