Main at Starr

Photograph of street signs: Main Street and Starr Avenue

From this vantage one can view the final resting place of what was once a vibrant nonprofit membership organization serving the hobby that became known in the early 20th century CE as amateur radio.

A text snippet from the heyday of that organization and the subculture it engendered and served provides a basis for understanding its decline:

Learn to let the League help you. It is organized solely for that purpose, and its entire headquarters' staff is trained to render the best assistance it can in solving your amateur problems.—from the 1940 edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook

By the early 2000s CE, open-source amateur radio, enabled by the instantaneous and relatively gatekeeperless one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one communication afforded by the Internet, had critically eroded the information- and leadership-scarcity-based model on which the League had been founded in 1914 CE. This progressive reversal of fortune drove League officialdom to increasingly enjoin its aging membership to help it, mainly in the form of financial contributions and bequests.

The basis for its value proposition having all but vanished, the League ultimately shrunk to the organizational equivalent of a white-dwarf star, asymptotically dwindling in membership, relevance, and effect.


Revised June 14, 2018 CE. Copyright © 2018 by David Newkirk (DavidNewkirk@gmail.com). All rights reserved.
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