Marconi ErasThe Belmar Station – August 1914
The Belmar Station
The illustration at the top of this page shows the operating building located at the water’s edge at Belmar, N.J. The masts of this gigantic Marconi station which appear in the background, are 300 feet high and aerials carried on them stretch westward for almost a mile. It is here that the wireless messages which are soon to wing their way across the Atlantic from Wales will be received. The Belmar plant is one of the largest in the world and perhaps the most important link in the Marconi world-wide wireless chain. It has equipment second to none, as the photographs on the pages following will testify. The operating building necessarily appears small in the illustration but is over 82 feet long. It contains a generously proportioned office for the manager, a similar one for the engineer in charge; also a large storeroom and a coatroom. The room containing the tuning apparatus runs the full depth of the building and is connected by a message chute with the receiving room adjoining. Nearby is the charging room for small accumulators and the main operating room with five large tables, which, when fully manned, will require thirty operators. All messages received and transmitted from this station will be handled automatically, most of them being received at the Broad Street and Madison Square offices of the Marconi Company. Similar arrangements have been made for filing Wales station messages in London, thus placing the two great cities in the world in direct communications by trans-Atlantic wireless.
For the comfort and convenience of the large staff of operators and engineers necessary to maintain the twenty-four-hour service at Belmar, the Marconi Company has erected the hotel shown in the above illustration. Built of dark red ornamental brick, with a lighter red tile roof, this fireproof structure is as handsome as any of the palatial summer resort hotels in the vicinity. It is a city block long and contains 45 bedrooms.
The photograph left gives a partial view of the hotel lounge, where the Belmar operators will congregate in the evening for relaxation and entertainment. Photo Right, the foyer hall leading in from the porch.
A typical bedroom in the hotel and a private sitting room.
Some indication of the luxury afforded the operators fortunate enough to secure an assignment to the Marconi station at Belmar is given in the illustrations on this page. The photograph (Left) shows a portion of the land set aside for the raising of fresh vegetables for the table. Twelve acres of the 600-acre tract is planted with the garden truck for all seasons and experienced farm hands give this feature undivided attention. The photograph (right) shows part of the shower room in the hotel, an additional comfort to the sixteen bathrooms provided for the men. Outdoor sports play a large part in the life of the section and while the shower baths are not meant to be competitive with the sea and still water bathing, they will undoubtedly be greatly enjoyed by those coming off duty on a summer’s day or returning from a hard set of tennis on the courts provided for the staff.
The cottages for the manager and engineer in charge at Belmar are shown respectively in the upper and lower illustrations. These most attractive bungalows architecturally conform to the hotel building, is constructed of dark red tapestry brick, laid with raked joint and black mortar, and the roofs are of lighter red Spanish tile. The best of building materials have been used throughout and structural details comprise the most modern fireproofing methods. The inside partitions are of hollow tile, the plasterwork of cement on terra cotta tile and inside wood flooring is laid on concrete. Attractive terraces and generous verandas are an additional attraction of these buildings, which are 50 feet wide and 40 feet deep.
tasteful harmony with the surroundings. The lower view is of the living room, the feature of which is the tapestry brick fireplace. Easy chairs upholstered in leather, rocking, and straight chairs, settees and dining-room chairs, too, are all upholstered in leather. Bookcases and library tables are further aids to comfort. The bedrooms, of which there are four to a cottage, are finished in mahogany, with two rugs, straight and rocking chairs, enameled beds, chiffonier or dresser, and appropriate pictures. The bathrooms are fitted with the very best of fixtures and the kitchen equipment includes a large range and hot water boiler. The cottages are steam heated from the power plant.
A glimpse of the manager’s office and the power and electric lighting plant.
Page created December 30, 1998
Infoage has Stanford University Library to thank for saving this eleven-page photo story on Belmar station. Before locating this we had only a few interior photos of the station. They have the complete set of Wireless Age magazines bound and on microfilm. They were kind enough to allow us to copy the entire set of microfilm for our archives and research.
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