MM was first published in the Dutch language in 1983 by the late Rinus Hellemons PA0BFN. In 1985 Rinus, together with Dick Kraayveld PA3ALM, published a special English language issue of the magazine in the hope of widening its readership. Not many copies were printed and this issue is now a very rare collector’s item.
The following year Tony Smith G4FAI, an English writer specialising in Morse subjects, who later became Chairman of the European CW Association (EUCW), joined Rinus and Dick to produce a new English language edition of MM, with Tony as English language editor. Both Dutch and English editions were printed and published in Holland.
Due to the illness and subsequent sad death of Rinus, the Dutch edition ceased publication in 1987. Tony took over the title and MM became an English language-only publication printed and published in England.
In 1990 Tony was joined by Geoff Arnold G3GSR, who was already publishing “Radio Bygones” the vintage radio magazine. Geoff became Editor, and Tony Consultant Editor of MM and they continued publication of MM until December 1998.
Following publication of MM61 (Christmas 1998) the magazine was taken over by The Nilski Partnership, with Zyg Nilski, G3OKD, as the new editor. Zyg has been a radio amateur and CW enthusiast since 1960, and is now semi-retired from a career which has embraced electronics engineering, computing and systems analysis, and the education service.
Still Basically the Same
The first issues of MM were typed on an old typewriter. Most of the art work was drawn by PA3ALM by hand, and the magazine had a very homely and personal atmosphere. Nowadays, MM has a more professional look. It has not, however, lost its original unique and lively character, and the content and coverage is still very much the same as it was in the beginning, except for three important changes.
But Three Important Changes…
- Because of the pressure and adverse comment on amateur CW in recent years, MM now has a strong “Morse News” section which carries news of interest to CW enthusiasts around the world. Amongst other things, this enables them to be aware of developments in the CW-controversy wherever they happen to take place. If you want the latest news about Morse, good news or bad, often not found elsewhere, you will find it in MM!
- The second change is the development of a strong “Readers’ Letters” section where readers write about and discuss every conceivable aspect of Morse telegraphy. This forum receives strong support and valuable contributions from readers in many countries around the world.
- And thirdly, at the request of its readers, MM is now published six times year instead of four!
Strong on Key Collecting
MM has many articles on Morse keys, often in-depth, of interest to collectors and operators alike. One acclaimed series of articles by the late Louise Moreau, W3WRE, has been brought together as a “Best of MM” publication under the title “The Story of the Key”, and is available from the MM Bookshelf.
Other regular features include free Readers Advertisements which offer one of the few specialised international facilities available to buy, sell or exchange keys, and other Morse equipment.
“Showcase” is where readers share photos and information about their keys with fellow enthusiasts, and “Info Please!” is where they seek information on their “unknown” Morse possessions. In fact, MM has now become an authoritative source of reference on all aspects of key collecting.
Vibroplex ‘Presentation’ key, first produced 1948
(basically, a deluxe version of the ‘Original’ of 1904 apart from the mounting of the dot contact which was changed in 1906!)
Every Imaginable Aspect of Morse
The articles in MM cover every imaginable aspect of Morse telegraphy, both amateur and professional. They include authoritative features by respected international authors covering all time periods, right back to the time when Samuel F.B. Morse first dreamed of sending messages by dots and dashes.
While the telegraphists of 50 or 100 years ago have much to tell us through its pages, MM also covers today’s Morse scene. There is advice on good operating for those who seek it, including help for learners, details of Morse clubs worldwide, activities and awards. There is humour, even poetry! Each bi-monthly issue has 48 pages packed solid with Morse material from around the world.
A Unique Magazine
The result of all this is a unique international magazine, providing in-depth coverage of aspects of Morse telegraphy often not possible in wider-coverage publications. It provides CW operators of all abilities with their own journal, and the opportunity to keep in touch with fellow-enthusiasts wherever they are.
Flying the Flag for Morse!
While CW is disparaged as a means of communication by many who have not experienced it, Morsum Magnificat is proud to be seen “Flying The Flag for Morse”, championing a mode still enjoyed by thousands of amateurs around the globe – and still used professionally despite rumours to the contrary! Although now published in a different country, MM has continued the work and the aims of its Dutch founder, Rinus Hellemons, PA0BFN.