8" high by 3" diameter (shank can extend 4 1/2")
October 14, 1851
The insulators depicted here were patented on October 14, 1851 by John M. Batchelder.
They were intended to provide better insulation, especially during rain, by use of inward flared skirt and disk around the iron shank. A glaze was to line the inside of the skirt similar to "enamel ware". It appears likely that a rubber style "hat" insulator was cemented to the inside of the iron shell and the center shaft was then inserted into the hat.
Four styles have been located, three of which are represented here. The outside pair screwed directly into a tree or pole. The left specimen has a hole in the bottom of the shaft through which the tie wire was attached. The right specimen has a "foot" forged onto the bottom similar to a ramshorn. The wire sat onto the platform between two vertical arms and the main shaft. The center piece, like the Benedict insulator, was mounted into a crossarm or wood block and the wire was set into the top saddle groove and secured by a piece of wire.
These are the earliest known specimens of a patent issued specifically for telegraph insulators. They are very rare with approximately 20 specimens known.
Written Sunday, January 19, 1997; updated Tuesday, February 21, 2012