A Threadless Gem from the Swamp.

By Barrett Nicpon; posted December 31, 2007

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If there is one thing in my life I will never tire of, it's the feeling of glass on the end of the pitchfork after nailing down an assured threadless pole site, and being able to verify that this is exactly what it is after gently scraping away the dirt for a look.

This particular pole site I had spent a lot of time at in 2006, and was puzzled, as the broken remains from only one aqua unembossed 742 had been uncovered - where there should be more than just one threadless. Yet, despite countless hours of meticulous probing and digging about, I had been unable to uncover any thing else in repeated visits to the spot. On one occasion on the 27th of April, 2007, I had been probing in such a fashion. I had become frustrated with the lack of results to all my hard work, when a train was heard moving quickly on the horizon. As most collectors know is the standard procedure, I threw my backpack, fork, and shovel behind some greenery so it was out of sight, and jumped the fence to go hide behind a large log in the forest. The train rumbled into site as I peered at it from over the log - an especially long freight train. But I took the time to relax and drink some water, and enjoy the spring scenery. Just as I became caught up in the beautiful sound of the birds, and the site of the buds on the trees symbolizing new life for the forthcoming summer, the train passed. I decided to take it easy and enjoy myself instead of being frustrated, as this negative emotion does overtake me at times. I jumped the fence, grabbed my probe, and began to non-chalantly swing it in the air with each step I took towards the site. With each swing, I would let gravity carry the fork into the ground, before picking it out and swinging it again in the same fashion. Just as I reach the area I had calculated to be approximately where the pole was, I let the fork swing one last time, and as it fell softly into the dirt, it came to an abrupt stop, and, as usual when the sound of a high-pitched "tink!" confronts my ears, my brow was suddenly raised. I used the trowel to scrape away about 3" of dirt, and, as I had felt too few times before in my life, I was suddenly ecstatic and filled with a feeling of intense happiness and warmth as the glass came into sight. Obviously broken into a couple pieces, but the insulator appeared to be all there. I dug the shards out, and placed them in the black soil I had removed to permit them freedom for a photographic opportunity.

The insulator is an M.T.Co. CD 742 in an unusually light sagey-aqua colour. Short of being broken into 3 pieces, it had a lower than average amount of the usual base chipping, and the embossing is mint condition. It was likely popped into three pieces by a combination of frost, and the presence of a large amber tadpole right on the edge of the fracture line - differing expansion rates in the two glass types, I would imagine. But an amazing addition to my collection any day, and I will always appreciate it as a wild gem from the swamps of Ontario where it lay for 100 years before fate, probability, or luck brought it to my hands.

Here is [id=203704458;a photo of it cleaned up].