Klaas Dijkstra's

Price winning

Photo Album of 1939


Status: 13 May 2013


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Klaas Dijkstra's book 'Radio Malabar' shows a wide range of photos which give proof of his photographic competence. One may argue whether he is the real professional like photographer. This page is bringing the proof that he was very competent; maybe in between an amateur and a professional. He apparently made photographs on behalf of the Dutch Indies PTT, such an entity does not employ amateur like photographers.


Historically rather curious, is the survival of his price winning photo-album.


The Dutch Indies PTT gave a so-called 'Dienstorder' (ordering their personnel to hand in photos for a competition price).

Please notice, that the succession of the photos originate from the order of succession of the genuine photo-album. Clustering of subjects is therefore not possible.

Text between round brackets is the genuine Dutch caption to the photos


Telegraaf- en Telefoonorder No. 30

Onderwerp (Subject) Foto-wedstrijd onder het personeel

Beschikking van het Hoofd van de Administratie van 26 October 1938 No. 3 7 6 4 7 /Fin.


followed by


As to lift the query did Klaas Dijkstra really won a price?



Yes, he indeed did!

He received the first price.

Bandung, 14 February 1939

Middelbaar Technisch Ambtenaar 1e Klasse, was the highest rank possible considering his educational background (non academic)


It may be, in my perception, making sense to show the photos which were collected in a special photo-album. It has to be mentioned though, that not all implemented photos were subject of the photo competition.

The origin of this album is most likely the sample that has been made especially for the director of the 'Radio Laboratorium' in Bandoeng; this was, in those days, Willem Einthoven (Jr), being also Dijkstra's 'boss'.

Einthoven must have brought this album to his Dutch family when he visited Holland in early 1940. After the German invasion on 10 May 1940 of western Europe, he left this country in a rush with the last available ship sailing (with others) from IJmuiden to the Dutch Indies on 13 or 14 May 1940.

We all know, that the Japanese invaded Indonesia (Dutch Indies) early 1942. In early 1944 a group of Dutch leading engineers (among them Willem Einthoven, Henk Lels, Levenbach and two technicians Leunis and Alexander Hasenstab) and their families were brought to Tokyo and lost after their liberation all their belongings in Manilla (1945), owing to insufficient storage by the US authorities. There is thus no chance that this album came via this route to Holland after the war. It must thus have been before the Netherlands came engaged in the Second World War.


Klaas Dijkstra possessed a sense for visual drama, but also a feeling for meticulously nice electrical constructions.


Wiring a 40-Watt quartz controlled transmitter

(40 W-kristal zender)

For some time Klaas Dijkstra headed the workshop of the Radio Laboratorium in Bandung.


Carefully assembling a section of a transmitter

(Met zorg monteren)


Ingenious toroid winding machine for coils or transformers

(genuine Dutch text: Ingenieuse wikkelmachine)


Old and new toriod coils types

(Oud en nieuw model torrusspoel)

Please remember, that Dutch Indies was eccentric of the normal electrical component markets. All had to be ordered via The Hague through the Ministry of Colonial Affairs; it took often > half a year before a desperately needed part arrived (when they were lucky). The Hague sometimes even refused their demands. It is thus quite understandable that they produced their components themselves, when possible.




My impression is that this photo combines action with tension!


Quartz crystal holder. Not shown is the actual quartz plate

The big screw down on the right is meant for fine adjusting the resonance frequency, by means of influencing the air-gap of one of the electrodes.

Please count the parts and you get a feeling for its complexity; and its production cost!

(Houder voor piezo-elektrische kristallen)


I love this photo! Viewing the face of Mr A.C de Groot's assistent

They are filling a container with liquid oxygen

(De heer de Groot in actie)


Although, we are looking at the same scene, the impressions differs quite much

Dijkstra takes, however, the freedom of expressing it differently.

(Men lette op de nevel)


The glassblowers need their full attention!

(Volle aandacht voor the glasblazers)

This scene is doubtless showing an unique process. Repairing (valuable) transmitter valves could be more or less easily accomplished as long as these valves relied on tungsten filaments. Oxide cathodes necessitate a far more complex processing and was not cured in Bandung!

My late friend Rob Kain (YB1KW) living in Bandung told me in the late 1970s, that they at the Radio Laboratory repaired their own Philips transmitter valves. Of course, against the policy of the Philips Company! Would I have known that I should become engaged, say, twenty five years later in issuing Dijstra's book 'Radio Malabar', I certainly would have asked him for more details!


The glass envelope is being sealed-off and the formation process is being started up.

(Het afsmelten van de radio zendlamp)


Wobbling a receiver

Most likely a civil broadcast type, whether used for official purpose can not be answered.

(Reparatie + trimmen, this text is also covering the next photo)



Repairing measuring instruments is 'an art on its own rights'

The instrument on the right-hand side is carrying the old Hartmann & Braun symbol prior to the early 1920s.




Likely the same radio receiver chassis as is shown previously

(Met een elektrischen soldeerbout)

Considering the chassis, it is of a Philips design; though, might have been produced for the application in tropical countries only.


I actually cannot remember exactly where is hand written: the following photos does not belong to the price winning competition.

My guess, it might have been somewhere here, as some pictures are getting a more artistic touch.


Expecting a thunderstorm

These antennae may have belonged to the Dajeuh-Kolot transmitter station. This area is now an integral part of Bandung!

(Onweer op komst)


My guess, viewing the same situation, though, using a different filter colour (green or yellow or that like); as to improve the impression of the clouds


Antenna masts of just below 100 m tallness

(Gevaarten van bijna 100 meter hoog)


An artistic view on mast carrying one end of a directional antenna 'curtain'

(Vakwerk en draad)

I hope that you apologise me, that I skip the rest of Dijkstra's antennae and cloud impressions


One of the characteristic transmitters (opened) of Dajeuh-Kolot. Even in the late 1980s some of them remained in the transmitter hall of Dajeuh-Kolot

(Inspectie van de 3 kW-zender)


Of course, only Europeans were playing, 'inlanders' had to pick up their tennis balls


Most likely the tennis court of Radio Malabar


Klaas Dijkstra sitting at his desk.

He suffered an injury during his tropical leave (once in 7 years) in Switzerland about 1935/36, forcing him to give up his post of chief of the Bandung workshops. However, he took up a new job, organising the administration of parts and supplies; which strangely did not exist in the otherwise so well organised Dutch Indies PTT!


In my perception a rare photo, showing Dijkstra's assistant

In those colonial days it was 'not done' for Europeans showing an Indonesian (inlander) assistant! Maybe not valid for all 'Totokers', but certainly for most of them!

(Z'n helper)


Components of the dual recorders (Siphon like types?)

(Onderdelen van de dubbelrecorders)


Completely assembled siphon recorders. Please notice the text: Radio-Lab. indicating that this recorder is a Radio Lab. product



Painting or engraving designations on a transmitter valve



Sawing (cutting) plates from a huge natural quartz block

(Van een stuk kwarts worden schijfjes gezaagd)


Lapping the quartz plate roughly first

(Daarna worden de schijfjes grof voor geslepen)


Bringing the quartz resonance more in accordance to the wanted frequency

Theoretically a quartz cut has also a particular frequency to dimension ratio, like is mostly its thickness (notice the micrometer).

(Het naslijpen geschiedt uit de hand)

I have done this myself > 50 years ago, my experience was that when not done appropriately its activity (Q) reduced rapidly!


Regular check of the quartz crystal frequency

(Geregelde controle van het kristal)


Operating a frequency standard at the Radio Laboratory in Bandung

(Controle kristal)

It is known that the Radio Laboratorium purchased later in the 1930s a General Radio Frequency standard, whether this set was directly linked onto it is not known.


Extending a Dajeuh-Kolot building

(Uitbreiding van het Radio Station Dajeuhkolot = Dajeuh-Kolot)


For labours the most important day of the week or month Payday!

(Het uitbetalen van het loon)


We have to thank Bob Grevenstuk indeed very much for lending this album to us!



Continue with: Poulsen transmitter photographs at Malabar

Consider also pictures taken at: the Radio Station Dajeukolot (Dajeuhkolot) ≈ 1938 & 1989

Continue with: fading memories

Consider also: Malabar, in Telefunkenzeitung of 1925

Back to: subject details

Back to (or continue): Handbooks and papers

To: Dijkstra's Radio-Kootwijk photographs