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I Forge Iron

Telegraph wire

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Near where I wander is an old Railroad Right of Way (track bed), and every so often there are coils of iron (WI, PI, Steel, ?) that were most likely telegraph wire. Anyone know what grade metal it would be?

3 known items are that it was telegraph wire (according to the splice), it is magnetic, and it is ferrous (rusting & pitting).

Depending on the type of iron it may become worthwhile to pick up some of these stranded coils of 3/16-1/4 inch wire for some projects.


Rich C

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Early on most of the open wire lines where hard drawn copper. But then the wire thieves decided that these lines were easy pickins for making money. So, most of the railroads as well as the telephone companies switched to copper coated steel wire. I'm not sure what kind of steel was used.

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The first telephone lines in my 'hollow', where I live, were copper coated steel. This was early 1960's.
In the late '70's, the bare wires were replaced with the thick insulated telephone lines that are common today.

the phone company gave away...to anyone who would ask.......the old wire.

I have probably 1000 feet of it yet........I used some for electric fencing, etc over the years.

I don't know what kind of steel it is, except that it is exceptionally strong( high tensile), and quite springy(indicating that it must have some carbon content.

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