Friday, 7 April 2017

Lost and forgotten streets of Salford ...................... nu 18 St Simon Street, a wireless and sixty earth rods

Now you can still walk along St Simon Street but it no longer follows the route that it did when it led from Blackfriars Street to the Anaconda Works of Frederick Smith and Co who were producing some pretty nifty things in brass at the beginning of the 20th century.

This I know because in Dad’s garden shed in Well Hall Road in south east London he had sixty brass Earth Roads still in their cardboard boxes.

The rods are 46 cms [18”] in length, are fluted and pointed at one end  with a screw and terminal cap at the other.

According to the description on the side of the box “A good Earth connection to a wireless receiver cannot be over emphasised.  It provides a definite relief from howling and mush.  It improves selectivity and volume.  

The Anaco S (registered) Earth Road is made by engineers who have specialised for over 50 years in the manufacture of electronic conductors....with the object of producing a connection giving the lowest possible earth resistance and to be entirely free from incipient corrosion of any type.  

The improvements produced by the use of this earth are permanent and no replacements are necessary.” 

So there you have it.  Our Dad at some point acquired sixty of these rods.  I have no idea why and we never got round to asking him.  I have no idea when he got them but there they were in 1994, having been manufactured I guess sometime in the early 1920s.

Of course some will have chapter and verse on both the date of the rods and the history of the Anaconda Works.

I know that they were Type W “would not crumple when driven into the ground” and the instructions  direct me to “ease the screw on terminal cap, insert the earth wire from set into bottom grove and tighten up screw to hold wire in good contact with rod.”

All I need now is the wireless .............. something dad didn’t have in the shed.

But like many of my generation I do on occasion refer to the “wireless” remember with fondness the Home Service and the Light Programme.

None of which of course helps with St Simon Street which at the beginning of the 20th century ran from Blackfriars hugging the south side of the river and ending at Springfield Lane.

Today it takes a different route and my bit of St Simon’s Street along with Frederick Smith & co’s Anaconda Works has gone.

Location; Salford

Pictures; box and earth rod circa 1920s, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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