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Introduction to Line Work

My graduation from high school was at the fortunate time in 1975 when the draft was cancelled. I ended up at a small liberal arts college in Swannanoa, N. C. The school had a work program that required us to work 15 hours a week on campus for our room and board.

The day came to sign up for a job. I wanted to get on the carpentry crew, but the sign-up sheet read "Carpentry and Paint Crew". I figured the new people would go to the paint crew so I choose the electrical crew, wanting to do something that would teach me a trade.

The college owned its own distribution system, which was part of our responsibility to maintain. This was my introduction to line work.

The delivery point was a bank of transformers which were 12470/7200 to 4160/2400. We had 2 three phase circuits, each under 100 A fuses in cutouts. The cutouts we owned were the old "chocolate boxes,” brown porcelain rectangles with a Bakelite door. Sometimes they opened when a fuse blew, sometimes they didn't. We had to climb to re-fuse them. Often when you closed one, another next to it would just fall open from the vibration.

Our fleet consisted of a 60's something Chevy panel van and a 1956 Ford A frame line truck. The supervisor was a retired EE from VEPCO. We worked on anything and everything that was electric on the campus.

 Our equipment was old. We had wooden hot sticks, military surplus, all leather belts, and safeties.

From this beginning, I made a 40 + year career in line work, ending up in transmission which I love.

Dick Weaver - Retired Lineman

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