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City Hall fights back! #152037 09/26/03 12:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Story found while browsing:

In 1884, people in New York City were somewhat annoyed by the enormous amount of power lines as well as phone lines along their streets. That year there was a particularly bad winter and as the wind shrieked through the wires the noise was ear splitting.

As the snow and ice built up on the wires the poles could not bear the strain and snapped in some cases crashing through private buildings.

The New York State legislature that same year passed a bill to have all cables placed underground but the order was ignored as the technology to insulate the cables did not yet exist. Mayor Hugh P Grant in response to the frustration of the citizens took matters into his own hands and led a team of axmen around the city cutting down the offending poles. In fact the Mayor is reported to have cut down the first pole himself.

It is also reported that, that year saw the first search for the "Perfect Insulator" and the newly formed "Board Of Commissioners of Electrical Subways" was flooded with some six hundred schemes and designs for executing the mammoth task of laying cables underground.

- From the archives of the New York City Council.

Tools for Electricians:
Re: City Hall fights back! #152038 09/26/03 12:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
SvenNYC Offline
While there are no "utility poles" left in Manhattan, the other four boroughs (particularly Queens and Staten Island) are a rats nest of these things, some of them leaning over every which way and with coils of wire dangling.

When younger I would even see a pair of wire (sometimes strangely looking like lampcord) sometimes dangling down the side of a pole or in the middle span between two poles. [Linked Image]

Part of me wishes the USA would switch to using cast concrete poles embedded with re-bar like Colombia uses. Why are we still using wood????

You should see these things when they start rotting and splintering.

Concrete poles would also put a stop to people using staples to put up posters.
They'll have to stick (ahem) with the packaging tape instead. [Linked Image]

Re: City Hall fights back! #152039 09/26/03 11:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,961
Bill Addiss Offline
Interesting Story Paul!

Maybe we could start a "Strange But True" area if we can find more things like this.

[Linked Image]

Re: City Hall fights back! #152040 09/27/03 08:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
classicsat Offline
That "zip-lamp cord" looking stuff is probably telephone wire.

Re: City Hall fights back! #152041 09/27/03 08:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
It probably is. The zip-cord type wire was used for telephone drops here until the early 1980s, and there's still a lot of it in service. It's solid core rather than stranded though. It always used to be gray, but I think some of the last batches before it was phased out were in black.

Re: City Hall fights back! #152042 09/29/03 11:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
ThinkGood Offline
I came across this picture:

Re: City Hall fights back! #152043 09/30/03 03:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Wow! Quite a difference between the "with" and "without" pictures.

Does anybody recognize which part of NYC this is?

Re: City Hall fights back! #152044 10/11/03 07:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,337
Trumpy Offline
Thanks for that pic.
It's the first time, I've ever seen a pole with 15 cross-arms on it!. [Linked Image]


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