Topic: National Register of Historic Places
Wardenclyffe Tower (1901–1917), also known as the Tesla Tower, was an early experimental wireless transmission station designed and built by Nikola Tesla in Shoreham, New York in 1901–1902. Tesla intended to transmit messages, telephony and even facsimile images across the Atlantic to England and to ships at sea based on his theories of using the Earth to conduct the signals. His decision to scale up the facility and add his ideas of wireless power transmission to better compete with Guglielmo Marconi's radio based telegraph system was met with refusal to fund the changes by the project's primary backer, financier J. P. Morgan. Additional investment could not be found, and the project was abandoned in 1906, never to become operational.
In an attempt to satisfy Tesla's debts, the tower was demolished for scrap in 1917 and the property taken in foreclosure in 1922. For 50 years, Wardenclyffe was a processing facility producing photography supplies. Many buildings were added to the site and the land it occupies has been trimmed down to 16 acres (6.5 ha) but the original, 94 by 94 ft (29 by 29 m), brick building designed by Stanford White remains standing to this day.
In the 1980s and 2000s, hazardous waste from the photographic era was cleaned up, and the site was sold and cleared for new development. A grassroots campaign to save the site succeeded in purchasing the property in 2013, with plans to build a future museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla. In 2018 the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- "Wardenclyffe Tower a.k.a. the Tesla Tower" | 2011-01-28 | 10 Upvotes 1 Comments
The northwesternmost point of the Lake of the Woods was a critical landmark for the boundary between U.S. territory and the British possessions to the north. This point was referred to in the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and in later treaties including the Treaty of 1818. This point lies at the corner of the Northwest Angle of Minnesota and is thus the northernmost point in the lower 48 United States. After Canadian Confederation, the point became the basis for the border between Manitoba and Ontario.
The "northwesternmost point" of the lake had not yet been identified when it was referenced in treaties defining the border between the US and Britain; it was simply an easily described abstraction based on a large landmark. The best maps at the time of the original negotiation depicted the lake as a simple oval. However, although the southern portion of the lake is easily mapped, to the north it becomes a complex tangle of bays, peninsulas, and islands, with many adjacent bodies of water separated or connected by narrow isthmuses or straits. An 1822 survey crew declared the referenced point impossible to determine. In 1824, British explorer David Thompson was hired to identify it. Thompson mapped the lake and found four possibilities, but did not conclusively declare one location.
In 1825, German astronomer in British service Dr. Johann Ludwig Tiarks surveyed the lake. Tiarks identified two possibilities for the northwesternmost point on the lake, based on Thompson's maps: the Angle Inlet and Rat Portage. To determine which point was the most northwestern, he drew a line from each point in the southwest-northeast direction. If the line intersected the lake at any point, it was not the most northwestern point, as shown in the example diagram here. Tiarks determined that the only such line that did not intersect the lake was at the edge of a pond on the Angle Inlet. (A 1940 academic study documents this point as being in the immediate vicinity of 49°23′51.324″N 95°9′12.20783″W (NAD83).)
Under the 1783 treaty, the international border would have run due west from this point to the Mississippi River. As this was determined to be geographically impossible (the Mississippi begins further south), under the 1818 treaty the international border instead ran from the point determined by Tiarks, to the 49th parallel. (It was not known at the time whether that was to the north or – in fact – the south.) From there it ran due west to the Rocky Mountains (and later, the Pacific coast).
Tiarks' point, however, created problems, because the 1818 treaty called for the border to run directly north–south from it. South of that point, the channel of the Northwest Angle Inlet meandered east and west, crossing the border five times, thereby creating two small enclaves of water areas totaling two and a half acres that belonged to the United States but were surrounded by Canadian waters. A 1925 treaty addressed this by adopting the southernmost of the points where the channel and the border intersected – approximately 5,000 ft (1,500 m) south of Tiarks' point – as the new "northwesternmost point". The new northwesternmost point thus became 49°23′4.14″N 95°9′11.34″W, based on the NAD27 datum, which is equivalent to 49°23′4.12373″N 95°9′12.20783″W under the modern NAD83 datum.
- "Northwestern Point of the Lake of the Woods" | 2020-09-05 | 119 Upvotes 23 Comments
The Newby–McMahon Building, commonly referred to as the world's littlest skyscraper, is located at 701 La Salle (on the corner of Seventh and La Salle streets) in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. It is a late Neoclassical style red brick and cast stone structure. It stands 40 ft (12 m) tall, and its exterior dimensions are 18 ft (5.5 m) deep and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide. Its interior dimensions are approximately 12 ft (3.7 m) by 9 ft (2.7 m), or approximately 108 sq ft (10.0 m2). Steep, narrow, internal stairways leading to the upper floors occupy roughly 25 percent of the interior area.
Reportedly the result of a fraudulent investment scheme by a confidence man, the Newby–McMahon Building was a source of great embarrassment to the city and its residents after its completion in 1919. During the 1920s, the Newby–McMahon Building was featured in Robert Ripley's Ripley's Believe It or Not! syndicated column as "the world's littlest skyscraper," a nickname that has stuck with it ever since. The Newby–McMahon Building is now part of the Depot Square Historic District of Wichita Falls, a Texas Historic Landmark.
- "World's Littlest Skyscraper" | 2021-03-13 | 131 Upvotes 49 Comments