Description This is a view of the line's geometry as it snakes parallel to I-90 along the northern foothills of the Black Hills of South Dakota. This line, located off I-90 at the Tilford, S.D. exit, is the last openwire line preserved in Northwestern Bell Territory and is built according to Bell System Openwire construction and maintenance practices. D. G. Schema, through his and others' concerted efforts over two and one half years, moved to preserve this last vestage of the openwire telephone heritage in five states. See Song of the Open Wire website for details on the history of this venture, which was the first time in history an openwire technical artifact in situ had ever been attempted to be nominated to the National Register in the United States.
Douglas G. Schema, Topeka, Kansas Member Since November 2011 Artist Statement Administrator of The Electric Orphanage, a non-profit historical preservation project highlighting the technological evolution of the electric power distribution and transmission industry, street and highway lighting technologies. Open wire telecommunications technology, which provided the early foundation for power system design, is also a part.
Mr. Schema holds two master's degrees and has worked in the telecommunications industry. His dual electric power and telecom background has facilitated contacts throughout the United States in order to preserve the heritage of the industries for which he has worked.
Utilizing 20+ years of experience with library science and bibliographic research (in the medical, allied health, scientific, engineering, public policy and state and federal document divisions), he has a significant grasp of the technical literature sources.
His artwork topicality and specialties ARE the electric and telcom industries specifically; having devoted over 50 years of work to advance their aims. Each piece is constructed with both creative care and technical expertise, to guarantee a high degree of technical accuracy and authenticity. This is a hallmark of both his artwork and photography. His artwork takes the form of both pen and ink drawings or highly detailed renderings in pencil.
Among the many utilities for which his works have been commissioned or requisitioned, are the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Southwestern Public Service Company/Xcel Energy, Tri-County Telephone Association, Northwestern Bell and many other organizations. He has had continuous relationships with nearly all the U. S. investor-owned utilities and hundreds of smaller municipals, public power districts, electric distribution and G&T cooperatives since the 1960s. Every year, the artist attends major conventions of the IEEE/PES, IES of NA, Investment Recovery Association, and other industry-related groups.
"The Song of the Open Wire" will initiate a host of upcoming websites in this technological arena of the utilities. Anticipate additional sites which will envelope both outdoor lighting as well as T&D/Substation technical topics and processes.