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questions about wooden poles

Frequently Asked Questions about Wooden Poles...

What is the difference between a telegraph pole and a landscaping pole?
Telegraph poles and the expression 'heard it on the grapevine'.

What is the difference between a telegraph pole and a landscaping pole?

The most obvious one, is that a telegraph pole is generally tapered, longer in length, wider in diameter & with a choice of treatments. See Telegraph Pole sizes and prices. In contrast a landscaping pole is untapered, with a maximum length of 3.6m, and has a choice of diameter from 50mm - 200mm. See Landscaping Poles sizes and prices. So, if you are looking for height, strength & longevity, then telegraph poles would be best, whereas landscaping poles would win where you seek regularity, identical dimensions & shorter lengths.

Telegraph poles & the expression 'Heard it On the grapevine'

Telegraph poles and grapevines

An answer to the burning question as to how "grape-vine" came to be used figuratively to mean "an informal person-to-person means of circulating information or gossip"

This originates in the USA. In the early days of telegraphy, companies rushed to put up telegraph poles, some made none too well and some actually using trees rather than poles. To some, the tangled wires resembled the wild vines found in California, hence a Grapevine. During the US Civil War the telegraph was used extensively, but the messages were sometime unreliable, hence the association of rumour on the grapevine. The phrase first appeared in print in 1852.

Another reference states:. “…grapevines were associated with telegraph lines somewhere along the line, for by the time of the Civil war a report by ‘grapevine telegraph’ was common slang for a rumor. The idea behind the expression is probably not rumors sent over real telegraph lines, but the telegraphic speed with which rumor mongers can transmit canards with their own rude mouth-to-mouth telegraph system.”

From the “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).


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