QSL CARDS - FOLK ART FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS
PUBLISHED 08 August 2017
QSL cards were illustrated calling cards used by radio amateurs to confirm their two-way radio contacts with each other. If you talked to someone or heard them on the CB you'd send them a QSL card. The majority of QSL cards were illustrated with home grown caricatures of the CB user's handles. People with names like Birdy, Gin & Tonic, Lil' Chipper, Big Red, Lil' Red, Old Salty Nose, Lady Midnight, Lucifer, Pancakes, Buttermilk & Nail Bender were just hanging out with their CB radios in their converted rumpus room basements & garages - waiting to talk to someone over their bag of peanuts in shell, Pall Malls & brandy slushes. This is that organic American Weirdo Trash Lowlife culture to a T. Soak it up.
Here's some real CB Radio Talk for your soundtrack to these weird, old images! Sounds the same now as it did then!
Bombero - The Fireman, Fire Belle & Lil' Fire Extinguisher
Rollerball - Victoria, BC
Lil' Abner - San Jose, Cal.
Executioner Base - Fly Killer & Maggot Masher - Moline, Illinois
Lucider & the Wicked Witch - Vedder Crossing, BC Canada
Jig Saw & Jig Saw Puzzle - French Camp, California
Paper Hanger & Granny Good Witch - Pendleton, Oregon
Not sure who these guys are - let's call them the bagheads.
Trona Monster & Pinochle - Caveman & Cave Lady - the Rowdy Bunch
Marmaduke - Carlton, Oregon - High Heaven Swap 5 (what does that mean?)
Great Dane & Olde Re - Carlton, OR. Oregon had a lot of CB users apparently. I've got a lot of QSL cards from Oregon.
QSL Clubs would have stamps they'd stamp their cards with as a signature! Here's a collection of QSL stamps!
Hopefully that's enough home-cooked folk-art to get you going!
- Sean Äaberg