Thursday, March 26, 2009

Glass Discs

I had an hankering to make glass discs about a week ago. Actually, the idea started forming in my mind last summer in Durfort, France, when I first noticed the really cool hydro insulators they have there. The fact that they are circular, turquoise and shaped like discs was quite a novelty to me, given that the ones we have here at home are quite different, more like mushrooms in shape and they tend to sit on the top of hydro poles, as opposed to the ones in the south of France, which seemed to have wires going through them horizontally, as well as sitting on the top of the hydro pole.

As I am typing this, I am realizing that I really don't know why glass insulators are even required on hydro poles, so I decided to check in with my good friend, Google, to see what I could find on the topic.

I only got as far as this great article about the Dominion glass company that made the insulator pictured to the right. Apparently, insulators in colours such as purple, blue and amber are more valuable in the antique collectible market, but the company actually stopped making them because their customers complained that insects were using them for nesting places - who knew???!!

According to this article, which you can find here:, it seems that my insulator was made in 1942, although there are also five dots above the diamond trademark which could also indicate years - unfortunately, I can't really understand from this article whether that means I'm supposed to add 5 years to 1942 but I can see that it was made using mold number 8.

I must now interrupt the writing of this post to go unpack the rest of my insulator collection (which is not vast, I only have 4). Excuse me a moment...

Okay, it turns out, my second Dominion insulator is slightly more amber in colour than the first, although it's more like a really heavily watered down ginger ale colour than a true amber. It also has the number 42 on it, but there are no dots above the diamond D trademark and it indicates the use of mold number 4. It also has the drip bumps on the bottom, while the first one is totally smooth.

The other two insulators are quite different in shape. One is a clear white colour, with the initials CSC and "Made in U.S.A." stamped on it, as well as the name Whitall Tatum, the numbers 4 - 46 and the letter A in a circle stamped on it, and the other a pale green, stamped with the words "Canadian Pacific R Y Co". The clear one even has a piece of metal tubing of some sort sitting inside it.
Clearly, more investigation on this topic is required. I'll have to continue tomorrow with the original point of my blog topic, the glass discs I made a week or so ago, which look nothing like the ones from France, as it happens!!

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