Highlands in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Telegraph and Radar at Twin Lights
This was a significant site for more than just the lighthouse. In this strategic location, Marconi demonstrated wireless telegraph, the US Navy established a wireless station and the US Army tested various radar units.
The Navy’s Bureau of Equipment had the responsibility of establishing wireless radio stations for communications with Navy ships. Unable to reach an agreement with Marconi for use of his wireless equipment, the US Navy had, by 1902, established their own wireless station here.
By 1907, the Navy’s station was abandoned and the building purchased by the Postal Telegraph Company. The Postal Telegraph Company moved the structure off the lighthouse grounds and attached it to their existing telegraph watchtower to provide housing for their telegraph keeper.
From 1932 until 1939, engineers and scientists from Fort Monmouth military base in Eatontown, NJ tested radar and other detection devices here. In November 1939, testers were able to use radar units to follow a flight of B-17 bombers over Long Island, New York flying a distance of 138 miles.
Erected by NJ
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Communications • Military. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1939.
Location. 40° 23.798′ N, 73° 59.149′ W. Marker is in Highlands, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker can be reached from Lighthouse Road. Marker is located at the Twin Lights Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Highlands NJ 07732, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old North Tower (here, next to this marker); Marconi at Twin Lights (a few steps from this marker); Spermaceti Cove Lifeboat Station (a few steps from this marker); Navesink Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Navesink Highlands Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Twin Lights Mystery Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); Powerhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Highlands Doughboy World War I Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Highlands.
More about this marker. Three photographs appear on the marker. On the right is a photo of United States Navy Wireless Telegraph Station and has a caption of “This station sat on the hill with its antenna on the old north tower site. Guide wires from the antenna were attached to four concrete pads that helped hold it in place. The concrete pads can still be seen today.” The middle photo depicts the Postal Telegraph Company Watchtower. It has of caption of “The Postal Telegraph keeper reported on ships passing in and out of New York Harbor to clients of the Postal Telegraph Company. The base of the watchtower still exists today – just over the hill in front of you.” The final photo, appearing on the right of the marker, is of United States Army Radar installation 1939. Its caption reads “This image shows the control room and radar sets SCR – 270 and SCR – 271 used for these tests situated next to the north lighthouse tower.”
Also see . . . Twin Lights. Twin Lights Historical Society website homepage (Submitted on April 8, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 758 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.