This is the Cincinnati History section of 
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by: Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last Update 3/27/14

VOA - Bethany Site Tour
by Barry Mishkind

The VOA Bethany site has quite a few memories, and claims to fame. The site on Tylersville Road in Mason, Ohio (NE of Cincinnati), is named for the telephone exchange in which it sat, and was a demonstration of how private industry ramped up to meet a need for a super-transmitter during WWII. Recently, the site was donated to the West Chester Township, and is being rehabbed for use as a museum as well as for other uses.

During the war, the US government took over all Shortwave stations, and began using them for sending broadcasts to Europe. Desiring more power, the government sought higher powered transmitters. While other manufacturers felt anything over 50 kW was pretty much not possible, the Crosley engineers discussed whether they could build transmitters as powerful as 200 kW. Using the knowledge gained in the construction of WLW, the transmitters, installed in July 1944, were was actually capable of closer to 250 kW of power output.

The VOA Bethany site in Mason, Ohio.

The building is being partially restored by volunteers as a VOA Museum, and other historical and community projects are sharing the space.


The middle tower is indeed the guard tower, which was manned around the clock to protect the site from enemy activity



The New Crosley 200 kW transmitter
delivered in 1941 to the Bethany facility

One of the Collins 821A-1 100 kW Short Wave transmitters restored at the Bethany facility by volunteers

Mike Martini of WVXU sits at the
master control panel for the Bethany Facility.
All the transmitters could be controlled
from this position,
This is the antenna switching complex for the Bethany facility. Constructed in the 1940s, it still appears the switches can be manipulated, although the 24  antennas are long gone.

An enlargement of the picture above to show the manual switches ... all moved according to a precise plan to direct the radiation as desired.

The site was decommissioned in 1994 and the towers were taken down in 1997. The 625 acre site will be maintained as parklands and recreation facilities, as well as the museum, which plans an archive of VOA broadcasts and other materials dating to through the Cold War period. Additionally, the Jack Gray History of Wireless Museum, with a large display of Crosley Radios and other exhibits will be moved from WGUC to new facilities at this site.

Further information on the restoration and museums are available at:

You can also call: 513-777-0027

Currently, the site is open on the third Saturday of each month.