Vintage QSL Cards: Old QSL Gallery

QSL cards have been exchanged by radio amateurs since the beginning of the hobby to confirm contacts. Check out some vintage QSL cards in this gallery of old QSL cards.


QSL cards includes:
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It is often interesting to see some vintage QSL cards. These old QSLs tell a lot about amateur radio communication in the early days.

From these vintage QSLs it is possible to gain a flavour for the equipment used, the stations; the operating and much more.

QSL card history

It is difficult to verify which was the first QSL card sent. In the old days of radio, many stations used to send hand written confirmations in the form of letters, but there are a few stations that started to use cards. This concept seems to have been invented by a number of people independently at different times.

Possibly the first reference is a card sent in 1916 from 8VX in Buffalo, New York to 3TQ in Philadelphia in the USA. Another instance of a first was in Europe when W.E.F. "Bill" Corsham, 2UV, operating from Harlesden, England first used a QSL card in 1922.

Vintage QSL cards

There are very many old QSL cards that can be seen and often bought.

The selection of vintage QSL cards below comes from a variety of sources, but is able to show aspects of amateur radio in the 20th Century.

Cards to G6YL
Barbara Mary Dunn, G6YL, was the first lady British licensed radio amateur - hence the YL letters in her callsign. She gained her license on 14th April 1927. Some of the vintage QSL cards seen below are dated shortly after this.

Vintage  QSL card sent from 3TR in Italy to G6YL for contact - card postmark 20 October 1927
Old QSL card from 3TR in Italy to G6YL - postmark dated 20 October 1927
Old  QSL card sent from IHV to G6YL for contact on 25 October 1928
Vintage QSL card from IHV to G6YL dated 25 Oct 1928
Old QSL card sent from G6BW to G6YL for contact on 30 October 1929
Vintage QSL card from G6BW to G6YL dated 30 October 1929
Old QSL card sent from 6GS to G6YL for contact on 11 June 1930
Vintage QSL card from 6GS to G6YL dated 11 June 1930
Old QSL card sent from SM6UA to G6YL for contact on 11 November 1930
Vintage QSL card from SM6UA to G6YL dated 11 November 1930

QSL card to G2YL
Nelly Corry, G2YL, was another British 'Young lady' or YL operator who was active from the 1930s.

G2YL was the second British YL licensed radio amateur - her station was at Walton-on-the-Hill, in Surrey to the South of London, England.

Old QSL card sent from U3DH to G2YL for contact on 9 September 1935
Vintage QSL card from U3DH to G2YL dated 9 September 1935
Old QSL card sent from UA3KQB to G2YL for contact on 4 October 1948
Vintage QSL card from UA3KQB to G2YL dated 4 October 1948

QSL card from King Hussein of Jordan, JY1
King Hussein of Jordan was the longest reigning in the Middle East - he was King of Jordan for 47 years taking the throne when he was a teenager.

King Hussein was an active radio amateur holding the callsign JY1. One of his, now vintage, QSL cards is shown below.

The front of a QSL card confirming  contact with King Hussein of Jordan who held the callsign JY1
The back of a QSL card confirming  contact with King Hussein of Jordan who held the callsign JY1 showing the contact details
The front and back of a QSL card from King Husssein of Jordan, JY1

QSL cards to G3YWX
These are a few cards from the years since I was first licensed in 1969.

Old QSL card sent from M0RSE to G3YWX
Old QSL card from M0RSE to G3YWX for contact on 21 April 1991
Old QSL card sent from ET3ZU/A to G3YWX for contact on 7 Sept 1971
Old QSL card from ET3ZU/A to G3YWX for contact on 7 Sept 1971
Old QSL card sent from HZ1AB to G3YWX for contact on 29 November 1992
Old QSL card from M0RSE to G3YWX for contact on 29 Nov 1992
Old QSL card sent from ZP50Y to G3YWX for contact on 31 Mar 1991
Old QSL card from ZP50Y to G3YWX for contact on 31 Mar 1991
Old vintage QSL card sent from PJ1B to G3YWX for contact on 26 November 1988
Old QSL card from PJ1B to G3YWX for contact on 26 Nov 1988

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