Jack Kesling's Insulator Page

Personal Background

I was born in Iowa. After attending Drake University, I spent four years in the United States Air Force stationed at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, Georgia. Marriage came two years after I entered the service. My wife Rosemary, who is also originally from Iowa, taught college English at Middle Georgia College. When my service commitment was completed, we moved back to Iowa so that I could attend graduate school in Organic Chemistry at the University of Iowa. I now work for ARCO Chemical Company at their corporate R&D facility in Newtown Square, PA. Rosemary and I have two children, Matthew and Andrea.

I am an avid fly fisherman. I tie all my own flies on barbless hooks and practice catch and release. Pennsylvania is an outstanding state for wild Browns and Brook trout. In addition to fishing, I enjoy waterfowl hunting. You got to be crazy to get up at 3:00 AM and drive 100 miles only to lay in a wet / frozen corn field to hunt geese or stand in three feet of wet to hunt ducks over decoys.

I am actively involved in many civic activities. About ten-years ago, my wife and I with a few others from our civic association started and ran a recycling program for paper, glass, and aluminum in our township. This program eventually was taken over by the township and was turned into the first curbside program in the Delaware Valley. Another activity I particularly enjoy is as environmental chairman for our local Delco Manning Trout Unlimited Chapter. I do water quality monitoring on three local cold water streams.

Entry Into Insulator Hobby

I entered the insulator hobby in 1968 while in the Air Force in Georgia. My interest in chemistry and waterfowl hunting actually resulted in an intimate relationship with the insulator hobby. The "tracks" were used to get access to prime Woodduck hunting in the Georgia swamps. A hunting buddy, Capt. Rox Robinson observed some purple CD-154 Whitall Tatum's along the tracks and was wondering why the insulators were colored.

I explained to him that manganese was used as a decolorizing agent to manufacture clear glass. Clear glass would allow light to come through the insulator which discouraged spiders and other insects from building nests under the insulator. The advantage would be to preserve the electrical insulating value by keeping the glass surface clean and the insulator peg dry. UV light and years of service resulted in the manganese oxidation to a high valence state that was characterized by a purple color. Other decoloring agent, such as selenium, resulted in sun colored honey amber upon long exposure to UV light. Needless to say, once I started collecting a few of these insulators, I was hooked on the hobby.

What I Collect

My collecting interest Include early telegraph styles, threadless, and Boston Bottle Works. These were all insulators that I had access to during the early years. I am especially interested in the following:

The best pieces in my collection include:

All of the above glass insulators were found in Georgia. Sometime in the near future, I will post an article documenting my collecting experiences during the early years. I will provide specific detail on what insulators were used in Georgia and where they were found.

Want List

I would like to ask for your help in locating the following items for my collection.

I am especially interested in any "no name" or "no embossing" items in any of the above CD-styles. If you can part with any of this glass or have other telegraph styles that might be of interest, please send E-mail, letter, or phone. Thanks in advance for your help.

Holy Grail List

I can only hope. I would have a better chance being hit by lightning even if I had the money to purchase.

Articles - Under Construction

In the near future, I will post an article titled "Georgia Peaches - The Early Years". With Bill's help, I'm hoping this will include pictures of many "Georgia Peaches". I am also collecting information and would like to co-author an article on CD 127 Western Union styles. This may take sometime, but it should be an interesting project.

Survey - (CD-127)

I would like to ask any CD 127 (or CD 126) collector to send me a letter or E-mail with details on your collection. If you have actually found CD 127's over the years, I would be pleased if you could provide information on areas where found, mold numbers, and any other specific detail that you think might be important.


Send your mail or E-mail to the following address:

Jack Kesling
248 Friendship Road
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Written by Jack Kesling,

Last Updated Sunday, December 3, 1995

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