More on Eckerts Insulation

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Telegrapher

New York, NY, United States
vol. 8, no. 12, p. 90, col. 2

More of the Improved Insulation of General

Superintendent Eckert's Lines.






I AM glad to see that THE TELEGRAPHER has undertaken to show up the miserable insulation of the wires of the Western Union Telegraph lines, on the division of general Superintendent T. T. ECKERT. After the expenditure of a large amount of money to put these wires in reliable condition, and prove the superiority of the pet glass insulators of that distinguished electrician (?) and telegraph manager, these wires are almost useless whenever there is a rain of a few hours' duration, and the superintendents, managers, and operators are worried out of all comfort in their attempts to work them under such adverse circumstances. Like your correspondent, "Wearied and Disgusted Operator," in your paper of Saturday last, I can truly say that I have no pecuniary interest in either the Brooks or glass insulators, but I have an interest, as an operator, in the use by the company of some insulator which will save us all this worry and extra work whenever the rain falls upon any considerable section of the lines.

During the rains to which your Philadelphia correspondent refers our experience was, if possible, even worse than that which he has related. The wires between here and Pittsburg worked very hard, with the exception of No. 12. That wire worked moderately well, but on the balance of them it was like "pulling eye teeth" to get anything over them. From Altoona to Pittsburg the lines generally work very well, even in rainy weather. East of this place the condition of the wires, as regards insulation, is much worse than west. During the rain repeaters had to be put on the wires here to enable stations west to work to Philadelphia, and it was almost impossible to work Nos. 12 and 20, even with the repeaters in. We could receive pretty well from New York and so could Pittsburg, but New York could not get a word from either. The New York operators could not understand this until they were told that the trouble was near them, and were advised to have their glasses boiled in a little paraffin.

Philadelphia business had to be relayed at Harrisburg for Pittsburg and other points west. The Superintendent had to be called out of bed about midnight to help us out of the scrape. As he has lately entered the matrimonial state, and is supposed to be yet enjoying the honeymoon, his opinions and feelings on the subject may be imagined; I certainly shall not attempt to describe them.

The amount of involuntary profanity which this style of insulation causes all along the lines when the atmosphere is moist, is terrible, and I cannot think that the sin can justly be laid to the charge of those who are worried to distraction attempting to overcome the difficulties which could be so easily remedied.

I will not weary your readers with further details of the condition of these wires, and the efficiency of the insulation which has been adopted, and is adhered to with stupid obstinacy, not only to the annoyance and weariness of the operators but to the great damage of the customers and the company. It is truly fortunate that the Western Union Company is wealthy, for otherwise such management and such lack of electrical information, or persistence is adherence to exploded insulation fallacies, could not but prove disastrous. There is no doubt but that our troubles arise from defective insulation, as otherwise the lines are in very fair, and in great part excellent condition.

As the storm is now over we are gradually recovering our equanimity, and fortifying ourselves for the next struggle, which is sure to come whenever, in the economy of nature, the rains fall.



Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:September 10, 2005 by: Elton Gish;