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Street Lighting

The Mound

 

Photo

    Looking down the Mound - around 1960? ©

Please scroll down this page to see a photograph looking down the Mound, probably around1959 or 1960, followed by some of the email correspondence that this photo provoked

 

Replies

1

David King
Trinity, Edinburgh

Tram Tracks used up to Nov 1956

Electric Blanket - installed > 1956

2

John Cavanagh
Durham, County Durham, England

Electric Blanket - installed > 1956

3

Mike Cheyne
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England

Electric Blanket - installed 1959

4

John Gray
Stenhouse, Edinburgh

Electric Blanket - working

5

Ian Taylor
South Glasgow, Scotland

Electric Blanket - installed 1959

6

Stuart Montgomery
Edinburgh

Electric Blanket - installed late-1950s?

Electric Blanket - installed 1946?

Electric Blanket - installed 1960s?

7

Brian Alexander
Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Electric Blanket - installed late-1955?

8

Joyce Lamont Messer
Whanganui, North Island,
New Zealand

Electric Blanket on the Mound

Electric Blankets for Homes

Departure from Edinburgh

9

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Electric Blanket
-  What were the Dates of these Photos?

10

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Electric Blanket
-  We now know the Dates of these Photos

10

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Electric Blanket
-  Press Photo Captions and Articles

10

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Electric Blanket
-  Switch Off  -  When?
-  Controls

Late-1950s?

downup the Mound - around 1960?

©   Any reproduction requires  prior permission of Edinburgh City Archives
Photo from Edinburgh Street Lighting Collection SL/90/8.  Photo Ref. 
AG Ingram B897/2

 

Enlarge this photo

      Looking down the Mound - around 1960? ©

 

Photo

Street Lighting Collection

This photo comes from the Edinburgh Street Lighting Collection held by Edinburgh City Archive.  There are no tall lamp posts in this photo as there are in this photo taken from the foot of The Mound:

Looking up the Mound  -  late-1950s? ©

There are just the low lanterns on either side of The Mound and round the corner into Mound Place.  (These lanterns ca still be found today, 2011, on The Mound and the south side of Princes Street where it borders with Princes Street Gardens.

Date of Photo

The tram tracks have been lifted from this part of The Mound.

-  The first bus is Reg No GSG13, a Metro-Cammell bodied Daimler** on service 23 to Morningside

**  Thank you to George Fairbairn, Birkenhead, for the identifying the model.
I believe that this bus was withdrawn from service around 1964.

-  The second bus is Reg No LWS548, one of a large batch of Leylands bought in the mid-1950s to replace the trams.

Looking at the traffic in this photo, I feel that it might have been taken some time around the late-1950s or 1960.

 

Reply

1.

David King

Trinity, Edinburgh

Thank you to David King who wrote:

Tram Lines

"I think you are probably right about the date of this photo (around 1960).  The tram lines on the Mound were used right up to November 1956 by the last two service, 23 and 28."

Comment

After reading the paragraph above, a contributor wrote:

"The two trams that ran up the Mound were numbers 23 and 27 (not 28):  I used them every day on my journey from Canonmills to Heriots and back. Today's buses bear the same numbers."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire:  October 27, 2012

Reply

I think this paragraph might have also confused others.  So, here is the explanation why it refers to service 28 rather than service 27:

-  Yes tram routes 23 and 27, followed by bus routes 23 and 27 have run up the Mound for many decades..

-  However, route 27 was converted to  buses in August 1955, about 15 months before tram services ended.

-  Tram service 23 continued to run up the Mound and was joined by service 28 for the last three months of tram running, from September 1956.  Service 28 was diverted via the Mound on its route to Tollcross in order to get rid of some sunken track in Princes Street.

Source:  DLG Hunter's Book: 'Edinburgh Transport - The Corporation Years'

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 27, 2012

Electric Heating

"Not only were the tracks on the Mound lifted, but the whole road surface was removed.  Electric heating elements were installed below the new surface, as there were apparently concerns that the buses might not be able to operate in snow.

There was a temperature sensor fixed to a lighting column on the west side of the street, near the Princes Street junction.  I donít know if it turned on the elements automatically or alerted staff. 

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

The picture above shows that the heating elements were quite effective.  Over the years they gradually failed, sometimes giving a patchwork effect in snow, and I think the whole thing is now out of use.  Maybe someone else has more information!"

David King, Trinity, Edinburgh:  January 27, 2011

 

Reply

2.

John Cavanagh

Durham, County Durham, England

Thank you to John Cavanagh who also remembers the electric blanket on the Mound.

John wrote:

Electric Blanket

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

"I couldn't help but notice the lack of snow on the  road  in this photo.  I'm sure I can remember reading that when the tram lines were removed and the road re-laid an 'electric blanket' under road heating system was laid down to enable vehicles to climb the Mound during icy weather."

John Cavanagh, Durham, County Durham, England:  January 27, 2011

 

Reply

3.

Mike Cheyne

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England

Thank you to Mike Cheyne for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Mike wrote:

Electric Heating

1959

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

"Could your photograph of the Mound have been taken in 1959 or later?  That was the year they laid miles of electric wiring under the road surface to prevent icing in winter. The road looks as if it has been thoroughly de-iced."

Mike Cheyne, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  January 27, 2011

 Reply

4.

John Gray

Stenhouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Gray who also referred to the electric blanket on the Mound.

John wrote:

The Mound

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

"It seems to me that the 'electric blanket' on the Mound must still have been working, due to the complete lack of snow on the road surface.

Maybe that will help to date the picture more accurately. "

John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh:  January 27, 2011

 Reply

5.

Ian Taylor

South Glasgow, Scotland

Thank you to John Gray who also referred to the electric blanket on the Mound.

Ian wrote:

The Mound

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

"As far as I can gather, the tram tracks were being lifted in 1958 and an 'electric blanket' to keep the road free of ice and snow was laid in 1959.

This device had some faults and was switched off after a few years, but I think it has been improved/replaced and now works efficiently.

Perhaps an Edinburgh resident could confirm this."

Ian Taylor:  South Glasgow, Scotland:  January 28, 2011

 Reply

6.

Stuart Montgomery

Edinburgh

'Electric Blanket' on the Mound

Stuart Montgomery has posted his  November 2010 photo, looking down the Mound on Flickr.  This photo was taken following a fall of about six inches of snow across Edinburgh.

The photo is followed by discussion of when the 'electric blanket' - wire mesh that could be electrically heated - was installed under the tarmac on the Mound, and how many years it operated for.

One contributor to the Flickr page (georgeupstairs) wrote in November 2010:

Date of Installation

"In October 1956, the council launched electrically operated dust carts instead of the hand-pushed ones, and three years later an 'electric blanket' was laid under the tarmac on The Mound.

The stretch of road there was deemed too hazardous for drivers, so engineers came up with a scheme that used heated mesh to warm up the road and thaw the ice. Their idea proved less than satisfactory though, and was unplugged a few years later."

Source: Sarah Howden, Edinburgh Evening News, 09 August 2008

Late-1950s?

The paragraphs above suggest that the blanket might have been installed around the late-1950s.  This would be consistent with the date assumed for the photo at the top of this page, if the photo is an illustration of a newly installed blanket in operation as may be the case.

The Mound
Photo: Edinburgh City Archives
(Street Lighting Collection)

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

Around 1946?

However, the Flickr page above also includes a link to a National Library of Scotland page that gives details of Scottish Screen Archive film Ref No 5854.  The film is black and white and silent, lasting 5.46 mins.

TITLE:  Road Heating - The Mound

DESCRIPTION:  The laying of cables below the road surface of the Mound in Edinburgh, and the official opening ceremony.

DATE:  1946.

1960

I moved to Edinburgh in 1963.  Some time during my first few years here, I remember reading in the Evening News about an 'electric blanket' being installed on the Mound.  Might this have been the re-installation of an earlier scheme that had not worked satisfactorily?

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2012

'Electric Blanket' on the Mound

Stuart Montgomery has posted his  November 2010 photo, looking down the Mound on Flickr.  This photo was taken following a fall of about six inches of snow across Edinburgh.

The photo is followed by discussion of when the 'electric blanket' - wire mesh that could be electrically heated - was installed under the tarmac on the Mound, and how many years it operated for.

One contributor to the Flickr page (georgeupstairs) wrote in November 2010:

"In October 1956, the council launched electrically operated dust carts instead of the hand-pushed ones, and three years later an 'electric blanket' was laid under the tarmac on The Mound.

The stretch of road there was deemed too hazardous for drivers, so engineers came up with a scheme that used heated mesh to warm up the road and thaw the ice. Their idea proved less than satisfactory though, and was unplugged a few years later."

Source: Sarah Howden, Edinburgh Evening News, 09 August 2008

Late-1950s

The paragraphs above suggest that the blanket might have been installed around the late-1950s.  This would be consistent with the date assumed for the photo at the top of this page, if the photo is an illustration of a newly installed blanket in operation as may be the case.

The Mound
Photo: Edinburgh City Archives
(Street Lighting Collection)

downup the Mound - around 1960? ©

1946

However, the Flickr page above also includes a link to a National Library of Scotland page that gives details of Scottish Screen Archive film Ref No 5854.  The film is black and white and silent, lasting 5.46 mins.

TITLE:  Road Heating - The Mound

DESCRIPTION:  The laying of cables below the road surface of the Mound in Edinburgh, and the official opening ceremony.

DATE:  1946.

1960s

I moved to Edinburgh in 1963.  Some time during my first few years here, I remember reading in the Evening News about work on an 'electric blanket'  on the Mound. 

On reflection, I think the articles might have been about whether or not remedial work should be undertaken to get the electric blanket working satisfactorily again.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2012

Questions

So, that leaves a couple of questions:

1.  When was the Mound's 'Electric Blanket' installed?

2.  For how many winters was it in use.

Can anybody help to answer these questions?

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2012

 

 Reply

7.

Brian Alexander

Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brian Alexander for telling me about two photos of the installation of the electric blanket on the Mound.

Brian wrote:

Installation of 'Electric Blanket'

"I came across the two attached photos of the 'Electric Blanket' under the road surface on the Mound. They are from the Scran website."

12 February 1955

    Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

23 September 1955

    Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

"The dates given above these thumbnail photos are the dates of publication as given by Scran, but dates on Scran can be a bit inaccurate."                          [Agreed.  See Reply 10 below!  Peter Stubbs]

Brian Alexander, Prestonfield, Edinburgh: October 27, 2012

Please click on these thumbnail images to enlarge them.  -  Peter Stubbs

 

Scran Dates

I agree with Brian's comments about the reliability of dates on Scran, especially for photos provided by Scotsman Publications Ltd.  In the past I've found the Picture Library at The Scotsman to be helpful in telling me the true dates of some of their photos on Scran.

However, this time, I'll have a look at Edinburgh Central LIbrary, at microfilm copies of The Scotsman and Evening News for the dates quoted by Scran to see if I can find the photos and any accompanying articles in the newspapers..

More Scran Photos

1955

When I searched the Scran web site for Mound Electric Blanket, it came up with these seven photos, all from Scotsman Publications Ltd.  The Scran site gives the following publication dates for these photos.

1st ROW PHOTOS:        28 Oct 1955,     2 Apr 1968,    6 Aug 1958,    12 Feb 1955

2nd ROW PHOTOS:      13 Jan 1955,   23 Sep 1955,   1 Dec 1955

So it certainly looks as if there was activity installing the electric blanket during 1955, if the Scran dates are to be believed.

Update

See Reply 9 below to read more about the dates of these photos.  (The Scran dates should not be believed!)

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 28, 2012

 

 Reply

8.

Joyce Lamont Messer

Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand

 

Thank you to Joyce Lamont Messer who wrote:

Electric Blanket
for The Mound

"I think the first Mound electric blanket must have been in the late-1940s or early-1950s (rather than late-1950s - unless there were 2 versions which I vaguely think there were).

I remember my mother pouring scorn on the idea of a blanket for the Mound thinking the city fathers had gone completely mad, though in fact the idea proved to be quite effective."

Electric Blankets
for Homes

"In the late-1940s and early-1950s, electric blankets were expensive and few people had them for their beds, never mind for roads.

I had an aunt who made them in her spare time - she did the accounts for an electrician, worked out how they were made and using old blankets to trap the wires, produced them for the family.

My mother was dubious and my father was convinced she was trying to electrocute us all. They had no heat control switch. However, if you only used them to heat the bed, kept an eye on them then switched them off and removed them from the bed they were fine and a blessing in the freezing bedrooms of an Edinburgh winter.  My parents were soon addicted to Auntie May's electric blankets."

Departure from Edinburgh

"I left Edinburgh in 1956 - and this was well before that date. I seem to remember the trams had problems getting up the Mound in freezing conditions, not just the buses."

Joyce Lamont Messer, Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand:  October 28, 2012

 

 Reply

9.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

What were the Dates of these Photos?

I visited Edinburgh Central Library today to look at the old microfilm copies of the Evening News and Scotsman, hoping to find some of the photos from the Scan site mentioned at the end of Reply 7 above, and any accompanying captions or articles.  e.g.

12 February 1955 *

13 February 1959

    Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

23 September 1955 *

24 September 1959

 Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

* After spending an hour at the library and not finding any of the photos that I searched for on the appropriate microfilm records, I came home and contacted the Scotsman Library to check if the dates on Scran were correct.

Update

The Scotsman Library has now provided the correct dates for the two photos above, together with the correct dates for other photos that I asked about.  Please see Reply 10 below.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 29, 2012

 

 Reply

10.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

We Now Know the Dates of some of these Photos?

For some reason, the date given on Scran for most of these photos is too early by exactly 4 years and 1 day!

This table gives the actual dates and papers of publications for these photos, as advised to me by Scotsman Publications Ltd.

So it appears that most of the work to install the electric blanket on the Mound was carried out during 1959

Scran Ref No +
Scotsman Photo No

Publication Date given on Scran

Correct Publication Date
i.e. according to Scotsman

1.

000-000-042-296, Photo 69173

13 Jan 1955

 14 Jan 1959, Scotsman

See 1 in Reply 11 below

2.

000-000-042-292, Photo 69939

    Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

12 Feb 1955

 13 Feb 1959, Evening Dispatch

See 2 in Reply 11 below

3.

000-000-535-345-C, Photo 606240

2 Apr 1968

2 Apr 1968, Evening Dispatch

This info also appear to be wrong.

See 3 in Reply 11 below

4.

000-000-057-625, Photo 99998855

23 Sep 1955

24 Sep 1959, Evening Dispatch

See 4  in Reply 11 below

5.

000-000-040-761, Photo 76168

Installing the Electric Blanket beneath the road surface at the Mound, 1955 ©

23 Sep 1955

24 Sep 1959, Evening Dispatch

See 5 in Reply 11 below

6.

000-000-040-664, Photo 77032

28 Oct 1955

29 Oct 1959, Scotsman

See 6 in Reply 11 below

7.

000-000-040-665, Photo 106782

6 Aug 1958

29 Oct 1959 taken, not published.

8.

000-000-040-666, Photo 78045

1 Dec 1955

2 Dec 1959, Evening Dispatch

This info also appear to be wrong.

See 8 in Reply 11 below

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 1, 2012

 

 Reply

11.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Extracts from the Press

I've now had chance to look through the old newspapers and have found the captions and articles accompanying several of the photos relating to the electric blanket installed on the Mound.

Electric Blanket installed 1959

These captions and articles confirm that the electric blanket on the Mound was installed in 1959.  I believe that they also dispel the story that there was an earlier electric blanket installed in the 1940s.  I think that story probably resulted from another incorrect date on the SCRAN web site.

For how many years did the Electric Blanket work?

If I can find an article or caption that accompanied picture 3, that may tell us how successful the electric blanket was and how long it operated for.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Numbering as in the table in 'Reply 10' above, we have:

1.

The Scotsman

14 Jan 1959

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTION: 

"Workers laying electric heating wires in the road surface of the Mound, Edinburgh."

ARTICLE (accompanying this photo) 

"Preliminary work proceeding yesterday on the Mound, Edinburgh, in preparation for resurfacing of the roadway.  The tram lines are seen lifted in Bank Street.  The Head Office of Bank of Scotland is in the background.

No decision has yet been taken about the proposed £7,500 electric blanket which road planners say will solve the hazards on the Mound."

 

2.

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch

13 Feb 1959

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTIO
(accompanying a photo of men on the Mound holding rolls of mesh):

"The first in a series of experiments in the heating of the roadway at the Mound, Edinburgh was carried out by the City Engineers' Department yesterday.

The experiment involved the laying of wire mesh - which if adopted as a means of heating would be laid under one-and-a-half inch of asphalt on the road - and running a fully laden asphalt machine over it to see if it could bear the weight without being damaged.

'The mesh' said a spokesman of the department ' would be connected to a mains electricity supply if it is adopted.  It works on the same lines as an electric fire, radiating heat through the surface of the road.'

'This is the first in a series of experiments we will carry out to find a suitable method of heating the roadway', he said.

Two different types of wire mesh were being 'tried out' yesterday to see if they could withstand a heavy weight without being damaged."

 

3.

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch

2 April 1968

There appears to be a problem with this date.  The Edinburgh Evening Dispatch title was absorbed by the Edinburgh Evening News in 1963.

I've looked at Edinburgh Evening News for 2 April 1968, but can find no photos of the Mound and no articles referring to it in that paper, despite the paper carrying several photos of and articles about a recent blizzard that had just hit the city and disrupted traffic.

 

4.

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch

24 September 1959

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTION:

"Lunch-time crowds had a grand-stand view of the top coat of tarry grit being put over the wires."

 

5.

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch

24 September 1959

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTION:

"Lunch-time crowds ... saw electricians checking the vital wires that are going to keep the road surface free of ice."

Also in the same paper, there was a photo of the junction at the West End of Princes Street with its ten newly-installed sets of traffic lights.

 

6.

The Scotsman

29 October 1959

ARTICLE ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPH  (I've split some of the paragraphs in this article and added a few of my own headings, for easier reading below):

Work nearing Completion

"For some months now the road which rises from Princes Street to the top of the Mound has looked like a battlefield.  At first, it was trench warfare, with gaping cavities in the earth and bricks and mortar flying everywhere.  Lately, modern techniques have  become more apparent, with strange machines scattered here and there on the hillside.

Now, having been partly closed to traffic, torn up and pitched up in swift succession, the Mound has just undergone its final treatment - the laying of the electric-heating system that will lie beneath its surface.

Cost

"At a cost which is likely to work out at something around £7,000 - considerably more than the £5,500 estimated earlier in the year - a road utterly treacherous in frosty weather has been provided with a surface which gives every hope of being completely safe.

The whole Mound route, from Princes Street to the Lawnmarket, has been provided with heating apparatus, and there is an extension for roughly 50 feet down Market Street to aid vehicles starting on this steep slope which in past winters has so often been icebound."

New Power Sub-Station

"The scheme will have its own electricity sub-station, tucked away on the western side of the Mound.  This building is being constructed with the care which is evident in the operations on the road itself, but for reasons of amenity it is being put farther down the slope into Princes Street Gardens, and will blend easily with the stonework of the existing wall.

The station is necessary because the greater part of the Mound is not heavily built up, and consequently a new source of power for the heavy additional load.  Work on the building should be completed in approximately a month's time."

Construction

"To call the heating installation a blanket or mat is a compete misnomer.  It is, in fact, merely a simple grid of wires, suitably laid to protect them from damage, and connected to an electric supply point.

The wires, 37 miles of them in all, are laid on the normal finished base level of the road.  They are on average three inches apart and separated into 226 panels roughly 16 feet by 16.  They are held in a state of light tension by means of trays at either end of their length:  then the wires are sprayed with bituminous liquid which makes them cling to the road surface ready for their first covering.

The initial covering is approximately half an inch of fine asphalt, completely free of stones or anything which is likely to damage the wires.  The final wire is 11/2 inches of asphalt topped with stone chips.  This type of covering  provides extra protection against the danger of electric shock, because asphalt itself is a first-rate insulating material."

Control

"Each panel gives a loading of four kilowatts.  Control of the heating system is fully automatic, the thermostat which regulates it switching on whenever air temperatures and humidity levels reach a certain point.

Humidity is the key factor because a dry frost does not make roads dangerous, and there are three copper moisture detectors built into the surface of the road to give an accurate recording.  The thermostat, giving a hypothetical heat of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the "blanket" will then raise the road to a temperature of approximately 35 degrees F."

Sceptics

"All kinds of searching questions are bound to be asked about the scheme.  It is one of the first of its kind in Britain, the only other comparable installations being on the ramps of the new Chiswick fly-over at Slough in Buckinghamshire.  Consequent-ly, sceptics abound.

Apart from the question of its cost - which will be roughly £2 15s an hour - there is the problem of how it is to be main-tained."

Dealing with Faults

"Supposing the wiring fails - what then? First, the scheme is so devised that if the trouble is merely in one panel, that panel can be isolated, while the rest of the system continues to operate.

As for the actual location of the fault, a machine rather like a mine detector is used which seeks out the point below the road surface where the loud noise from sparking wires is evident.  The chances are that only a small part of the road will have to be raised."

Twenty Year Life

"Ultimately, the success of the scheme will depend on the way in which the wires stand up to the job.  They are reckoned to have a life of at least 20 years, though it could be a great deal longer."

The Contractors

"The work has been a closely co-ordinated joint operation between the different contractors.  William Allan Smith & Co., of Edinburgh,  have been responsible for the laying of the wires, and George Wimpey & Co. have handled the road construction.

Before the work began much careful consideration and planning was undertaken by the South of Scotland Electricity Board and the Edinburgh City's Engineering Department, assisted by the Road Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

The result is a scheme which should make Edinburgh's blackest accident spot in icy weather safe for traffic."

Advert

The above article in The Scotsman was followed by this advert for the contractor who lay the wires o the Mound:

We are proud to have been associated with

The Mound Heating Project

Wm. ALLAN SMITH 7 CO., LTD

ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

-------------------------

We are the only private firm in the country who have carried out road heating work and our considerable experience helped in executing the contract in record time.

This heating can be applied to garage drives, paths, external stairways and many other outside applications.

Enquiries Welcomed.

-------------------------

 

 

7.

Photo 7 was not published in the press.

 

8.

Edinburgh Evening Dispatch

2 December 1959

I've not found any photos or article about the Mound in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch for this date for this date, though I was interested to see the League tables for the Scottish Football League Division 1 (which later became the Premier League).  The teams in the first six positions were:

1.  Hearts

2.  Raith Rovers (having just beaten Aberdeen 5:1)

3.  Rangers

4.   Airdrie

5.  Third Lanark (The club existed from 1872 to 1967)

6.  Dunfermline

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 1, 2013

 

 Reply

12.

Patrick Lindsay

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Thank you to Patrick Lindsay, Perth, Western Australia for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook in response to my 'Reply 11' above.

Patrick wrote:

Response to 'Reply 11', Para. 3:

Electric Blanket

Switch Off  -  When?

"If we are looking for dates of the blanket being turned off it is just possible it was still operating in the early 70's

I suggest that one way to check when the electric blanket  was turned off may be to contact Edinburgh Council Records/ Archives/Minutes Office. I assume they paid the bills and the event would be surely significant and recorded."

Patrick Lindsay, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  January 2, 2012

Response to 'Reply 11', Para. 8:

Electric Blanket Controls

Findlay Irvine Ltd.

"Findlay Irvine Ltd of Penicuik made many different products based on their 'Icelert' technology. Icelert was used to give warning of icing on military aircraft runways, railway points heaters and public roadways. The Mound was one of their roadway installations.

I worked for Findlay Irvine from '1970 to 1975 as an engineer. Probably around late-1973, I visited the switch room under the Mound with the company's service engineer.  The room is in one of the previous photos and is located in the lower side of the mound that faces west. (I think we were making a system calibration and health check before the start of winter)

I remember there were three Icelert controllers meaning there were three lots of probes in the road.  What I can't remember is if Icelert was controlling the blanket in three sections or just giving aggregate warnings of impending ice formation with, what I seem to remember as, a white flashing warning light on a pole

The roadway installation was very similar to the runway version (and was probably designed before the runway version).  There were multiple probes for each Icelert controller to work out if it was wet or not and also rate of temperature drop.  A bit more info on the runway controls can be found on Google Books Results at:

'New Scientist - 21 Dec 1972, Page 703'."

Patrick Lindsay, Perth, Western Australia, Australia:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  January 2, 2012

 

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