Ian Macky Explains the Colors and History of Insulators

August 19th, 2008

In this interview Ian Macky describes the origins, types, shapes and colors of collectible antique glass insulators. Based in Yreka, California, Macky can be reached via his website, Glassian, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

Colbalt blue Hemingray

I got interested in insulators when I lived in El Cajon and my neighbor worked for San Diego Gas and Electric. His son had a bunch of insulators on the window sill in his bedroom. I had never seen them up close before and I really liked glass, especially glass that was found in places you wouldn’t normally see it, like on sidewalks or built into poles, things that glass wasn’t fit for. You always think of glass as being fragile, but it was used for some pretty industrial uses.

So I asked him about them and it turns out all the original insulator collectors were linesmen. They’d go out and do a job and there’d be an old pole with antique insulators on them. They’d swap out the old ones with the new ones and to everybody else, the old were just junk. So my neighbor knew a lot of other insulator collectors and it just went from there. There was a national insulator show in San Diego and even one in my hometown. It seemed like there were shows everywhere and collecting insulators was a common thing.

If only I had money then, I was just a kid and five bucks was a lot of money and ten was way over my price range. Now the prices have gone through the roof because once you get the common insulators, it’s time to go for the rare ones. They’re just so expensive now. I’d say 2 to 3,000 people collect insulators and half of them are really serious and still collecting actively. It’s all about supply and demand, and there isn’t enough supply, especially of the nicer insulators. If you like glass, there are some very beautiful colors of insulators, and people want those rare pieces of glass.

Collectors Weekly: What color and shape of insulators are the most sought after?

Macky: Most people, if they had to thin out their collection, would keep the color. In insulator circles, anything not clear or aqua is considered colored. Aqua and clear were the default colors. Because of the iron content in the glass, most of the insulators came out a little green, that’s the typical aqua color you see and it’s very common. It’s a nice enough color, but when you’re collecting you try to find everything but aqua. If you’re a CD (design-oriented) collector, you try to collect one CD in each style, you’ll find that most of your collection is aqua. Very few insulators were made in colors.

Most of the color is in a few of the styles, especially in the signal insulators that carried railroad signals. They were offered in colors by the factory, you could specifically order blue, amber, or green, which would be helpful if you had a pole with a lot of insulators on it, for marking certain circuits with certain colors. Otherwise, they didn’t try to make insulators in colors because it didn’t matter.

Amber Lowex

You’d get a few fancy colors because some glasshouse did a fancy batch of cranberry glass or made some colored glassware and had some left over so they pressed a few insulators with it. Most of the glass houses didn’t make only insulators, they’d make all kinds of glassware. That’s why you get fancy colors sometimes. If they had an order for a whole bunch of Cobalt blue candle holders and they had glass left over, they weren’t going to waste it so they would put it towards another glass item, sometimes insulators.

To make insulators they used a lot of cullet, or recycled glass, and every batch of glass has some form of cullet in it because it was a lot more workable. So depending on the cullet that was used, you’d get different colors. Sometimes you’d even get swirls if they didn’t mix it well. There’s a batch of very nice green insulators made by McLaughlin in Vernon, California. He got a truckload of green gin bottles and melted them down and created a batch of insulators. That’s where those nice deep green insulators come from.

Later on the manufacturers decided clear insulators were more practical because they attracted fewer bugs and heated up less. There were a few exceptions later on, when porcelain started taking over for insulators and they tried to duplicate the colors. There’s some black glass out there, which is pretty much late 1960s and they made white milk glass insulators which had a white porcelain look. But those were made later on and essentially those were just black and white to match the porcelain.

The most popular color among collectors is Colbalt blue. That’s one of the colors Hemingray offered for their insulators, there are thousands of them out there. But they are so popular they are all snapped up immediately, everybody wants them.

Collectors Weekly: Who were some of the major insulator manufacturers?

Macky: The biggest and best was Hemingray. They came along in a boom time when gas fields were being found, and cities would offer free gas supply to companies so they’d just follow the gas around. They produced the most different styles and were in production for the longest time. They made color insulators on purpose. They were also the makers of the Hemingray 42, the best selling insulator of all time, produced in the millions. You don’t see a lot of insulators in the air anymore, except at railroads, and they’re mostly Hemingray 42.

Purple Millville

Another popular manufacturer was Brookfield in New York. On the West Coast the only people making insulators were EC & M around the 1880s, which is pretty early. They made a really crude, bad insulator, but you didn’t have to ship it from the East. Those are very sought after now; they’re a unique style and a San Francisco product and they come in some very nice colors. But no one has any idea of who actually made them. There were plants all over the place, transportation and fuel were a big factor. You had to be close to a fuel source because of gas and the railroad and that was the market.

Some insulators were embossed with the manufacturer’s name and style number, and perhaps the year or mold number. The molds were engraved so the letters were dug in. There are a lot of unembossed insulators out there, but at the turn of the century there were a lot of engravers and glass makers and cast iron was very big so people were making a lot of molds, and embossing was very big. As the years went on, there were fewer engravers available and the embossing started getting simpler and simpler.

Collectors Weekly: During what time period were insulators used?

Macky: The very earliest insulators were lightning rod insulators. One of the interesting things about insulators is that they parallel the development of electricity. Before people were making electricity, insulators were being used to support grounding rods, just channeling electricity to ground, protecting houses. Later on when the telegraph was invented, suddenly there was a need to run wires on poles for many miles and to develop insulators. They started out small because there was typically only one telegraph line on a pole.

“EC & M made a really crude, bad insulator, but you didn’t have to ship it from the East.”

Then telephones took over and got popular, and there was the Rural Electrification Act, which tried to provide power to all these farm people. So there was a big insulator boom in the early part of the century, they were producing them by the millions. This was during the open wire days. From the 1920s to the 40s, that’s when the peak was. They started tapering off after that.

When I lived in San Mateo a lot of the old glass was still up in the air. There are some very thrifty companies out there, and insulators lasted and they just kept reusing them over and over. But today, if I walk around Yreka, there’s hardly any glass at all, usually for telecommunications they use cables, which don’t need insulators. For the power, they almost exclusively use porcelain. For new construction they will only sometimes use glass on the high power pylons. The glass ones are used a lot more in Canada than here. In other countries, it’s different, they actually use glass, but we use porcelain in America. I think it’s cheaper to manufacturer and mechanically they are a little stronger. The transition to porcelain started in the 1950s and by 1970 they were pretty much done.

Collectors Weekly: What were some of the early, rare insulator designs?

Colbalt Blue splotch Millville Kerr

Macky: The earliest design was used on the Morris telegraph and was called a bureau knob because it looked just like a knob on a dresser, just a knob with a groove in it. As soon as the first winter came along, they realized that design wouldn’t work. They discovered very quickly how important weather proofing was. The earlier designs had things called ram’s hooks, a hooked shaped thing down below and the wire would rest on the hook and they had to somehow insulate the hook from everything else.

There’s some crazy designs out there. One of my favorites is from Chicago. It’s claim to fame was that instead of having just a round shape, it had these diamond shaped depressions in it so when you ran a wire by it and tied it, the wire would only contact the insulator at a couple of points. Somehow they thought this was better insulation because the wire contacted the glass less, which was ridiculous. There were many designs like that, that made no sense at all. That’s what makes collecting insulators so interesting… all those rare experiments are out there.

Hemingray was very big on their drip points. At the bottom of their insulators they had these little raised points that were said to help the water drip off faster, so the insulator would dry off faster. I think testing has shown that it doesn’t make a lot of difference, but their salesmanship was good. After a while they got a bit more scientific with insulator designs and found out what exactly was important and became more standardized. That’s why the Hemingray 42 eventually became the main insulator and was the last generation of insulators. It worked well and they mass produced it.

When the phone companies would take down a pole, they wouldn’t save any of the insulators, they would just throw them in a hole in the ground. So there’s a lot of the old rare desirable stuff out there, been buried for years. But they’re glass so a metal detector doesn’t help. Usually the guys who find the old ones do a lot of research on where poles used to be and they’ll spend many years digging around. Every year someone comes up with a few new rare pieces. It’s fun to go out looking and digging. The best thing about glass is that it lasts a very long time if you take care of it. Insulators were meant to be outside so they’re weatherproof and survive really well.

Aqua threadless example

The rarest insulator I own is a Fry Glass insulator. It’s the same kind of opal glass they used on their tableware, called oven glass, because it did very well with heat changes. It was a popular kind of glass, but their insulators didn’t sell well. There are very few of them, but they come in a fantastic opal color. I come across a lot of rare colorations. My father gave me a Micky Mouse insulator in a milk electric blue. Most came in electric blue, but mine has so much milk glass in it, it’s almost opaque, and I think it’s one of the only ones out there.

I also have an insulator on my site that’s clear and has a streak of Cobalt blue through it. It’s more of an after market insulator. The guys who made it got permission to run a batch of Cobalt blue insulators, mostly for collectors. They got the machine set up and got something called frit, or concentrated pieces of glass used to get color into the new glass. They added that to the clear glass melt, but forgot to turn on the stirrer so they had clear glass with Cobalt splotches. It looks cool and people want them. I also have insulators on the site where someone got the mold, but not the press, so they took the mold and poured glass in it and just got a solid lump of glass. There aren’t many like that out there.

Collectors Weekly: What’s the difference between threaded and threadless insulators?

Macky: The very first designs they tried were threadless insulators, and they had to suspend the insulators with the hooks and the bureau knobs. Then they got the idea to put a wood pin in the cross arm and have an overturned glass on top of that, but at the time the hollow inside the insulator was smooth, there was no thread. So it was hard to get it to stay on the pin, they would glue them on. But it just wouldn’t stay on because it’s hard to make things stick to smooth glass. So they’d work in the summer but winter would come and the wires would shrink and tighten up and they’d start pulling and the insulators would pop off the pins. Finally around 1865 Lee Covey had the brilliant idea to thread the insulator cavity and have a matching thread on the pin and screw the insulator on so they wouldn’t pop off.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you find insulators for your collection?

Macky: There’s a national organization the N.I.A. (National Insulators Association) that puts on a national show once a year and regional shows once a year. There are also local clubs which host shows and activities at their houses. There’s a lot of activity, dozens of shows each year. That’s the best place to find insulators now.

Collectors Weekly: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Macky: I think collectors should collect only what they’re interested in. Don’t collect something because you think it will go up in value or collect rare things you’re going to stash away and never see. Whether it goes up or down in value shouldn’t really matter, you should enjoy your collection for what it is, and whatever happens you have something you like.

(All images in this article courtesy Ian Macky of Glassian)

150 comments so far

  1. Ian Macky Says:

    Insulators embossed with a 5-pointed star were made by various manufacturers under contract with General Electric. They were made in large numbers, so most are not too rare or valuable, but they do come in nice colors (within a limited palette of mostly aquas and greens), so a star collection is an affordable way to get started collecting. There’s a picture of Andrew Elliott’s star collection on glassian– it was display ‘H’ at the 2003 Western Regional show.

  2. Toni Says:

    My drips are more like sharp teeth so I’m guessing my mini is from 1933 worlds fair!! I love it so much thank you

  3. Deb Wright Says:

    My neighbor came over to tell me that last night during a storm he saw an insulator that is very close to my house glowing and fading. Can you please tell me exactly what this could mean? Or if you can’t advise me on who I could contact?
    Thank you
    Deb Wright

  4. Ian Macky Says:

    Deb, don’t know. St. Elmo’s Fire? If you’re talking about a power insulator, then call your power company. It’s dangerous to use the old copper POTS system when there’s a storm, as the wiring could be energized by a lightning strike. Last time there was a storm here while I was on the phone, I could hear a *click* when lightning struck, not good! So I hastily said goodbye got off the phone…

  5. Andrea Parker Says:

    My Dad Robert Parker was a lineman for over 20years 38th Nevada Bell. I have a collection ofHemingway-42’s plus 2 clear & 1purple insulator.Great memory of him.

  6. Dana Moran Says:

    I have eight glass insulators, all in good condition. Brookfield (three), Dominion, Armstrong, OCKE, Hemingray, Whitall Tatum.
    I’m sure they have some value and would be happy to contribute them to anyone who would like to add them to his/her collection. No charge. I will even pay for shipping. Just let me have your mailing address.
    Dana Moran, Saratoga, CA

  7. Paula midt Says:

    I have a brown ceramic insulator with no markings. It is threaded and has the notch on the top. any info would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Ian Macky Says:

    Sorry Paula, I don’t know anything about porcelain (“mud”) insulators. Perhaps this introduction might help?

  9. Nancy Says:

    For years i have been hunting for a purple one. It’s about the hunt. I was at a friends house after she had knee surgery. I walked back to her bed rokm ans it smacked me in the face, a purple one. She let me have it. I never knew there are red ones and orange lookong one. Now i am on tbe hunt again. I need a orange ,red, dark blue. I don’t want to buy on line. It’s about the hunt… what part of the country is the best hunt for these colors?

  10. Ian Macky Says:

    Glass insulators’ heyday was the 1920s-1940s or so, and not much beyond, so there isn’t a lot of glass still in the air, if that’s the kind of hunt you mean. What glass remains will usually be found along RR right of ways. In my little town, only a single pole still has glass on it; the rest was switched to porcelain long ago.

    Amber and fancy blue colors were only made that color on purpose by Hemingray, so they could be used to mark specific lines (fire and police signals, etc), so they were never common. By “blue”, people often mean “blue end of the aqua spectrum”, which is a different beast from true blue (with cobalt colorant deliberately added to the batch).

    The best place to buy insulators is at an insulator show– see the schedule at insulators.info for a show near you. If you look in antique stores/flea markets, etc, you will almost always find common glass in the usual aqua/clear colors for much inflated prices.

    I bought most of my glass at shows or via snail-mail sales lists (before the rise of online auctions), plus traded for a few. The chances of finding fancy colored glass still in the air is pretty much nil, sorry– you missed that boat.


    PS The cobalt Hemingray-19 was the most common of the fancy blues, and used to sell for $30 or so, until an unscrupulous and greedy dealer traveled the midwest buying every one he could, cornering the market. Shortly after, he had them on his sales table at insulator shows for $300. For comparison, a cobalt EC&M sells for $3,000+ despite there being something like 900 of them known, due to the great desirability.

  11. Roxanne Says:

    I have a H.G.CO jade green threaded insulator. Saw it at a bottle show and had to have it. Anyone know anything about this one?

  12. Sandra Says:

    I have a Brookfield New York cobalt blue insulator. I have looked on- line several places and can not fond any information. Does anyone know anything about this insulator?

  13. Stephen M Boyle Says:

    I purchased a metal milk basket at an auction as the picture had a brass carbide lantern in it. When I picked up the basket, I also found a number of old tools as well as a Hemingway-42 glass insulator. What is distinct about the insulator is the two tone nature of the color: the top is clear but the bottom is two tones of gray with the top light gray band about 1 inch in width and the bottom darker gray band also about 1 inch in width. Is this the way it was manufactured or the result of how it weathered when it was used to carry an electric line?
    Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  14. Ian Macky Says:

    Stephen, it’s hard to tell from your description what you have. Can you send a pic which captures the coloration? (see contact info at glassian.org) “gray” isn’t usually a color used to describe glass insulators– though there is something called “off-clear”, which is the grayish tone you get when glass is de-colorized with Mn, but before it solarizes.

  15. Lani Says:

    I have a red – I know, they didn’t come in read- what I think is an insulator, but it has no threads on the inside. It is a darker cranberry red and doesn’t look like those I’ve seen that have been stained. It is small, 3″ tall with a diameter at the base is 2″. It has 6 or 7 threads on the outside. Wish I could send you a picture.

    Any info would be appreciated

  16. Ian Macky Says:

    Lani– hard to tell what you have from the description; a picture would help a lot. Maybe check at nia.org and see if you can find something similar? If you can’t, it might not be an insulator; perhaps a colored indicator-lamp cover? Can you post a picture somewhere and let us know where? –ian

  17. Sandy Muzik Says:

    I have a candle holder someone made using iron & old donut shaped (round w/ curved – no straight sides/edges) with hole in center, all the way through) 2 1/2″ diameter, about an inch thick. Got it at an antique shop, where the owner said the glass is old (which I already knew). I thought it was made with an old black doorknob, but after looking up old doorknobs, found drawer/cabinet knobs with holes through, but no doorknobs. Held to light and found it’s only black if light isn’t shining on it. It turns a striking cobalt or may be more purple than blue. Haven’t found an image of this as an insulator, doorknob. I can do a public post on Facebook or email a pic. Could it be from a lightning rod? Ones I’ve seen are usually balls and taller – than this. Thanks.

  18. Sandy Muzik Says:

    Sorry, in my comment above, I didn’t get to the point directly, the donut shaped part I mention is glass, as I didn’t actually say so from the start, and I’m not sure what it used to be before it was upcycled as part of this candle holder. My inclination is that it’s an unusual old insulator – maybe from a lightening rod (though it’s not a ball).

  19. Jack Says:

    We used to collect these along abandoned lines and set them up on fence posts and shoot at them with bb guns and 22’s. Lots of fun back in the 70’s. We managed to knock off over a thousand in one summer, often greens and the odd blue one and sometimes we’d find a dump and scour through, picking out some very uncommon pieces even back then, only to end up either blasted into shards or saved for later. I still have several milk crates tucked into the shed to this day which I have yet to go through.

  20. Lori McKinney Says:

    Pioneer Telephone Company in Kingfisher, Oklahoma has a small museum and is in search of red insulators.

  21. James Morse Says:

    I have several old hard rubber insulators. Any estimates of current value?

  22. edward holloron Says:

    i see that your not interested in porceline but there is one piece that is nice to have be cause it was dated every day they made them not just the year but the day mo and year and it was made by the imperial porceline co to add to there dullnes all i have ever seen are white and i only found them on one line in montana the land of the muncie’s

  23. David Ochoa Says:

    I have big brown, glass? ceramic? insulators. Very heavy. Some are multiple sections joined with heavy metal connectors.
    What were they for? Are they valuable?

  24. jerry james Says:

    I have some Mickey Mouse’s, green, with the date, Roman Helmet green & smoke color. What would a ballpark figure be for the Mickey Mouse & Roman Helmet. I’m a 76 year old retired Telephone, out of El Cajon, Lakeside ca. area. JJ

  25. Denese Anderson Says:

    Ian, my dad worked for SDG&E from 1951 to 1965 in El Cajon, CA. I have 3 What I call carnival glass, is that the same as marigold? They are made by Pyrex #171. Is there a museum where I could donate them. Thanks so much

  26. Travis Mackey Says:

    I have aaqua / green insulator that has no markings or name on it. It’s just a round cylinder about 6 inches tall with nowhere to thread a wire. The glass is about an inch thick at the top. I cannot find a picture of it anywhere. Any ideas what I should be looking for? It has been in the family for 3 generations but we dont have any documentation on it.

  27. Jodi K Thomas Says:

    I have a green insulator W. Brookfield, 45 Cliff St., NY, Pat D Nov 3 1883. Feb 12 1884
    It has 20 almost to the top, slightly centered to the right.
    Any help will be greatlyappreciated. Thank you in advance, Jodi Thomas

  28. Helen rojas Says:

    I found a red,white,orange, yellow slag glass insulator. From Nia 1984 ,Tacoma Washington. July 22-24. It’s has no seams perfect h.info needed please

  29. Linda Henry Says:

    I have several clear insulators and my question is how do you clean them ? I have tried bleach and water but they still look full.any help here I would appreciate. Thank you

  30. John Morrow Says:

    I worked for British Columbia Telephone Company from 1956 through 1992 when I retired. In the early years I was on a crew that converted cities, towns and rural areas to automatic dial phones. Lots of places still had magneto telephones, you know, the ones where you had to turn a crank to get an operator. I’m probably the last person alive that has actually installed one. All these places were served by miles of open wire circuits all attached to cross-arms on poles with glass insulators. We used to watch as we drove along the road for insulators that had tuned purple as they were already collector items way back then. When spotting one we would stop, climb the pole and change it out with a new one. We found most of them in the south east part of BC where it is mostly dry and sunny. Way back , the insulators were manufactured with magnesium in the glass to make them clear. Over many years in the intense sunshine (ultra violet rays) the magnesium made the glass turn a true amethyst purple color. I had a jeweler make a necklace pendant and earrings for a girlfriend from one insulator. They later started using selenium, I think it was, instead of magnesium and that was the end of purple insulators. At one time I had well over a hundred of them. I have only one left mounted on a side block on a fence around my garden. It has inscribed on it NW & BIT Co. , New Westminster and Burrard Inlet Telephone Company. In 1904 the New Westminster & Burrard Inlet Telephone Company was taken over by The Vernon & Nelson Telephone Company. On July 5, 1904, the name of the company was changed to the British Columbia Telephone Company Limited and now is known as Telus.

  31. Kathryn Kuhn Says:

    I am a novice, trying to learn about insulators and what I can do with about 50 that i inherited. I am asking for suggestions on who to ask that might be interested in them. I have cleaned them, the are mostly the Hemingray. I have clear glass and a lot of green. Thank you for any information. Kathryn

  32. Jess S. Says:

    Did anyone take Dana Moran up on her offer? How can I contact her to accept her very generous donation of insulators?

  33. Breck Hedrick Says:

    I have a white insulator what year is it

  34. Jerry Dean Says:

    What are the bumps on the bottoms of many insulators about? And when did that become the norm? Oh and a friend of mine has a batch of 1500 insulators of all kinds but one that looks like adobe. Its even got tiny cracks like sun dried brick. A beehive shape. I have never seen one like it. Do you know anything about that style?? Thanks in advance

  35. D J Stephens Says:

    My best friend and I started hunting for insulators in the mid 70’s when we were still in high school. His family had a cabin at Donner Lake and we would find them up at the railroad tracks. Most were common types – Hemingrays, McLaughlins, Brookfields, etc. We used to ask old timers if they knew of any old power , telephone or telegraph lines. A couple of years later, someone told us where old telephone lines ran from the lake up to the Donner summit. We quickly found old rotten poles from older telegraph lines and broken pieces of glass from old telegraph insulators. We found a number of insulators from the newer telephone line, but never any old ones, until one day my friend found a green E.C.&M. Co. at the Summit! It only had one tiny chip out of it. A few minutes later, I found a rotten crossbar from the newer telephone line that had 6 Californias and 2 Brookfields! We found 5-6 more laying loose, and went back a few days later and found about 35 more – almost all Californias and Brookfields, with a few Hemingray 20s thrown in. We never found any more from the older telegraph lines, but we saw a lot of broken ones.

    We also found some some in near Hirschdale, a few miles east of Truckee.

    We found old lines all over the Oakland/Berkeley hills, including a bunch from the old Sacramento Northern RR line. We found a couple of old abandoned lines running over the hills with no wires on them, and used to cut down the poles, using a rope to direct the pole into brush, where there was less chance of breaking insulators. We did our dirty work on foggy days, when no one could see us from any nearby roads. HEH HEH!

    We used to go down Niles Canyon between Pleasanton and Fremont and find them along both RR lines – one was the old Western Pacific RR and the other was Southern Pacific.

    When I was at Chico State, we used to go up the Feather River Canyon and find them along the railroad, and also found. We also found some Mickey Mouse style running to an old sawmill, and some pony style insulators, probably from an old telegraph line.

    Altogether I gave about 65 Californias in 3 different styles, along with hundreds of other makes and models. Nothing really rare although I have some that are probably worth $100-$150 – maybe more. I don’t keep tabs on prices.

    Word of correction, if I may. E.C.&M. Co. was started in S.F. in 1870 (not the 1880s, as stated in the interview above.) It stood for Electrical Construction and Maintenance Co. They made their own insulators for their own projects, and did not start selling them outside of the company until the mid 1870s.

  36. Cara L Wilson Says:

    Im in my seventies, and now kick myself as I had a collection of insulators that I gave away years ago. I know nothing about them, but the one that got away that I always miss was red and old. The ones I see now are stained. How is that possible. and were there ever red ones made? My daughter is collecting some, and she wanted the red one. Can any be found? Thanks.

  37. Nicholas Brown Says:

    I have the top of a transformer from hurricane Laura with two brown insulators in it that saypinco on it or they valuable how old are they

  38. Teresa Fletcher Says:

    Do you have this information in a book that be found?

  39. Anisah David Says:

    We just found a motherload of over 20 different insulators in a early 1900s building on eastern plains of Colorado. Is there a regional show near Denver we could go to? I’d like to learn what we just acquired. I’ve never seen small insulators until now. So curious to learn more about our finds.

  40. E'lanB.. Says:

    This was such a cool read…thanks!
    I’d like to make some pieces of jewelry w. insulators.

    Wondering if anyone knows if insulators were made w. Leaded Glass or if they are “radiated”, now?

    Thanks so much!!

  41. Angela Says:

    I have my father’s collection from the 70’s. I’m not sure if they are worth anything or if any of them are rare but they are priceless to me in memories.

  42. Marji Peterson Says:

    My husband found me two orange carnival glass looking insulators from a warehouse estate sale. The sale knew nothing about them, of coarse. I have a small collection I wanted to mount to my outdoor rustic fence, but think these are special enough to take up residence in my cabinet instead. Please let me know if the colors fade left outside (for the aqua/green/purple), or were they made to endure and keep their color?

    Thank you.

  43. Tara Says:

    Hi Ian,

    I have an emerald green, brookfield threaded insulator (found in Canada so north american). The thing is, it has a funny number on top, it appears to be upside down and/or backwards. My guess is 16 or 19. Does that mean anything to you?

    Thank You!

  44. John Macgirvin Says:

    I’ve. Found a couple of wooden insulators Zane I’ve never seen them before.

  45. April Says:

    I recently found a brick insulator marked 28S. Anyone know the time frame that these were used for? Or any other info?
    Thank you in advance!

  46. SUSAN COWART Says:

    My mother found an unusual insulator in far West Texas. Hemingray-50 on the bottom & top piece. The two pieces are connected by a wood dowel through the threading. The top piece that has the crown has a making under the Hemingway-50 that says 0-4, followed by 10 very small dots. Can you tell me anything about the insulator and its value? Thank you.

  47. Casey yerger Says:

    I have a question abt what I think is a red glass insulator but it’s threaded on the outside and very small. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  48. Jesse N Says:

    DJ Stevens,

    I was in the same spot I believe you mentioned near the old ‘mill’. I wont mention the community but its the only one that matches your description. I found some out there recently and many still stuck on top of standing poles near tracks. I found some near keddy as well recently.

  49. Triston Rossi Says:

    I need identification for my insulator. I have a aqua beehive shaped insulator with threads on the inside and 2 or 3 large threads on the outside near the top. It says hemingray on 1 side and the other side it says patented oct.8 1097

  50. Edd Berrigan Says:

    Dana Moran, I realize you made your post many years ago, and the chances are pretty much zero that you still have those insulators, I would be very glad, grateful and appreciative to begin my collection with those. If they are still available, would you be so kind as to email me, and we can chat about it further. My name is Edd Berrigan and my email is R2D2ismydog@mailfence.com
    Either way, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you ever so much!

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