Sunday, July 24, 2016

Metal German TV & Radio Tower Replicas

Most metal souvenir buildings are created either by pouring molten metal into a mold or they are die cast. But not all are produced this way. Most of us have seen these various TV and Radio tower replicas from Germany and I’ve always wondered how and why they were made because they seemed different than other souvenir towers. Although there must be hundreds made representing various towers around Germany, they don’t seem to be mass-produced for tourists. To me, they are clearly carved on a lathe in a machine shop using a solid blank of aluminum or brass metal. Many collectors believe they were crafted by German metal smith students honing their craft and now I’ve found proof. In the photo, below, the caption reads, "German chancellor Angela Merkel receives an aluminum model of the Berlin TV tower from the trainee Ricardo Krille during her visit at the Siemens trainee center in the machining department in Berlin, Germany, 7 May 2012. Trainees produce the miniature in a project which includes school and practical work.”
   A German resident also commented in a story about the towers on the website, Apartment Therapy, writing, “…these models are "Gesellenst├╝cke" from people who learn to be a machinist. You have to learn for three years and at the end there is a theoretical and a practical test the "Gesellenpr├╝fung" When you've done everything alright in that test, you are a “Handwerkergeselle.” There you have it – evidence of what some suspected for years. Now, you ask…why does Germany have so many towers like this around their country? Way before cable and the internet, TV and radio stations would broadcast their programs via airwaves emitting their signal from antennae atop these gigantic TV Towers, called Fernsehturm or Fernmeldeturm in German. The German towers tend to have lots of layers or 'shelves’ to support communication equipment.   Throughout Germany there are seventy-seven or so such towers, six of which offer folks the chance to climb high above the ground to their observation decks. Born from practical reasons, many towers have now become iconic structures in their respective cities. So, Why do most major German cities have large TV towers, while you don’t see these structures in the rest or Europe or in the U.S.? This link has an interesting guess. North America does have towers which we also use for communication and the most notable examples are the Seattle Space needle and Toronto’s CN Tower. Other tall buildings including the Willis Tower in Chicago and World Trade Center in NYC have antennae on top, which eliminates the need for separate towers dedicated to communication.


Ian said...

Nice detective work & very interesting post. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I always wondered!!!

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