On September 4, 1951 Harry Truman gave a speech in San Francisco which would be broadcast countrywide via AT&T’s new microwave relay system. From that date until the late 1980s our country’s long distance phone calls and television would be transferred through this massive network of thousands of microwave relay towers.

Today these towers sit mostly derelict in the twilight of their existence, in the shadow of newer fiber optic technology. Many sites are too expensive to destroy and/or retrofit while others are strategically unadvantageous for modern communications. They stand as landmarks to the rampant fear of a nuclear armageddon during the Cold War with foot thick concrete walls, copper shielding, and underground bunkers. A large majority of the towers are now owned by American Tower, while a handful are owned and renovated by a small group of enthusiasts.

This series is by no means a complete documentation of the system but, a large portion of the remaining intact to semi-intact towers in California. I have chosen to focus on the towers that have not had their reflector horns torn down as they are the aesthetic emblem of this network.