National Telegraph Line 1

By Bart Magoffin; posted July 19, 2011

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I was asked to put together a life-size working telegraph line at the San Jose National, so for those who are interested in such, here are a few tid-bits of my experience. (Sorry, poor quality camera-phone pics) When I arrived Thursday before the show, I was not pulling up to the fancy Hotel front entrance and unloading insulators and displays like other attendees. No, I scoped out a shady spot in the Hotel parking area to assemble plywood stands to my 11 Ft telegraph poles.

Found a nice spot, pulled out poles, tools, materials, and began building. Not surprisingly, my activity immediately caught the attention of Hotel security, and they approached from two directions. I was quickly surrounded and bombarded with questions. I literally had to plead my case, promise not to leave nails, screws, and not tip a pole on a parked car. They reluctantly gave in, and watched me from a distance. Maybe after seeing all the other strange objects entering the Convention Hall that afternoon, they could believe I wasn't some hill-billy terrorist preparing some sort of attack on the facility.