Marconi Eras

Transatlantic Wireless Telegraphy

Wireless World, November 1913, Pages 474-476

Transatlantic Wireless Telegraphy


GOOD progress is being made with the  Construction of the high-power stations which, when completed, will add enormously to the public facilities for the use of transatlantic wireless telegraphy.  The Clifden-Glace Bay service, which, since 1908, has been in regular continuous communication, day and night, carrying commercial, public, and press messages, has hitherto been the only service in existence affording direct wireless communication between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. But it will not long enjoy its ” splendid isolation,” for other stations are now being erected which will bring the North American Continent nearer (in a telegraphic sense) to England and other European countries, thus relieving the pressure of traffic upon the Clifden-Glace Bay stations, and coping with the enormously increased use of transatlantic telegraphic communication which the cheapness and efficiency of the Marconi service have made possible.  From time to time we hope to be able to furnish our readers with details of the stations which are being erected on both sides of the Atlantic in fulfillment of this scheme:  In the meantime, a few preliminary notes concerning the stations now being erected near New York may be of interest.  Two miles out from the historic city of New Brunswick, NJ, on a road that follows the banks of the Raritan River and the Raritan canal, lies the transmitting section of the wireless station which will bring the United States in direct communication with England. Approaching the site from the south one sees a beautiful meadow stretching from the road to the canal bank. In this meadow are located the power-house, the auxiliary transmitting office, and the first set of two masts. To the west of the road, the land rises sharply for about a thousand feet and then runs nearly level for a mile or more. Looking up this rise the two cottages for the chief engineer arid the assistant engineer are to be seen, and, further up the hill, the building which will accommodate the engineering staff, the operators required to work the auxiliary receiving apparatus and the riggers who keep the aerials and the mast system in shape.

The power-house is now beginning to take shape, for the concrete work is completed up to the first story and ready for the brickwork. The foundations for the motor generators are well underway, and the steel girders and beams for the first floor are being erected. A feature that cannot fail to be noted is the permanent and fireproof nature of the work on all of the buildings.

The auxiliary operating building is about 100 feet north of the power-house, has the brickwork completed to the roof, and awaits the steel and roof tile to finish the structure of the building. All the buildings at this station are of rough tapestry brick, laid up with a wide joint in black mortar. With red tile roofs and an attractive design, they make a handsome appearance. The receiving section of the New Jersey station is at Belmar, the road to which lead along the Shark River, a famous saltwater inlet, which, during the summer months; is the resort of launches and other pleasure craft. The countryside looks rather deserted as one travels to the Marconi Station. At the station, however, all is life and bustle.

“Lafayette House.” A historic dwelling converted to the use of the Staff erecting the New Brunswick Station

An old historic farmhouse long since passed its prime, is being utilized as the construction office. This house has stood for more than one hundred and fifty years, and, judging from the appearance of the huge hand hews timbers, will stand for another century or so. In revolutionary days this dilapidated house was a mansion of importance, having been at one time the paymasters’ office of those Revolutionary Army; and rumor has it that Lafayette had his headquarters here for a time during the American War of Independence.

The operating house is at the foot of the hill close to the river. From this building, the receiving aerials will rise to the first east located oil top of the hill. Crossing the road at nearly right angles, and stretching westward for almost a mile, the aerials will he carried oil the top of six masts, each 300 feet high. The back ends of these aerials will be carried down at an angle of thirty degrees, being insulated near the mast top and having steel running ropes attached. These ropes come down to the anchors, which consist of a pillar 15 feet high, with heavy iron weights free to slide up and down on them. These weights balance the pull of the wires and are calculated to keep a definite tension in the aerial wires at all times, so that when the wind blows or sleet incrusts the aerials, the spans between the masts will sag down arid the counterweights rise, keeping the tension constant. This straining pillar anchorage, as it is called, is an ingenious device which is a new departure in cable suspension.

At Belmar, a large force is required to handle the operating work, and much will be done to make the residential quarters attractive to live in. Summer boating on Shark River is a pastime that is looked forward to with pleasure, while tennis and outdoor sport will be encouraged; in fact, a happy little community will soon be thriving in this neighborhood.

Digging Foundations for the Receiving Station at Belmar, N.J.

This page was created from the original source by Joe Bryant – January 08, 2000

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