1906 - Niagara, Lockport & Ontario
This company purchased
power in bulk from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and undertook
to transmit it eastward 160 miles to Syracuse, with many branches
serving communities along the way. Ralph Mershon was in charge of
the design and once again came up with a special insulator – M-3890.
The two parallel lines ran at 60kV and could handle 30,000
horsepower each. The project was touted to be “the most important of
its kind anywhere in the world.” Mershon was asked whether, in view
of the Guanajuato experience, a grounded wire at the top of the
tower would be advisable to protect against lightening. He replied,
“We are trying to avoid the use of the grounded wire on account of
the expense of putting it up.” That economy came at a devastating
price. Insulators were shattered, punctured and otherwise destroyed
in vast numbers.
The full story is told in Elton Gish’s book Multipart Porcelain
Insulators. In the end, the insulators were fitted with arcing
rings devised by L.C. Nicholson and most of the M-3890’s were
replaced with the shorter M-4338 cross-tops.