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Marconi Tower

The Marconi wireless tower stands as a reminder of the progression
communication has made over the past 100 plus years. It was back when
we relied upon the railroad to move our products transcontinentally, and as
Roger Luther wrote of this marvelous event in his column on NYSLandmarks.
com, “when Morse code was our text messages.”
In 1913, Guglielmo Marconi invented the wireless telegraphy which had
been used successfully to transmit a message from the sinking Titanic
about its impending peril and need for assistance! This transmission
created hope that this newly discovered technology could also be applied to
communication between high speed trains with the same level of success.
This idea brought Marconi to Binghamton, and founded the construction
of a 97-foot tower east of the Lackawanna Station (still in existence), and
one west of the Chenango Viaduct. Receiving equipment was placed in the
second floor of the railroad station. A second wireless was constructed in
Scranton, PA, 60 miles away and a third was installed on a Lackawanna
Engine. The point was to have a train always in contact with the stations.
The concept was exciting, but today we know from our own experiences
with interrupted cellular technology, mountains are often a deterrent to
good reception without the proper tower range. This proved to be a major
complication for Marconi’s system. The trains moving at such rapid speeds
were also unable to pick up the signals and the tower arrangements were
inadequate. Therefore, technology moved on…soon massive towers were
erected which brought the first telephone service online, soon rendering
Marconi’s wireless second rate.
While the November 2013 100th anniversary of the first communication
between Marconi’s tower and a moving vehicle may seem uneventful to
many, it WAS clearly significant in many other ways. One has but to think
about the level of innovation and technological genius that was behind
this idea for that time period, and how far that concept has come in 100
plus years! It is phenomenal! And to think it began here in Binghamton
by an Italian inventor who became recognized throughout the world for his
inventions and engineering success.2
This day and age we have a tendency to ignore technological changes
like a rainy day in Binghamton, because they are so frequent...in1913 those
experiences were worthy of a Nobel Prize!
1 https://www.nyslandmarks.com/textingthroughtheether
2 http://www.en.m.wikipedia.org/GuglielmoMarconi

Tags
marconi tower, inventions, Binghamton NY, wireless telegraphy, historic, scientific
Year
2017