Stainless History

Founded in 1947, Stainless serves the tall tower needs of customers in the broadcast and communications industries worldwide. The world of large-scale broadcasting and telecommunications has changed a great deal over the years, but the Stainless team has remained at the leading edge. In more than 70 years in operation, we have built thousands of guyed and self-supported towers in dozens of countries. Today, more than half of the towers in the U.S. were designed and built by Stainless. While we’re incredibly proud of our proven track record of success, we’re always looking ahead to the future. Read below to learn more about our company’s storied history.

 

Our History: A Timeline

1947
1950
1951
1951
1955
1960
1963
1964
1965
1966
1968
1974
1979
1981
1982
1985
1987
1992
1994
1996
1998
1999
2000
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2014
2015
2015
2017

First Tower

In 1947, Stainless, Inc. designed and built their first tower. Patrick Stanton, a prominent radio broadcaster in Philadelphia, PA contracted Stainless to build this tower for his new radio station, WJMJ, located in Delair, New Jersey. This insulated 385-foot guyed tower had a face width of 42 inches and provisions to support a future top-mounted RCA pylon antenna.

First 500-Foot Towers

In 1950, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first 500-foot towers for KCBS AM, part of Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), in San Francisco, California. This array of four insulated 500-foot guyed tower had a face width of 6 feet.

Test Towers for RCA

From 1950 to 1951, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated Empire State Building test towers for RCA. The Empire State Building’s unique mast had to be duplicated on the ground for electronic testing purposes at RCA’s facilities in Camden, New Jersey.

First 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1955, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first 1,000-foot TV broadcast tower for General Electric in Reading, Pennsylvania. WHUM TV, Channel 61, was advertised as the “home of the world’s most powerful TV Station”. This trussed-leg tower had a face width of 12 feet and was one of only three 1,000-foot towers in the country at the time.

Atomic Testing Towers

In 1955, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated Type G-15-100 towers for atomic testing in Nevada. These towers were placed at varying distances from the point of detonation. Walter Guzewicz, Stainless president at that time, was invited to attend one of the tests and took this photograph of a building that was destroyed by the blast, with the Stainless tower remaining standing in the background.

10th 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1960, Stainless, Inc. designed and built their 10th tower in excess of 1,000 feet for WTVM TV in Columbus, Georgia. This 1,260-foot guyed tower had a face width of 10 feet and was extended to 1,748 feet tall by Stainless in 1962. WTVM TV was originally owned by Martin Theatres and is now owned by Raycom Media.

World's Tallest Structure

In 1963, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated the “world’s tallest structure” for WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. This tower was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. This 1,750-foot guyed tower had a face width of 10 feet and is still considered the tallest structure in Tennessee today.

Nearing 2,000 Feet

In 1964, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first tower approaching 2,000 feet in height for KNOE TV in Monroe, Louisiana. This 1,984-foot guyed tower had a face width of 10 feet and was designed to be extendable to 2,184 feet.

Fargo, ND Tower

In 1965, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated a 2,060-foot tower for KXJB TV in Fargo, North Dakota. The tower has fallen twice and was rebuilt each time by Stainless. The first collapse occurred in 1968, when a Marine helicopter severed guy wires. The second collapse occurred in 1997, after the tower accumulated at least four inches of ice and was subjected to wind gusts of 70 miles per hour. Today, this tower is recorded as the fifth-tallest structure in the world at 2,060 feet.

First Candelabra

In 1966, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first candelabra for WKBD TV in Detroit, Michigan. The candelabra, with a separation of 30 feet between top-mounted TV antennas, was actually installed on a 1,502-foot tower designed and fabricated by Stainless in 1964. WKBD TV, originally owned by Kaiser Broadcasting, started as an all-sports station, predating ESPN by almost 14 years.

60th 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1968, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their 60th tower over 1,000 feet in height for KDNL TV, the first UHF station in St. Louis, Missouri. This 1,256-foot guyed tower had a face width of 8 feet and was designed for a future top-mounted T-bar with dual TV antennas.

100th 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1974, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their 100th tower over 1,000 feet in height for WJWJ TV in Beaufort, South Carolina. This 1,318-foot guyed tower has a face width of 7 feet and is part of South Carolina Educational Television Network. In 2000, they were the first to broadcast a digital program in the state of South Carolina.

Fifth Candelabra

In 1979, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their fifth candelabra TV tower for SJR Communications in Dallas, Texas. The TV antennas mounted on each corner of this 1,529-foot guyed G10-type tower have a separation of 30 feet. This tower is also equipped with 8-foot wide wraparound platforms to accommodate 41 communications cabinets, and it also has a 40-foot high staircase running from ground level to the lower elevator level.

150th 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1981, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their 150th tower over 1,000 feet in height for WPMI TV in Pensacola, Florida. This 1,707-foot guyed tower has a face width of 8 feet and started serving the Mobile area as Alabama’s first independent station. WPMI TV would also be the first television station owned by Clear Channel Communications in 1988.

First T-Bar Tower

In 1982, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated the first T-bar tower with a TV antenna separation of 50 feet for Central Virginia ETV in Fairfax, Virginia. The tower is 689 feet tall with a face width of 10 feet.

18 1,000-Foot Towers

In the year 1985, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated 18 towers over 1,000 feet, including their 200th such tower in company history. In fact, 7 of the 18 tower built in this year were over 1,500 feet tall. They included KRRT TV (1,553 feet) in San Antonio, Texas, WTAT TV (1,667 feet) in Charleston, South Carolina, WKFT TV (1,749 feet) in Fayetteville, North Carolina, KMSS TV (1,781 feet) in Shreveport, Louisiana, WKRG TV (1,879 feet) in Mobile, Alabama, KMJD TV (1,910 feet) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and KGOL FM (2,000 feet) in Lake Jackson, Texas.

1,000-Foot Square Tower

In 1987, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first square tower over 1,000 feet in height for the Sultan Center in Mutlaa, Kuwait. This 1,116-foot guyed tower has a face width of 8 feet, tapering to a face width of 7 feet to accommodate a side-mounted VHF panel antenna and a side-mounted FM panel antenna. The tower is also equipped with an elevator and a 40-foot high stairway to the lower elevator landing.

More Overseas Towers

In 1992, Stainless, Inc. again designed and fabricated a tower over 1,000 feet in height to be shipped overseas. This 1,044-foot guyed tower had a face width of 12 feet and was built for S. H. Behbehani in Failaka, Kuwait. Stainless would also design and fabricated a 5-foot, 6-inch square structure at 135 feet in height to accommodate a 10-bay VHF antenna at the tower top. The tower is equipped with an elevator and a 40-foot high stairway to the lower elevator landing.

1,500-Foot Overseas Tower

In 1994, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their first tower over 1,500 feet in height to be shipped overseas. This 1,547-foot guyed tower has a face width of 10 feet and was built for STESA in Al Qurayat, Saudi Arabia. Stainless would also design and fabricated a two-foot square spline structure, 70 feet in height, to accommodate a 24-panel VHF antenna at the tower top. The tower is equipped with an elevator and a 40-foot high stairway to the lower elevator landing

10th 2,000-Foot Tower

In 1996, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their 10th tower of 2,000 feet or greater in height for WCFT TV in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This 2,000-foot guyed tower has a face width of 10 feet and is also equipped with an elevator. Today, WCFT TV is a part of the huge “Birmingham” TV market that stretches from the Georgia line nearly to Mississippi.

250th 1,000-Foot Tower

In 1998, Stainless, Inc. designed and fabricated their 250th tower of more than 1,000 feet in height, also representing their 11th tower of 2,000 feet or greater in height, for WLBT TV in Jackson, Mississippi. This 2,012-foot guyed tower has a face width of 10 feet.

Stainless is Purchased

In 1999, Stainless, Inc. was purchased by SpectraSite Communications, Inc. and was renamed SpectraSite Broadcast Group. In this year, the company designed and fabricated their 12th tower over 2,000 feet in height for KYTV in Fordland, Missouri. This 2,000-foot guyed tower has a face width of 10 feet and is equipped with an elevator and 40-foot high stairway to the lower elevator landing.

7 Towers Over 1,000 Feet

In 2000, SpectraSite Broadcast Group designed and fabricated 7 towers standing over 1,000 feet in height during the year. This included 2 towers over 1,800 feet, including an 1,851-foot tower in Mobile, Alabama and a 1,999-foot tower in Tallahassee, Florida. The 1,851-foot tower in Mobile was also the first candelabra TV tower with an antenna separation of 75 feet. Both towers are equipped with an elevator and a 40-foot high stairway to the lower elevator landing.

Acquisition & Renaming

In 2004, SpectraSite Broadcast Group, SpectraSite Broadcast Technical Services, Inc., Stainless, Inc., and the Doty Moore companies are acquired by Don Doty and Pat Moore and are renamed Stainless, LLC and Doty Moore Tower Services LLC.

Fastest Delivery

In 2005, Stainless was awarded projects for the University of New Mexico (KRWG-TV) and WSMH TV in Flint, Michigan. Stainless’s inventory of over 10 million pounds of tower-specific steel enables the fastest delivery in broadcast tower fabrication. The broadcast industry welcomes the return of a privately owned tower fabricator.

FM Radio Conversions

In 2006, Stainless, in a joint solicitation effort with Dielectric, is awarded 9 DTV television and 7 FM radio conversion projects for Georgia Public Broadcasting, the nation’s single-largest broadcasting project of the year, in excess of $14M, including 2 new towers. Stainless would design and fabricate their 281st tower over 1,000 feet for KLRN TV in Holdrege, Nebraska. This 1,061-foot guyed tower has a face width of 6 feet.

5 Towers Over 1,000 Feet

In 2007, Stainless delivered five towers over 1,000 feet in height. These included Raycom Media (KLTV-TV) at 1,083 feet, Nebraska Educational Television (KLRN-TV) at 1,066 feet, Cordillera Communications (KATC-TV) at 1,800 feet, Georgia Public Broadcasting (WVAN-TV) at 1,466 feet, and Cox Radio Group (WCFB) at 1,455 feet.

Tower Collapse Rebuilds

Among other projects in 2008, Stainless was called upon to rebuild three essential broadcast towers that collapsed. These include WVIA-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Georgia Public Broadcasting (WACS-TV) in Dawson, Georgia at 1,096 feet, and KATV-TV in Little Rock Arkansas at 1,269 feet. Broadcasters continue to call as the final push for DTV readiness signals the industry is ready for the analog sunset.

Hurricane-Ready Tower

In 2009, Stainless was called upon by Miami, Florida station WPLG for a 75-foot candelabra tower, designed against the strongest hurricane ever records. The tower has a full-height elevator, was featured on the cover of Modern Steel Construction magazine, and received an award from the Galvanizing Institute. DTV transition is moved from February until June 17th. Spartanburg, South Carolina station WSPA suffers a tower failure on Hogback Mountain, and Stainless provided a replacement tower at 459 feet before the next winter. Nexstar station KSNF-TV suffered a partial collapse of their broadcast tower, and Stainless was called in to supply and install the replacement tower at 998 feet.

Federal Contract

In 2010, the U.S. federal government awarded Stainless a heavy tower contract. Only the 5th chief engineer in Stainless history is selected. Services are a big part of Stainless’s shift to broadcast services as a core business. Over 50 broadcast antenna projects, including KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington, are based on a strong services response.

Tower Replacement

In June of 2011, Gray Television, Inc. awarded Stainless the contract to replace its WEAU tower in Fairchild, Wisconsin, just outside the Eau Claire, with a G-10 tower at an overall height of 1,998 feet. The original tower was completed in the spring of 1966 and was Wisconsin’s tallest structure until it fell due to an ice storm on March 22nd, 2011. The new tower is now the tallest structure in Wisconsin. Stainless builds a 65-foot self-supported tower in Beckoning Point, Hawaii and a 100-foot self-supporting tower for KLVX in Black Mountain, Nevada. Stainless also receives orders for more than 30 antenna replacement projects in this year.

Notable Projects

In May of 2012, South Texas Public Broadcasting placed Stainless in charge of building their 1,000-foot G-85 tower for KEDT in Corpus Christi, Texas. Young Broadcasting of KPLO accepted Stainless’ proposal for a G-65 1,000-foot guyed tower in Reliance, South Dakota. Sinclair Broadcasting gave Stainless the job to build its 150-foot self-supporting tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Custom Self Supporting tower in Paradise

Stainless designs, fabricates and installs a heavily loaded self supporting tower in Pu’u Manawahua, HI

Stainless awarded the only broadcast TV tower construction project for Raycomm Media, a 725’ tall guyed tower in Lubbock, TX

Lifetime Achievement Award

Don Doty wins the Bill Carlson Lifetime Services Award at NATE Unite for his significant and long-term contribution to the success of the NATE Mission. Doty has been an active NATE member since its founding in 1995 and served in leadership roles including Chairman, Vice Chairman and Executive Board Member, and a member of its OSHA Relations Committee A10.48 Committee and Wireless Industry Safety Task Force.

70 Years!

Stainless celebrates its 70th year in business, supplying the nation and the world with the highest quality engineering and field operations services

 

Always Looking Forward

At Stainless, we’re very proud of our rich history of innovation, “firsts”, and successes. But instead of resting on our laurels, we’re never happy with “good enough”. This philosophy drives us to look forward to the future continually.

Every day, with every project, we build on our history and forge the path ahead to new designs, techniques, and technologies. While we take pride in where we’ve been, we never lose sight of where we’re going. It is this approach that truly sets us apart from the rest. Rely on Stainless for your tower design and fabrication needs, and you’ll get the very best of everything now and far into the future.


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