New Jersey the Birthplace of FM Radio


by Shawn Michaels

February 23, 2021

For me this was going back to where it all began. What am I talking about? The birthplace of FM radio, my profession, which has roots right here in New Jersey! It’s the Armstrong Tower (pictured above) and it’s located in Alpine, New Jersey.

Here is the story…

FM radio was invented by Edwin Armstrong, who in 1933 basically came up with the science behind “frequency modulation” (aka FM) which brought a better signal and a clearer broadcasting platform. AM radio will travel further but FM has better quality. Long story short, FM took some time to take off because you needed a new radio to listen. Armstrong eventually built his own tower which cost an estimated $300,000.00 according to and rises 425 feet in the Jersey sky overlooking the Hudson River in Alpine. This is where it all began and for all of us on the air at 92.7 WOBM we would not be here if not for the work of Edwin Armstrong.

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  1. Those interested in the subject should see the Ken Burns documentary Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio or read the book of the same title by Tom Lewis.


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