Steven A. Jacobson

Steven  A. Jacobson
World Trade Center

A Transmitter Marvel


He worked up top. He liked it up there, with his transmitter.

Steven Jacobson was an engineer for WPIX- TV and worked in a room on the 110th floor of 1 World Trade Center, usually by himself, tending to the station's transmitter.

Mr. Jacobson, 53, had a deep fidelity to that transmitter. He cared for it like a sick baby the occasional time it would "dump" and take the station off the air. Once he used his shoelaces to get it going.

During the 1993 trade center bombing, he stayed until midnight, to make sure the transmitter operated properly once power was restored. When the bomb exploded, Victor Arnone, a WPIX maintenance engineer and a close friend, went to the concourse to get lunch for him. He called Mr. Jacobson and yelled: "Steve! Explosion! Smoke! People are running out!" Mr. Jacobson said, "Does this mean I don't get my egg roll?"

Mr. Jacobson had a dry humor. It was a routine for him to invite Jewish friends to lunch at his Manhattan home on Yom Kippur, when, of course, they were fasting. He loved to prowl through ham radio flea markets. Unfailingly, he would ask a vendor, "Do you have a used logbook and a big eraser?" He had a habit of not using turn signals when he drove. When questioned, he would respond, "It's nobody's business which way I'm turning."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 28, 2001.




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