It was a shock to all of us involved with the museum project, and who knew Bill Bates, to find in a box at KTRB Modesto a ham radio license issued to Bill Bates on November 10, 1916. None of us knew that Bill had another ham radio call prior to his well known W6CF call. Prior to this find we believed that Bill's first ham radio call was 6CF which was later changed by the government to W6CF. We were shocked to learn that his first ham license was issued to him at the age of 16 when he lived in Palo Alto, CA. The assigned call was 6KL.
Needless to say, after 91 years the document was in pretty bad shape. In fact, the typewritten information placed on the document had faded badly and was barely visible. We made a copy of the document and enhanced the copy so that it can be read. The original, of course, will be preserved in it's original state to be placed in the museum.
The Buzzard's ham radio network was comprised of a comparatively small group of crusty old time Amateur Radio operators who gathered nightly on 3956 Kilocycles and were not too friendly to outsiders. A few were broadcasting engineering types who Bill Bates managed to convince to come to Modesto to help put KTRB Modesto's 5,000 watt transmitter on the air. Members met at Bill's ranch home in Modesto several times. It was not a formal net that predates the Weather Net which began operation not too long after the end of World War II, around 1947.