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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not an electrician, I am a writer. I grew up in the electrical wholesaling business. I am writing about a speculative cable deal of my father’s back in the late 1940’s.
He bought a huge amount of surplus electric cable from the Navy on the assumption, a correct one, that copper prices were in a deep trough.
Copper prices shot up. He was selling off the cable steadily and profitably, when New York City announced its Ashokan reservoir project. He then sold all the cable that remained to the the reservoir project to electrify the work on the 100-mile water tunnel from the reservoir to the city.
Questions:

It was not BX, so it had to be Romex, yes?
I can only guess what gauge it was: I’m thinking 8/2. Does that make sense?
I remember a great number of huge reels, 20 or 30 of them, 5 or 6 feet in diameter (but I was a kid, so maybe that’s an exaggeration) stacked in the warehouse. Would Romex have been wound on huge wooden reels like that?
Could it have been UF-B? Had UF-B been introduced by then?
I may have some of the details wrong. Any obvious snags in the story?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. I was lugging coils of Romex in the 1950's. (Easier than lugging BX.) Found this under General Cable History: 1922 - Invented Romex® Brand* non-metallic sheathed cable at the company's Rome, New York, facility. Couldn't find a start date for UF.
 

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I'm pretty sure it was not Romex, the navy wouldn't be using that.knowing the government and their wacky specs it must have been some type of rhw/xhhw insulation.

Sent from my C5215 using electriciantalk.com mobile app
 

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Its probably a 10/2 se cable with a poly over coat. I have seen this stuff used in public works and streetlights from the late 40s through early 50s

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey, thank you all. It's not so important that I get the type of cable exactly right, as long as I do not get it absolutely wrong -- if you get what I mean. My guess is that, since there was so much of it, it was not intended for use on ships, but on bases on land. I may go with Shockdoc's 10/2 se. Is that something that could have been used to electrify a 100-mile tunnel? Not after it was finished and there was water flowing through it, but while it was being dug. Listening (?) to you guys discuss cable is like Proust's madeleine for me -- brings back the smell of the warehouse, working the counter, squatting in an aisle pulling out flimsy Rodale boxes trying to find the customer some switch configuration of I'd never heard of.
 

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There is only one man in all the world who can answer this question properly.
His name is pipe Nick. And he lives in Orland or thereabouts.
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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Shockdoc said:
I'm pretty sure it was not Romex, the navy wouldn't be using that.knowing the government and their wacky specs it must have been some type of rhw/xhhw insulation. Sent from my C5215 using electriciantalk.com mobile app
We used a lot of Romex during the 30's/40's at shore commands.
If the building was a temporary one a lot of the wiring was 14 no matter what it was fused at.

We also used steel wire in our power house.
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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The_Modifier said:
I was thinking the same thing chrisfnl, if it was on ships wouldn't it be Mineral insulated?
We use an armored cable and not the MI.
Flex ability is more important. I'll take a pic tomorrow of some.
 
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