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CD 103 - Insulator of the Week on Mon, 15 Sep 2008



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Embossing Types: B; Gayner No. 6; and unembossed (NN).

B: Produced by Brookfield with a capital letter "B" embossed on the skirt, either centered or offset to the left. All are smooth base. Found in shades of aqua and green. The deeper green to yellow olive green shades are the most sought after colors. The aqua ones are sometimes found with snow. I have no data on areas of usage, so please contribute info if you can.

Gayner: Although not the rarest style made by Gayner (CD 107 holds that distinction), it is considered quite scarce based on the numbers known in the hobby today. These are usually produced with quality glass and don't vary much, if at all, in their aqua color. They are smooth base. My data has New Jersey as one area of usage.

NN: Only one listing appears, with mold line over dome and smooth base, in teal aqua. I don't recall ever personally seeing one. Please share your info and/or pics if you have seen one.


These CD 103s appear to be a later variant of the CD 104 style, providing a wider and deeper wire groove. The Gayner mold style appears to have slightly less of a downward outward taper to the skirt than the "B" mold style.

Want to learn more about the CD 103? Go to: [1]

For the porcelain collectors, here are a couple of the porcelain equivalents: PicturePoster #110718587

These brief comments on the Insulator of the Week are not intended to be complete and are presented to stimulate and encourage discussion and additional information from ICON. Now it's your turn to share info and/or post a photo of your favorite CD 103's!




John McDougald commented on Mon, 15 Sep 2008

A couple pieces of information on the CD 103. I know one place where the B's were used -- Rockford, IL. I purchased part of a collection from a lineman in Rockford, and he had a bunch of the CD 103 B's. Included were about six of the green/yellow green ones, and when I asked him about them, he said something close to the following: "Oh yeah, I remember picking them off the lines here. There were so many green ones and so few aqua ones that we thought that the aqua ones were the rare ones, so we left a lot of the green one on the lines." I think he did most of his picking back in the 60's, so you can get a feel for the mentality of the collector back then.

Also, I have some information on the unembossed CD 103. To the best of my knowledge, I have the only one known in the hobby. I acquired it about 15 years ago from a lightning rod ball collector in Illinois. I traded him a set of plain white pendants with the hanger for it. It has an interesting story. The LRB collector was a serious fisherman, and had taken a fishing trip to Siberia. One of the side trips took them to a concentration camp not too many miles from where they were fishing. Of course it had long since been abandoned. There were a few utility poles with wires and insulators hanging down, and one in particular caught his eye. He had the guide climb the pole and bring it down to him. That's the CD 103 unembossed. It has standard US threads, and I have speculated that it is Canadian manufacture since they did a lot more trading with Russia than the US did in the likely time frame of its manufacture, which I estimate to be 1870 - 1880 (just a guess).

Hope that fills in a few holes regarding CD 103.

Richard Case commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

Many of these were used in Rockford , Illinois...just west of Chicago. The primary use was on the service entrance of older homes during the early 1900 era. I've bought quite a few in the early years of collecting in the 1970's . If I ever see another on a home I'll photograph it. There are a very few still in use, but Com Ed up-grades it's lines very frequently and that's why a lot of glass hasn't been found over the last 30 years. If you will notice the embossing was offset to the left of the mold, it made have been to be embossed Brookfiedl but the name was too long and decided only on a "B" embossing. I've bought them in aqua and dark aqua, being the most common.... The emerald greens are far the rarest . I think I've only had about 7-10 of those colors. Another oddity is the lighter aqua with a snow storm inside the glass..I found very few of those also. These are a little more common than the emeralds , but anyway the cd 103's are very tough to find now. Even for sale. Occasionally I'd run across one at a garage sale or at the flea market. When I get my collection organized I'll send some pictures of the various colors. I'd also like to add that the Gayner is slightly different , seems to be a little taller and narrow. but still very close.

Richard Case commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

Yes John, did buy the lineman's collection and He did comment on the green ones , but he did remove them off of houses. Most would have paint on them and he would remove those and throw those away with the paint. There were two linemen, both were close buddies and both collected insulators, one lived in Loves park, Mr. Hoffman and another in pecatonica and I knew both of them for years...Both very nice collector linemen...Mr Hoffman passed away a few years ago and the other is still enjoying life. Early 90's now.. He has very few insulators left ,most being his flower tables made from spools and a few oddball Locke colors he likes. I still visit him occasionally and to talk. I will bring up more about the cd 103 with him soon. In the early years of collecting I also would go to the Edison service yard and raid their dumpster for insulators. I've found a few, but most of the stuff was new lightning arrestors that were still boxed and obsolete. I heard there was gold in the copper and that was one of the reasons of reclaiming the wire, hearsay?.. Then the yard guys would start to get the hint and pick the insulators out and I'd have to buy them from them , which was nice, then I got more. I even remember trading the lineman a electric blue milk swirled Mickey mouse insulator for amber d-518 spools....I did get the mouse back a few years later..he got bored with it.

Dan Gauron commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

Thanks for the great page link [2] regarding the Gaynor CD 103. It has just enough information, including: drawings, photos, manufacturers reference, locations found and collector feedback to quench that initial thirst for info I had regarding the little guy on my shelf.(I've attached a pic PicturePoster #226151123 with a little contrasting fall color thrown in) Wouldn't it be nice to have a similar quick reference format page like this one available for every CD out there. I've always thought the CD 103 to be the tough kid in a line up of the smaller ponies. No skimping of glass here, just a solid, simple design, with top notch quality glass. I'm surprised they weren't more widely used. John; any chance you could post a picture of your Teal Aqua piece?

Andrew Gibson commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

The CD 103 that I have is one of my favorite insulators -- a "B" with blizzard of snow and a nice amber stripe down one side. See < [3] > for a picture.

The Woodward article < [4] > on the CD 103 had at least one comment that struck me as odd. It says "It is likely that only a single run of this insulator was made at Brookfield." What exactly is a "run"? These insulators come in plain old aqua, dark aqua, green aqua, green, dark green, dark olive green, and dark yellow green (not to mention those ones with a blizzard of snow). Could all of that really have come out of a "single run"?

Per Woody's article, the CD 103 was made by Brookfield sometime after 1912, and Gayner made their version between 1920 and 1923. It seems odd that a shape described as a cross between the CD 101 and CD 104 could have been made as early as 1870-1880, as suggested for the possibly Canadian-made No Name variation. What drives the belief that the NO NAME was made so early? If you are curious like I was-- here's a picture of the NO NAME version: < [5] >.

Bill Meier commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

At 12:43 PM 09/16/2008, Andrew Gibson wrote: >If you are curious like I was-- here's a picture of the NO NAME >version: > Actually, start here:

Pictures from July 2000 Crown Jewels article

Three pictures... Also, I suspect the July 2000 issue of CJ has information about this beast!

July 2000 Crown Jewels article "Mac's Believe it or Not"

Color pics of the insulators in that article are shown in the first link.

John McDougald commented on Tue, 16 Sep 2008

My estimate on the time of manufacture is based on the fact that it is a very crude two-piece mold and the glass looks old. Also, I pulled up the picture you referenced for the piece, and it is my insulator, but on my monitor, the picture was a lot bluer than the insulator actually is. It is certainly in the aqua family, not the blue family.

Stephen Bobb commented on Wed, 17 Sep 2008

CD 107 Gayner. I have been lucky enough to have had 3 that were found in New Jersey. Mine were found in different shore communities as electric services between houses and detached garages.

Andrew Gibson commented on Wed, 17 Sep 2008

I do know that there are a fair number of the Russian pieces that are very crude. I don't really know the time period on them, but the feel I get is that they are of more recent manufacture than 1870-1880. There is certainly a possibility in my mind that the CD 103 NO NAME is a Russian-made piece made much more recently than that, in spite of the two piece mold and the "old glass" look.

I would be surprised that such similar shapes were independently originated so far apart in time. Do we have any other examples of such similar shapes being independently designed? Let alone so far apart in time?

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