Monday, March 11, 2013

Learning about glass insulators...

What is a glass insulator? It is an item that is a non-conductor, meaning it can withstand the flow of electrical current, and help protect against sparks or shocks. They initially started out made from glass in the 1800's because glass can withstand the highest volts of electrical current. Some other materials that were used include, porcelain, mica and ceramic.

As the telegraph became more and more popular, and spread across the country, the need for insulators increased and several companies who were already producing glass items and sandwich glass, started making insulators.

Insulators can be found in many colors, although they weren't intentionally made in different colors. They were made with the same materials, but trace minerals altered the color during production. The most common colors are clear and aqua/blue-in various shades.

One insulator manufacturers was Hemingray who received a patent in December of 1871 and continued production until 1966. In 1931, Western Electric Company requested Hemingray to produce the insulators in clear. They ended up being a lite or ice blue color.

In 1937, Hemingray celebrated the production of their one billionth insulator. In 1952 the Kimble Glass Company took over the Hemingray insulator division.

This is just a quick little introduction to insulators. If you are interested in finding out more details, just search around the internet-you will find answers to your every question.

Today, there are untold numbers of insulator collector clubs, and all kinds of information available on the internet for anyone seeking to know more. There are also people who up-cycle the insulators into all sorts of decorative items for the home.

I found a site where they make hanging pendant lights out of the insulators and small table lamps out of the larger insulators. If we were going to be staying, I would be scouring the web for instructions on how to drill my own insulators to make pendant lights for our sunroom-I really love that look!

There really isn't anything special about the ones I've collected, they are average in size, design and color. I just happened to find them very cheaply and they are glass...and you know how that catches my eye! Maybe my next house will have a place that we can use them as pendant lights.

Speaking of the news as of yet, it's a little over 7 weeks in their promised 6-8 week promised time frame, so hopefully any day now...the waiting has been hard! Some days we are convinced that it was all just a bad dream...and others, we struggle with being depressed about having to move! Thanks everyone for the kind emails and for keeping us in your prayers-it is all very much appreciated!!


  1. Sorry about the house issue..keep your chin up!
    The blue color insulators are such a pretty color.

  2. I remember growing up in the 70's these were so common, everyone had them as bookends. Now they are getting harder to find. Thanks for the info. Cool stuff. Take care.