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Transformed By Time

Time and the elements have weathered this transformer box on the streets of Linkou.

Yesterday I went on a short tour of Linkou 林口 inspired by the opening of the Taoyuan Airport MRT and the proliferation of YouBike stations to the exurbs of Taipei 台北. After spending some time under the sun I stopped to pick up some water at one of Taiwan’s ubiquitous convenience stores and noticed a weathered padmount transformer out front, pictured here.

It may be hard to make out but the blue logo is that of the state-owned Taiwan Power Company 台灣電力公司 (pinyin: Táiwān Diànlì Gōngsī), or merely Taipower 台電 for short. This logo has an interesting history dating back to the early Japanese colonial era—an earlier iteration graces the ruins of the Guishan Power Plant 龜山發電廠, built in 1905—but this particular version was designed in 1947. It may be difficult to discern in this picture but the logo consists of the characters for Taipower surrounded by red bolts of electricity, all enclosed by three circles, a motif that can be seen on other state-owned enterprises such as the Taiwan Sugar Corporation.

Incidentally, this particular transformer is located in the vicinity of the former Shu Lin Kou Air Station 樹林口通訊站 (1955–1977), itself built on a Japanese World War II airbase. No trace of this former American SIGINT facility but you’ll find a treasure trove of old photos and videos on this vintage web site.

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