Publication: Electrical World and Engineer
New York, NY, United States
INSULATORS AS TARGETS.
One of the nuisances to which electrical engineers are subjected in long-distance transmissions employing high electric pressures is the malicious breaking of insulators by careless and ignorant sportsmen. It is bad enough to have the delivery of power interrupted by natural causes such as the splitting of an insulator from undue electrical or mechanical strains, but it is too bad to have a breakdown due to the heedless action of a man with a gun who has more marksmanship than sense. In the early days of telegraphy, when the telegraph insulator was a new toy set upon a pole, the same trouble was largely experienced. This was especially the case with the bright white porcelain insulators which attracted the eye and made a prominent object for the sight of a rifle.
The trouble was at one time so serious as to give rise to characteristic types of European insulators that have largely come into use; namely, the unattractive brownstone ware insulator of Great Britain, and the iron-hooded or ironclad insulator of the European continent. The large porcelain insulators of power transmission systems are especially lustrous to behold and luscious to aim at. They are frequently installed in rough and sparsely settled districts where the sporting impulse being keen and the law-abiding impulses weak, the nuisance is sometimes so pronounced that the transmission line has to be practically patroled by watchmen during the day. It is undesirable both for mechanical and electrical reasons to cover these large insulators with metal hoods. Possibly some amelioration could be effected by choosing a dull color, and a few arrests and penalties might also serve as an occasional safeguard.