April 29, 1906--May 17, 1955
Born: Erie, Pennsylvania
Buried: Erie, Pennsylvania
Spouse: Isabelle Marie Rosenberg Bliley


1954 Portrait for 25th Anniversary Promotions

This photo was taken in 1954 for promotional materials being developed for the 25th anniversary of the Bliley Electric Company. He died at the age of 49 before the anniversary year was completed. He was a life-long radio amateur operator whose last call sign was W3GV. That call sign is now held by the amateur radio club he helped create: Radio Association of Erie (RAE).

He was known to his friends as "Dawson". His parents called him by his middle name to distinguish him from his father was also a Frank.

This photo still hangs in the main hallway of the Bliley Electric Technologies which he founded in 1930 as the Bliley Electric Company.

More information on my his life's work can be found on the Bliley Electric History Site.

 Frank Dawson Bliley
Click for Larger View

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Rubber Stamp

A Teenager's "Business" and Ham Radio Journal --- 1920-1921

In 1920, Dawson at the age of 14 received his first official amateur radio license issued by the U.S. government. It was an exciting time, but he had to finance his new hobby by cutting lawns, a newspaper route and odd jobs. This 33-page journal is a registry of his activities in ham radio in Erie, Pennsylvania and Boulder, Colorado, and an accounting of his finances. I have provided an overview and "translation" of a few pages to help the non-radio person understand some of it.

  • Description of Journal (PDF PDF/1 Mb)
    • This description is incorporated into the two PDFs found below.
  • Scanned Album with Description

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A Special Christmas Letter Home

In 1929 my dad was a recent graduate from college who apparently headed west to seek his fortune. Then the stock market crashed and prospects were grim. He wrote home telling his father he was giving up on the west and heading home by car the day after Christmas. It is a very interesting letter and story. Please look it over by clicking here.

Rubber Stamp

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Rubber Stamp

Keeping in Touch with Home from the Road

My father traveled around the country, visiting dealers and trade shows to promote the latest products of the Bliley Electric Company. He often visited the real customers at amateur radio conventions and give away a few crystal units as door prizes. His time on the road meant long periods of time away from my mother.

I found the rubber stamp seen on the right in an old desk drawer after Dad's death. I asked Mom what was this strange stamp for? She said that she often complained to my Dad that the least he could do to reassure her of his well-being, was to send her a post card from each city he visited.

He reluctantly agreed to this, but surprised her when a stream of cards came in carrying the mark of a rubber stamp with the familiar, "Having a fine time, wish you were here." Of course, he signed each card "Love, Dawson"; so he could not be accused of being impersonal.

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One Road Named In His Father's Name; Another Changed to Honor His Son 27 Years Later

It appears that in 1928 grandfather, Frank Anderson Bliley, invested in a small land development in southeast Erie in Millcreek Township. The development was named "Chadwick Farms Development". The plot plans list his law partner as a witness to the accuracy of the survey and one of the two first roads was named "Bliley and the second, "Chadwick". While this is not proof, it is a pretty strong link between him and the developer, William L Chadwick. The development was expanded in 1944 and third road was named "Lee".

In the mid-1950s, the road named Lee was changed to Dawson, my father's middle and preferred personal name. As the family home at the time of his death was five miles away at 965 Arlington Road, The photo at the right was taken in March 1999.

No one in the family was consulted about the naming and no one knows who to credit for the initiative. The results are certainly appreciated.

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Plant Security Badge During WWII

To the right is a photo of the security badge worn by my father during World War II. The photo was probably taken in 1940 at the age of 34. Like most factories of the period, Bliley Electric employed armed guards at all entrances 24 hours a day. This badge is pretty basic by current standards.

 Enlarged View (133k)

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