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Re: [TowerTalk] original source of "avoid sharp bends" in lightning

To: "'towertalk'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] original source of "avoid sharp bends" in lightning
From: "Barry Merrill, W5GN" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:55:06 -0500
List-post: <">>
Google Curved Telegraph Lines, and the Google Book Review of "The
will provide one proof that the theory was under discussion, in the first
paragraphs of that letter to the Editor dated 1865, which challenges the
published in earlier editions of "The Telegrapher", in which that prior
"Electricity and Resistance of Relays" apparently claimed that
"Do all readers think that electricity goes round a curved wire like a human
person running rouund a circle?

Is it the general belief that electricity gives out sooner if the wire is
not straight?

Does not the great difficulty of running round a circle disappear when we
come to try an imponderably body?

Is it the experience of observing operators that instruments burn more
readily in curved than straight wires, if the same "cut-offs" or ground are
equally adjacent to both?

Is it reasonable to suppose that because we feel no head on the straight
wire, there is none there?

Would we, if the curved wire was but a single strand?"

That magazine was not my original source, which I recall from reading in
some book on the history of the telegraph, but that book's title is long

Barry, W5GN

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Lux
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:50 AM
To: Barry Merrill, W5GN
Cc: 'towertalk'
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] original source of "avoid sharp bends" in lightning

On 4/12/12 7:19 AM, Barry Merrill, W5GN wrote:
> I'm fairly certain that some of the earliest telegraph lines were 
> curved rather than bent because there was a belief the signals would 
> go straight if the turn was too sharp.
that's interesting.. do recall where you might have seen that?

In the 19th century and even well into the 20th, there were a lot of
physical analogies used to understand Electricity and Magnetism.  You see
references to "electric pressure" for instance.  Lots of references to
"electric fluid" and analogies to hydraulics (which are still used)

And inductance does have a parallel to inertia in the mechanical world, so
you can see how the thought that a fast moving transient might have trouble
"staying on the tracks" might originate.  Or, comparing electric currents to
water flow in a pipe, where bends ARE a big deal.

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