NAA Arlington - US Naval Radio Station
   (Fort Myer, Radio VA)

NAA History Article from BuShips Journal - Jan 1957

NAA Early Photos and History from Sparks Journal   - thanks to John Dilks and Society of Wireless Pioneers

On February 13, 1913, the Navy's first high-power radio station, NAA, was placed in operation at Arlington, Virginia. As a result of the complete and efficient service rendered not only to the Navy but to many commercial, experimental, and amateur activities throughout the world, NAA acquired the reputation of being one of the outstanding stations of its kind.
The property on which the station was located originally consisted of 13.4 acres transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Navy by an Act of Congress, as it was formerly a part of Fort Myer, Va. In 1917, expansion required the purchase of an additional adjoining three acres.
The three main towers, one 600 feet high and two 450 feet high, were supplemented in 1922 by one 200-foot tower and one 190-foot tower to accommodate antennas for additional transmitters. There were also located on the property some 16 additional poles ranging in height from 25 to 70 feet which supported other antennas of various types. The original transmitter installation consisted of 100-kw. spark, 100-kw. arc, and 5-kw. arc sets. During 1924, these transmitters were replaced with vacuum tube transmitters.
Because of the ever-increasing demand on this station for additional facilities, and because it was becoming quite evident that this location could not satisfactorily accommodate such requirements, it was decided in 1937 to move transmitting operation to Annapolis, Md. In April 1951, this transfer was completed and the towers at Arlington were removed. Thus, Arlington lost one of its old familiar landmarks.

NAA Spark Transmitter 1913
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NAA Spark Transmitter 1913
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Synchronous Gap for 100 kW Spark Transmitter
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Arlington used as relay station after towers were demolished in 1941
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1913 NAA Arlington antenna towers
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1920 NAA Arlington antenna towers
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1917 NAA Arlington antenna towers
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1924 - Insulator brought from NAA to exhibit in a NYC radio show (Photo by United)
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1925 - RMC Gilmour holds 1905 NAA receiver - on table is contemporary receiver (Photo by United)
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NAA Broadcast Transmitter Dec. 1925
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Arlington post card text: "The United States Naval Radio Station at Radio, Virginia. Situated at the Southwestern side of the Fort Meyer Military Reservation near Washington DC. Built by the US Navy Department (Bureau of Steam Engineering) on Land rented to the Navy Department by the War Department. Rated Power of Station ?? kilowatts. Towers, one 600 feet high, 150 feet square at the base, and two 450 feet high 120 feet square at the base, located at angles of an isosceles triangle, large tower at the apex, base of triangle 350 feet between center of towers, perpendicular to base 550? feet. Normal range, day 2000 miles, night 3000 miles, Cost about $250,000."