Is This A Fake/Altered Insulator?

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I’ve got a W.F.G Co. Insulator here, and while talking to a guy about it, he said from the pictures I had sent it didn’t look right. He said that it’s coloration of the glass looked off.

I’m, as many you may of guessed, very worried that I may of bought a altered/fake piece.
**Note: The pictures make the insulator almost black looking. In person the insulator is a very dark shade of purple.**

Now, if it’s fake, which I hope it’s not, but if it is, can y’all explain what I need to look for next time I buy Insulator’s? I’ve read a few things on how to spot them, but I’m still oh so confused. What makes it worse is that I’m relatively new, which has caused me to go in full panic mode.

I’ve also included a picture’s of the insulator in question. One picture is a comparison in color between it and a Hemi - 42 in Hemi Blue.

Any help y’all can give will be very appreciated!

~J.C.
image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
 

CanadianBottles

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Usually that deep shade of purple is the result of treating century-old clear glass with UV rays to speed up the colour-changing process that occurs naturally when glass containing manganese is exposed to sunlight. In the case of insulators though, I suspect that shade of purple will happen naturally after sitting on a pole for long enough. I've seen glass which has naturally turned about half that purple from sitting on the ground for decades in places which are covered by snow half the year. I suspect that you would get that shade of purple if an insulator from that era sat on the pole in full sunlight for a century or so. I can't be certain though because I've never seen a purple insulator still on the pole and never seen any photos of one in situ that I can remember, but these ones sure show up in this deep shade of purple a lot, far more than bottles of the same era do. I wouldn't assume that an insulator of that era in this shade has been altered.
 
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Usually that deep shade of purple is the result of treating century-old clear glass with UV rays to speed up the colour-changing process that occurs naturally when glass containing manganese is exposed to sunlight. In the case of insulators though, I suspect that shade of purple will happen naturally after sitting on a pole for long enough. I've seen glass which has naturally turned about half that purple from sitting on the ground for decades in places which are covered by snow half the year. I suspect that you would get that shade of purple if an insulator from that era sat on the pole in full sunlight for a century or so. I can't be certain though because I've never seen a purple insulator still on the pole and never seen any photos of one in situ that I can remember, but these ones sure show up in this deep shade of purple a lot, far more than bottles of the same era do. I wouldn't assume that an insulator of that era in this shade has been altered.
Thanks for the information! This helps a lot, really appreciate it! ~cheers!
 

BillinMo

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I hate to say this, but WFG tolls are not known in an authentic dark purple like that shade. I strongly suspect this one has been irradiated. Sadly, a lot of altered purples have been turning up on eBay over the past 10-15 years.

Best way to protect yourself is education! There are lots of examples of irradiated purples and other shades here at the National Insulator Association site:
https://www.nia.org/altered/
The NIA site also includes lots of other information about insulators.

There is also a gallery of altered insulators here:
https://www.insulators.info/pictures/?op=list&folder=19

The insulators.info site also contains a lot of additional information about insulators.
 

willong

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CanadianBottles

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If you haven't done so already, check out this: https://www.insulators.info/pictures/?id=647522915

and then this: https://www.insulators.info/pictures/?id=658771984

Worse case scenario: you end up with the same insulator in aqua or colorless. The selling of irradiated glass by unscrupulous dealers who do not disclose the fact of the alteration is a despicable, but sadly common, practice.
Wow, never realized that some aqua glass will turn purple when irradiated as well. That would explain why there are some designs that only ever seem to show up in that deep purple and never a lighter shade.
 

willong

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Wow, never realized that some aqua glass will turn purple when irradiated as well. That would explain why there are some designs that only ever seem to show up in that deep purple and never a lighter shade.
I once linked a website with an article on irradiated glass to a previous discussion of the topic here on Antique-Bottles.net.

Prior to reading the article, I had known about Selenium glass turning a straw-yellow with natural UV exposure, as well as Manganese glass turning amethyst; but I had never realized the variety and depth of colors that could be produced from different glass batches. It was unnaturally deep shades of purple showing up on eBay bottle listings, together with my curiosity about the radiation source*(s), that prompted me to look into the subject a little. If I can locate the aforementioned website again, I will link it here too.

* Industrial food sterilization machines were one (of several if I recall correctly).

I also knew that color could be returned to original via heating, at least for Manganese colorless glass, but prior to the two items I found and linked (above) last night, I'd not heard or read that irradiated glass might revert naturally.
 

CanadianBottles

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Here's that very informative website article on irradiated glass (has some nice photo too): https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Irradiation-Changes-Color-of-Glass

Figure 16 from the article as an example:

View attachment 240704
Thanks for the article! Yeah same, I only thought you could get two colours through irradiation. And I had heard references to it being reversible, but was never sure how true that was. I never would have imagined that it would reverse on its own, I guess that's probably because of the sun heating it enough to slowly undo the changes?
 

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