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 Post subject: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2015 1:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4175
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Here is something I have always wondered about:

We are all familiar with the vulcanized cellulose fiber insulation commonly known in the electronics industry as "fish paper". So far as I know, it has been called by this name for decades, maybe for generations. But why this name "fish paper"? Does anyone know the reason/history behind this?

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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2015 1:49 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 18, 2011 3:36 am
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Location: Milton, FL 32570
fishpaper An insulating paper, often fiber- or oilcloth-like, used in the construction of transformers and coils. [Historical Note: Alvin G. Sydor writes: "In 1729 Stephen Gray made the discovery of the conducting and non-conducting power of different substances. Gray found that by using woven silk served as an excellent insulator. Some years later it was found that the paper industry could provide what was equivalent to woven silk. Later it was discovered that if the paper was saturated with fish oil its ability as an insulator was much improved particularly when used in harsh environments and high voltages.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2015 9:05 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11474
Location: Valley City ND USA
Heck, I'll stick my neck out. Fish paper; Rice paper used to cook fish. Fish wrapped
in said paper. Fatty oily fish. Enter oily paper.

I think that is the origin of the term.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 05, 2015 12:33 am 
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Location: Ohio 45177
I am so so happy that fish paper does not smell like fish in our equipment. But some of the stuff called fish paper might not be anything to do with fish oil I would surmise. Or like the original.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 05, 2015 1:25 am 
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Location: Liberty, Missorui
Don't have any Idea but it was called fish paper when I was a kid, now 65 years ago. Great stuff though, mechanically tough.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 05, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Location: Long Island
I've got some old Westinghouse manuals from the 1920s that refer to fish paper for armature and transformer winding, so it has been around a long time. An old time electrician told me that it's called fish paper because it was originally manufactured for packing raw fish, and it was subsequently discovered to be an excellent electrical insulation (at low temperatures at least) because it is impervious to nearly everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is it called "fish paper"?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 05, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9263
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Fish Paper has been discussed many times over the years here on ARF. I looked up some of the old postings and was surprised that GC Electronics still had it in their catalog a couple of years ago.

Digi-Key still sells it.

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... -ND/257752

http://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data%20She ... 60-100.pdf

I used to get it at my local HSC Electronics store, but they consolidated into Santa Clara about 120 miles south.

Rich


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