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. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 40° 23.798′ N, 73° 59.149′ W. Marker was in Highlands, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker could be reached from Lighthouse Road. Marker is located at the Twin Lights Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker was 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 location. The Navesink Light Station (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Navesink Light Station (a few steps from this marker); Spermaceti Cove Life Saving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Powerhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Spermaceti Cove Lifesaving Station (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Telegraph and Radar at Twin Lights (within shouting distance of this marker); From the Navesink Highlands (within shouting distance of this marker); Electric Power Station (within shouting distance of this marker). 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.”
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has
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 October 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 833 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 21, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.