IOTW CD 250
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CD 250 - Insulator of the Week on Feb, 7 Jan 2008
General term is "Cabletop"
Embossing Types: NEGM Co
CD 250 N.E.G.M. Co.: Decided to include this one since it's a rare variant of the NEGM CD 251. It is only listed in aqua with a smooth base. What makes this distinctively different from a CD 251 is the absence of an inner skirt. I have only seen one example that resides in a Southern California collection. Are there any others known? The book value of $10,000-15,000 obviously indicates it is a rarity.
These brief comments on the Insulator of the Week are not intended to be complete and are presented to encourage discussion and additional information from ICON. Now it's your turn to share info and/or post photos of your favorite CD 251s or that illusive CD 250!
Andrew Gibson commented on Thu, 7 Feb 2008
I believe that there actually were at least 2 of the CD 250s known to exist at one time. There was an article (or letter) in Crown Jewels at one point that described this, though I can't immediately find what issue it was. Relatively recently -- since the Banks took over production of the magazine. My recollection is that the note in CJ said that a box of insulators was left in the back of a car that was sold, and that box contained some extremely good insulators including a CD 250. The CD 250 left in the car was a different one than the one we currently know about.
Also, there is a picture of the CD 250 from the Seldom Seen Display at the 1986 National, from CJOW Sept, 1986, shown here <  >. I find it interesting that there are a number of "one of a kind" insulators marked, but that the CD 250 is not so marked.
The CD 250 is different from the CD 251 not only in the lack of an inner skirt, but also in dimension. It is 1/4" taller and 1/4" narrower than a CD 251, appearing almost like a "stretched" version with a slightly different profile.
Andrew Gibson commented on Thu, 7 Feb 2008
When did the CD 251 style originate? N.E.G.M. CO. is assumed to be 1899, and the Hemingray versions are obviously from 1893 at the very earliest. The Lynchburg units weren't around until 1923. So presumably the style originated sometime around 1893-1899 or so. I could fairly easily speculate that it was first made by N.E.G.M. CO., and that the CD 250 was an early prototype, though there is obviously no proof of that. As for an end date -- the Hemingray units with Numbers and dots in clear are from the 1930s at the earliest, and I believe the corrugated base versions date from around 1946 or later. So this style saw a fairly long life!
Howard Banks commented on Fri, 8 Feb 2008
In 1967, Charles Fox of Southern Oregon traded a CD 321 for three small cable insulators (CD 251's). I was at Chuck's house when the package arrived, and watched as he unwrapped his insulators. There were two NEGM's and a Lynchburg. But Chuck noted that one of the NEGM's was different... it didn't have an inner skirt (a CD 250). When he never saw another one at any shows or in anyone's collection, Chuck began to believe there was really something special about the insulator.
In 1972, Chuck traded his insulator collection for an antique 1936 Cord automobile. He later married; and then suddenly died in 1994. Around 2002, I was talking to his widow when she floored me by declaring that Chuck didn't trade away his best insulators. She said the insulators were boxed up and she'd locate the box for me. Knowing what was in Chuck's collection, I tried to determine what he would consider "his best". Among them, I guessed, would be the CD 250, a CD 123 with upside down embossing (E-Mold EC&M), an amber T-H E CD 134, and a peacock blue 1871-dated CD 134. He had many other great insulators, but these four would be easy to recognize.
Then I contacted the man who traded the 1936 Cord to Chuck. He actively collected insulators for about 15 years, and became an EC&M specialist. He confirmed that he never owned any of the four insulators in question, adding that he always wanted to own an E-Mold EC&M but never did.
As you can guess, by now I was getting pretty excited about the insulators Chuck reportedly boxed up all those years ago. But Chuck's widow was unable to find the box of insulators. What happened to them? Sometime after Chuck's death, his holding of antique automobiles and car parts were auctioned off by members of the car club to which Chuck had belonged. Our best guess is that Chuck's insulators were sold at the car auction without his wife's knowledge. (She did not attend.) The missing box could well be sitting in some car collector's garage just waiting to be discovered.
The single CD 250 currently known in the hobby was found in the 1950's, and remained in the finder's personal collection until just a couple years ago when it was sold to a CD specialist.