All Things Wireless & Letterpress

All Things Wireless & Letterpress


Hi, folks: this is a bit of an update regarding QSL cards printed for Novice Rig Round Up participants, regardless if you have an NRR number or not.  

Over the past few months efforts have been taken at my print shop, Paper Wren Press, to offer an authentically period-printed QSL card, one that would equate to a typical QSL card from the 1920s - 50s, before the widespread use of Offset printing and later, digital printing which is how most QSL cards are printed today.  The old QSL card guys with the 10x15 "Iron Horse" platen presses are long gone.  So is much of their work, sadly.  There is something about printing by pushing metal, wood, or polymer into paper.  There is a saturation of colour, a dimensional, tactile  quality which cannot be matched by any other form of printing.

This is the primary NRR design.

The top and bottom margin is code. It spells the abbreviation "NRR".

That silhouetted J-38 was my very own Speed-X until I traded it for a Hammarlund Speaker.  I traced the silhouette, inked it, vectorized it, and there she is. This is not a clip-art key. There is no other such silhouette.

Here's a slight design variant.  This one has an ARRL logo and an SKCC logo, balancing each other.

Here are some representative prices:

250 3-colour cards = $195.00, plus $15.00 shipping, and

500 3-colour cards =  $250.00 plus $20.00 shipping.

Sales tax must be included for all Florida Residents.

These prices represent a savings of $40.00, from my normal 3-colour price of $225.00!

Should you wish to order NRR (or any other) QSL Cards:

Simply contact me at  After we discuss what you need and arrive at a price, payment is then made to the above email address.  My preferred mode of payment is PayPalI may soon be able to take charge and debit cards.

Here are some photos of NRR cards ordered by members :

 Ronnie's card.

 Gary's card

 Bry's card.

So, there ya go!  Letterpress printed "Old School" NRR cards to complete your genuine "Old School" radio station, printed in the very same way your great grandpa would have had his own cards printed, utilizing the same process, even the same presses!  Truth is, I love vintage and tube radios (and vintage solid state, too!), and I love vintage and hand-artisan printing.  The two go together so well.  And I have a huge respect for you, the owner-builder-operator of these awesome Novice and Vintage rigs.  Which is why I wanted to make cards like these available to compliment your incredible efforts to keep not only the Novice Rigs alive and relevant, but your fond memories as well.  It is my hope these cards may contribute to further those ends.

This just added:

Because Letterpress Printing as a custom artisan craft, variations of the basic NRR design are possible, in the way of added logos, member numbers, &c.  Here are some variation examples:

The central NRR diamond can be omitted, if you are not an NRR member, of course.  Notice the addition of member numbers, which must be the same colour as the call and address.

Here is a complete re-design that a lot of folks seem to like.  Note the FISTS logo and ARRL logo.  These are wholly re-drawn, not just downloaded clip art.  I took a look at the available clip art, and, frankly, they vectorize horribly!  So.... I simply redrew them.  You may note that I also completely re-drew Epper's "QCWA Old Timer", returning it to it's original 1947 design.  So much was lost over the years of copying and re-copying, I thought I would restore it to it's original.

Yup.  Black and white.  Two fingers on the key.  Pipe smoke returned to it's "sine wave" shape.  I made special pains to make sure that it is authentically "uneven"!  Yup.  Eppers did not center ANYTHING!  The spacing of the lightening bolts are correct.  QCWA droops to the right.  "Crumb-style" cross hatch shading.  You can see the buckles on the old fella's suspenders!   Yup, you QCWA guys can have the REAL DEAL on your cards, too!  Now, Otto Eppers never enlarged this logo, but I made it so that you can without screwing up the details.   I would recommend, if you use this, to go with a very light grey, and let it serve as a background.  BUT.... you can do what Eppers did.  Print it in bluish purple, miniaturize it, and park it on your card somewhere, like Otto did.  But he did such a good job.... why not display it?
 Here is the original Eppers "Two Easy Aces" QCWA card.

So, this is the latest update on NRR Letterpress QSL Cards.  Old School Cards.  Old School Printing.  Lots of Iron and Coffee!

-gary // wd4nka


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