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Early Leakage Currents
Kirt's Cogitations #61

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.

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Early Leakage Currents

The telegraph system, which performed remarkably well over long distances in the arid American west, was greatly limited in distance when installed on the humid east coast. Leakage currents through the water-impregnated wire insulation greatly attenuated the signals, especially when buried underground. To cure the problem, Sir William Thompson invented gutta-percha insulation, and in 1847 designed a screw-press for coating the wires with the gum rendered plastic by heat.

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