Up Next

The Blue Ridge Jewel Gazette

Volume 1

Number 4     

August 2003                                                                                            

Club Banner

The new BRIC banner was used for the first time at the May meeting. Tommy Snead was instrumental in getting it created and even made a donation to bring it within the spending allotment that was agreed upon at the previous meeting.

May Meeting

The club held its second quarter meeting at the home of Chris Childress on May 10, 2003. Members attending included Gill, Debbie, and Carrie Pollard, Chris Childress, Fred Collier, Mike Hutchison, and Tommy Snead.

Chris Set up a large tent so that everyone could use it to sell, exhibit, or trade insulators. Lunchtime brought a chance for Chris to show off another of his talents when he provided us with a wonderful meal. We offer a big "thank you" to Chris and Pam for their generous hospitality.

Displays at the May Meeting:


All Stars by Chris Childress

The above photo (click for larger), shows the five different styles of Star Beehives. Until recently it was generally thought to be four styles. L to R: Standard, Pointed Dome, Postal, HGCO style, Brookfield "B" style.

The "B" style is the most scarce of the five as Brent Burger on ICON has reported finding only 2 in 20 years. Chris and Gill have found a hand full in southern Virginia. On first glance they are identical to one of the big "B" Brookfields but they have a small star low on the skirt.

Chris also demonstrated the "Spec-Tru" Standard Color Reference for Transparent Glass system for the club. This system allows you to determine the color of glass by color transparency number/numbers. Chris is now the owner of this system. We will have him demonstrate it again at the next meeting.

Radio Strains by Tommy Snead

Tom Snead set up a display of strain insulators. These insulators were used on radio antennas. The display included glass, ceramic, and rubber. The glass colors included clear, green, purple, black, aqua, and blue. The ceramic colors included green, white, cobalt, brown, and gray. Wonder what the Virginia license tag could mean!??!

GillsArt by Gill Pollard

Gill Pollard brought some of his insulator related art to the meeting. He uses an impressionist style which was popular during the late 1800's.

  This painting is a commission done for Chris and is titled "The Insulator Hunters" and depicts Chris hunting insulators with Gill and Tommy on a nine mile hunt in 2002. Hard to see the hunters? That's the way it should be ;-)

Two Tone Porcelains by Fred Collier

Fred brought part of his two-tone ceramic collection for display (click to enlarge). This was a unique display with many different color combinations. Fred indicated some came from ebay, some from shows, and some had been found in antique shops and flea markets. We need to find out where these antique shops and flea markets are located! Needless to say Fred was "tight lipped"

Fred also brought a few of his "recent finds" to share. Note the glass block (front, center).

Chip and Dip by Gill Pollard

This was a popular display as it was part of our refreshments. Gill brought a large Pyrex "Chip and Dip" insulator complete with chips and home made salsa.

As you can see, Fred Collier stayed as close to the food as possible! Or was it the insulator that attracted him? 

Hunt Story - Mike Hutchison

Mike, our newest member, told his latest hunt story about finding an amethyst Whithall Tatum hanging out over a cliff and then being chased up a hill followed by railroad detectives before using his youthful speed to double back and outrun the pursuers. He may deserve the nick name "Slick" after this hunt. 

From the President:

There were a lot of quality insulators for sale and trade, several changed ownership before the day was over.

The meeting scheduled for August has been canceled. With so many people on vacation this month, it was determined that the schedules for most, and the travel distance, would not allow enough time to devote to a meeting.

Therefore, our next gathering will be on November 9, 2003 at the Bottle and Insulator Show in Greensboro, NC. This will be a joint show with the Southeast Bottle Club. For more information on the show, go to . Contract information is also available at this site. Please plan to attend. This will be a good opportunity to sell, buy, or trade. Lots of interesting items are always available at these shows.

Insulator Archaeology????

When Gill Pollard received an email from  Dr. Babul Roy of New Delhi, India concerning the identification of some porcelain insulator fragments that they had uncovered in a remote area where people had been using the insulators as a source of material for their stone tools. Yes even in the 20th century!

Gill couldn't ID the insulator but since he had worked in Archaeology himself years ago and had learned how to manufacture stone tools, he informed the doctor that he would experiment with a porcelain insulator to see how good of tools could be made.

Gill used a hammer stone, deer antler, and a damaged insulator to produce an arrowhead. The initial flake was as sharp as a razor blade and worked down easily to a projectile point.  Dr. Babul Roy is working on a research paper and plans on using Gill's experiment as an illustration in his paper.

We need your stories!!!

Many of our members live hours from just about any meeting place that we pick and it is hard to arrange schedules to get to a distant meeting. We would still like to hear and see what you have been up to so send an email for the next newsletter.

The cool months when we can all get outside and look around are quickly approaching so take that camera with you and send a photo of that purple that you get off of the side of a cliff as Mike recently found, though he didn't have a chance to take his own photo and didn't want the railroad to take it for him.