M-3890 In Service 1906

By Mike Spadafora; posted January 2, 2008

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This has to be my all time favorite photo of a classic multipart in service!! This photo was found By Elton Gish in the Smithsonian archives. Photos like this may be as close as any collector ever gets to actually seeing a New Lexington M-3890 in person .This photo is so detailed you can almost make out the "New Lexington O" marking on the crown of one of the insulators! These insulators were nearly all changed out by 1920 and dumped in huge pits near the then existing substations on the line. More then 23,000 insulators of this type known as the "Iroquois type" insulator were produced by Thomas and New Lexintgton. the skirts were very thin and pron to being blown off the insulator when it flashed over resulting in frequent line failures. The insulator was designed by Ralph Mershon . The failure of these insulators proved to be one of the most costly and frustrating engineering disasters in the history high voltage transmition line construction. These insulators were 14"1/2 wide and 19 1/2"tall!!

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