Daniel M. O'Loughlin 2-24-1958 2-17-2021

By Mike O'Loughlin; posted February 20, 2021

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You never met him at a show, he never read or posted on ICON, he wasn't in the NIA, but he was trampin' the rails in the early 1970s around the Sudbury /Hudson area of Massachusetts before it was cool. (Like the way I implied that it has ever been 'cool'? - pretty slick huh?) Trains was his true passion. He accumulated a small library of train books, and had them memorized. I'm talking stuff like 'The Baldwin Catologue' not 'Thomas the tanker engine'. Train tracks was his natural habitat and Massachusetts was laced with them. Being five years younger, (and a Wuss), I never hopped a train with him, but he hopped a whole lot of them. Saturday mornings, off he'd go with a an Army surplus backpack a round flat Boy scout water bottle and a sandwich. Here are a few of his better finds. He left a lot of glass behind, because he was pretty picky about condition. (Learned from our Uncle Norman a bottle digger and collector).There was no internet back then, and few references, so while I beelined to the Mad Magazines and stuff about U.F.O.s and Bigfoot, he'd scour the bottle magazines that would usually have an insulator blurb or two in them, and ads in the back. (Of course only after first checking out the train stuff -unless he had a new find) He'd quickly file through the occasional 'guide' that was available. If you were a quick reader, you could grab a lot of info (or, unfortunately in my case, a whole lot of "Snappy Come Backs" and made up nonsense) before getting the "Are you going to buy that?" look from the shopkeeper. Insulators was his thing, being a sarcastic jerk was mine.(though he could keep up pretty well there too)..We moved to Maine, he graduated, and went into the Navy. Years later, (decades) he needed fifty bucks for something or other, and offered to sell me the New England Tel. & Tel. CO. CD 112 (Top, 2nd from left). I half thought he was trying to con me, but he assured me it was rare, and worth a hundred. Well, I thought it was pretty cool the way the embossing went all the way around, and though I wasn't 'In to it' I did recall a lot of great carefree kid days kicking the tracks with him, and seeing who could walk the farthest on one rail etc etc, but I found it pretty hard to believe someone would pay a hundred bucks for an aqua insulator. He did know about such things though, and he'd already given me a purple Whittall Tatum 154, so the hook had been set. Yeah, I gave him the fifty, and it went in the window with the purple one.( This is how the disease spread to me. One collector infecting an innocent passerby. Sure, insulators are 'non conductive', they can't 'take a charge', become 'polarized'.... That's what they want you to believe, but as soon as you put two of them together -what happens? That's right, they polarize along the seams, and start atracting others, and they all align on shelves and the more of them that accumulate the more attraction they have for others, -they're like magnets! -'non conductive my butt! ) Except for the purple Whittall Tatums, none of the insulators he'd stomp out had been in the air for a long time. He'd locate a pole stump, then sort of kick around feeling for humps in the grass and leaves (usually about a short pole's distance from the stump. The poles and cross arms were long gone, but as a kid, I'd like to find the galvanized braces that stabilized the cross arms and wield them like a sword hacking at the brush (I was on Safari!) He'd then pace out the distance to the next pole stump, and on down the line, until you were miles away. Sometimes we'd go as far as we felt was right, and work out way back, and we'd hit dumps and foundations along the way. He found a couple caches near culverts and small streams. Culverts were not corrugated galvanized metal or plastic, they were granite block and built like Fort Knox. We'd play in them before we got tall and had to hunch over too much. Anyway, Dan was a better person than me in a lot of ways, and I'll miss him. Love you brother. Top 3rd in: one of those way under rated N.E.T.&T. 104s with the eye of Sauron on it. (Slug /blot) Wouldn't I like to find out what that was all about! I believe this is the same mold as the base embossed ones. 4th, 102 CREB w nice carbon bubble. 5th, nice lime green 102 CREB, then same mold (6) aqua, and the purple 154 mold #15 (I was impressed when he brought those home!) followed by 102 CREBs and Patent others.