A Monument to Communication

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One of the beneficial advancements in telephone technology has been a reduction in the number of wires and cables required. In the early days of the telephone, wires were strung all across major cities, cluttering the sky. Perhaps the best example of an attempt to organize these was the Old Stockholm telephone tower.

Photo from Tekniska museet, Stockholm
Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm

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Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm

Built in 1887, it was designed to hold 5,500 separate lines. Citizens hated its appearance. The tower was a daunting collection of metal trestles that towered over the city. Even worse, each of the 5,500 lines was connected individually to the top of the tower, from all directions. Having a skyline with so many cables was not appealing.

Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm
Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm

Stockholms Allmänna Telefon AB (or SATAB), the comapany that built the tower, hired architect Fritz Eckert to beautify it. His efforts yielded four angle towers on the corners of the structure. Each tower had a large antenna which pushed the height to 80 meters! This helped ease tension in the city, but soon phone lines were being buried instead of hung from the sky. By 1913, all the lines were buried and the tower lost its purpose.

Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm
Photo from Tekniska Museet, Stockholm

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