January 4, 2011

The danger of giraffes

Mr W L Preece (son of W H Preece, Engineer-in-Chief of the General Post Office) reported to the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1915 on the trials and tribulations of setting up a telephone system in the tropics.  Problems with humidity, plagues of insects and quick growing vegetation troubled engineers in establishing lines of communication and keeping them clear and working.  However, the biggest hazard by far was that of wandering giraffes.
"When the giraffes roaming over the wilds of East Africa come up against a telegraph or telephone line, they have not the sense to draw back or duck their heads, but push on, carrying wires and sometimes poles with them."
Silly animals!
"Telephone Troubles in the Tropics."  Journal of the Royal Society of Arts.  28 May 1915

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