Insulator Bridge, Oregon City, 1889

By Mike Parker; posted May 30, 2005

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An 1889 photo of the old wooden bridge across the Willamette (wil-lamb-et) River in Oregon City, Oregon. Note the crossarms with insulators on the bridge upper structure. Although it looks like a telephone or telegraph line, it is actually part of the historic first long distance D.C. power line from the Willamette Falls power generating station, 14 miles, to Portland.

UPDATE 2-7-07. IT HAS RECENTLY BEEN CONFIRMED THAT MOST OF THE GLASS INSULATORS IN VIEW ON THIS BRIDGE ARE FLUID (CD 180.5) OR LIQUID (CD 180) INSULATORS WITH OIL CUPS. SEE FEB '07 CROWN JEWELS MAG. FOR DETAILS. Note the sign! Twenty-five bucks was a lot of money for a fine in those days! More than a week's wages for many! Courtesy Clackamas County Historical Society.