Amateur Radio News

A Cool Akron Day Trip: A Visit to the New DX Engineering Showroom and the “Wireless Radio Room” at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

The Akron area is filled with wonderful ways to spend your day—hiking in one of Summit County’s exceptional parks; taking in the fine collection at the Akron Art Museum (Chuck Close’s masterpiece Linda” is worth the price of admission); watching penguins, bears, lions, and flamingos at the Akron Zoo; and enjoying nine innings at the ballpark with the Akron Rubber Ducks AA minor league team. But if you’re into ham radio, here’s a great suggestion to double your pleasure.

First stop by the recently remodeled and expanded DX Engineering Showroom near Akron inside the Summit Racing Retail Super Store in Tallmadge. Then check out Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, former home of Franklin Augustus Seiberling, co-founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Stan Hywet’s (Old English for “Stone Quarry”) sprawling 64,500-square-foot Manor House, built from 1912-1915, is considered one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in the U.S., featuring 65 rooms, 23 bathrooms, 18 bedrooms, 23 fireplaces, and, perhaps most importantly for ham sightseers, a wireless radio room on the building’s third floor. This is where F.A. Seiberling’s youngest son, Franklin, Jr., 8AHF/8BCY, plied his craft in the early years of amateur radio. Licensed at age 13, Franklin went on to graduate from Princeton University. At the University of Chicago he received his Doctorate in Art History, served in the U.S. Army in Italy from 1943-45, and was the director of the University of Iowa’s School of Art & Art History from 1959-1976.

On display in the radio room is Franklin’s QSL card, his radio station license, old copies of QST magazine, and loads of vintage gear. His QSL card notes he used “Antenna—2 cages, 100 feet long, 60 x 55 feet high cage lead in” and “Counterpoise—10 wires, 130 feet long, 25 feet wide, cage lead in.”

Stan Hywet’s radio room is accessible through a special Nooks and Crannies Tour of the estate, a 90-minute, behind-the-scenes look at the Manor House. Several of the hams at DX Engineering who have been on this tour say it’s well worth the trip. Better still, Stan Hywet is a mere 12 miles via I-76 from Summit Racing. Bonus points for your excursion to Akron if you’re a gearhead as well!

Watch this excellent YouTube video of Stan Hywet’s radio room—then start planning your trip to see it in person.

And even though we missed this post on April Fool’s Day, we thought we’d still have a little fun. Can you find the anachronistic piece of amateur radio gear in this photo from the Stan Hywet radio room? We bet you can! Photoshopping courtesy of Tom, KB8UUZ.

Wireless radio room at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio

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