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Archive for the 'History' Category

Rocket Destroyed, Water Tower Survived

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

This week on October 28th, 2014, an Antares rocket of the Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded on take-off at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket malfunctioned and was purposely destroyed. This photo shows the burn marks on the launch pad and the adjacent water tower. We reported on the Wallops Island water tower […]

Some Intense Commentary

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Every once in a while there are some posts about the Union water tower that get me thinking about the intensity of thoughts and the enduring imprint of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. This post is over two years old, but for this site, it is the first time we have read and commented on […]

Austin Water Treatment Plant Tower

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Here is a photo from November of 2009 of the dismantling and cleanup of the Austin Green Water Treatment Plant in Austin, TX. This photo looks south with Caesar Chavez Blvd. and Lady Bird Lake in the background. This water tower was a true water sphere. Not very tall, but notice the wonderful circularity of […]

Plaque on a Bridge

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Here is a bronze or copper plaque near the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. This plaque is embedded in a bridge guard rail. I love the green verdigris color of the plaque, the green mossy color spilling below, and the tan/pink sand and gray aggregate of the concrete. Also note the Grecian columns and borders of […]

Life Before the Water Sphere – 1880

Friday, February 13th, 2009

We have covered Life Before the Water Sphere – 1951, and now it is time to go way back to life in Union Township, circa 1880, before the Union Flagship, before Springfield’s Playland Park, before the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. From the map, circa 1880, courtesy of the New Jersey Division of Public Records, you […]

Life Before the Water Sphere – 1951

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Where were you before the World’s Tallest Water Sphere existed? Since Union’s water tower was built in 1964, you would have to be at least 45 years old in the year 2009 to qualify. The map circa 1951 shown above (courtesy the New Jersey Division of Public Records) reveals all sorts of interesting facts about […]

Portrait with Tower

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Steven F. Scharff, former Union resident, now of Henderson, Nevada, shares this portrait of self with illuminated tower taken by John R. Scharff on 2008/11/01. The World’s Tallest Water Sphere is gleaming white and certainly is the center of attention of this photograph. Your eyes cannot but help but be drawn to the giant spike […]

NEWS: Construction on the WTWS?

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Brian Donohue reports (2008-11-10): “Through the fog, I noticed something new protruding from the top of the WTWS. Right out of the sphere. I think they may be putting antennae right on the top of the thing now. Tough to see through the fog. I will be back there this weekend and will try to […]

Billboard and First Antenna

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

This photo of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere was taken in the fall of 1998 and shows a clear view of the Elizabethtown Water Company billboard, the ghost water pump logo, and the first cell antenna to gird the structure. Note that at this writing, the WTWS is still ghostly gray, but has 5 cell […]

How Many Unions are in New Jersey?

Friday, February 1st, 2008

For many residents of New Jersey, this is a question that is taken for granted. Just as there are many Bobs in your classroom or Marys at your office, there are many Unions in New Jersey. When people mentions the World’s Tallest Water Sphere, it is taken for granted that we mean Union Township, west […]

What Happened to E-town Water?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

As you may know from our articles, Elizabethtown Water built the World’s Tallest Water Sphere in 1964. There have been several paint schemes to the WTWS, but at one point the WTWS had a distinctive Elizabethtown Water company logo at the waist. This is shown in our header photo for this site. When the World’s […]

Connections

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Some coincidences are stranger than fiction, including this set of Water Sphere facts worthy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The World’s Tallest Water Sphere is located in Union Township, New Jersey. Less than one mile from the WTWS is Burnet Junior High School. Nearby is Burnet Avenue. Both of these landmarks are named after […]

More art of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

More cassette tape artwork from Union artist David Wuethrich, UHS class of 1980. The artwork is undated but probably from 1989 the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This wonderful piece shows the Union World’s Tallest Water Sphere imagined in the city of Berlin at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Note how […]

Thomas A. Edison and the World’s Tallest Water Sphere

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

Is Thomas A. Edison connected to the World’s Tallest Water Sphere? Well, as far as I can tell, not directly. However, he did help design some concrete houses that were built by Charles Ingersoll in 1917. These historic houses are well cared-for and sitting nearly at the base of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere on […]

Memories of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere – Good Times

Monday, December 5th, 2005

Another memory from Tom Gilleece, Union High Class of 1980: “I remember playing with my cousin and our friends near the base of the “lollipop” as we sometimes called it. We would imagine it was an alien spaceship ala “War of the Worlds,” or it would be designated home-base (pretty easy to find) in any […]

Memories of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere – Tragedy

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

The following story submitted by Tom Gilleece, Union High School class of 1980: “Dave M., Tommy D. and I were driving along Route 22 and we saw a huge rig suddenly veer off and crash through the guard rail and plummet into the darkness surrounding the tower. We pulled onto the shoulder and quickly scrambled […]

Where Were You in 1929?

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Little did they know in 1929 that Union Center in 35 years would soon be a prime viewing spot for the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. Why in those days Union was a simple suburb of Elizabeth. Through careful money management, an attractive mix of business and residential planning, and an impressive ad campaign “What Helps […]

The History of the Water Sphere

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Union Township is the shining star of Union County, bordering the premier New Jersey communities of Elizabeth, Hillside, Springfield, Kenilworth, Roselle Park, Irvington, Maplewood, and Millburn. With over 54,000 residents, 260 miles of municipal roads and sanitary sewers, 80 miles of storm sewers, and hundreds of catch basins, Union leads New Jersey as an ideal […]