On the behaviour of fuse wires
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The last few decades have witnessed the introduction of electricity as a factor of everyday life in its use as a source of light, power and heat. The dangers of fire breaking out, or the damaging of machines or other apparatus by an unexpected rush of excessive current, have demanded the immediate use of protective means to interrupt the current before it becomes higher than the current capacity of the circuit. The earlier forms of the so called "cut outs" were fuse wires, whose current carrying capacity was, or at least was supposed to be, equal to that of the circuit, but which would fuse and consequently open the circuit at the smallest excess of current above the normal load. Various other forms, like the magnetic circuit breaker, have subsequently come into use, but they are restricted mainly to guard against short circuits, while the ordinary fuse wire is still and will be used to open the circuit when the current exceeds the carrying capacity of the line.