KSAC Radio Tower

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1924 | Abandoned: 1947
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (August 27, 1983)
Status: Saved
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

Picture by: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KSAC_Radio_Towers_Manhattan_Kansas.jpg#filelinks

The KSAC radio towers on the Kansas State University campus are an excellent example of early radio towers built in the United States. At the time of their construction in 1924, they represented the finest available radio technology. The original towers remain intact, the only remaining towers of their type in Kansas, and among a very few left in the U.S.

In 1912, the physics department of Kansas State licensed a one-kilowatt transmitter and began daily weather broadcasts in Morse code. Radio technology was not advanced to the point that voice transmissions were possible. Many farmers had crystal detectors and learned Morse code well enough to receive these weather reports. In 1922, Professor Eric Lyon established a new 100-watt radio telephone station (WTG) capable of broadcasting the human voice and music. Remote broadcasts from Kansas State Agricultural College began on February 11, 1924. Three K-State faculty members each
contributed $50 of their own money to lease telephone wires to link the university’s remote studio to a commercial radio station, KFKB. On August 20, 1924, construction of a new 500-watt radio station began with call letters KSAC (Kansas State Agricultural College). The towers operated until the radio signal generated by KSAC was modernized in 1947 and a new 424-foot antenna was built on Denison Avenue. In 1974, the north tower of the original KSAC Radio towers was pressed into service once again, and has been used to microwave the studio signal on campus to the transmitter on Denison Ave. since that time.
Source: Kansas State Historical Society
National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form

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