M-4325 Fred M. Locke

By Mike Spadafora; posted March 3, 2012

View Original (2048 x 1536) 225KB


This top and collar skirt are the first ever recoverd upper skirts to a marked Fred M.Locke M-4325. the top in this photo has marking 6-1. This insulator was origionally custom designed by the Stone and Webster Engineering firm for the Electron- Seattle 55,000Volt transmission line in 1903. The insulators had very thin tops and were very prone to cement expansion cracking of the crowns and thus failed from puncture. They were all removed from service by 1917 and replaced by insulators of identical design but of much newer manufacture and thus of better quality. In spite of the fact that 3000 of these were made they have remained unknown in the insulator hobby till now as they were all smashed and the pieces ether cleaned up or were lost in the very dence thick underbrush of the Western Washington rainforests. It has been a 14 year long odassy to find one of these and bring it to light. Persistance pays off![ id=154022279] to see a photo of the lower two skirts to this insulator and the origional pole top king pin support these were mounted on. These Fred Locke insulators were the first ever manufactured four part multiparts and the first insulators produced of the "lilyshell" design. Lilyshell multiparts differ from the more traditional strait skirted units by their having one or more highly exadurated flaired lower skirts . I will post a photo of this piece as soon as I have it restored and asembled in the porcelain insulators section.