In a box of materials collected by the Rice Historical Commission in the late 1970s I came across a document in which E. Finley Carter ’22 lucidly explains the origin of Rice’s amateur radio station. (This felt like a gift from heaven, by the way. If any of you have a story I suggest you write it down just like this and send it to me.) Note that it was a donation from famous Rice flunk-out Howard Hughes that set things in motion:
This set me to wondering if there might be some mention of this transmitter in the program for the Engineering Shows of the early 1920s and indeed there was. It was Exhibit 72 in the 1922 Show, but I scanned the whole page for your reading pleasure:
The next thing I started thinking about was Mr. Carter. Here he is second from right with his rascally fellow E.E.s in the 1922 Campanile:
(Anybody know what K.V.A.’s might mean? Or is it just lost to the ages?)
It didn’t take long to discover that Finley Carter had gone on to a spectacular career after he graduated from Rice, much of it (but not all) involving work in radio. Here’s an image of him during his remarkable tenure as President of the Stanford Research Institute:
And here’s a link to his page on the Engineering and Technology History Wiki. Go take a look–he did pretty good for a young lad from Elgin, Texas.
The last thing I’m wondering about is whether that antenna equipment is still up there on the campanile. Will check tomorrow.