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SINGLE CORE POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

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SINGLE CORE POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHY CABLE, 1900's

Early armour protected cable for under ground use. Insulation may be Gutta Percha. Gutta percha was obtained from a variety of guttiferous trees throughout the Pacific Rim although different varieties produce materials of differing quality. The differences generally reflect the quantity of resin in the product with that from Pahang having the lowest resin content. Balata has one of the highest resin contents and was obtained from trees in the tropical regions of South America.

There is much confusion in the literature, and amongst collectors, as to “what gutta percha is”. In practical terms, and when addressing collectors’ items, the material is probably the whole residue from the latex, dried after collection from whichever tree was its source. This material tends to range from dark yellow through red to black. It is possible that it has undergone some degree of purification but, given the variations in initial composition, it would be extremely difficult to confirm this, even by detailed chemical analysis.

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A0572



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