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History of Wire Markers

The lowly wire marker has been the forgotten hero in our march towards everything digital. Without wire markers, repairs would be impossible, complex electrical components hamstrung and modern communication in the dark.
There is some debate over the genesis of the first wire marker book and wire marker card. Certainly the development of modern ships, let alone the emergence of the electrical industry required wire ID. Here is our take on the history of the wire marker book and wire marker card.
1930’s. T&B develops the first line of die-cut wire markers. Using a distinctive orange backing card, they preprinted cards with a consecutive range of wire marker legends: 1-9 and A-Z. Just as electrical wiring was becoming more complex, T&B’s sequentially numbered wire marker cards make it easy for installers to identify each end of the connection with a unique number – thereby eliminating later at-wire confusion.
1940’s. Brady develops their own version of the wire marker card Spurred by their famous “Blue Streak” liner system and an innovative (and patented) way to peel back the backing card to enable faster wire marker dispensing. they emerge as the quality and innovation leader. Brady has maintained the leadership of the wire marker book and card market since that time.
1960’s & 1970’s. Tyco, Critchley and Brady champion local, on-site printing of wire markers using specialized equipment such as dot matrix, thermal and other printing technologies. These quickly become the standard for OEM electrical manufactures. Such systems are essential as the numbering schemes become ever more complex.
1970’s and 1980’s. 3M, Panduit and, later, Tyton, add wire marker books to fill out their emerging electrical fastening and cable accessory lines.
1980’s. 3M’s innovative wire marker dispenser was introduced in the late 1980’s and heralded an error of belt-friendly, easy-dispensing labeling products.
2000’s. The internet emerges as a primary way to wire marker cards and wire marker books. Till then, contractors purchase most electrical ID products from traditional wire marker distributors such as Grainger, Graybar, WESCO and CED and Rexel/GESCO. With a combination of large inventories, free shipping and aggressive pricing, sites such as WireMarkerBooks.com offer direct-from-the-factory savings of over 50% to a increasing market of savvy electrical and cable contractors and installers.