Why radio towers have stripes

Ever wonder why some radio towers are painted in alternating bands of orange and white and others aren’t? The story behind the federally mandated paint scheme goes back to the earliest days of aviation and broadcasting.

WSB broadcast tower, Atlanta, Ga.

WSB broadcast tower, Atlanta, Ga.

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Clandestine Cold War Presidential Emergency Site: Fort Reno Redux

Last year I wrote an article for the Recent Past Preservation Network’s newsletter documenting presidential emergency facilities. These were subterranean bunkers with above-ground radio towers. Follow-up articles appeared in this blog.

Recent Internet posts have revealed the existence of photographs taken by the John F. Kennedy administration during the construction of the site in Washington, D.C., code-named “Cartwheel.” The site, with its masonry communications tower, is “hidden” among water towers in the capital’s Tenleytown neighborhood. The photos have been digitized and are available at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Website.

According to the information included with the digitized images, the Fort Reno facility was constructed in the summer of 1961 and it was sponsored by the White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA). The images below are a few of the nearly 100 images from the JFK library’s collection.

That’s No Tree, That’s A Cell Tower

People occasionally duck into Song Won’s Pro Cleaners to ask her about the large tree in the parking lot behind the dry cleaning store on North Highland Ave. NE.  The thing behind her store, however, is no tree. It’s a cell tower constructed to look like a tree.

“The tree is kind of interesting,” she said. “I tell customers, these are antennas. It’s not a tree. They take pictures.” Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Mt. Laurel 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 XXII

Site Name: Mt. Laurel
Call Sign:
KEA76
State: New Jersey
County:
Burlington
Municipality:
Mount Laurel Township
Address:
Haynesport & Mt. Laurel roads
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′ Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Fort Site relay, Pennsylvania

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part XIX

Site Name: Fort Site
Call Sign:
KGB42
State: Pennsylvania
County:
Allegheny
Municipality:
Pittsburgh
Address:
Chicago Road
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′ Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Bakersville relay, Pennsylvania

 

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part XVIII

Site Name: Bakersville
Call Sign:
KGB41
State: Pennsylvania
County:
Somerset
Municipality:
Jefferson Township
Address:
SR 31
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′ Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Mt. Holly relay, Pennsylvania

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part XVI

Site Name: Mt. Holly
Call Sign:
KGB38
State: Pennsylvania
County:
Cumberland
Municipality:
Dickinson Township
Address:
Ridge Road (Tower Road)
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 60′ Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Neshanic 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 XXI

Site Name: Neshanic
Call Sign:
KEA77
State: New Jersey
County:
Somerset
Municipality:
Hillsborough Township
Address:
380 Zion Road
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′ Continue reading

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:
KEA72
State: New Jersey
County:
Burlington
Municipality:
Bordentown Township
Address:
Rising Sun Road
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′ Continue reading

Western Union microwave relay sites: Blue Mountain relay, Pennsylvania

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part XVII

Site Name: Blue Mountain
Call Sign:
KGB39
State: Pennsylvania
County:
Franklin
Municipality:
Letterkenny Township
Address:
Broad Mountain Road
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 60′ Continue reading