The idea in 1946 or 47 was a very simple transmitter where you could remove the audio output tube from a standard home radio of the day. [6V6, 6F6, 6L6, etc]. Put it in the transmitter and plug the transmitter into the receiver where the tube had been. Instant and cheap - on the air. But the idea of stealing power like this wasn't new. I can't find it but have been told a pair of audio output tubes used as a free running self excited push pull oscillator on 160 or 80 meters was published in the 1920s using the 211 tubes and power from the home receiver.
Lots of stories as we were so excited to be on the air, we didn't realize how simple and modest our stations were. My receiver was an ARC-5 command. Worked several hundred stations with one crystal at 3701 kcps. [Only two novice bands then - crystal control, 75 watt max, 3700 - 3750 kcps CW, and 145-147 mcps AM].
Like so many, that novice licensed shaped my life. I went on to get a BSEE from Oregon State and have completed a full career as a Field Engineer with several companies, starting with Collins Radio in the early 1960s.
I'm almost 70 and think back how lucky the guys of my age were. In the early 1950s WWII hadn't been over only a few years and many older hams were vets and products of the hard days of the 1930s. The help and feeling of fellowship among hams in general and at our club in Salem, Oregon was very very special.
73 Bob W7AVK
I too was an early 1950s young teen ager with a new WN7VZX call not not long after the novice license was created. In those days the FCC was still going through the available W7 three letter combinations in order the first time since starting in the late 1920s. A few years later they went back and reissued the old calls that had been dropped and my dad received WN7AVK. Which I asked for and received after his passing. :-)
Received a couple years ago a very nice wall hanging from the ARRL saying I have been a LIFE MEMBER for 50 years. In those days life member ship was calculated as 20 times a single year dues. Remember it cost me $120. A very big sum when receivers like the SX-71 were selling for $250.