Electric Power Transmission Cable with Jacket

Description (Brief)
The cables needed to transmit electrical power may seem simple but are actually complex technological artifacts. Modern cables inherit the lessons learned during more than a century of research and experience. This power cable was described by GE engineer William Clark in 1898 as follows: “1,000,000 [circular mil] cable composed of 59 wires, each .1305" in diameter, containing two insulated pressure wires each 2500 C.M. area, the whole insulated with saturated paper 5/32" thick and finished with lead 1/8" thick. This is a feeder cable for circuits not exceeding 2000 volts working pressure on Edison three wire circuits. An outside jacket of tarred jute and asphalt [prevents] corrosion."
Object Name
power cable
cable sample
date made
General Electric Company
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
lead (overall material)
jute (overall material)
asphalt (overall material)
copper (overall material)
overall: 12 in x 2 1/8 in; 30.48 cm x 5.3975 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
maker number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
American Enterprise
Energy & Power
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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