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