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CD 151 - Insulator of the Week on Thu, 15 May 2008


Those with the "N.A.T.Co." embossing are often simply referred to as "Natco's".

Related Patents



Embossing: We will only cover the H.G. Co CD 151 in this installment of IOTW. There are three primary embossings. The first, and the one with the least amount of embossing, is the "H.G. Co." on the front and "Petticoat" on the rear (some also have the blotted out patent date). These are usually found with a smooth base, but there is a SDP listed in aqua (anyone have one they can post a pic of?). Second is the "H.G. Co Pat'd May 2^nd 1893" on the front and "Petticoat" on the back. These are always found with sharp drip points, with or without small sharp drips on the inner skirt. The third primary embossing is the same as the second, with the addition of N.A.T.Co. to the dome (North American Tel Co.). There are several variations, including blot outs and errors involved within the three primary embossing listed here.

Colors: A spectacular array of colors can be found in the H.G. Co. CD 151s! The most popular of all with collectors seems to be the peacock blue shades. Although a bit pricey when found in mint condition, the peacock blue CD 151s are plentiful enough to be steadily available. Most are found with the NATCO embossing. Aqua, green and shades of electric blue and the rare cobalt blue (only two or three known) can also be found in the NATCO version. The very deep, yet vibrant shade of peacock blue is often erroneously referred to as cobalt blue. The true cobalt blue NATCOs are actually a lighter cobalt blue shade, much like what is found in the lighter cobalt Hemingray CD 162 signals. Another SDP favorite is the ice aqua with purple swirls. Most of these were found in Central California. A few other SDP colors are: Hemingray blue, snowy aqua, milky aqua, dark yellow green and yellow olive amber. A very long list of colors exist in the smooth base types, with m! any shades of aqua, blue and green. Some of the more fabulous colors are: bubbly clear, cornflower blue, depression glass green, jade green milk, forest green, shades of dark yellow green to yellow olive green with amber, orange brown amber and purple. I'll leave the locations where many of these colors have been found for ICON participation. Please share!

Comments: This style was introduced primarily for telegraph and railroad communication use. Occasionally there are reports of H.G. Co CD 151s with round drips, or some having both sharp and round drips. These are most likely the result of underpoured or underdeveloped sharp drips.

Some super CD 151 H.G. Co. pics can be found at the two following Crown Jewels of the Wire links:



PicturePoster #144343420 (bubbly light jade)

PicturePoster #98493689 (true cobalt blue)

PicturePoster #142426334 (cornflower blue)

PicturePoster #53203220 (ice aqua/purple)

PicturePoster #138730058 (ice aqua/olive amber)

PicturePoster #142426631 (true green sdp)

These brief comments on the Insulator of the Week are not intended to be complete and are presented to encourage discussion and additional information from ICON. Now it's your turn to share info and/or post photos of your favorite CD 151 H.G. Co.s!




Bill Meier commented on Thu, 15 May 2008

Patent Information: ?

While there is no explicit patent information for this style, it is the insulator shown in the patent drawing for the May 2, 1892 drip point patent.

Utility Patent 496,652 issued to Ralph G. Hemingray on May 2, 1893

It should be noted that the patent says that

"We find in practice that a single row of these teats arranged on the lower edge of the insulator is sufficient, but when desired, of course the inner shield D could be provided with a similar series of teats"

The patent drawing of the CD 151 only shows the "teats" (drip points of course) on the outer petticoat.

In reality, it seems the version with drip points on both skirts were the most common. Ones with just drip points on the outer skirt are uncommon. In addition, those embossed with N.A.T.Co. on the crown (just above the upper wire ridge) are also uncommon.

All four combinations, with and without N.A.T.Co. and with and without drip points on the outer skirt only, are known to exist. The least common variation is the one with N.A.T.Co. and with drip points only on the outer skirt.

Another item to note is that all the peacock and electric blue colored ones are embossed N.A.T.Co., with the exception of the less common non-N.A.T.Co. version.

Brent Burger commented on Thu, 15 May 2008

" ... Another item to note is that all the peacock and electric blue colored ones are embossed N.A.T.Co., with the exception of the less common non-N.A.T.Co. version."

Huh ?

You mean, ALL of them are, except the ones that are not ?

Bill Meier commented on Thu, 15 May 2008

> Huh ? > > You mean, ALL of them are, except the ones that are not ?

Exactly! Al of the trees are green except for the red ones! :-)

The "common" ones in the noted colors are all the N.A.T.Co. embossed ones... it is rare to find a non-N.A.T.Co. embossed one in peacock blue.... How many of the latter have you seen?

Peter Persoff commented on Fri, 16 May 2008

Here are links to my collection of this week's INSULATOR OF THE WEEK. Photo's are not great, but shows them off pretty well...Colors are not always on the mark, but not too bad!! Comments/feedback welcome, or just look and, hopefully, enjoy!! Peter

Denny Hackthorne commented on Fri, 16 May 2008

Question. I have a gorgeous Peacock Blue 151, (F-S) H.G.CO. / PATd MAY 2 nd 1893 (R-S) PETTICOAT SDP on both skirts. Note no N.A.T.Co. Book lists it as [140] and $1,500.00. I have never seen another, but that doesn't prove anything. Just wondering how many are out there? I think it is a little better than the book value but might be just wishful thinking. Email me if you have or know of any and I will keep a tally.

Bill Meier commented on Fri, 16 May 2008

Yup, I did mention the "non-N.A.T.Co." peacocks were a tough piece... I have one that I got from an auction. They mentioned it was quite uncommon...

Now, here is my thoughts about value... I do agree it's a rare piece... but 95% of the collectors are perfectly happy with "any" peacock CD 151... Color is king... Only a few speciality collectors care about the specific embossing...

Remember, it is ultimately desirability rather than rarity alone that drives the price.

Perhaps to the right person, speciality collector either of HG or CD 151's the non-N.A.T.Co. version would be worth a premium, but to most, it's just an overpriced peacock one!!

Richard Case commented on Mon, 19 May 2008

I believe the CD 151 without the NATCO embossing is tough...I had one in my cobalt display years oddball , but at the factory with so much glass in those furnaces they had to use it somewhere in other items too...If there was an order for 10,000 cobalt insulators and the glass vat can make 20,000, then there may be other styles with the colors too..that is probably why there are some scarce colors out there in other insulator styles..When the lineman and companies installed the insulators who will go up and look at an insulators embossing if there are a few mistakes or oddities......thanks

James Doty commented on Wed, 21 May 2008

For those of you wanting to see a NATCO telegram check out my web site [3]

Denny Hackthorne commented on Sun, 25 May 2008

The Tally reported to me;

  • Denny Hackthorne _____ 1
  • Bill Meier_____________ 1
  • total______ 2

Might be a little better than I thought.

Brent Burger commented on Sun, 25 May 2008

I have heard no one mention the unmarked 151 loosely attributed to Whitall Tatum. An amber one was found in the "sample room" that I believe remains the only one known. Aquas (like the common light Tatum aqua) are also known, although very rare. These have a unique 151 profile and really stand out amongst the Hemi, Brookfield, and KCGW made units.

I have one. Anyone else here have one ?

Gary Kline commented on Mon, 26 May 2008

I guess I missed your question. I have owned three "no Natco" 151 Peacocks. Two were damaged and one was in very nice shape. I came to those via a railroad collector friend. Wish i would have kept one. I have yet to find any in the wild. They are extremely scarce I would say.

Jimmy Burns commented on Mon, 26 May 2008

Porcelain has a Pittsburg copy cat version of the CD151. U154 while not rare is a fun piece in the fact of their crude manufacture. Some have the Postal marking. Fewer have the postal marking scratched into the surface. Most have no marking. Glaze colors range from a ruddy Chocolate to a blonde tan. These sell extremely well at shows for a variety of reasons including the looks like 151 factor, attribution to Pittsburg, crudeness and cheapness. In fact I know one collector in the East that has a speciality collection of 154s. It is known most commonly to porcelain collectors as the Postal. As an interesting aside there is a porcelain NATCO but is a U 148 also made by Pittsburg rather than a 154. Also 154 in porcelain is a little more difficult to find than the 154 in glass or at least the Hemi 42 version.

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