Untangling wires

One of the things that can happen when your adorable 30-year house that you are 15 years into was built in the 1920s is that you may find tangles like the one pictured below when you are walking through your undeveloped basement garage and look up into the floor joist for the main floor that are above you:

Since the rest of the house has been so well refurbished in the past year, my sights have been turned to our basement, to make it as clean and presentable as possible. The younger offspring unit and I have been trying to identify all the wires and other structures in the floor joists and have been removing the ones that started nowhere and ended nowhere. 

When we ran into this, still connected, I fortunately knew how to indentify it.  I went to a private online Facebook group I belong made up of the most eclectic people who know or do or practice or have researched every imaginable topic.  A writer’s group. 

They came back that it was an old school Western Electric lightning arrestor for our landline telephone. Well, since we haven’t had a landline since we threw of the traces of AT&Ts internet/cell/landline bundle years ago, I decided we would pull all those wires out. If anyone needed landline phone in the future, it would be better to run new lines anyway.

Now we bought the house from a family who ran a successful construction business out of the house, so our house is wired for two lines, residential and business. So I had to unhook two plugs from the AT&T box outside to remove the juice from the house lines.

Those two plugs happened to be crossed, because When AT&T transferred landline from the prior owner to us, they put our residence phones on the old business line. We had to flip to use our correct working residential phone lines.


We pulled those main units and are starting to clear out the related wires, As all the triplicate (Why three  for two lines I do not know) things start to look much neater, and the electric wiring begins to make sense and be accessible. Two thirds of the electrical looks good, but about one third has aged so the outside of the plastic insulation is starting to look somewhat papery.

But here below are pictures of the main components, moderately dusted off, to show how durable, still usable, and enduring these solid parts have been. Especially after not being used (except doubtless a carrying voltage) for the past 10 years).

Anyone know if these have any value to collectors, or are they best served as landfill? I know we would rather see a valued item saved than junked, but we aren’t going to value it.

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