I’m really enjoying this book by Clinto DeSoto. First published in 1936, the book chronicles the development of amateur radio. From spark gap and continuous wave, the formation of ARRL, congressional battles to outlaw ham radio, homebrew equipment, and much more – this book is a great read and gives a wonderful history of amateur radio. From pre-WWI radio contacts ranging from coast-to-coast followed by progress in the years shortly after the war with regular contacts around the world. By reading the early history of ham radio, I now have a better understanding of why things are the way they are; procedures for traffic handling, Q signals and CW shorthand, and the amateur spirit of elmering, experimenting, and the pride of homebrewing.
200 Meters & Down — The Story of Amateur Radio is available from ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0011