My Introduction to Electricity

I’ve dabbled in electronics my entire life, both as a hobby and a J-O-B.

Growing up during my adolescent years we lived out in the country in an area we called “Up in the Valley”.  My dad was managing his step uncle’s “Christmas Tree Farm”.  There was about 118 acres of land which had several fields of Christmas trees and each November we would cut down several hundred trees and big trucks would come and take them away for sale.

One of the jobs was to keep the trees trimmed so they had a nice shape when it came time to cut them down.  One of the tools used to do this was called a “lopper”.  This tool was about three feet long and made of heavy metal.  It had a set of very sharp jaws on one end and round wooden handles on the other.

The house we lived in was an old two story wood frame farm house.  I can still recall lying on my bed and looking up into the roof of the house and seeing huge long 10 inch square beams that                              were held together by large round wooden pegs, that’s how old the house was.  Electrical power to the house was my means of three large wires running from the main road.  They came down the side of the house and connected to the electrical meter and down further and into the basement to the fuse box.  The wire from the meter to the fuse box was sheathed inside of large clothe insulation.

One lazy afternoon I got bored and got my hands on a pair of dad’s loppers.  I spied the large gray wire coming from the electric meter and into the basement and thought that would be a nice thing to test the cutting capability of those loppers.  I opened the loppers up as far as my little arms would reach and put the jaws around the wire.  For some unknown reason I gripped the wooden handles before I started closing the jaws around the wire.

When the jaws finally cut through the thick insulation of the wire, the sparks started flying.  Needless to say it ruined a nice set of loppers.  The next thing I know mom is standing next to me reading me the riot act and wait till your father gets home!.  I actually saw the fireworks twice that day, the instant the jaws cut into the bare wires, then again when my dad got home.                                                 

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