TAKE A TRIP WITH ME BACK TO: 1996
1996 was a good year for the CB Gazette. At the time there wasn’t a lot a CB manufacturer history-related-information on the Internet other than a few questions and answers on a small cluster of websites, focused on Citizens Band radio. Glenn Hendrix was just getting started with his Browning website and specific locations like Yahoo “groups” either didn’t exist, or were just beginning. This left many knowledgeable folk, like Bob Milam, Todd Evans, and Charles Zafonte, Dave Hall (and others) with plenty to say but no place to say it other than through their own person-to-person radio QSO’s, phone calls, an occasional mention in the CB column of Popular Communications, or - the CB Gazette.
It was around this time I began to publish more CB radio manufacturer origin stories, written by some of the more knowledgeable CB radio history buffs around at that time. One such historian, Bob Milam, had started out as my West coast finder/picker for all things old involving CB radio. If it was for sale or trade and worth a hoot, I could count on Bob to bring me and the seller together (while, as most radio liaisons did in those days, he collected a small percentage of the sale from the seller). As the Gazette grew, from 2 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper stapled together Bob (and others) ended up being semi-regular guest contributors. He and I spent a lot of time (and $$$ to the phone company) on countless landline QSO’s that all revolved around 2-way radio, both CB and Ham, but as real life often does, the twists and turns of life's changes eventually slowed the number of these calls each year until finally ceasing after the turn of the Century. It was shock to my system when I received an e-mail from Bob’s wife letting me know of his passing. I would like to tell you that I circled that date on a calendar – but I didn’t, so now I can only place the email somewhere in the 2013-2016 time frame.
It's never a "given" but many of us, somewhat selfishly, expect their friends and acquaintances to live just as long as we do, but when circumstances flip that given on our collective heads - it can hurt.
One of the most popular sections of my former publication were articles that dealt with Citizen Band Radio's history, and about the fabled manufacturers, along with the radios they built - something newbies could only hear about during those late evening/middle-of-the-night QSOs where fellow radio operators would huddle by their speakers while listening to a friend tell a story about some long gone company, that perhaps they had been told years earlier by another friend.
I like a good story as much as anyone, so the Gazette featured articles that served as origin stories for some of the legendary manufacturers of CB’s Golden Age: like Browning Laboratories, General Radiotelephone, and Tram (to name a few). Of all the long gone manufacturers, Bob had two favorites: The General Radiotelephone company and Browning Laboratories, so it's fitting that this is one of first articles I re-post, a celebration the 25th anniversary of his first article(s) his story about Browning.
So it's with great pleasure that i once again present, Bob Milam’s “The Browning Story” (part one)...
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SHACK PLUS SHOTS:
CB GAZETTE BROWNING PAGE:HERE
Glenn Hendrix's BROWNING LABORATORIES, INC. : HERE
THE OLD TUBE RADIO BROWNING ARCHIVES: HERE
GRUMPY'S OLDE TIME RADIO FORUM BROWNING PAGE: HERE
BROWNING LABORATORIES FACEBOOK PAGE: HERE
FANS OF BROWNING, TRAM, AND SONAR FB GROUP: HERE
FOSTERS.COM ARTICLE BROWNING'S MOVE TO NH: HERE
RADIO MUSEUM.ORG BROWNING PAGE: HERE
CB TRICKS BROWNING PAGE: HERE
GOOGLE BOOKS - TRIBUTE TO BROWNING: HERE
SO ends the beginning of my "Retro-Year". Of course, part two of Bob's story will follow next month (March), and if anyone would like their Browning shack photo's in this Browning "special" please send them to me via email (along with any pertinent details/information)