About the only general statement I can make regarding the wire stock is 
that all of the W-C wire on the smaller 2 3/4" I have ever seen has 
always been stainless. Conversely, many of the earlier Armour (early to 
mid-1940's), and many of the Pierce wires I have run across are lower 
grade non-stainless.

I have also run across some military wire recordings on larger spools, 
some of which are stainless, and some which aren't. It would appear that 
there was a lot of research going on during and immediately after the 
Second WW on wire recording equipment and materials, and there was 
little standardization until Armour began issuing licenses for their 
technology (they made a rather astounding amount of money from these as 
I recall).

By the way, if you haven't run across it, I would also recommend Ed 
Sharpe's excellent site on vintage electronic technology. Here is the 
link to the wire recording section: 

Be forewarned, it's easy to spend a lot of time on this site! Lot's of 
interesting stuff...


Angie Dickinson Mickle wrote:
> Scott,
> Thank you for hunting this down.  I've always suspected that wire from 
> less common manufacturers (I got one from General Cement a few weeks 
> ago) was of varying grades, but never considered W-C wires would be also.
> I have seen some spools that were bare aluminum (usually with no 
> label), but you are right most seem to be pot metal.  Pretty awful 
> getting the wire off when the rims have been broken.
> I will be paying more attention to these issues.  And if you uncover 
> any more information, please let us know what you find.
> Very cool that the plant is still there.  It would be fun to drive 
> passed the next time I'm in town.
> Angie Dickinson Mickle
> Avocado Productions
> Broomfield, CO
> 800-246-3811