Porcelain Insulator Collection

by Rob L. Dey
LOCKE HI-TOP 77
A collection of 12 porcelain (ceramic) threaded pin type (and other) insulators from the United States. This list may include both unipart and multipart styles. Many additional insulators in the collection have not been documented yet. Some of these insulators were possibly used on telegraph poles for wire line Morse code communication.
NOTE: All photos on this web site are copyright protected. Please contact the owner to reuse the images elsewhere.

Also, visit the Glass Insulator Collection and the In-Service Insulator Photos.

Image Manufacturer Model Markings Color Year History Condition* Use Style# U/M# Type Dimensions Weight Cleaned
pi5 Oliver 2000 OLIVER 2000 (top) U U.S.A. (bottom) recess embossed brown 1944-1960 Oliver Electrical Mfg. Co. (1956-1959) Battle Creek, MI (founded by Henry W. Oliver, James Oliver, or Joseph Doty Oliver) or Oliver Corp. (1944-1960) minor damage (1 small nick) power distribution 2000 n/a secondary rack/dead end spool, single groove 3.05"W x 2.97"H meas'd (3" x 3") 17.00 oz. No
pi9 N knob N (top) embossed white 1911-1927 National Electric Porcelain Co. (1911-1927) Carey, OH (W.L. Bish, President) no damage power distribution knob n/a nail/screw solid knob, single groove 1.55"W x 1.96"H meas'd (1.5" x 1.875") 3.55 oz. No
pi12 Thomas U-11A/U-18 none (dome carved before glazing) dark brown (mottled) 1908-1918 R. Thomas & Sons Co. (pintypes 1892-1957) East Liverpool, OH no damage (3 microflaws) telegraph, telephone signal U-11A/U-18 single petticoat pintype for signal, single groove, dry process 2.47"W x 3.30"H meas'd 9.80 oz. No
pi11 Thomas U-11B none (dome carved before glazing) golden brown (mottled) 1908-1918 R. Thomas & Sons Co. (pintypes 1892-1957) East Liverpool, OH no damage (3 microflaws) telegraph, telephone signal U-11B single petticoat pintype for signal, single groove, dry process 2.72"W x 3.55"H meas'd 14.10 oz. No
pi7 n/a U-14 none brown unknown unknown no damage (3 microflaws) telegraph, telephone signal U-14 single petticoat pintype for signal, single groove 2.15"W x 3.00"H meas'd 6.86 oz. No
pi8 n/a U-257A none dark brown unknown unknown no damage telegraph, telephone signal U-257A double petticoat pintype for signal, single groove 3.25"W x 3.05"H meas'd 13.59 oz. No
pi10 n/a U-293B none brown unknown Possibly Findlay (1911-1927), Porcelain Products, Inc. (1927-1958), or The Ohio Brass Company (O-B) (1888-present) Mansfield, OH (possibly made for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, B. & O. R.R.) no damage (3 microflaws) telegraph, telephone signal U-293B double petticoat pintype for signal, single groove 3.29"W x 3.62"H meas'd 17.85 oz. No
pi1 Lapp U-311/U-281 (circled 4 icon) LAPP 1929 (skirt) black underglaze ink stamp honey/pumpkin 1929 Lapp Insulator Co. (1916-1957, 1989, 2005) LeRoy, NY (founded by John S. Lapp) no damage telegraph, telephone signal U-311/U-281 double petticoat pintype for signal, single groove 3.34"W x 3.65"H meas'd 19.55 oz. No
pi2 Porcelain Products U-471 PP (crown) incuse white 1927-2001 Porcelain Products, Inc. (1927-1958) Parkersburg, WV; Porcelain Products Co. (1959-2001) Carey, OH no damage power distribution cable U-471 double petticoat pintype for cable 3.83"W x 3.44"H meas'd 21.40 oz. No
pi6 n/a U-48A/U-52A none dark brown (mottled) unknown unknown minor damage (1 small chip) telegraph, telephone signal U-48A/U-52A single petticoat pintype for signal, double groove 2.41"W x 3.65"H meas'd 11.89 oz. No
pi3.jpg Locke 77 LOCKE HI-TOP 77 USAB (skirt) incuse honey/pumpkin unknown Locke Insulator Mfg. Co. (1893-1902) Victor, NY; Locke Insulator Mfg. Co. (1902-1921); Locke Insulator Corp. (1921-1948); Locke Insulators, Inc. (1948-1971, present) Baltimore, MD (founded by Fred M. Locke) no damage power distribution 77 U-792 double petticoat pintype for cable 3.89"W x 4.03"H meas'd 31.70 oz. No
pi4 Locke 77V LOCKE HI-TOP 77V USA (skirt) incuse brown (mottled) unknown Locke Insulator Mfg. Co. (1893-1902) Victor, NY; Locke Insulator Mfg. Co. (1902-1921); Locke Insulator Corp. (1921-1948); Locke Insulators, Inc. (1948-1971, present) Baltimore, MD (founded by Fred M. Locke) no damage power distribution 77V U-792 double petticoat pintype for cable 3.95"W x 4.03"H meas'd 32.15 oz. No

* = Microflaws are aged (not manufactured) defects that are not obvious without careful and close visual inspection. These tiny flaws are so small that they do not normally distract from the aesthetic appearance of the artifact. Flaws can include cracks, bruises, chips, nicks, dings, scratches, wrinkles, wear (from abrasion), and even inclusions, such as debris within the glass or ceramic. Except for a surfaced bubble that causes a chip (after manufacturing), internal bubbles are not considered to be flaws due to their common occurance. Excessive bubbles (in either quantity or size) may be noted.


Historical Porcelain Insulator

Electrical insulator (front view before cleaning) from the SS Andrea Doria, circa 1951 Electrical insulator (side view before cleaning) from the SS Andrea Doria, circa 1951
This eight-inch-long white porcelain radio antenna strain insulator was recovered from the shipwreck of the Italian class (luxury) ocean liner, the SS Andrea Doria, which capsized and sank in the Atlantic Ocean on July 26, 1956 about 55 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 230 feet* of water. The 697-foot-long, 90-foot-wide, 29.1-kiloton vessel that was built and launched on June 16, 1951 was headed west to New York City from Genoa, Italy with 1,706 passengers and crew on board when she collided with the Swedish-American liner, the MS Stockholm, on the foggy night of July 25, 1956, killing 51 people. At least 16 more lives have been claimed since then as scuba divers continue to explore the wreckage for sunken treasures in dangerous underwater conditions. The ship's ten decks have deteriorated extensively over the past 50+ years and remain between 180 and 250 feet below the ocean's surface. The GPS (lat/lon) coordinates of the wreck location are approximately 4029.408'N, 6952.046'W. This glazed ceramic artifact electrically insulated and structurally supported the conductive wire that comprised the on-board radio antenna, which was used for the transmission and reception of wireless communication signals from inside the ship's radio room, station call sign ICEH. The actual distress call telegraph message that was sent using Morse code (CW) on the frequency of 500Kc (500kHz) by the radio operator, Carlo Bussi, about ten minutes after the collision was "SOS DE ICEH SOS HERE AT 0320 GMT LAT. 40.30N 69.53W NEED IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE". The steam ship could reach speeds of up to 26 knots, and can be seen in-service in the movie "On the Waterfront", released in the Summer of 1954, prior to the tragedy. This vintage insulator specimen was acquired from the private collection of Ken Smith, Staten Island, NY.

* = There is a typographical error in the photographs.


NOTE: All photos on this web site are copyright protected. Please contact the owner to reuse the images elsewhere.

Also, visit the Glass Insulator Collection and the In-Service Insulator Photos.

Insulator Club Memberships
Insulator Collectors On the Net (ICON) #952 since 09/1998 National Insulator Association (NIA) #9079 since 03/2012

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