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Need help identifying Tower antenna from the 50’s...

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by HERSHWORK, Oct 14, 2021.

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    We bought a house that has a massive ham radio antenna in the back yard. I believe the radio room that connected to the tower was destroyed in a fire. The tower is about 120-150’ tall, galvanized steel monopole with aluminum cross members, on a rotating mechanized base, attached to a concrete block 8’x8’ in cross section, 13.5’ above ground level. Supposedly has 3-phase power run to it, but don’t know where it is. The main tower pole is polygonal and probably 15” in diameter at the bottom. No paint or lights on it. Any help figuring out make, model, construction specs, etc, would be greatly appreciated.
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Galvanized Steel Monopole were RARE, before the Cellular Buildouts of the mid-1980s.
    While it could be an ex-Military or ex-Aviation tower, a Rotated Base is Unusual (could be homemade).
    It could be a Former Cellular/Mobile Phone (Cell Site),
    since abandoned after 3G buildouts and company merger/consolidations.

    An Address / Location would permit searches thru FAA/FCC databases OR
    Known previous Amateur Radio operators (DX operators, Silent Key or otherwise).
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    HERSHWORK likes this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Indeed. Several good, clear photos including the base/foundation, the antennas at the top, the motor mechanism that rotates it, etc.

    Knowing the location (street address) of the site is also useful, as that can be looked up to find who lived there in the past and what ties that person has to the tower.
    HERSHWORK likes this.
  4. AC0GV

    AC0GV Ham Member QRZ Page

    At 150 foot there may be no FAA records but may have FCC records but need location to search. (yes and photos). And if it has 3 phase power the power company knows who paid the bill. 3 phase and a small tower is questionable.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    HERSHWORK likes this.


    Thanks for all the responses. I’m looking for pics to upload. The man who built the house we now own was Brigadier General Everett R. Cook, Deputy Chief of Staff of the 8th and 12th Air Force in WWII. He was also part of Eisenhower’s group of industry leaders who were invited to the White House for the initiation of Radio Free Europe. I don’t know if this was used for that, but he had money to do whatever he wanted, and we do have 3phase power in our house.


    1288D92F-41F3-4A1B-8FB2-8C5551B1D713.png Here’s an aerial pic from our county registers website. It has our property address and the latitude and longitude of the tower.


    The bottom-most cross member of the antenna (visible at the V where the trees from the right and left come together) is approximately 50’ above ground level.


    Heres the base—standing on top of the concrete part of the base. The motors been gone a while I guess. I measured the circumference and it’s about 46”around, so about 15” in diameter. The wider part below the bolted on gear seems like a sleeve over the tower—like it’s a really big spindle bearing, on which the tower rotates.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021


    Here’s also this embedded in the concrete;
  10. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    W4MII … Call Sign from that era?

    I can see those antennas from Satellite Maps !
    Antenna towers, like this, were built for government/military after WW2.
    Collins Radio had an antenna farm in Cedar Rapids, IA (between Collins Road and Blair’s Ferry Road). There was also an antenna array in Rantoul, IL area.
    Many of these antennas and towers/masts have been disassembled.

    Everett R. Cook enlisted in the U.S. Air Service on May 5, 1917, and graduated on August 8 from the School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Illinois.

    Everett R. Cook was well-known in Memphis (and Mid-South) for founding the Memphis Cotton Exchange. His own cotton business, Cook & Co., Inc., was very successful, eventually becoming Cook Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of which was Terminix International.
    He passed in 1974. When those HF antennas were likely assembled? Post-WW2 ?
    Cook’s original house was built in early 1930s on
    200 acres at 1023 Cherry Hill Road in Memphis (now east of Univ. Memphis, and Elvis house).
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    HERSHWORK likes this.

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