Really. As this incredibly narrated talkie photo from 1939 will attest, keeping even one decrease of water from penetrating undersea cables is of the utmost importance.

How do they do it? Many, many layers of protection, including a number of of jute wrapping. The video centers on splicing a new cable to an existing one in the San Francisco Bay to bring the question of telephony to a man-made island produced for the golden entrance worldwide Expo.

The narrator makes these guy out to be heroes, as well as when you see exactly how much lead they came into get in touch with with, you’ll comprehend what he means. Each of the 1,056 individually insulated wires must be spliced by hand. after that comes a boiling out process in which petrolatum is poured over the splice to eliminate all moisture. Then, a lead sleeve is pulled over the connections. Molten lead is poured over the sleeve as well as smoothed out by hand.

At this point, the splice is tested. The sleeve is punctured as well as nitrogen gas is pumped in at 20psi.  Then comes the most important step: the entire sleeve is painted with soap suds.  Any gas that escapes will make telltale bubbles.

Once they are satisfied with the integrity of the sheath, they wrap the whole thing in what appears to be lead cables as well as pound them into submission. surely that would be enough, don’t you think?  Nope.  They weld the cables all around as well as then apply two coats of tar-treated jute wrapping, which retards saltwater corrosion considerably.

Retrotechtacular is a regular column featuring hacks, technology, as well as kitsch from ages of yore. assist keep it fresh by sending in your concepts for future installments.