Friday, April 18, 2014

Marine Radio Communications Assignment Pamphlet

Note To Student: Do not forget to submit lesson 3 IBM card with your answer sheet.

That's the last words on the last page of this 48-page pamphlet.  It's a reference to a punched card, an item one website called the "earliest icon of the Information Age."  It sounds like a non-sequitur for a pamphlet from 1962, but early punched cards were used to control looms in the late 1700s. The more recognizable Hollerith cards were actually patented in 1884. (Source)

While the rest of us didn't see any computers until the rise of PCs in the 1980s, at Quantico, the Marines were using IBM cards to score students tests.  In this case the Extension School of the Marine Corps Educational Center issued their students 4 IBM cards and a pencil. Good luck kiddo. It estimated the student would take 12 hours. The test had no questions about the weight (26 lbs) of that backpack mounted monstrosity.

 But it did cover topics like various radio sets and antennas. The radio above is actually one of the lightest units described, one weighed in at 3300 lbs!  It's a fascinating historical document on the state of radio at that time. Of course I scanned the whole thing. You can download all 24 MB...