Initially NECRAT stood for North East Commercial Radio Antennas and Towers, however NECRAT has expanded well beyond the northeast with towers from the midwest and Florida being added to the site. NECRAT no longer references a acronym, as it is now simply just the name of the website.
NECRAT started in early October 1999. The earliest file date for any reference to NECRAT was October 4th, 1999, when I had created a webpage with some very basic tower information on it. The site expanded to include large transmitter maps of the northeast, as well as a message board with a few members. Earlier that year, an internet search for "WHDH Tower", looking to see if there was a picture of the WHDH-TV tower in Boston, landed me on a website known as Boston Radio Archives run by Garrett Wollman. Seeing his early pictures inspired me to start posting some of my own tower photographs, which I would do later in that year, starting with the big towers of the Newton-Needham Complex in Needham, MA. As I went around photographing radio towers and posting them on my website, I happened to catch the eye of well reknown broadcast historian, writer and photographer Scott Fybush. In March 2001, NECRAT's first historical "breaking news" photography came, when the WXXA-TV antenna collapsed in Albany, NY., NECRAT got pictures of the temporary antenna and the broken antenna on the ground within days of the collapse. In April 2001, Mr. Fybush uses several pictures of mine for his "Tower Site of the Week", of the Keene, NH area. (One of my favorite areas). NECRAT initially launched on Geocities, as a Geocities page, but then migrated to tripod in early 2000. In 2005, NECRAT teamed up with John DeSesa of GeekWithUs webhosting, and NECRAT officially moved to its own place on the web as NECRAT.COM. In 2007, NECRAT's founder and webmaster, Mike Fitzpatrick moves from Springfield, MA to Providence, RI., transitioning after a 10 1/2 year career at WWLP-TV. In 2009, after financial troubles fell to GeekWithUS, NECRAT moved from NECRAT.COM to the current position, NECRAT.US. In 2013, NECRAT pulled up stakes again, and moved back to Massachusetts to the greater Boston area.
NECRAT does not use very fancy gear to do the tower photography. The camera equipment is a NIKON P510. Prior camera gear included a Pentax K1000, Fuji FinePix, Kodak P512, Z981, and a HP digital camera.
FUN FACTS (As of 2011)
- NECRAT references 1,436 broadcast stations on 1427 pages, in 69 markets.
- There are roughly 7,750 pictures on NECRAT.
- NECRAT has photographed tower sites in 18 states, 16 of which are displayed here.
- The farthest eastern site is WMME Augusta, ME
- The farthest northern site is Park Du Mont Royal, Montreal, QU
- The farthest southern site is the Clear Channel (WLTQ/WSRZ), site near Sarasota, FL
- The farthest western site is WHMB-TV/WDTI(TV)/WICR(FM) tower in Indianapolis, IN.
- The highest up in elevation is Mt. Washington, NH (WHOM/WPKQ)
- The tallest the Eastern Candleabra in Bithlo, FL at 1,694 feet overall.
- The largest site is the WFLF/WYGM 7 tower site in Lake County, FL.
- The site "closest to home" is WUMB-FM Boston, MA
- The first transmitter ever shown on NECRAT was WFLY in Albany, NY.
- The first tower ever shown on NECRAT was the Candelabra