Do you feel a strong need to stay “connected”? It seems some of our collectors felt the same way. Richard Eliot Blackwelder (1909-2001), a zoologist, specialized in entomology and the principles of zoology. Educated at Stanford University (B.A. 1931, Ph.D. 1934), he spent much of his career on the curatorial staff of the Division of Insects of the United States National Museum (USNM, later to become the National Museum of Natural History or NMNH), specializing in the morphology, classification, and nomenclature of the Staphylinidae or “rove beetle.” He was in the West Indies with the Smithsonian's Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship from 1935 to 1938. His journal from the period [Journal of Richard E. Blackwelder, West Indies, vol. 2] includes an interesting insight into his own need to stay “connected.”
Puerto Rico [Page] 24, X-15-35
When we first landed in Puerto Rico our radio didn't work very well so I changed all the tubes. Since then we have gotten good reception at night, but can't pick up anything but local stations in the daytime. The following ^[[long-wave]] stations were received in San Juan: WKAQ and WNEL, San Juan, P.R.; WSB, Atlanta, Ga.; WBT, Charlotte, N.C.; WSM, Nashville, Tenn.; WHAS, Louisville, Ky.; WCAU, Philadelphia; WEAF and WABC, New York; WBZ, Boston; WGY, Schenectady; WHAM, Rochester; KDKA, Pittsburgh; WLW, Cincinnati; WTAM, Cleveland; WJR, Detroit; WGN, Chicago; WHO, Des Moines; XEFO, Mexico City.
On short wave: COCH, Havana, Cuba; YV3BC, Caracas, Venezuela; W3XAU, Philadelphia; W8XK, Pittsburgh; W2XAF, Schenectady; GSB, London, England; FYA, Paris, France; DJD, Berlin, Germany.
When we were in Jamaica we heard on short-wave: W8XK, W2XAF, DJA, GSE, FYA, and also YV11BMO, Maracaibo, Venezuela; HJ4ABC, ? (Span.Am.); HKE, Bogota, Colombia; C09JC, Santiago, Cuba; and H84ABA, Medellin, Colombia.
In Haiti heard also, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Frequently we can get a program better on the long-wave, as from WLW, but sometimes the static is too noisy for anything but the shortwave stations.
To learn more about Richard Blackwelder, see his field books and records on Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center and Smithsonian’s Transcription Center, as well as his publications on Biodiversity Heritage Library.