Chatterton's compound

Chatterton’s compound was an adhesive waterproof insulating compound that was used in early submarine telegraph cables. Its constitution is as follows:

Chatterton's Compound was also used to stick insulating paper to armatures, for example those on Synchronome clocks; the most accurate clocks made in the early part of the 20th century. If the paper looked in a bad condition it could be removed by warming up the armature near a flame and replacing it. Chatterton's Compound was used in the manufacture of pneumatic pipe organs to seal lead tubing into wooden blocks for the pneumatic action. It is still used in historical restoration jobs for this purpose but has been replaced with modern materials on more recent builds.

It was much used by submarine Cable Technicians for various purposes around oversea telegraph offices prior to the 1960s for general adhesive purposes and was available in round black sticks of about 3/4 inch diameter which responded to heat from a spirit lamp. It was used in jointing gutta percha insulated submarine telegraph cables.

It was known to telegraph technicians as 'chats'.

In France, the normal black PVC electrical insulating tape is often referred to as "Chatterton".



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