W3AHS History

Some more news!!!

We now know who W3AHS used to be!!! here is pieces of email that I have received back from the Reading Radio Club

I have touched base with Al and he is checking his records. However, there may be an error some where since from at least 1955 to 1978 W3AHS was licensed to a Walter L. Baldwin, Sr. out in Somerset/Breezwood, PA. (Info from my collection of Callbooks).

This is Rich Ahrens, W3WJC, in Reading, PA. I am the VP of the Reading Radio Club.

On the RRCs Web page (Chapter II - Early Amateurs) we make a 1928 reference to a Harry S. Lewis, W3AHS, 830 Thorn Street, Reading, PA.

Recently the RRC has received an inquiry from the present holder of W3AHS, which turns out to be the Millionaire ARC in Williamsport, PA. The Millionaire ARC is interested in learning more about the W3AHS original holder. However, when I check the W3AHS call in the earliest Callbook I have (1955) I find it was licensed to a Walter L. Baldwin, 414 Davis Ave., Somerset, PA. I am starting to wonder if the information we have on our the RRC Web page is correct. I did not think the FCC reissued old expired calls in the early fifties.

I would appreciate it if I could look up the call W3AHS in your 1928 (plus or minus a couple of years) and see who held W3AHS in 1928 and where that person lived.

I am 66 years old, and of course I never knew W3AHS. Some of the information on the RRC Web page has been handed down from RRC Secretary, to RRC Secretary, and there may be some errors transcription.

The Sept 1928 callbook wasn't using the W prefix yet--it didn't take effect until October 1st that year. It lists 3AHS as

H. F. Lewis

539 Buttonwood St

Reading Pa

The June 1930 book has


Harry F. Lewis

830 Thorn St

Reading Pa

So Mr. Lewis definitely had the call, and did live at Thorn St (eventually), but it looks like his middle initial was F, not S.

I didn't do an exhaustive search, but by 1934 W3AHS had been reassigned to

Charlie Gerhardt

28 Scott Ave

Clementon NJ

(Note that portions of southern NJ were in the 3rd district up until some time in 1946.)

Mr. Gerhardt is listed into 1946, but is gone by Summer of 1947. The call was vacant until Mr. Baldwin received it. He was first listed in Spring 1953.

As for your other question, yes, the FCC (and its predecessor, the FRC prior to 1934) did reissue callsigns. The rules in the 20s and 30s were less stringent than today--calls were reissued with very short vacancy periods, much shorter than today's two-year requirement. And in the 50s, the FCC reissued a lot of W 1x3s and even K 1x3s as the amatuer population grew, before they came up with the idea of the WA-series 2x3 callsigns.

So your information was correct, and there was even one other holder of the call in between.

BTW, I took the liberty of including a CC to (what I presume is) the email address of Mr. Springman of the Millionaire ARC.

I hope this was helpful.




I am sending a Cc: of this response to the RRC BOD members, since some were interested in the results of this research. I guess we should either eliminate the middle initial on the RRC Web page or change it to a "F." I will let that up to our Web master, K3BN. I have been unable to find anyone in the Reading, Pennsylvania area that actually remembered the original W3AHS, so I think this is the end of the road.

Thanks again Steve, and thanks for sending a copy to the president of the Millionaire ARC, I know he appreciated it also.

You have a great collection that I hope will stay in place for many years.

Best of luck and take care.


Rich Ahrens, W3WJC


*** So as you can see there actually was some history behind all of this and maye some information that we never knew like the FRC now being the FCC and just to know that it was once used just a couple hours down the road.