Western Union microwave relay sites: Bordentown relay, New Jersey

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part XX

Site Name: Bordentown
Call Sign:
State: New Jersey
Bordentown Township
Rising Sun Road
Type of Facility:
Tower Height: 100′

Bordentown relay location map.

Bordentown relay tower pictured in an article published by the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 23, 1946.

The Bordentown relay was one of the earliest experimental sites constructed in the Western Union system. Along with the New Brunswick relay, it was one of two New Jersey sites first established an operated experimentally by RCA. Completed late in 1944, the Bordentown relay included a 100′ tower built at 98 feet above mean sea level and it began testing with signals originating from RCA’s Camden headquarters. Western Union acquired title to the property along Rising Sun Road in 1952. In 1967 the site was sold; the deed conveying it from Western Union to the new owner noted an existing lease with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In 2003 the site was occupied by Comcast Cable Company.

The Bordentown relay was frequently pictured in much of Western Union’s early reports documenting its microwave system. The 1940s photos show a one-story side-gabled building and a lookout tower with different truss configurations than all of the other Western Union sites. Also, its concrete foundation piers are larger and higher than the ones anchoring the other Western Union towers.

Bordentown relay tower. Photo by David Rotenstein, 2003.

In 2003 the tower was intact and painted in the alternating white and international orange color tower marking pattern. The cab was missing and the side-gabled equipment building had been replaced by a one-story shed roof building.

Bordentown relay equipment building. Photo by David Rotenstein, 2003.

© 2010 David S. Rotenstein

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