Chris Ronayne's Insulator Page

U-2385Hello, I’m an insulator collector from NSW, Australia. I acquired my first four insulators in mid 2009, and my collection has grown to over 250 insulators. My collection consists of glass and porcelain telegraph, telephone and signal insulators, porcelain pin type power insulators, glass disc suspension insulators, porcelain spools & shackles and a few porcelain strain and post type insulators. My favourite insulators are CD 121 “tolls”, AGEE CD 420s, Isorex CD 530s and A.G.M. CD 590s. I also like Unipart porcelain power insulators and porcelain telegraph insulators (eg. U- 106, U- 1145, U- 1148, U- 1531, U-1546 etc.).

My collection is now in the low hundreds (as previously mentioned, around 250, give or take). This consists of about 205 glass and porcelain telegraph insulators, 1 composite insulator, 7 glass disc suspensions, 3 post type power insulators, 6 unipart porcelain power insulators, 10 spool & shackle insulators, 13 low voltage porcelain pin types, 1 circuit breaker (cut-out) and three or four misc. Polymer and porcelain insulators.

Being about halfway through high school, I usually don’t have the time to get out and look in antique and junk shops and hunt insulators. Despite this, I never pass up an opportunity to hunt for or acquire some more insulators. I love to get out and go hunting for them, and I can easily go hunting for hours on end. Pole climbing on the other hand... I once tried climbing a rail pole to get a really nice straw CD 430 and some porcelain, but the highest I got was about two metres off the ground. I resorted to trying to make the pole fall over, but that too failed.

How I got started

Australian insulatorsI acquired my first four insulators in mid 2009. I was out walking along an abandoned railway track in Canberra with my father. Being an almost die-hard rail fan, I found and kept a lot of railway related junk I found along the tracks. Anyway, under a clump of pine trees, I spotted some unusually shiny white “things”. I had a look, but only found some broken U-1502s. I kept walking and found another small cluster ofbroken U-1502s. But wait... I pulled a half buried U-1502 out, expecting it to be broken, but instead I had a complete insulator. I put it in my bag and kept walking. At the end of the walk, I had three U-1502s and a U-1491. Upon arriving at my father’s house, I put them and the railway junk in the garage, to be cleaned later.

I forgot about them and about a year later, I found the dusty old bag of insulators. I cleaned them and was interested by them and their shape. A few days later, we went to a railway museum about an hour and a half from my father’s house. Whilst looking through a cabinet full of items for sale, I spotted four CD 430s (two light green, one straw and one clear), a CD 423 (light green) and a U-1154. At $5 each, I bought the clear CD 430, 423 and a U-1154. That night, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one with this bizarre interest.

TrainAnyway, after a week of keen anticipation and anxiety, we went to the museum again. I bought the two light green CD 430s. At the terminus, I was told I could walk the tracks in search of insulators, and the train (technically a CPH railmotor) would pick me up for the return trip. I ran, and by the time the railmotor caught up (5km from the terminus), I had about five U-1154s, several U-1502s and two U-1491s (one had a metal pin).

I took all four CD 430s, the CD 423, two U-1154s, two U-1502s and two U-1491s home to Port Macquarie with me.

I have fond memories of these early days...

My website:

Written by Chris Ronayne,

Last updated Monday, August 15, 2011

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