Monday, February 18, 2013

Telegraph wire splicing

From: ""

I am doing some research for a historical novel about the transcontinental railroad. I am wondering how telegraph wires were spliced in the mid nineteenth century? If solder was used, how was it applied? I have found some reference to a gas powered solder melting pot, but I don't know if that was used on wires. If a soldering iron was used, how was it heated? Was any kind of tape used? Does anyone know? ...

—Steve Bartholomew, Lakeport CA

Western Union splice
Western Union splice
"Diagram showing how to make a short Western Union wire splice (A through D), and two images of longer variations on the splice (E & F)"
Practical Electric Wiring by John MacLaren Sharp, 1915. pp. 13-14.

Primary source material documenting the Central Pacific Railroad