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Hello Out There: 1939

Hello Out There: 1939

A radio mast in Ramallah, British-Mandate Palestine, sometime around 1939. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, Matson Photo Service. Alternate view.


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The Wires

I'm pretty sure that the masts are not the actual antennas used by the broadcaster, the wire running between the masts is. In the full sized image you can see the "black rod" a few feet out from the tip of the mast. There are three wires running in a straight line from that rod to the top of the picture. The rod is connected to the tip of the mast by the three wires coming together. This sort of early antenna is quite commonly seen on pictures of ships such as the Titanic and Lusitania, and as late as the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

Radio Masts

I believe this is a power line pylon, not a radio mast. On the full size image you can faintly view three lines near the top in one direction and possibly one line in another direction that are cutting across the sky. Another line appears to lead to the ground. Your alternate view, with another tower in the distance in a straight line with the same orientation suggests that too is a power pylon. I could be wrong about this. Did it say on the photos that they were radio masts?

[They are radio masts, and labeled as such. Five or six masts arranged in a circle or U shape, all connected by wires running from mast tip to mast tip. There are about a dozen of these photos, along with pictures of the radio studios, broadcasting equipment, etc. Examples below. - Dave]

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