Leo Meyerson, WØGFQ, Radio Pioneer

Leo Meyerson, WØGFQ, is a renowned pioneer in the history of radio in the Midwest. His interest in wireless began in 1920, when after a classroom lecture in Council Bluffs about the advent of radio broadcasting stations, Leo and a friend built a one tube receiver on which they heard KDKA's first broadcast from Pittsburgh. A few years later, in 1924, with plans he found in a magazine, Leo built a small transmitter on which he broadcast music and news to neighbors. Leo was first licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1928, supporting his hobby with money earned as an organist, playing at the local theater during silent movie days.

In the mid 1930's Leo borrowed $1,000 from his father to launch Wholesale Radio Laboratories in Council Bluffs, which operated until Pearl Harbor in 1941. Leo and a friend, Al Shideler, then formed a company, Scientific Radio Products, to grind crystals for the U.S. military.

In 1943 their company won the Army-Navy E Award. After the war Leo returned his focus to WRL, which he soon renamed World Radio Laboratories, moving into manufacturing. The result was many transmitters which included the Globe Trotter, Globe Scout, Globe Chief, Globe Champion and Globe King. The company name changed to WRL Manufacturing in 1953 and to Globe Electronics in 1958, later to be sold to Textron in 1959.

Another manufacturing firm, Galaxy Electronics was formed by Leo in 1962. Its primary amateur products were the Galaxy 300, Galaxy III, Galaxy V, and GT-550 single sideband transceivers. Galaxy was sold to the Hy-Gain Antenna Company in 1970. Leo's son, Larry, became president of World Radio, which was converted into a successful consumer products company. Leo retired in 1977.

Throughout the years Leo has been very active with the public service aspect of his hobby. He is a life member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, serving as a National Director from 1977 to 1987. In 1991 he was named the QCWA Amateur Member of the year and in 1994 he was inducted into the QCWA Hall of Fame. He is also a life member of the American Radio Relay League, Society of Wireless Pioneers, and International Mission Radio Association among other associations. In 1980 Leo was elected a fellow of the Radio Club of America, one of the most prestigious radio clubs in America.

Currently Leo spends a great deal of time with the The Leo Meyerson Radio Collection exhibit at Omaha's Western Heritage Museum. This display is one that projects a positive image of ham radio and is visited by thousands each month. It is billed as the "World's Largest Amateur Radio Exhibit." (Excerpted from Ham Hum - November 1994)

Click here to read the latest update on the status of the Leo Meyerson Radio Collection.

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Link to W5AMI's Leo Meyerson Web Page

Leo Meyerson 1997 Dayton Ham of the Year (ARRL Letter)

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