HAM Radio 101

Ham Radio 101: Who is Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW?

Today’s Word of the Day honors one of the pioneers of Amateur Radio, Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, inventor and co-founder the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) along with Clarence D. Tuska in 1914. Mr. Maxim served as the ARRL’s president from its founding until he became a silent key in 1936. His call sign, W1AW, remains the ARRL’s club station call sign.

The W1AW building, often referred to as the Hiram Percy Memorial Station, is located on the grounds of ARRL headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. In addition to his role in Ham Radio’s formative years, Mr. Maxim created and sold the first commercially successful firearm silencer, trademarked the “Maxim Silencer.” A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is also credited with developing mufflers for early automobiles and is responsible for giving birth to one of Ham Radio’s most treasured, mysterious and feared symbols—the Wouff-Hong. More about that in our Halloween Word of the Day post.


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