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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/527

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523
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SYSTEM
premises. Besides these reasons, it can readily be seen that work is the cheapest in the end that does not need extensive or frequent repairs.

Only the old-timers can appreciate what endless trouble was caused by careless linemen climbing on the roofs of residences and attaching wires, without consulting owner or occupant. For a costly experience soon showed that many tin or asphaltum roofs that were in apparent good order, before trespassed upon, were punctured or broken by the negligent dropping of a hatchet or other tool, or by heavily walking over weak parts. Then shingles and boards were split by big nails improperly driven to fasten insulator or bracket, bricks were chipped

PSM V70 D527 Telephone wire supports on the roof.png
Fig. 38. Fig. 39.

and paint knocked off. To the owner, the aggravating part was that this damage was not likely to be discovered until the next heavy rain, and then so long a time elapsed between the trespass and the injury that it was difficult to say just who was to blame.

As the number of subscriber lines increased in the early days, the necessity of longer and heavier poles became apparent. Then the use of higher poles resulted in the attaching of more cross-arms to the main line, until finally the principal object of some companies appeared to be to determine how many open wires a pole line could safely carry. For there are records of pole lines in many cities carrying as high as a hundred open wires, while in a few cities from 150 to 200 wires were carried. What is said to have been the largest and highest telephone pole line in the world was erected on West Street in New York City. The poles forming this line were of Norway pine ranging from sixty to ninety feet in height and carrying from twenty-five to thirty crossarms each.