September 23, 2015


Photo: Smithsonian Institution
"Three Sisters" - Towers at Radio Arlington outside Washington, D.C.

Operator's desk at Navy Wireless Station NAA in Arlington, Virginia, 1915 

"Radio" was the nickname of  a residential neighborhood in Arlington County, Virginia, near U.S. Navy Wireless Station NAA. There was even a streetcar stop called "Radio." A trio of radio antennas – known to locals as ``The Three Sisters’’ – towered over the neighborhood. In their day, the towers were the world’s tallest. One was 45 feet taller than the Washington Monument. The station went on the air in 1913. Radio Arlington’s firsts included a transoceanic radiotelephone circuit with the Eiffel Tower in 1915 and regular broadcasts of time signals for ships at sea to calibrate navigational equipment.