This day in Mohawk Valley history: January 25, 1890

The Utica Observer, January 25, 1890, Utica, Oneida County, New York

Utica Belt Line Streetcar R.R. 1896.

The Belt Line.

Inquiry is frequently made as to why there ar two wires stretched across the street from pole to pole and what the horse-shoe thing on the lower wire and the porcelain insulators on the upper wire are for. The Belt Line officers say they not only intend to give Utica the best service possible, but also the safest system that can be constructed. With this object in view they have arranged to erect what may be termed guard wires. These will be stretched from the insulators on the upper wire parallel with the trolley wire, or the one that carries the current. They will run about a foot above the trolley wire and about the same distance to either side of it. The object is that if any electric light, telephone or telegraph wire falls, it will not strike the trolley wire of the street care, but be caught from that wire, thus insuring against danger or interruption to travel. the trolley wire will be suspended from the lower of the two cross wires, running through the “horseshoe,” which will be placed with the round part uppermost.

The Thompson-Houston people also have a device, which will be attached to the Belt Line’s switch board in the Power House, by which, in case the trolley wire breaks and strikes the ground, the current is instantly and automatically shut off. This device has only been invented about six months and the Belt Line will be one of the first companies to secure its advantages.

Source: New York State Historic Newspapers