Jack Gutzeit amateur radio operator records
Language of Materials
The collection includes records compiled during much of Jack Gutzeit's (1921-2003) lifelong avocation as an amateur radio operator, operating primarily under the call sign W2LZX. The bulk of the collection includes about 12,000 QSL cards sent to Gutzeit from operators around the world, along with many of his transmission logs and some other documents related to ham radio operator activities.
Biographical / Historical
Jacob M. "Jack" Gutzeit (1921-2003) was, in the context of this collection, an amateur radio operator, known by the call sign W2LZX. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and as a married man in the 1940s, moved to Flushing, Queens, where he lived for 60 years. He died in Delray Beach, Florida.
Gutzeit became interested in electronics as a teenager and built his own radio tubes. He became a licensed amateur, or "ham," radio operator in 1939. During World War II, Gutzeit enlisted with the Army in 1943 and was assigned to the 897th Signal Company in the Pacific theater. After the 897th was assigned to the Air Force's 81st Air Depot group, he served as a radioman on B-17s. He was discharged from the military at the end of the war at the rank of sergeant.
Gutzeit was engaged with electronics throughout his life, as a teacher at Brooklyn Technical School, as a salesman of electronic devices and components, and as senior advertising manager for QSL Magazine. He obtained a private pilot's license in the 1950s, flying a Cessna 172 along the East Coast. He was an award-winning radio operator and a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
Gutzeit married Ruth Rakoff in 1942, shortly before heading to war. They had two children, Sande and Howard; Sande arranged the donation of this collection to N-YHS.
(The above note is based on a biographical note included by the donor with the collection.)
The bulk of the collection consists of QSL cards and these remain in the order as received by N-YHS. These are generally sorted between cards received from United States and non-United States operators, then by prefix. A small addition to the collection was received later in 2021 and is appended as box 6 content.
Scope and Contents
The collection includes records compiled during much of Jack Gutzeit's career as an amateur radio operator. These primarily include QSL cards sent to Gutzeit from around the world, acknowledging his transmissions. By the donor's count, there are 12,034 cards. The bulk of the cards were directed to Gutzeit's call sign of W2LZX; about 1200 were directed to four other call signs Gutzeit used when operating under other licenses at offshore locations in the Caribbean. The cards were skimmed during processing for date range; the bulk appears to be from the 1970s-1990s, with a few extending back to the 1940s. Beyond the essential facts of the acknowledged transmission, the cards portray a variety of artwork, photographs, and text that center variously on the originating locale and/or radio operator/team of operators.
The collection also holds Gutzeit's logs of transmissions from 1974-2001, with earlier logs for a brief period in 1955 and in 1960-65. There are also a few documents related to ham operator organizations, Gutzeit's personal QSL cards, a collage compiled by his niece of images of some of his cards, and photographs of operators.
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The collection should be cited as: Jack Gutzeit amateur radio operator records, PR 418, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Sande Gutzeit Levine, 2021
About this Guide
Processed by archivist Larry Weimer, May 2021. A small addition to the collection was received in November 2021 and was added then by Weimer, found in box 6.