In the beginning, oh wait, that's been used already!

In October of 2016; while working on an ongoing project, Pete, NL7XM came across a QSL card for W2ZM from February, 1961. This is the text of the email that included the QSL jpg attachment.
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 10:29 AM
To: Bob Roske
Subject: Early Q#s Mystery Solved!

Bob, I may have unravelled the puzzling #'s attributed to some early Members.

I think I sent you an image similar to this one recently, of Ralph W2ZM.
This is a new one from a card that just arrived, and it caused me to reexamine that specific reference appearing in the top right corner: "No. 27."

Barber was neither a Founder or Charter Member, so what's with the "27," that's been haunting me...

Well, it turns out Barber was one of an elite group whose entry in the early Yearbooks were annotated with a ".." (Dagger footnote.)

This represented QCWA Members who received the first 50 Yr Golden Anniversary Service Awards! This was rare, so they were undoubtedly numbered and Barber was proud to display he was the 27th to get one.

One lesser possibility, is that Barber was the 27th Member to purchase a LM. There were almost as few of these in the early years as indicate by boldface type in the yearbooks.

From: Pete - NL7XM
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 12:52 PM
To: Bob Roske
Subject: W2ZM

This Feb. 1961 card is interesting in that Ralph wrote "#27" next to the QCWA logo.

He was never listed as a Charter Member with such a low Q Number, and the DB has him at something like #64.

I wonder what he was thinking?

My response:
Hi Pete,

Without doing a lot of digging, the first reference to a Q# on an application I found is in Jan of 1962 where they sometimes show up in the proposed by information.
Q#s don't appear in the yearbooks until 1976.

When they were finally assigned:
The Charter Members were assigned numbers 1 to 54.
The Executive was given the first 4 numbers, Pres, VP, Sec and Treas.
#5, James Millen is the only 1st area call.
Numbers 6 to 54 were probaly assigned from the sign-in sheets at the first few meetings.
No other logic fits.

The early numbers, after 54 are a mess. They were assigned by the joined (application processed) date.
The last written records at HQ were sorted, alpha by last name. First on Roladex sized cards and then on IBM punch cards.

Ralph Barber was the Executive Secretary from 1955 to 1964 and probably counted the number of cards between him and the front of the pile of active members. His was probaly the 27th card.

My $.02 worth

I started with the yearbooks, all the yearbooks before 1974 do not include a Q#, the ones after do.

The early apps were converted to mostly jpg files and some are missing.
We have copies of 34,690 applications, 35739 is the last application that I have a copy of.
Apps for Q# 1 to 54 do not exist and I suspect they never did.
Also missing is a block from 2401 to 2700.
There may be more missing blocks, I just haven't uncovered them yet.

We also have some individual apps that just got missed.
I switched to the applications and started with # 10000 dated 7/12/1975 for W5COC, John Johnson from Waco, TX
It has a line in the Office section where the Q# was hand written.
The Proposed by line asks for: Name, Call and Chapter
Starting with 10000 was a SWAG, it seemed logical.

Back to # 7500 dated Jan 22, 1972. It belongs to: W4WMY, Julis May from Tampa, FL
The Q# is hand written next to the QCWA Logo at the top of the page.
The Proposed by asks for name, call and Q#.

Back to # 5000 dated April 24, 1966. It belongs to: W4BPD, Gus Browning from Cordova, SC
The Q# is hand written next to the QCWA Logo at the top of the page.
The Proposed by doesn't specify anything. (So much for consistency!)

Back to # 1000 dated May 7, 1955. It belongs to: W2GEC, George Burghard, NYC.
A line has been added for Q#, Chapter and Date, the type does not match the rest of the application.
The Q# is typed on the added line and written in the left margin.
David Talley was the Treasurer then and he typed his name at the bottom of the app, that type doesn't match the above line either.
The Proposed by doesn't specify anything.

Back to # 500 dated Sep 9, 1952. It belongs to: W7IX, Henry Muyskens, Port Orchard, WA
The Q# is written(twice) in the upper left corner.
The Proposed by doesn't specify anything.

Jumped to 6000 dated Sep 3, 1968. It belongs to W6UO, Richard Parks, San Francisco, CA
The Q# is hand written in the header of the app. Also found "Formerly #2582" typed at the top of the app.
I suspect the 2582 number was active members and the 6000 included all members, active, SK, withdrawn, whatever.: The proposed line asks for a Q#.
As you can see, this app (and many others) are not scanned very well.

With all the SK that were involved from the time period, we may never know when QCWA started issuing membership numbers. Probaly as a way to know how many members we had. Until we took the DB online and added the Members Only webpage(about 2012), they were not used for much of anything by anyone except HQ staff before that.

I may add more later but it would be mostly speculation and probaly not worth the effort to go through more applications as I have no real hard facts or evidence to guide me.

Bob Roske, NØUF
DB Administrator
Past President

November 1, 2016