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The Beaver Falls Glass Company
Early Threaded Telegraph Insulators

Compiled by Keith RolosonView Icon Profile, February 1993

This write-up discusses a relatively obscure insulator manufacturer and the rare CDs known to have come from there.

The Beaver Falls Glassworks was formed in Pennsylvania in the year 1869, four years after the Cauvet patent for threaded insulators. The founder, a William Modes, had owned previous glasshouses in the Pittsburgh area before buying land in Beaver Falls. The property was purchased May, 1869 so it is possible that no insulators were even manufactured until the year 1870.

It would have been necessary to build the factory, furnaces and other infrastructure to support such an endeavor. In 1879 the glassworks changed hands, and there is no research indicating that the new owners continued to produce telegraph insulators.

What is known for sure is that:

In addition to the above names, some units were embossed S.T.Paisley or B.F.G. Co. or P&W. Specifically the following embossings can be found on certain CDs:

CD 127 W.U.P or W.U.Pattern (W.U. means Western Union)
The W.U.Pattern also has the embossing "L.A.C.S PAT.JULY 25th 1865" which refers to Louis A. Cauvet's patent for the threaded insulator. These also have a number inside a molded-circle on top of dome. (this characteristic is seen in CDs 132.2, 133.2 also; see below)
Colors: aqua, blue-aqua, dark aqua, dark teal green, cobalt blue
CD 127 No Name with a W1 in a molded circle on top of dome.
Colors: aqua, light-blue, emerald green, dark yellow green, dark green
CD 131.8 No Name
Very few known; Colors are aqua or yellow-green
CD 132.2 No Name with a "2" on the dome
Colors: aqua, ice-blue, light-green, lime-green, dark green, teal blue, cobalt blue, sapphire blue and other blues, yellow-green.
CD 132.2 S.T.Paisley/Maker/Beaver Falls, PA.
On the rear skirt: L.A.Cauvet's/PAT'D/July 25th 1865.
Colors: This rare piece comes in aqua.
CD 133.2 L.A.C.'S PAT JULY 25th 1865 on dome; B.F.G.Co. on skirt.
One variant has the initials "I" and "C" intertwined on the dome.
Colors: aqua, blue-aqua
CD 133.2 No Name with "M" on dome in aqua, blue-aqua; No Name w/o "M" in aqua.
CD 133.2 "2" in a circle on dome (see CD 127 "W1" above also)
"P&W" on skirt, PATD JULY 25th 1865/L.A.C. on side of dome in an arc.
Colors: aqua, blue-aqua.
CD 133.2 Same as above but without "2" in circle on dome
Colors: aqua, and 3 or 4 in green known as of 11/92.
CD 728.2 No Name
The No Name has been reported as having the same plunger markings as those above. This was known as a CD 733.2 in the old Milhollands but has been reassigned. This theory has been reported by one family who specialized in B.F.G. glass. See Crown Jewels, Nov. 1975. Mention of that fact occurs in McDougald's Volume 2, on that CD page. Mr. S.T.Paisley formed a paid (!) fire department in Pittsburgh in June, 1870. It is easy to speculate that, as he set up the telegraph communication, he contracted locally to have his insulators made. And who knows, maybe he participated in the design of the CD 132.2 bearing his name!

This article would not have been possible without Carol and John McDougald's reference work:

"Insulators, A History and Guide to North American Glass Pintype Insulators, Volume 1", which also credits Ora Beary and Wendell Hunter (noted Pennsylvania insulator historians).

Also, McDougalds' Price Guide for Insulators, 1995 Edition

Also, Crown Jewels, Nov. 1975, pages 10-11

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Last updated Sunday, August 27, 1995