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ICARC History

More about George Carson, WØJV

Rich Bingham, WWØQ, sent the following information, which came from some electronic messages he exchanged sometime back with a relative of George Carson.

What follows is the text from those messages that are relevant to the ICARC:

  1. My father, George S. Carson, Jr., died in 1969 at the age of 63. He lived in Iowa City all his life and was involved with radio during a large part of it. When he was 17, he and his older brother, Tom, built, owned and operated a commercial station, KFQP (1340 kHz, 10 watts). Station was located in their house, 906 E. College (now Alpha Phi sorority). License was in my father's name. Most KFQP items were donated to the State Historical Society, although I still have a few things.

    About the same time they both became active as hams, and in fact, the license for the amateur station, 9JV, was in both their names. I still have it. Later on my father had the call W9ESK, and after WWII he got the two-letter call back again, except Iowa was region zero.

    After my father died, someone from the Iowa City Club called my mother to ask if it was OK to request the FCC to transfer his call to the Club. She was very happy to hear the Club wanted to do this, and of course, she said, "OK." I don't know who actually got the idea for this.

  2. Up until 1942, my father serviced radios, designed some specialized equipment for the University, and had a wholesale radio parts business. His business was located on Capitol Street directly across from the Engineering Building.

    During the war, restrictions were placed on the sale of parts, so my father closed the business. For a short time, he worked at Collins Radio inspecting transmitters. During that time, I believe he, Ted Hunter, and some others had a car pool to CR.

    Before the war, my father and Paul Griffith (who left IC to work at Signal Corps lab in NJ) did some work on proximity fuses. I am not sure who funded this, but head of research at Zenith Radio, Alexander Ellot (not sure of spelling!), had been physics prof at Iowa, and the work somehow came through him. So after leaving Collins, my father started working for the University which had a rather large project funded by the US Office of Research and Development, and once again, worked on development of proximity fuses. Later on he designed an analog computer used for bomb direction. In a technique called "toss" or "skip" bombing, the computer determined when the bomb should be released. During this period, my father did a fair amount of traveling, mostly to Huntsville, Alabama, and Princeton, NJ.

    After the war, he stayed on in the Physics Department, gradually reducing his workload to about half time. He was on disability leave when he died in 1969.

  3. US Government agency operating on campus during WWII was the Office of Scientific Research and Development, OSRD for short.

Last updated April 15, 2017 by KØCF