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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Staten Island in Richmond County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Torpedo Building

Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Wadsworth

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Torpedo Building wayside image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 11, 2008
1. Torpedo Building wayside
Main illustration – “Battery Weed, the Torpedo Building, and related structures, c. 1920”
Inscription.  
This structure, built from 1892-94, once held the key to New York Harbor’s defense. In the late 1800s, military engineers developed “torpedoes” – actually “mines” in current military terms – that could be exploded electrically from shore positions like Battery Weed behind you. New York’s torpedoes and their miles of cable were not permanently wired in place but stored here until needed.

These tracks connected the 323-foot by 42 foot Torpedo Building and the nearby cable storage tanks to the wharf. If New York was threatened, small rail cars could quickly transport the torpedoes and cables to specialized vessels ready to stretch them across the narrows. The Army tested this system in the late 1890s, but removed the torpedoes and cables in 1899.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts and Castles.
 
Location. 40° 36.331′ N, 74° 3.294′ W. Marker is in Staten Island, New York
Torpedo Building ruins image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, May 11, 2008
2. Torpedo Building ruins
The building burned in the 1980s.
, in Richmond County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Fort Wadsworth - Gateway National Park, Staten Island NY 10305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battery Weed (within shouting distance of this marker); Torpedo Wharf (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Defending New York Harbor (about 300 feet away); Fort Wadsworth (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Battery Weed (about 300 feet away); Fort Tompkins (about 300 feet away); Verrazano – Narrows Bridge (about 300 feet away); Battery Catlin (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Staten Island.
 
Also see . . .  "Military Railroads of the New York Metropolitan Area". A brief look at the rail layout. (Submitted on August 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Torpedo Building ruins image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, February 12, 2006
3. Torpedo Building ruins
Torpedo Building and transport rails. image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 31, 2013
4. Torpedo Building and transport rails.
plus an M-149 Trailer, Water, 400 gallon (Water Buffalo)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 12, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.
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Feb. 27, 2021