Philosophy Hall

Designated a National Historic Landmark of New York City on 7/21/2003.

Landmark Description

As a senior at Columbia University’s new Philosophy Hall in 1912, Edwin H. Armstrong worked in the second-floor Hartley Laboratories on his first of several major developments in wireless communication technologies. After graduation the promising young engineer was assigned a small laboratory to continue his work, and eventually became the head of the Hartley Laboratory. Even after a series of inventions made him not only wealthy, but one of the foremost inventors in wireless technology, Armstrong continued to use these second-floor laboratories and office facilities, as well as lecture rooms elsewhere in Philosophy Hall, to advance his work. The last of his major developments was the design of a wide-band frequency modulation (FM) system that achieved unprecedented fidelity and elimination of static. This revolutionary technology was met with resistance from those heavily invested in the well established amplitude modulation (AM) system. Unfortunately, Armstrong’s untimely death in 1954 prevented him from witnessing the eventual widespread dominance of his FM system.

Category: Building-Public


Street: 1150 Amsterdam Avenue

: Manhattan

: New York


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  • Library of Congress (LOC) Picture Collection
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  • National Park Service - National Historic Landmarks Site
    National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who guide the nomination process for new Landmarks and provide assistance to existing Landmarks.
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  • Wikipedia - National Historic Landmarks in NYC
    The free encyclopedia's directory of New York City's National Historic Landmarks.
  • Go Historic Site
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