Star Tracks by Frank Swies
Discussing star-embossed glass insulators is similar
discussing the Loch Ness monster. Everyone has a theory or a belief but
records are virtually non-existent. Why they were made, when, where and
by who remains open to investigation. Following is some of the accepted
What Are We Looking For ?
. . . . .
The number of styles that are star-embossed is known from actual
sightings. The styles are identified by Consolidated Design (CD)
number designed by N. R. Woodward (1). They are:
102, 104, 106,
112, 113, 133,
134, 145, 160
161, 162, 162.1 162.3
What Did The Stars Mean ?.
. . . .
Embossing on glass insulators serves two principle purposes; the first
is to identify the manufacturer (Brookfield, Hemingray,etc.), the
second is to identify the customer (user) for which the insulator was
made (T-H. E. CO., CITY FIRE ALARM, POSTAL TELEGRAPH CO., A.T. &
T.). Which purpose did the star embossing serve?
The Mansfield-Nowlton Glass Works of Lockport, New York, made bottles,
fruit jars and other utility glass items with a five-pointed star
logo. There is known to have been a star logo used by the Newark
Glass Works of Ohio. The Acme Glass Company made use of a
star mark. There was also a Star Glass Company in New Albany, Indiana
(1860 to 1900). There is no evidence to show that these star logo
companies ever manufactured glass insulators.
A Little History
In 1888-89, the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company of New York
contracted to connect a hydroelectric generating station to fourteen
Sprague motors along an eighteen-mile circuit. The intent was to
provide power to the rapidly growing gold mining industry as well as
the electric street railways. Quality problems required the extensive
rewiring of the of the Sprague motors. Internal problems and financial
shortfalls threatened the economic survival of the company (2).
During this same time period several of the Edison-owned companies
merged into a single entity known as the Edison General Electric
Company intending to provide municipal electric lighting. Expansion of
physical properties was required. Sprague was absorbed by Edison
General Electric and a new company, the General Electric Company (G.E.)
The Thomson-Houston Company was engaged by G.E. to provide the
necessary transmission equipment. Research by Joe Maurath, jr (3)
discloses that the Thomson-Houston Company never produced glass
insulators. Brookfield and Hemingray were contracted to produce
desired glass insulators. Why is this important? A 1904
Electric Company catalogue reveals that star-embossed insulators were
part of their product offerings. The insulators were shown as:
Cat. No. 9322 Pony Glass Insulator
Cat. No. 9310 Deep Groove, double
Cat. No. 9311 Extra Deep Groove, double
Cat. No. 9312 Pony, Deep Groove, double petticoat
These items are embossed with a five-pointed star. Today we refer
these insulators as CD 112, CD161, CD 162 and CD 160
R. Woodward relates that General Electric had insulators made for them
embossed with a raised, five-pointed star. It seems safe to assume that
the five-pointed star embossing was intended as a user mark for General
Who Made 'Em? .
. . Where? . . . When? . . .
The major makers of Star insulators are believed to be Brookfield, Sterling, Novelty, and Harloe.
William L. Brookfield stated that he believed that insulators, embossed
with five-pointed stars, were made at the Brookfield Glass Company
plant at Old Bridge, New Jersey (4). This seems possible since G.
came into existence in 1903 and the plant at Old Bridge was already
producing insulators for the Thomson-Houston Electric Company (T-H E.
CO.). These molds were retooled to G. E. CO. and possibly a Star after
Thomson-Houston became part of G. E.
In 1902, the old Elmer Glass Works of Elmer, New Jersey, leased space
to the Sterling Glass Company. The following year, the company was sold
to the Harloe Insulator Company of Hawley, Pennsylvania. This
facility, known as the "Lower Works", produced glass insulators when
fuel was available. The insulators produced were of the CD 102,
112, CD 160, and CD 164 variety. Things did not
go too well and in
October, 1903, the Harloe Company vacated the plant and moved
production to their Hawley, Pennsylvania facility.
In 1903, the Gilchrist Jar Company, located in Elmer, was sold to the
Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company. This plant, known as the "Upper
Works", began producing insulators as a main product. The Brookfield
Company forced the closing of this plant in 1907 due to a patent
Ray Klingensmith excavated the Elmer sites and found remnants of Star
insulators. It seems evident that Sterling, Harloe, and Novelty
insulators for G. E. at these Elmer works.
Prior to 1912, insulator needs for the area West of the Rocky Mountains
had been satisfied by Brookfield and Hemingray (5). Hemingray was
already producing CD 134 insulators for the T-H E. Company when it
became part of G.E. Retooling of the molds to produce an embossed
quite possibly occurred at that time.
Color Clues .
. . . .
Color and Quality are invaluable aids in determining origins of Star
insulators. Colors ranged from light blues to dark greens with
variations now and then. The colors are determined mainly, by the sand
source but the use of cullet and additives sometimes alters resulting
colors. The main drawback to identifying by color lies in the
that color determination is so subjective. (How many collectors are
confident in telling the difference between teal green and dark green
aqua?) Differences in light source and possible color impairment of the
viewer further complicate identification.
When the Brookfield plant was located at Old Bridge the colors produced
were different that the colors resulting from the Bushwick plant in
Brooklyn. The Old Bridge plant used a good deal of cullet with their
New Jersey sand and a pronounced green color resulted ( i.e. dark aqua,
dark green, and olive green).
Novelty Glass Company operated the "upper" works at Elmer. New
Jersey sand was used and the resulting glass was mostly green.
Sterling operated at the old Elmer "lower" works. One noticeable
quality of their glass was the purity of color. Clear, light blue aqua
color glass was produced.
Harloe had a plant in Hawley, Pennsylvania that produced glass
insulators from 1902 through 1907.( Do not confuse Harloe with the
Hawley Glass Company of 1872 - 1885). The sand quality and the use of
cullet produced a crude aqua to blue aqua glass that is sometimes
referred to as snowy or milky.
Prior to 1889, Hemingray operated a plant in Covington, Kentucky.
glass produced ranged from blue to green in unpredictable
1890 - 1930 saw the construction and continuous operation of a second
plant in Muncie, Indiana. A more uniform blue-green color glass was
produced. Color alone cannot be relied upon for identification.
1896 Hemingray letterhead proclaimed "Flint, Green, Amber and Opal
Tidbits And Pieces .
. . . .
One of the oddities of star insulators that is mentioned from time to
time is the wedge-shaped drip point. It appears that two adjacent drip
points are joined and form a wedge (Figure 1). There are
two styles of star insulators that exhibit this feature: the CD 102
pony and the CD 162.3 signal. The purpose of this design is unknown, as
is the manufacturer. Both exhibit swirl start threading which is
considered by many as a Brookfield characteristic.
1 Wedge drip points
Another oddity that is sometimes seen is the "Elmer Ring". This
circular mark is found at the top of the pin hole. This feature
to be unique to pieces made in Elmer, New Jersey and is thought to be a
Novelty Glass characteristic.
All star-embossed insulators were made in three-piece molds (no
An exception is found in the case of the star mine insulator
came from a two-piece mold. There have been no clear glass star
insulators found as yet. An attempt to correlate star attitudes,
and colors with manufacturers proved inconclusive.
Meet The Family .
. . . .
Presently, there are 17 styles of star-embossed glass insulators that
have been identified. When the variations of embossing are
the number jumps to 38. Add to this the possibility of multiple
manufacturers, numerous mold styles and color variations ant the future
of the prospective star collector becomes challenging. The following is
a brief introduction to members of "The Family".
The star pony "herd" is possibly the largest group of star
McDougald's vol. 2 lists the known CD 102 embossing as follows:
010 Dome number, star on front skirt, smooth
020 Dome number, star on front skirt, sharp drip
030 Dome number, star on front skirt superimposed
over a blotted
out S. F. , smooth
040 Dome number, star on front skirt superimposed
over a blotted out S. F., sharp drip
050 Star on front skirt, smooth base
060 Star on front skirt, sharp drip points smooth base
070 Star on front skirt, small vertical bar on rear
skirt smooth skirt
080 Star on front skirt, star on rear skirt, smooth
090 Star on front skirt, wedge-shaped drip
100 Star on front skirt, VERY small star on rear
skirt, smooth base
110 Star on front skirt superimposed over a partly
blotted out S. F. ,smooth base
120 Star on front skirt superimposed over a partly
blotted out S. F., sharp drip points
One noted collector (Brent Berger) has developed a method of
classifying star ponies by mold sets, he believes that
the Embossing Index system does not reflect the subtle nuances of the
various mold variations. He uses the following descriptive terms:
Tall Skirts - This
mold set is
very common with many sub-variants. At first glance, most of the skirts
seem alike, however, dome profiles vary from short, sharp edged to tall
2 Tall Skirt
Fat Heads -
slightly larger domes. Skinny Skirt and Stout Skirt variants exist. The
skinny skirt tends to be slightly taller than the stout skirt version.
Concave sides are found on some of the skinny skirt versions.
3 Fat Head, skinny skirt
(left), stout skirt (right)
Shrunken Heads -
This set constitutes a unique union of stout fat head skirt with the
dome of another, undersized set.
4 Shrunken Head
Shotgun Skirts -
common, smaller insulators have star embossing on the front and rear
skirt. The sides are almost parallel lending to a "gun barrel"
5 Shotgun Skirts
S.F. Style - These
from reworked S.F. insulators. The second period is visible. These are
found with smooth bases or sharp drip points.
6 S.F. Style
Blobtop - Taller,
round dome styles embossed front and rear with a star. There exists a
less round dome version with a sharper upper wire ridge.
7 Blob Top
There are several features of star ponies that seem unique and bear
relating. Some of the CD 102 star ponies (010, 020, 030, and 040) are
numbered on the dome. Numbers 1 through 3 are common. Dome numbering
(mold numbers) is not unique to star insulators however, since it was a
common practice of Brookfield to use dome numbers and letters and
Hemingray made use of dome letters. The facts that several star ponies
carry dome numbers and are found mostly in darker green colors prompts
the belief that Brookfield was involved in the production of these star
Several star CD 102 ponies have sharp drip points. In the early years
drip points were considered a unique Hemingray feature. There is,
however, a strong belief that the sharp drip point star insulators were
produced by Brookfield. This belief has not been substantiated.
Some descriptions refer to a star superimposed over a blotted out S.F.
It appears that in the retooling of S.F. molds the second period was
overlooked and remains in the lower right part of the star. Whoever
made the S.F. insulators evidently was involved in the production of
some star insulators (Figure 8).
8 S.F. Blot Out
Another unusual mark found on some star insulators is the "vertical
bar." The bar is much smaller than is usually found (Figure 9)
being 3/16 inch. It appears more like seepage from the edge
of an elliptical blot out. What was blotted out is open to conjecture
but it may have been a "B" or another star. Several of these embossings
have appeared so it is not a one-time anomaly.
9 Verticle Bar
Some interesting insight can be gained by comparisons. Compare the CD
102 ponies of the following:
Star  (Fat Head, Skinny Skirt)……Sterling 
Star  (Fat Head, Skinny Skirt)……Brookfield 
10 Comparison from left,
S.F., Shotgun, Fat Head skinny skirt, Fat Head stout skirt
This insulator was designed for subscriber and open wire telephone use.
N. R. Woodward and M. Milholand refer to this style as a "Pony,"
Tibbits called it a "Beehive" (6) and Brookfield called it a "National
Pony." The known manufacturers of this style (Brookfield, National
Insulator Company and Standard Glass) retained a great degree of
11 CD 104
Only one embossing style , which features a single star on the
front skirt, has been recorded. There are, however, variations in
size of the star indicating that a variety of molds were used. Colors
are mainly light blue and light aqua with occasional green and green
aqua being found.
A "Wide base variant" is sometimes heard of. The only wide base
variant CD 104 that has been recorded is that of the New England Tel
& Tel CD 104 (7). There are no records showing that the CD 104 was
made at Elmer even though an "Elmer Ring" is sometimes seen.
CD 106, nicknamed Pony, was designed to serve primarily rural systems.
The style was widely copied and produced by the major insulator
companies. Curiously absent from the wide production is the Brookfield
product. None have been observed. Dimensions are relatively
with the sketch in figure 12. The CD 106 Star has been widely used
and has been found in virtually every quarter of the country.
12 CD 106
A sampling of fourteen CD 106 Stars all had a single star. In each
case, the star measured ½ inch and consistently pointed
Star CD 106 had smooth bases while some other manufacturers had sharp
The CD 112 double groove insulator, (nicknamed Double Groove Pony) was
designed for residence drop line / exchange line interface. This style
insulator was developed and produced for nearly 20 years by Brookfield.
Star embossed fragments of this style have been unearthed at the lower
works site of the Sterling Glass Works (after acquisition by Harloe in
1903). Colors are generally aqua with occasional green shading from
light green to dark olive
Current literature lists two embossing indices for the CD 112 Star;
 single star and  two star. Actually, five mold variations
have been found. These are shown in figure 13 as follows:
Flat Side, Sharp Corner, one star
 Flat Side Tall, Sharp Corner, one
 Flat Side, Rounded Corner, one star
 Barrel, Rounded Center, one
 Flat Side Tall, Sharp Corner, two stars
13 CD 112 mold variations
The  Flat Side Tall is considered a rarity. Physically, the
dimensions are identical to the  Flat Side Tall. It could be
helpful to remember that "rounded edge" molds are a familiar Brookfield
trait. Sharper edges are found on Hemingray molds.
At least four glass companies are known to have produced the CD113
double groove pony. This insulator, designed to serve rural exchange
telephone lines, was manufactured by Armstrong, Hemingray,
Whitall Tatum, and possibly others. Exactly who it was that produced
stars is unknown.
Colors commonly found range from light blue through aqua to an olive
The most often found CD 113 seems to be the Hemingray #12. It is
temptation to attribute Star 113 production to Hemingray. This may be
true, however, Hemingray used drip points very extensively and the Star
unit is smooth based. In addition, the Hemingray has a different pin
hole with an extra thickness of glass to reinforce the lower wire
groove since the threading starts above the wire groove. The Star
threading extends below the wire groove and provided sufficient
thickness to support a lower wire groove (Figure 14).
14 CD 113 Star left,
Hemingray right, CD 106
A theory sometimes emerges that the CD 113 Star was made from reworked
CD 106 Star molds. From outward appearance it would seem possible but
in practical terms it is unlikely. The bottom of the pin hole/inside
skirt of the two insulators are markedly different (Figure 14). The
skirt wall of the CD 106 seems too thin to safely support an added wire
This smaller version Star signal (Figure 15) was intended for
use with open wire telegraph, telephone lines and other, low voltage
applications. The lack of an inner skirt prohibited use with high
voltage circuits due to the short distance from line to ground
15 CD 133
The CD 133 Star is sometimes called the "bullet" due to the narrow
dome. The colors range from light blue through aqua to various shades
of dark green suggesting Novelty Glass or early Brookfield origins.
Most of the CD 133 Star signals have an "Elmer Ring". There is an
existing belief that the CD 133 evolved from early CD 726 - 728.8 thus
accounting for the smaller size.
The CD 134 insulator, known as a deep groove signal, was used to carry
Thomson-Houston circuits in the late 1890s (Figure 16). The Hemingray
insulators carried the T-H E. Co. embossing and are found in aqua to
light green colors. Brookfield is believed to have produced the CD 134
for Thomson-Houston. When the change to General Electric came, the
molds were reworked to read G. E. Co. Production continued until the
plant closed in 1922. These Brookfield pieces are found in dark green,
dark aqua, and olive green.
16 CD 134
The CD 134 Star has characteristics of both Brookfield and
The two pieces are similar in dimension and can be
identified only by color and quality. There is no "Elmer Ring" in the
Star unit. No inner skirt is present.
The CD 145 "Beehive" was intended to replace the much older
"Compromise" insulator. Samuel Oakman's 1884 patent #14674 was
adopted for open-wire telegraph use. Several supply houses manufactured
this design. McDougald's price guide mentions three commonly seen
embossing index numbers:
"Standard", single star, smooth base
 "Pointed Dome", single star, smooth base
 "Postal" or "Tall Dome" style, single
star, smooth base
17 CD 145
There have been five versions of the CD 145 Star seen. The  index
has been followed by two variations still considered as ,
(Figure 17). All of the five versions have smooth bases
short inner skirts that do not extend to the outer skirt.
Colors range from light blues through aqua to variations of dark green.
Identification of the manufacturer has been complicated due to the
color variations and dimensional differences. These variations suggest
that the CD 145 Star was made with several molds. The Standard,
Pointed Dome and Tall Dome styles are believed to be products of
Sterling, Novelty and/or Harloe glass companies. The variants suggest
that Brookfield and Hemingray were involved in the production of some
CD 145 Stars using modified mold embossings of their own CD 145s. The
Brookfield connection with Novelty Glass is questionable because, at
that time, Brookfield was suing Novelty over a patent
Distribution of the Star CD 145 seems diverse; examples have been found
in Ontario, Canada as well as various parts of the U.S.
The CD 160 Star insulator (Figure 18) was originally intended for
rural telephone system use. It is a smaller signal type with a smooth
base, a single star and an inner skirt which does not extend down as
far as the base. It should not be confused with a CD 133 which does not
have an inner skirt. The color distribution ranges from light
through yellow green to light aqua. The size and attitude of the star
embossing together with the glass colors leads to interesting
speculations. Small stars (3/8 in.), pointing downward are found
the darker insulators and have wider wire ridges suggesting Brookfield.
There is no "Elmer Ring" found.
18 CD 160
A slightly larger star (7/16 in.) pointing upward is found in aqua or
light aqua insulators showing an "Elmer ring." These insulators
more conventional tapered wire groove suggesting Harloe (lower works)
origin prior to the move to Pennsylvania. A third type of star is
found on the light blue and light green insulators which contain
impurities and bubbles. The star is large (1/2 in.), pointing upward.
The clear colors suggest Novelty glass. An "Elmer Ring" is present.
An early (ca.1904) General Electric supplies catalogue includes a
picture of a "Deep Groove, glass, petticoat" insulator. A
picture reveals an inner skirt that does not reach to the base
N. R. Woodward shows only three companies involved with the CD 161;
California Glass, Brookfield, and Star (9). California Glass
towards a complex darker color while Brookfield glass has a
characteristic darker green color. This color difference supports the
belief that the Brookfield company produced the CD 161 Stars. Most of
the Star 161s are a green to darker green color. In addition, the
California Glass Insulator Company was less likely to have had a
connection with Star Manufacture because of its late start-up date (ca.
1912). Harloe is believed to have made Star CD 161 units after taking
over the Sterling operation. The CD 161 Star is found with both a
smooth base and sharp drip points (Figure 19). Embossing includes a
single star. Colors range from aqua through green to dark green.
Embossing is consistent ( 7/16 inch star, pointed downward).
19 CD 161
Occasionally, the Star CD 161 and 162 are confused. Close examination
discloses that the CD 161 Star crown is relatively flat and wide
("broad shouldered") and the skirt almost vertical (85 degree slope).
The CD 162 crown has a narrow, rounded, sloping crown ("narrow
shouldered"). The skirt of the Star CD 162 has more incline (approx. 82
degree) and the base diameter is wider than the Star CD 161.
The CD 162, referred to as a " deep groove, double petticoat", was made
for use with insulated drop lines and 6 to 8 gauge secondaries. Several
prominent glass companies manufactured the CD162 Star in the early
1900s; Novelty Glass, Sterling, and Harloe (after the move to
Pennsylvania). Excavations at the Elmer "lower" works in 1980 produced
fragments of Harloe-type Star CD 162 (10). Current literature
three embossing index numbers for the Star CD 162:
Smooth base, single star
 Sharp Drip Point, single star
 Smooth base, two star
Colors range from aqua to dark olive green for the  and 
index pieces. No example of the CD 162  Star has been seen. Three
mold styles have been observed:
Dome - Common, smooth base, ½"
wire groove, often a ½" star pointing downward. "Elmer Ring"
20 Wide Dome
Narrow Dome -
Frequently found smooth base, ½" wire
groove, one or two 7/16" stars, pointed downward, "Elmer ring" is
21 Narrow Dome
- Smooth base, ¾" wire groove,
single 7/16" star pointed downward. "Elmer Ring" usually present.
22 Wide Groove
The narrow dome, wide groove style has been much discussed by various
insulator collectors. Some believe that it resembles a wide groove CD
161.2 because of its wide, flat wire ridge. Woodward concurs, however,
no such listing is found in the McDougald literature. The assignment of
embossing index numbers is made by McDougald. The dilemma has been
referred to Woodward and McDougald in 2001. Resolution is pending.
Until such time the literature is changed it will be considered a
narrow dome, wide groove style as a CD162 Star variant.
The Brookfield Glass Company catalogue of 1912 describes the style
number 36 as a deep groove double petticoat insulator which features a
slightly larger wire groove ( 5/8" ) than is usually seen. The
dimensions shown are identical to those of the CD 162.1 Star signal
23 CD 162.1
This similarity seems to point to the belief that
this Star insulator is not an Elmer product but rather a Brookfield
product from the later years. Tibbitts (11) attributes the design
Samuel Oakman's patent # 288360
(Nov.13,1883), however, this patent
also covers the earlier Brookfield CD 162. Why the heavier crown and
more squared top were designed is unknown. Colors of the Brookfield No.
36 range from aqua through green aqua to dark aqua. This includes the
green aqua often found in the CD 162.1 Star.
A small wire groove insulator, said to be the predecessor of the
CD162 (Figure 24), was intended for use with bare wire or
than 10 gauge. Only two sources of this piece have been reported:
Brookfield and Star. The ice blue, steel blue, gray and light aqua
colors suggest Harloe production while the dark greens are a Brookfield
type of glass. McDougald assigns two embossing index numbers to
Single downward pointing star, smooth base
 Two, downward pointing stars, wedge shaped drip
24 CD 162.3
Close examination of these insulators reveals at least six mold
variations. The variations, although minor, should be considered. The
25 Left, Dot on dome
variant, Right, Very rounded groove variant
- Raised dot on dome, large star (5/8")
- Raised dot on dome, small star (3/8")
- Raised dot on dome, large star very rounded lower
wire groove edge
- Small star
- Large star, very rounded lower wire groove edge
A double petticoat insulator, referred to as an "Extra Deep Groove D P
Signal" was made by several glass companies for use with ¾"
electric street lighting, and street railways. Brookfield, Hemingray,
Sterling, Harloe, and possibly others marketed this insulator under a
variety of model numbers. A 1904 GE equipment catalogue shows an extra
deep groove insulator as # 9311. Brookfield made them as # 487.
Harloe, in 1907,assigned all patents to Brookfield. When Sterling moved
to Hawley, the Harloe Insulator Company was already making CD 164
insulators embossed HICO. The retooling of the molds to show a Star
would have been a simple task. McDougald (12) shows a CD 164 Star and
assigns three embossing indices to it:
Single Star, smooth base
 Single Star, sharp drip
 Single Star, smooth base, blotted out circle on
The colors range from aqua through green to dark olive green. The 
embossing insulator is reported as being only in aqua. The  Star
has not been verified, there is, however, a Brookfield CD 164 with
off-center B embossing and a circular blot out in mid rear skirt. Three
mold variations have been observed:
Round Dome - This
single star shape with darker green colors and nearly
vertical skirts suggests Brookfield origin. The dimensions and
characteristic round dome compare to the Brookfield #38. The slight
rounding of the lower wire groove edge is consistent with the "soft
edge" trait found in many Brookfield insulators.
26 Round Dome
Oval Dome -
Features a slightly oblong dome ridge. Found in both
and without drip point models in darker aqua shades. The soft edge and
color suggest Brookfield glass. This same oval dome is seen on the
Starling and Harloe CD 164 insulators suggesting Sterling manufacture
either at the lower Elmer works (1902-03) when Sterling was taken over
by Harloe. An "Elmer Ring" is sometimes
27 Oval Dome
Round Edge - A
round dome, smooth base variation with colors is
predominantly blue aqua. The identifying characteristic of this variant
is a downward curve of the lower wire groove edge where where it joins
the base (similar to the HICO pieces). There is a noticeable widening
of the base. No" Elmer Ring" is
28 Round Edge
This mold style was created to provide insulation for low voltage
applications found in mines. At the start of the twentieth century,
there was a growing market for such insulators in the growing numbers
of gold, silver, copper coal, etc. mines. Only four suppliers of
are known to have made CD 185 insulators (Figure 29): Brookfield,
Jeffory, and Knowles. Knowles is known to have sold products from other
factories, including Brookfield (13)
29 CD 185
Hemingray made insulators for the Jeffory Mining Company (14).
price guides indicate only one embossing index numbers for CD 185 Star
mine insulators . In reality, there are slight variations in
dimensions. The insulator has a threaded pin
smooth base and is made from a two-part mold. Colors range from aqua to
shades of green which suggest either Brookfield or Hemingray origin.
Telephone systems usually required a "Transposition Insulator" such as
the CD 200 (Figure 30). The concept of two wire grooves and two storm
one skirt between the grooves was first introduced by N. Rousseau
1883 pat# 289,499. His design underwent several changes before
becoming the present CD 200 transposition. N.R. Woodward
Brookfield as being involved with the CD200.
30 CD 200
There may be other unknown
manufacturers. Letters of patent (520,367)
were issued to Fred
in 1894 covering a"Transposition Insulator." Because of an
contract with Brookfield to make his glass insulators, it could
be assumed that Brookfield made his transposition as No. 52. A
side-by-side comparison of the Brookfield #52 and the CD 200 Star shows
them to be identical thus, Brookfield appears to be the likely
manufacturer of the CD 200 Star. Colors generally
range from blue aqua through light green to yellow green. The glass
appears relatively free of impurities and tends toward greenish colors
such as found in Old Bridge Brookfield products. Embossing
number  is used to describe this one-piece, smooth base piece. A
small (3/8") star, pointing downward, is found on the skirt. There is
no "Elmer Ring".
The CD 260 cable insulator traces its origin to the efforts of Samuel
Oakman (pat# 430,296
17,1890). This unique insulator (Figure 31), called
the "Roman Helmet" (not to be confused with the "Mickey Mouse" or
"Viking Helmet") was designed to insulate heavy wires or cables and to
serve as a temporary holder for heavy wire. It is also used in making
turns. Two embossing index numbers are
Large (5/8") downward pointing star, smooth
 Large (5/8") downward pointing star on front
skirt, embossed "PATENTED, JUNE 17, 1890" on rear skirt, smooth based.
31 CD 260
The only recognized makers/users of this insulator style are the
California Glass Insulator Company and the Harloe Insulator Company. It
is thought that the Harloe works produced the CD 260 Star
for a time, using reworked Sterling molds. California glass was a
darker, more complex hue ( purples, smoky rose, dark plum, blue green,
etc.). Two mold styles of the California CD 260 were produced: "wide"
groove" and "pinched" groove. California Glass was not known to or
suspected of producing CD 260 Star insulators. The blue-aqua through
light green to darker green glass color of the CD 260 Star appear
consistent with the Harloe glass of Hawley, Pennsylvania. The darker
colors probably resulted after the 1907 assignment of patents to
Some collectors gather glass insulators because of their variety, form
and/or symmetry. Others appreciate the color variations of
the insulators in their windows or out on the cross arms. The Star
collector, however, gathers a part of history. These Star
were a basic part of the communications and power industries entry to
* * * * *
(1) N. R. Woodward, 1988 Report, Glass
Insulator in America
(2) John W. Hammond, 1941, Men
and Volts-The Story
of General Electric
(3) Maurath, 1990, New England Manufacturers Chapter of History and Guide to North American Glass
Pin Type insulators, John McDougald
(4) C. McDougald, 1999, Crown Jewels
of the Wire, A conversation
with William L.
Brookfield, December 1999
(5) McDougald,1990, History and
Guide To North American Glass Pin Type Insulators, vol. 1, California
(6) John C. Tibbitts, A Guide For
Insulator Collectors,vol. 2,1968,item
(7) Marion C. Milholland, Most ABout
Glass Insulators, 1972, pg. 28
(8) The Elmer Times, December 11, 1903 edition
(9) R. Klingensmith, McDougald vol. 1,Glass
making in Elmer at the Turn
of the Century
(10) R. Klingensmith, McDougald vol 1,Glass
making in Elmer at the turn
of the Century
(11) John C. Tibbetts, A Guide For
Insulator Collectors, Vol.1,1967,
(12) McDougald,1990, History and
Guide to North American Glass
Pin Type insulators, vol.2
(13) N.R.Woodward, 1988 Report, The
Glass Insulator in America, pg.43
(14) McDougald, 1972, History and
Guide to North American Glass Pin
Type Insulators, vol. 1, pg. 147