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Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jersey in 1921

Somerset is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located at the eastermost section within Franklin Townshipmarker, in Somerset Countymarker, New Jerseymarker. As of the United States 2000 Census, the CDP population was 23,040. Somerset housed one of the first Marconi Wireless Stations in the United States .


As of the census of 2000, there were 23,040 people, 8,238 households, and 5,799 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,322.7 people per square mile (1,669.0/km2). There were 8,424 housing units at an average density of 1,580.5/sq mi (610.2/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 43.94% White, 38.55% African American, 0.26% Native American, 8.23% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.04% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.00% of the population.

There were 8,238 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $65,831, and the median income for a family was $73,040 (these figures had risen to $76,053 and $86,204 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $50,309 versus $36,162 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $26,798. About 4.9% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Marconi Station

New Brunswick Marconi Station (40.51529° N 74.48895° W) was located at JFK Boulevard and Easton Avenue just a few minutes from the New Brunswick border. Today it is the site of Marconi Park. It was an early radio transmitter facility built in 1913 and operated by the American Marconi Wireless Corporation. After the partial failure of transatlantic telegraph cables, the facility was confiscated by the US Navy on April 7, 1917 to provide transatlantic communications during World War I. The New Brunswick Naval Radio Station was the principal wartime communication link between the United States and Europe, using the callsign NFF. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech was transmitted from the site in 1918. After the war, ownership of the station, along with Marconi's other US assets, were transferred from the Navy to RCA. The antenna masts were demolished in 1952 to make room for what is now a small mall containing a Kmart, but the buildings on the other side of JFK Boulevard were spared. All but one of the brick buildings were demolished around 2004 to make way for a storage locker facility. The bricks and tiles were saved for use in any future restoration of the spared building, and the Marconi facility in Belmar, New Jerseymarker.

The station used a huge 5000 foot long antenna supported by eight 400 foot steel masts, similar to the AT&T long wave telephone transmitter at RCA's Rocky Point, Long Island transmitter facility. During World War I the original Marconi spark transmitter was replaced with an Alexanderson alternator, the invention of the famous General Electric engineer, with an output power of 200 kilowatts and looking like an ordinary power station generator. Its frequency was around 17 kHz, which made its wavelength around 17,500 meter.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Somerset include:


  3. William B. Brahms, Franklin Township, Somerset County, NJ: A History, FTPL; ISBN 0-9668586-0-3 pp. 217-221.
  4. Assembly Member Upendra J. Chivukula, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 12, 2007.

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