Radio 9BTV

I was recently given copies of some papers that originally belonged to one Russell Anderson, 9BTV, formerly of 609 Case Street, St. Paul, MN. Mr. Anderson was born in about 1906, and lived at that address in 1923.

There is currently a "Case Avenue" in St. Paul, but no "Case Street". This 1902 ordinance refers to "the sidewalk on the west side of Burr street from Minnehaha street to Case street." Since the modern Burr Street does intersect both Minnehaha and Case Avenues, I assume that the "Case Street" in these old documents is the same as the modern Case Avenue. According to Zillow, the house at this address was built in 1890.

I have copies of what appear to be Mr. Anderson's application for an amateur license. The first page is blank, and appears to be an application for the operator's license, outlining the test requirements:

Next is what appears to be his application for a station license. There are two versions of the first page. The first lists his age as 16, and has a bit more detail about his station:

The other version of this page shows his age as 17, and contains a few rubber stamps, which I'm guessing are from the Commerce Department:

Here's the second page of the station license application, with Mr. Anderson's signature and the date March 4, 1923:

Interestingly, Mr. Anderson is listed in this 1920 callbook at the Case Street address. Since his age in 1923 was either 16 or 17, he was apparently already licensed at the age of 13 or 14.

Here are 3 QSL cards that were also with these papers. It was from these cards that I determined that Mr. Anderson did, indeed, become licensed and received the call 9BTV, and made these contacts in 1923 and 1924. The first card is postmarked November 20, 1923, and is dated only "11-23". It is from 9DYY, John F. Melody, 208 Broadway Avenue, Peoria, Illinois. The second card is for 9BTV's QSO with 8BNH. The owner of this call was Watson E. Slabaugh, Jr., which I confirmed from an old callbook. The name isn't printed on the card, but the signature is obviously "W.E. Slabaugh, Jr." The card states that he is the City Manager of Akron, Ohio. The address is partially obscured, but is 14____ Union Street. The last card is blank and is that of Richard J. Cotton, 9DPX. From an old callbook, 9DPX was located at 1795 Lincoln Ave., St. Paul, MN.

Front of cards:

Back of cards:

Finally, I did find one reference to 9BTV in an old issue of QST. The "calls heard" section listed SWL reports by various hams, listing the calls they had recently heard at their station. In the October, 1924, issue of QST, 4RR in Spartanburg, S.C., reports hearing 9BTV:

If 9BTV had kept his license and remained in the same part of the country, his call would have become W9BTV in a few years. After the war, it would have become W0BTV. From this link and this link, it appears that the W0BTV call was later held by one Claude Sweger, who apparently later relocated from the 10th call area to Corpus Christi, Texas. From the tantalizing snippet shown in this 1954 issue of QST, it appears that the W9BTV call was re-issued in approximately that year. I haven't yet found any record of W0BTV in the postwar years.

I did find in the Social Security Death index a reference to one Russell V. Anderson, whose date of birth is listed as 2/27/06, and who died in Hennepin County on 12/12/89. Since "Anderson" is such a common last name, it's unlikely that he was the same person. However, he was the only Russell Anderson I could find who was born in 1905-07 and who died in Minnesota.

I really don't know much about the origin of these papers. These copies (but not the originals) were found in the papers of silent key AG0I. Thanks to his sister Cathy for sending these to me. As I find more information about these interesting artifacts, I'll post them here. If you have any details, please let me know at

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