Track Plan

Back To The Track Plan

The WSM Radio Tower is a Blaw-Knox dual cantilevered (center guyed towers). Also known as the "Diamond Antenna," The real WSM-AM tower is at I-65 and Concord Road, in Brentwood, TN, just south of Nashville.The WSM tower was erected in 1932 and is still in-use today. The tower was designed and manufactured by The Blaw-Knox Steel Company of Pittsburgh Pa. Originally, the WSM tower was 878 feet tall. This included 758 feet of square structural lattice then 120 feet of tapered mast. By 1939, it was determined the tower was electrically longer due to velocity effect. This condition was alleviated by an adjustment in height to 808 feet.

Blaw-Knox went out of the tower business in 1958 after several disastrous installation accidents. There are several of these types of towers still in use besides the WSM tower. The WLW tower near Mason Ohio. There are three shorter versions of these towers at WBT in Charlotte, NC. Blaw-Knox built taller towers as well. The WSMV-TV tower is 1369 feet tall and has a 12-foot width face. This tower supports the antennas of WSMV-TV, WSMV-DT, WSM-FM, WRVU, WNPL and WZTV-TV. It is the classic pivotal base sectional guyed tower.

On August 15, 1933, the "Pan-American" burst over the WSM airwaves each day at 5:08pm with a whistle and a roar. People paused expectantly as the announcer at radio station WSM in Nashville said, "We take you now to a point 12 miles south of Nashville to hear the actual sound of the L&N crack passenger train, the "Pan-American," as it passes the 878-foot tower of WSM. Nashvillians and listeners from all across the South and Midwest set their clocks by the sound.

The "Pan- American," pride of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. For nearly half a century, trains 98 and 99, later 8 and 9, operated between Cincinnati and New Orleans (922 miles) via Louisville, Nashville, and Birmingham. Born on December 5, 1921, the "Pan," as it was affectionately called, primarily was initiated by the L&N's passenger traffic department. A company attorney, William Burger, suggested the name in honor of the L&N's role in trade to Central and South America.

Back To The Track Plan

Pan American, Boxcar Willie