Graphite Rods

Pine Baron

Explorer
Feb 23, 2008
480
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18
Sandy Run
While exploring Parkdale recently, the kids a I discovered these black rods at various places around the ruins. It's difficult to determine their age as I don't know how they would stand up against weather and time. After a little research, I found that they are highly conducive to electricity and MAY be electrodes from an old carbon-arc lamp. It was suggested that they may be some sort of fuse or fuseable link to a railroad signaling device. The one with the metal cap, though, looks like it may be from a dry-cell battery.(???) Does any one have a info on what they are? Also, it takes a decent amount of power to light a carbon arc lamp. Does any one know for sure if there was electricity at Parkdale? I've never found any signs of it.



 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Well I used to operate carbon arc spotlights and movie projectors many years ago, and those larger rods are considerably bigger than I'd expect for an arc light. The arc carbons were about 1/4" in diameter. As a kid I used to tear apart old batteries, and they had a carbon rod inside but of course much smaller.

Another possibility would be brushes from a very large electric motor. If one end was worn down in a circular shape then that would be evidence they are brushes. Brushes usually have a metal end cap. Interesting find!
 

oji

Piney
Jan 25, 2008
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Browns Mills
Perhaps some type of fusible link/circuit breaker used on home powerlines. To protect from an overload at a transformer.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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That is an interesting find, and a great display setup for showing them. Nice job!

Guy
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
18
Florida
Graphite

I found that they are highly conducive to electricity...[/QUOTE]

Yes, graphite is HIGHLY conductive. Anyone who fishes with a graphite fishing rod knows to stow it immediately during an electrical storm! I would suspect these are using for very high voltage. Great photo!