W1MX Sweepstakes Check: “09?”

W1MX QSL cardThe November 26, 2008 issue of the ARRL Contest Update newsletter carries this interesting item about the MIT Radio Society, W1MX and other old school club stations:

In the last issue, W1MX’s Sweepstakes check of “09” was projected to “lap the field” next year as the new 2009 licensees discover radiosport. Steve W3HF points out that the first actual licenses were not issued until 1912, so “a strict interpretation of the Sweepstakes rules would therefore say that the oldest check would be ’12’.” Checking further (so to speak), Steve found 1MX in the 1916 call book, but listed as “Calley” – MIT came later in the 1922 edition. Stations associated with educational institutions were considered “Special Land Stations” in 1913 and received call sign suffixes beginning with Y. There were ten: 9YI, 8XA, 3ZH, 9XB, 1YH, 9YN, 6YL, 2YN, 3XJ, and 9YC. The station holding its call continuously since the 1913 call book, at least, is present-day W0YI at Iowa State. Then 9YI, the W was likely tacked on in 1928 and the number converted to 0 in 1947 when the tenth district was formed. It would be great to hear some of these seminal calls on the air!

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