Pre-1900 Street SceneOther than historians and old phone nuts, few people today know the outrageous heights that telephone poles once attained. Ninety foot poles with thirty crossarms are known to have been employed in New York in the 1880s, much to the detriment of the urban landscape. As many as three-hundred wires were carried on these monstrosities, the tightly clustered lines collapsing each winter under the burden of snow. The era of these many-tiered poles lasted only about ten years, as underground wires ultimately served to alleviate the skyward congestion. This photograph and its caption appeared in the trade magazine, Telephony.