I featured the communications towers of Deal Test Site/Joe Palaia Park about this time last year (side note: today was a freak 68-degree day, and we had one about this time last year, too), but here’s what actual signs in the park have to say about WHY there are communication towers in a township park:

(If you don’t feel like reading the following history, here’s the abstract: it was owned by Western Electric [which was part of AT&T], sold to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1953, and sold to Ocean Township in 1973 for recreational use.)

“Over half a century of important discoveries in the field of electronic communications took place in the Deal Test Site Park. Soon after its purchase in 1919 by the Western Electric Company, a subsidiary of AT&T, it became the site of experiments in ship-to-shore radio, telephony, and short wave radio communications.

“Important Achievements under AT&T:
“1920-1921: Link in first electronic communication from a ship in the Atlantic ocean to an island in the Pacific ocean.
“Mid 1920’s: First high-power short wave amplifiers built on site.
“1927-1929: First commercial short wave link from U.S. to England.”

[second sign:]
“In 1953, AT&T sold the site. It was leased by the U.S. Army Signal Corps until 1973, when the Township of Ocean purchased it for recreational uses. The Signal Corps performed important experiments in satellite tracking and aerospace communications technology.

“Important Achievements under U.S. Army:
“1957: First U.S. Government facility to receive signals from Russia’s Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite.
“1950’s-1960’s: Tracked many American and Russian satellites.”

At the bottom of this second sign, credit is given: “1994- BSA troop 71.”

Various towers are identified on a map of the park; since the trails and paths of the park have changed a bit since 1994, I can only make an educated guess that the tower featured above is one of the “Radio Towers c. 1929- 175 ft. Used in short-wave communications experiments.”

A History (Part I) A History (Part II)