HISTORY OF THE KW-1P
This information was received from a "highly" reliable source who, for understandable reasons, specifically requested to remain anonymous:
Susan McDermott, known locally as “Aunt Suzzie”, had married Oscar McDermott back in the mid 1930’s and lived for most of her life in the town of St. Hyacinth, Quebec, just east of Montreal. Suzzie had a second cousin whose brother-in-law’s best friend was an engineer at the Collins electronic laboratory in Cedar Rapids just after WWII. Our source, to the best of his knowledge and belief, recalls the engineer’s name as Henry (Hank) McClousky with the call sign W0FAK (sk). Sometime during the years 1949 to 1955 Hank was directed by Art Collins to develop a wattmeter that would show both forward and reflected power with a range of 0 to 1000 watts and match the “A” line amateur equipment then in production.
Over the next couple of years Hank engineered and developed the KW-1P wattmeter and presented a prototype to Art for his approval but since Collins was already producing the 302C-1 directional wattmeter the project was eventually scrapped. A total of 10 KW-1P prototypes were known to have been produced, however only six are currently known to exist, the whereabouts of the remaining units is unknown.
Evidently, Hank took the six units home and stored them for several years before his death in 1974. His daughter Phyllis discovered the units in the attic of her mother’s home when she was preparing to sell the house after the death of Hank’s wife Penelope in the Spring of 1982.
Phyllis had no clue as to what the units were and she and her husband decided to put them in a yard sale among some of the miscellaneous items from her mother’s estate.
Albert Sorensen was a local ham and also the brother-in-law of Phyllis and Hank’s best friend. When he found out about the units he told Phyllis that since the units may still be the property of the Collins Radio Company it might be best if they did not attempt to sell them in public. He asked if he could have them knowing that the prototypes would be of value to fellow hams and Collins collectors at some date in the future.
Al was unmarried and had no family other than a cousin Suzzie, Phyllis and her husband, Al’s brother and in 1997 Al was killed in a tragic hunting accident in northern Canada.
Al’s real estate and personal property went to Phyllis and her husband Jake and included the six units. Since Phyllis was of the opinion that the Collins units may still belong to the Collins Company she was reluctant to keep them in her possession. She contacted Suzzie whose husband Oscar was also a ham. Unfortunately Oscar had become a silent key in 1998 but Suzzie knew of someone who would appreciate the units and agreed to take them.
Suzzie then contacted our source with the understanding that he would dispose of the units and not reveal any of the details. Since as of this date all of the players in this story are now deceased our source has divulged the history of the units to us but has sworn us to secrecy relative to his identity, which, of course, we promised to do.
Although a search of the records of the Collins Radio Company has not uncovered any details, photographs or schematic diagrams of the units, a telephone conversation with a former employee who worked the night shift as a custodian at Cedar Rapids from 1948 to 1956 vaguely recalls the project and believes that he had actually seen at least on of the units at the plant at some time, but can’t recall when.
Naturally, the existing units are not for sale but it is estimated that if one was put for sale on E-Bay it would, because of its rarity, most likely bring $5,000 to $10,000 or perhaps much, much more. The existing units have serial numbers KWP 0005 through KWP 0010.
has knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing units or photographs,
drawings or schematic diagrams for the units please contact me.