Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Landmark of Sorts

My next stop before heading to the Soo was to go by way of Tahquamenon Falls.  I wanted to take pictures of them again even though I already took some pictures last weekend.  This is actually something I've been meaning to take pictures of for a while.  Number one, it is my guide to M-123 (of sorts) and number two, it is now a relic of history.
After World War II, there was a growing demand for long distance telephone service.  American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) had one of two options.    One was to string copper wires all across the country but this was expensive and would have some of the same reliability issues as power lines.  In the 1940's, AT&T developed a method where microwaves could be used to transmit radio signals.  It was soon discovered that this method could also be used to transmit long-distance television signals (i.e., from a television network).
The first prototype used to transmit signals went from from Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill and New York City in 1947.  An improved system was used to link New York to Boston.  Pretty soon, these towers could found across the United States.  These towers are roughly 30 to 40 miles of sight because microwave is pretty much line of sight.  Eventually, this system was replaced by satellites  and fiber optic cables.
Some of these towers are still around because they are useful cell towers (those use a different type of antenna). 

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