View Full Version : Are glass insulators still being used

08-20-2009, 02:30 AM
Been working on a big flagstone job in Springville Cal(about a 250 mile drive every week).On the way here this week,I noticed some old telephone poles running along some R.R.trackes and I noticed glass insulators on them.I was wondering if glass insulators are still being used.I want to check it out,but I'm gonna have to hike about 7 to 9 miles through some cattle country.I'm pretty good at being invisible,but I'd sure like to know if it would be worth it.Help insulator guys!!!!

08-20-2009, 10:34 AM
In Maine there are many RR lines that still have the glass up. But the deal, 99% of the big money stuff is gone. I know someone who claims to have walked every Maine line and got all the goodies. I am sure your not the first in California to look for insulators on the poles.

08-21-2009, 02:37 PM
About ten months ago, I was driving I80 between Fernley and Lovelock and off to the side, enclosed in a link-fence array next to a power line pole, was a dozen or so pallets stacked tall full of Glass Insulators - obviously new. Didn't stop to take pictures...Ron

Just Dig it
08-21-2009, 03:07 PM
they Fixed The poles near my house the other day i got 5 really crude brooklines..i dont know jack about them . but i looked up brookline and got a little info..the pretty emerald green ones cracked..the others all have alot of stones in them..I concur on not knowing jack about them.but i figured id ask the line workers for them..and they left them on my porch.Nice Fellas

08-23-2009, 06:43 PM
well, yes there are some still being used, but they do not produce them anymore. In towns you can run across amber d-512's in use today, and along RR ROWS, lots of glass is still used, although a high percentage is very, very common pieces. Its rare to run across a halfway decent insulator still in use, but it still happens.

08-24-2009, 09:54 PM
I was in the HV line construction business for over 30 yrs and never collected insulators. My crews, on the other hand, were nuts for them. I'd drive around the SF bay area and scope out the good ones, then radio the bucket truck to come and replace them. We got a bunch of wild glass that was still in service as late as 2003.

I have dug good glass from privy pits, too. Here in CA it was usually EC&Ms or Cal Elecs, and the occasions threadless. My amber "egg" went for 3Gs way back in 1987.

08-25-2009, 12:37 PM
This is good info. I have found insulators in dumps, creeks, etc. and I'm not really into them, but if you get an old or different looking one, it's fun. We sometimes drive along the tracks looking for ones that have fallen or old poles that are down. It's a good activity for winter, when the ground is frozen and you can't dig, but you're itching to get out of the house and find something.
How, exactly, did they work? I think I asked Joe this and they protect from lightning? I had wondered why they would need an insulator when they didn't even have electricity yet[8|]

08-25-2009, 03:50 PM
they provided a non conductive surface, along with being able to hold up the wire in early telegraph operations. Also, so there was no telegraph interferance.

08-25-2009, 06:24 PM
I had wondered why they would need an insulator when they didn't even have electricity yet

The telegraph system used electricity, they just werent electrical transmission lines.
Think of telegraph as sort of early version of telephone lines. You still needed to insulate and support them.