Sparks to Sparkies??

charles henry
25th May 2008, 22:36
I was once a "Sparks" a proud title dating back to the 1900's when in sending messages we created great amounts of sparks and the air was smelling of pure Ozone.

However the magazine of the Radio Officer's Union always contained letters
from people who (I quote) "Don't want to be called Sparks, I should be called the Radio Officer". (Takes all kinds).

Where did "Sparkies" come from? is it a pluarity of Sparks? to me the expression sounds like something that gets lit at parties......(Pint)

K urgess
25th May 2008, 23:01
Must have changed over time, Chas.
I was always sparkie except to certain of the older Masters who called me sparks.
I suppose it was just what they were used to calling us.
It may have had something to do with getting confused with the shoreside electricians who were called sparks. Especially in the mines I believe.
I certainly never insisted on being called "The Radio Officer".
If it was introductions it was always "this is Kris he's our sparks" and in the bar it was always "Hey! Sparkie it's your round again!" [=P]


26th May 2008, 21:23
I never objected to being called Sparks, but I certainly didn't apprciate being called a wireless or radio "operator," because operating was only a small part of my duties.

27th May 2008, 17:57
I certainly never had a problem being called Sparks - Sparkie.

Also been called - Marconi - and possibly other things as well!.