The field of line work is relatively new. After Thomas Edison and his associates helped to standardize the incandescent lightbulb and home wiring systems for practical use in the last half of the 19th century, according to the National Park Service, the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York was founded in 1882. That would also be the start of the line worker profession in the United States.
Over the years, the standards, practices, and safety equipment used to work on high voltage lines expanded as electricity slowly spread to American households. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal included the Rural Electrification Act, which would ultimately lead to the formation of electric cooperatives to help illuminate the rural areas of the United States. In 1936 North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (NGEMC) was formed, and Electricity (and line work) was brought to rural North Georgia.
As the industry grew, so did the demand for better safety practices and equipment. Many standard implements we have today were developed from improvised devices the line workers made themselves. The diagrams from NRECA below illustrate the evolving safety equipment used by line workers throughout the last century and a half.
Georgia Line Worker Appreciation Day is April 13, 2021. #ThankaLineman