In the United Kingdom, Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day is observed annually on September 21. The term “telegraph pole” is the British term for utility pole. A utility pole is a column or post that is typically made of wood to support overhead power lines and a variety of other public utilities, including electrical cables, fiber optic cables, transformers, street lighting, etc. A telegraph or utility pole can also alternatively be referred to as a transmission pole, a telephone pole, a telecommunications pole, or a power pole, among others — all depending on what purpose the pole serves.
The background of Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day
William Fothergill Cooke, the inventor of the telegraph, introduced the very first utility poles in 1843. Beginning with Samuel Morse, who attempted to bury a line between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., but ultimately moved it overhead when his system proved unreliable, these poles were incorporated into regular use by the mid-19th century in the United States with telegraph systems. Today, underground distribution lines are increasingly used as an alternative to utility poles due to the poles’ perceived unsightly and safety concerns in snowy or icy regions.
As it was discovered that the tar treatment only lasted about seven years, poles were later treated with creosote or copper sulfate as a preservative. In Eastern Europe, Russia, and some third-world nations, it is still common to find utility poles with naked communication wires mounted on insulators not only along railway lines, but also along roads and occasionally in urban areas. The majority of unprotected aluminum conductors in the United States are wrapped around solid steel cores and affixed to rated insulators made of glass, ceramic, or polymer. Generally, telephone, cable television, and fiber optic cables are attached directly to the pole without insulators.
A significant portion of the rural electricity distribution system in the United Kingdom is transported on wooden poles. These poles typically transmit 11 or 33 kV electricity from 132 kV substations via pylons to distribution substations or pole-mounted transformers. Since the early 1980s, wooden poles have been used for 132 kV substations for many years. Insulators connect the exposed metal conductors on these poles to the posts. Wooden poles can also be used to distribute low voltage to consumers.
Activities on TELEGRAPH POLE APPRECIATION DAY
Learn about the history, technology, and importance of utility poles to modern life. There’s no telling what you might discover.
Pay your cable expenses
This day serves as a humorous reminder to pay your electric bill. Don’t neglect other similar bills associated directly or indirectly with telegraph poles.
Share via social networks
Join the discussion on social media by using the hashtag #TelegraphPoleAppreciationDay. Share information about this fascinating day!
TELEGRAPH POLE APPRECIATION DAY DATES