Dating whitall tatum glass insulators
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, so many insulators are found that were carefully and rather painstakingly lettered with markings that would not even be discernable by the average passersby below………visible to linemen (and birds) !Collectors of insulators often specialize in a particular glass companies’ products, or in certain styles, shapes or colors of insulators.The mold was momentarily closed, and then within a few seconds was opened and the finished insulator was removed to be placed into a lehr (cooling oven).Modern glass insulators are/were made by mass-production machine pressing methods.The majority of glass insulators carry embossings (raised lettering), as previously mentioned, including company names, brands, trademarks, or model numbers, patent dates, etc.A small percentage of insulators are entirely unmarked.
On some companies’ products, more than one style of lettering can be identified.
As time went on, networks of “open wire” telegraph lines, and later, telephone lines, were developed and built throughout the country, and these lines required the installation of insulators.
Insulators were necessary by serving as a medium for attaching the wires to the poles, but much more importantly, they were required to help prevent electric current loss during transmission.
They might delve into the history of a particular company, what styles where made and when, the markings used, etc.
Besides the more typical “pintype” communications/electric power line insulators, other sub-categories include lightning rod insulators, radio wire or guy wire “strain” or “egg” style insulators, inside home wiring knob or spool insulators, and battery rests.
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Today, a few lines using glass insulators are still in service, but are only a tiny percentage compared to the heyday of open wire communication.