Saturday, September 18, 2010

Insulator Post

This telegraph line I found in July and I made the one hour drive this morning to take some photographs of the installation.  This collection is a excellent example of the once common telegraph system that spread to all corners of America.  The land line telegraph established itself alongside the railroad industry.  The railroad right of ways made an unobstructed linear space ideal for stringing up wires on poles. 
People throughout history have been wary of change and technology.  The early railroad bosses were skeptical of telegraphy with it's instruments and batteries and wire.  Not to mention the labor involved in maintaining the lines.  Once the usefulness and reliability of Morse code transmissions over wire was proven an industry was born and quickly flourished.  Similarly in the early days of radio technology ship owners were reluctant to waste resources to take on an extra crew member or two in the form of radio officers.  Before the sinking of the Titanic radios aboard ship was optional.  Radio caught on fast once it proved useful to saving lives.  

Pictures of telephone poles may not be of much interest to most but this is an example of our early communications infrastructure and I believe is worth preserving. Once a common sight to countless boys walking the tracks these sights will soon be just memories.       


  1. Nicely done. Just imagine when telegraphy first came about: Goodbye Pony Express!

  2. Thanks Mike
    Technological change is something I think about a lot. It's always been with us but it's amazing how quickly things have developed over the last 100 years. And it all started with a telegraph key.

  3. hi,
    we found your blog on internet,is it possible to tell me where you take the pictures of the telegraph pole.
    Our little boy( with autism)
    wants to find them on google maps.He is interested in telegraph pole

    Best regards,

    Ingrid and Maurits from the netherlands

    1. Hello Ingrid and Maurits! I took these photos along route 4 just south of Marion, Ohio where the road crosses a rail line. I looked up the location on Google Maps and you can see the poles but unfortunately the insulators are too small to be seen from space.