Very rare Oppenheimer Telegraph poles -

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Australians are rightly very proud of their Overland Telegraph Line (OTL).  Wikipedia information for the OTL. This was a 3,200 kilometre line that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia.  Completed in 1872 the OTL allowed fast communication between Australia and the rest of the world.

The original 36,000 telegraph poles were a mixture of (Cypress) timber and galvanized Oppenheimer poles. Many of the timber poles were rapidly being destroyed by termites and in 1873 work commenced on their replacement. Kent suggests that this work continued until 1883 “when all the timber poles had been Oppnhmers (5).JPGreplaced with an assortment of telescopic galvanised iron poles, manufactured at Manchester in England, under J Oppenheimer’s patent”. The Oppenheimer poles were designed using three round or oval shaped galvanised pipes of different diameter and each pipe would slide inside the next. These telescopic poles were ideal for handling and storing and their reduced size made them much easier to transport and erect on site. Once on site they would be extended to their full height and a heated iron collar would then be place over the joint. The iron collar would cool and shrink on the join making it firm. Prior to the poles being installed cast iron base plates were fitted to the bottom of the poles to prevent them from moving





At Alice Springs                                     At Tennant Creek