Somewhere along the way, I apparently thought it would be cool to have at least one ARRL Handbook from each decade. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to acquire a few Handbooks toward that goal. Some I found at hamfests, some through the annual ARRL Auction, and some through SK estates.
The most recent additions were the 1980 and 2005 Handbooks. They came from the collection of one of my ham friends, Willie/WB4SOG (SK), who died recently. Willie was a prominent member of the local amateur radio community, and he’ll be missed by many people. I actually met him several years before I became a ham through his wife who volunteered with the same lab retriever rescue that I did. His friend Bruce/KI4YST brought several boxes of books and QST magazines from Willie’s collection to the club meeting for club members to take. I’m glad to be able to give some of his books a new home in my collection.
Handbooks from the 1920s and 1930s would be a nice addition to the collection. I’m sure I could find them if I looked harder. They’ve shown up in the ARRL Auction in the past, and there’s a 1932 Handbook in this year’s edition of the ARRL auction. Bidding on that Handbook sent the price pretty high early on. Probably plenty of old Handbooks on eBay too.
I haven’t read them all yet, but I’ve looked through a few of them and they give a nice look at how amateur radio has evolved over the past century.
The Handbook I’m planning to get for the 2020s will be the 2023 edition, which will be the 100th edition of the ARRL Handbook.
Speaking of the ARRL Auction, it seems like the interest in older handbooks is a lot higher this year and there’s been a lot more bidding on them than in previous years. Past auctions I think also had a more Handbooks up for bid if I recall correctly, so maybe that was a factor.