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Antique Insulators

Glass insulators came out in response to the invention of the telegraph, as they insulated the wooden poles from absorbing the electric signals carried by the wires. Before the 1870s, most insulators were without an internal thread-- meaning they just sat on pegs unsecured. By the mid 1870s, threaded insulators came to be and have been made as such ever since. The most collectible insulators are from their first 50 years, aprox. 1850-1900 period, though many highly collected insulators were made into the American Great Depression. By WW2, most insulators became plain and their collectibility plummets, though I suspect European insulators will become popular as time goes on, as many crude and colourful examples were made into the 1970s. Currently, it is American, Australian, and British insulators that are most collected, with the Americans leading the way. Generally, most American insulators were made by Hemingray Glass Co., with 1871 and 1893 patents (mould and later drip-points.) In some cases, you see 1893 embossed on insulators that didn't debut until the 1930s, as the dates are only patents. Insulators embossed Brookfield or B were made prior to Brookfield's shut-down in 1921. These are the two most commonly seen glass insulators. Glass insulators are ascribed by collectors, not the glass-houses, a CD number for their style. U-numbers are given to porcelain insulators, but not to wiring insulators. Colour and condition make all the difference for desireability in insulators, with aqua and clear being the most common. But beware, a large number of modified or reproduction (often using original moulds) coloured insulators have flooded the market since the 1970s and are considered fakes by serious collectors.

Lightning Rod Insulator and Two-Patent Hemingray  - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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"BROOKFIFED" Error Insulator  - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Lynchburg No. 10 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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CD 120 in Light Green - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Green Diamond Insulator - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Postal Insulator, Circa 1881 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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CD 147 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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CD 151 H.G. Co. and W. Brookfield - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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O. V. G. Co. 1902-1906 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Western Union - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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For Fort Apache: Write-Up on Brookfield's History - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Brookfield 2-piece Transposition  - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Dark Olive Yellow Canadian Insulator - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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California CD 162 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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My Most Stressing Dig Story - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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A Hawley and a Brookfield - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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CD 121 Brookfield? - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Macomb Insulators Are Good - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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CD number? - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Victor-Locke insulator - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Hemingray 103 - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Air-Breaker Cut-Out Switch? - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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It's a Rare One. Sadly, No One Wants These Kind. - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Not Your Typical Patent Hemingray - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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Dig of Porcelain Insulators (Two Sites) In One Day. :) - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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IT'S PLASTIC (I was mortified.) - Tools and Hardwareby SpiritB…
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