California Glass Guidance: 1912 Photo of California Insulators with Annotations

By Colin Jung; posted August 21, 2011

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Long-held California insulator speculation supported by numerous "facts" was up-ended by Elton Gish with the posting of this detailed photograph of California insulators posed on a wooden barrel and apparently dated May 14, 1912, one and a half months after the California Glass Insulator Company factory opened for business. The so-called wisdom of the experts suggested that a half dozen of the California mold types found to date in only blue, aqua, green aqua glass colors were not made until January 1914 by a reorganized glass company called the California Glass Works, formerly the California Glass Insulator Company. This 1912 barrel-top photo shows six insulators that conventional, but experienced, thinking says should not be there. There are five definite identifications of "post-1914" insulators: CD 152 taper top, CD 166 straight sides, CD 260 pinch ear helmet, CD 102 California pony and the CD 112 keg variant with glass lip.

There may also be a CD 134 in the photo, which are identical to the CD 161, except for the lack of an inner skirt and the shape of the base. All of the Californias pictured have smooth bases which in cross section are rounded. You will observed the shadow lines around the base of each insulator, except for one- the suspected CD 134, which has a flat, slanty-in base that would not cast such an obvious shadow. We are going to have to re-write the un-written book.