I am very busy for the next few days and don’t have the time to look it up but somewhere around that time era it was required to make and keep all metal piping system electrically continuous from end to end.
Just as today the electrode is only the part of the pipe that is in direct contact with earth. Today’s verbiage states that we are allowed to use only the first five feet of metal water pipe for the grounding path to the electrode. This first five feet is not electrode.
Note the use of “grounding path”250.53(D) (1) Continuity. Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters or filtering devices and similar equipment..
The Exception to this allows the metal water pipe in industrial buildings to land anywhere as long as certain rules are followed.250.68(C) (1) Interior metal water piping located not more than 1.52 m (5 ft) from the point of entrance to the building shall be permitted to be used as a conductor to interconnect electrodes that are part of the grounding electrode system.