Author Archive: Will

Barbed wire served as telephone line for early homesteaders

Usually barbed wire (aka the Devil’s Rope) is decried as what divided up the West and brought an end to the vast open prairies.  In at least one case, we can see how it brought people together.

Early telephone companies found connecting rural homesteads too expensive so the farmers took matters into their own hands and used barbed wire to connect telephone services into their houses.  This resulted in Party Line style connection where everyone could hear whoever was on the line.  This was bad when you needed to have a private conversation, but useful to spread news, weather reports or the price of crops.  Sometimes it just helped people be less lonely.

The details are in this fascinating article.

 

First video posted

Where does precision come from? I dig into the history and a bit of how-to for where the dimensions that are everywhere around us come from.  I also introduce my first project – a recreation of the James Watt Micrometer which is possibly the first device used for measuring material at high precision.