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Toronto AES Bulletin


Feb 2000

Tour of Hammond Museum of Radio in Guelph

The Hammond Museum of Radio got its start when museum founder Fred Hammond began collecting early radio and wireless artifacts at the age of 16. The first public display of his collection was in a small building at the rear of his College Street home that originally housed his ham station.

When in the early '70s, Hammond Manufacturing Company built a new plant on Guelph's Curtis Road, Fred made sure a 4,000 square foot area was reserved to house the 'Hammond Museum of Radio'. In 1999, shortly before Fred's passing, a complete new facility at the Hammond Manufacturing Company's new expansion at the South Transformer Plant became the current home for the Museum.

The new Museum is now home to hundreds of receivers and transmitters dating from the spark era up to and including National's first solid state HRO500.

Over the years the Museum has evolved to become one of North America's premiere wireless museums revealing how the development of wireless or radio equipment has progressed through the past ninety or so years. The items on display have been selected to be of interest to Radio Amateurs, Vintage Collectors and the General Public.

For the antique tube enthusiast many types of vacuum tubes are on display including the Fleming valve, Deforest, Myers, R.C.A., T.M.E., Collins, Hallicrafter, Hammerlund to name a few. As well some of the early microphones used by amateur and broadcast stations during the past seventy-five years or so are also available for viewing.

The tour will include the Transformer facility and the Museum.

Fred Hammond - 1912 - 1999

It was 1929 and after studying his code and theory that Museum founder Fred Hammond could hardly wait for his 16th birthday so he could visit the Department of Marine and Fisheries and write his Amateur Radio exam. Fred passed the exam with flying colors and received the call sign VE3HC which, other than a brief interruption during the war years, he has kept in continuous operation.

Fred's built his first station using 201's modulated with a pair of 71's enough to radiate a few watts of power on 80 metres from his parents home on College Avenue in Guelph. Later he was heard around the world on 20 as well as 75 with a pair of 800's modulating another pair of 800's. Fred was also an early pioneer with mechanical TV that became the rage in the early 30's.

Today, in memory of Fred, VE3HC is operated from the Hammond Museum of Radio by visiting Radio Amateurs. Amateur Station VE3BJ maintains the memory of Bill Kent who went on the air from Toronto in 1908 making Bill one of our earliest radio pioneers. Bill was employee #1 at the Radio Valve Company.

This fully equipped station provides equipment to allow simultaneous operation on up to 4 bands operating a full 2kw PEP on each band. Antennas range from dipoles to 5 element full size beams.

A Brief History of Hammond Manufacturing

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Originally posted: Wed, 16 Feb, 2000
Last update: Wed, 16 Feb, 2000