Suspension identification system

By James Mulvey; posted February 21, 2013

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There is no numbering system in place for suspension identification . I collected suspensions for a short time and found the lack of such a system a bit of a nuisance. I worked out this simple alpha-numeric system that worked for me. It is a bit more complicated because it address both glass and porcelain as well as different hardware. Even so, overall it is still a very easy system.

The first step was to draw out the cross section of a specific style . Just the insulating part is considered here, not the hardware, not the size, not the material. This style I now identified by that number.

Then I identified material G - glass, P - porcelain

Then identified the fitting - B- ball / socket, C- clevis, O - other .

Last is a 3 digit number, metric diameter of the disc in mm. Metric is much better suited for this .

After the numbers I could add notes- manf, colour, damage, etc.

34 G C 360 - Sed, dmg

This would read as - Fog style, glass, clevis hardware, 360 mm diameter, made by Sediver has damage. To me this is just so easy to read.

This worked for me and was all that I cared for. Generally I could quickly and easily tell if I had a specific suspension, needed to upgrade or didn't have that colour by that manufacturer. I never had that many entries on any particular style that it became confusing .

I had around 16 different styles, with well over 150 different variants and this system was easy to work.

I was just starting to collect suspensions, so I had no order to the drawings. I simply added each new style as I found it. IF I was to do it again, I would organize the styles a bit more. 1 - 15 for open profile types, 15- 30 for bowl types, 30 - 40 for standard, 40 - 70 for fog types, 70 - 90 for multiple shed types. Or something along those lines. I only have a vague idea of just what there really is out there.

I may have overlooked a detail or two. This is entirely from memory as after the display was vandalized in 2011, I took the remaining display down, threw out 58 discs that were too badly damaged to keep and also burned all the paperwork that went with all the insulator projects, and generally gave up on all insulator collecting, to pursue other interests. I am just now starting to put some effort into a new suspension display, but it will not be as it was.