Glass ball...

By Ben Caldwell; posted March 7, 2006

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Back when I was a younger lad, I liked to walk along the local rail road tracks with my dad and my friends. Back then, you could find a purple California or a piece of EC&M essentially in the middle of town. One interesting little thing you could find back then was these little glass balls. They are "mostly" clear with just a slight hit of aqua (the picture color is not so accurate), about 1'' in diameter and are not usually perfectly round. This one has aboue 25% of it chipped away. If memory serves, I was told once that trains would transfer glass in this "marble" shaped ball format by the trainload to and from glass factories. I had a whole bunch of them, but this is the only one that survied through my childhood into adult hood. (I have an aqua one too, but I need to verify it's not a marble before I put it in the same catagory.) Not exactly "insulator" related, but since they are part of the glass making process, and I did find all of them on insulator hunts, they'll always have special place in my collection and my memories...

(Email me if you have any info on them, I'd love to know more!!!)

EDIT: I have been told that these were used by the railroads as ballast on empty cars as well. (Thank you Roy E.)