|In the early days of the telephone all cabling, once it had left the
subscribers premises, went overhead to the exchange. Originally this would
have gone straight back to the exchange but as telephone numbers grew, so did
the number of wires. Each line consisted of two wires and these were run
to poles and tied to insulators.
The wires became a spiders nest on top of the exchange buildings and was unsightly. So the wiring from the exchange to a local or distant distribution point went underground. Helped by technology the wires were reduced in size and underground cables became cheaper and more reliable.
Today the overhead distribution is fed from a local pole to a building. Pole routes are a thing of the past in most places, but where the route is long it may still be cost beneficial to run the wires overhead. Open copper/cadmium wires are no longer used as a twin wire cable called dropwire took over.
Smallish wire derrick on the roof of the Exchange
Large wire derrick on the roof of Avenue Exchange 1907
Another wire derrick - what a mess!
Pole top distribution - probably dated early 1960's as
this pole is well loaded
Possibly mid 1960's with the older style ring but with new type drop wire
The above is two core overhead cable - called Dropwire.
No.1 and No. 2 were
Dropwire was supported by clamps. The curly No. 3
is all you will see today.
Ring type distribution on a pole that once had wooden
arms (note cut outs in pole).
Late 1960's ring type pole distribution with drop wire
Last revised: January 20, 2020