An Interesting Advertisement - Nova Scotia

By David Hicks; posted July 1, 2003

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An advertisement/specification list for tenders to build the first Electric Telegraph line. I'd love to know what the patent insulator they speak of is. Any guesses on what type of insulators these would of been. Or where oh where may they be??? I will continue to search, i swear ;)

Advertisement in the Halifax Times and Courier 9 June 1849 In case you can't read the piece: CONTRACT for Building an Electric Tele- graph from Halifax to Amherst and onwards, in the Province of Nova Scotia

Sealed Tenders will be received un- till the 30th day of June next, for building a Line of Electric Telegraph, starting from the City of Halifax - following the public road on the western side of Bedford Basin, thence from the head of the Basin to the Eastern Post Road from Halifax to Truro, and from Tru- ro to the north-west boundary of Nova Scotia, passing through the village of Amherst - following generally the line of the Post Road, or such other line near thereto as may be hereafter directed by the Commissioners. The line will be built forty posts to the mile - said posts to be of Hacmatac or Cedar, 25 feet in length, 6 inches in diameter at the top, stripped of bark, as nearly straight as the natural growth will permit, and each post to be set five feet in the ground, either in sand or gravel, and strongly embedded. Where rocks occur, they are to be firmly secured by means of foot bands and braces ; or by a wall of stone well lade [laid], not less than five feet in height, wedging towards the poles; and where soft or wet earth or clay is found, the hole shall be enlarged sufficiently, and the earth replaced with stone, so as to prevent equal- ly the poles from being disturbed or driven from the per- pendicular by the action of violent winds, or their up- heaving in soft and wet soil by the frost. Where the Line passes through forests, dead trees and all other tress, which, by falling, may touch the wires, to be cut down at the expense of the Contractor - the ob- ject being to prevent the working of the Line being af- fected by wind falls. The line is to be constructed with a single line of wire, of the best quality, number nine, and weighing not less than 330 lbs. to the mile - such wire to be firmly con- nected with, and yet insulated from, the top of the posts by the Patent Insulator - of which a pattern may be seen by applying at the office of the Provincial Secretary. It consists of a cast iron shaft, with teeth cup and cover, glass ball, with bolt and shoulder, nuts and screws at each end to secure the wire firmly to the glass ball. The glass ball to be cemented in the cast iron cup, with a non-conducting cement, by a lining of some non-conduct- ing substance between the bolt head and the cover, so as to secure a insulation, and to protect the glass from frac- ture and other damage. The party contracting will be required to furnish the necessary Registers, Batteries, and magnets, of the latest and best quality, of Morse's Patent, for not less than three stations - their different sites to be hereafter ap- pointed by the Commissioners. The whole line will be required to be completed in good working order, and ready to be delivered to the Commissioners or their Agents fit for immediate use, on or before the 1st day of November next. The Tenders will not include the cost of the Poles - the Commissioners having already arranged, by Contract, for a sufficient number of these to build the whole line ; and these will be laid down in such quantities and sites as may be required. Ample and satisfactory security will be required for the due and faithful performance of the work, as above stipulated. JOSEPH HOWE GEORGE R. YOUNG W. MURDOCH A. G. ARCHIBALD THOMAS LOGAN Commissioners June 2