Show Tel & Tel

Show Tel & Tel by Ellie Flint

Cartoon by Elijah Flint, May 2016

“Ellie” Flint has joined our Song of the Open Wire Contributors as Cartoonist.  As followers of this website,  enjoy the personal insight our cartoonist incorporates into the open wire topic through this unique  feature.  Here’s a brief biography of our newest contributor.

Elijah Flint Photo June 2016

Ellie Flint’s interest in open wire began by spotting Vermont-area glass telegraph insulators.  Flint, a native of western Massachusetts, has collected open wire artifacts over many years.  Our youthful cartoonist’s recent collecting habits confronted a new situation uncommon to us “older types”:  where some followers of this website may have worked open wire or lived the “era,” for more youthful enthusiasts, open wire pole lines were either gone completely or line wreckers left scarcely a trace for their generation.   Despite the linewreckers’ recent national progress, Ellie discovered the rare existing working near locale lines or the many remains of their fallen comrades.   Sadly, as many of us recognize for the most part, current day leads carry non-descript, commonplace plastic or glass insulation associated with modern hardware and brackets, holding no significant distinction to collectors.

Now, this didn’t stop Flint.  His parents strongly motivated and encouraged Ellie’s interest in this particular history.  Bolstered by the unique challenge,  Flint vigorously confronted a predicament where open wire was in its last stages of evolution.  The scramble to locate historical items at this late date came at a high cost and was extremely tough.  Despite this unfavorable circumstance, our artist set out to locate what remained.   It was hard work.  Early treks in the field to discover and locate open wire relics were not always successful.  Through unbounded determination, surprising success occurred.   Amazing finds in unlikely places!   Artifacts of unusual shapes, sizes and types emerged from layers of soil, roots, rotted wood and fallen leaves during these expeditions.  Discoveries encouraged further ambitious tours along previously unexplored railroad right-of-ways.  This awakened a more pronounced interest in the topic and greater fascination in telecommunications beyond mere insulators emerged.  Brackets, pins, angle braces, crossarms, and related materials of open wire–anything that went up on a pole line from one end to the other–compelled research.  An exciting individual find argued for further study.  Open wire captivated Ellie.   Learning about the aerial wire  technological culture was a greater goal than merely insulators.

In the beginning,  there was a lapse of only a year between finding his first neighborhood artifacts to the process of doing research about them.  That was when Ellie jumped full speed on a steep learning curve.   As further discoveries opened new learning horizons, this in turn, caused further excitement to perform additional research about the technology.   After many years of interest, Ellie finally discovered our website, Song of the Open Wire, making acquaintance with this Webmaster.  It didn’t take long for this Webmaster to welcome our newest Contributor.

Ellie lives in the Western Massachusetts town of Leverett, which is near Amherst.  Our creative cartoonist’s yearn for history beyond open wire indicates healthy intellectual diversity.  According to Flint, other interests involve rehabilitating historical kerosene lanterns, growth of railroads and  history, models, photography, and writing.   The “Show Tel & Tel” artist concedes, he can’t ignore the occasional odd “this and that” antique.  Our cartoonist’s remarkable artistic flair is clearly illustrated in his cartoons featured here at Song of the Open Wire.   

We are very honored to be associated with Mr. Flint’s talent and intellectual agility welcoming a burst of regular creative commitments to Song.  We realize “Show Tel & Tel’s” cartooning was in strong competition with another website’s yearning.  We are especially pleased the Song site succeeded as host of his work.   Complimenting Song’s qualities, we are honored by Ellie’s kind words.  These became the basis of a positive decision to regularly contribute.   Ellie’s artistic flair will resonate with those involved in telecommunications–and more specifically–to open wire.  Our cartoonist’s unique insight will be enjoyed by those of you, whether the message is humorous or editorial and welcome comments.    Please enjoy his own personal commentary on this important topic.