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CD 257 - Insulator of the Week on Fri, 11 Jul 2008


"Mickey Mouse", "Mickey Mouse Ears", "cable top".

Related Patents

Utility Patent 430,296 issued to Samuel Oakman on June 17, 1890


Embossings: Several variations exist, but the two primary embossing distinctions are those with the Hemingray name and those only embossed with two patent dates. Nearly two-dozen embossing variations can be found on those with the Hemingray name, including embossing errors and blot outs. Style numbers include 60, 63, 60-A & 63-A. Only one embossing is found on the patent date-only variants: (f) Patent June 17 1890 (b) Patent May 2 1893.

Colors: The Hemingray embossed examples can be found in clear; tints of straw (some with yellow streaks), pink, blue & green; varying shades of aqua and Hemingray blue, including milky aqua and green aqua; ambers swirled aqua; many shades of green, from light green to emerald green, often containing olive amber swirls; light jade green milk; light to deep electric blue, with many containing large snow chunks and impressive swirling milk stringers.

Although not as extensive of a list, the patent-only Mickeys can be found in similar colors, with exception to the electric blue shades. One interesting listing for this embossing is the ice blue with purple ears, with only two examples known to date.


Two basic ear configurations are found: standard eared and wide eared. All are found with either sharp or round drip points. Several hundred authentic clear CD 257s were carnivalized in the late 1970s and possibly into the early 1980s (plus a very small number of aquas). Some collectors feel that a very small number of authentic Mickeys were produced at the Hemingray factory, but this has not been substantiated.

A large number of Mickeys have made their way into the hobby from the Chicago area. Their use was pretty widespread, from San Diego, CA, to the northern states and into the east. The electric blues were used in Kansas City. Any reports of Mickeys in the southern states or elsewhere?

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 a photo of your favorite CD 257!




Jason Porter commented on 11 Jul 2008

yes there are still numerous examples at use in the vancouver british columbia area. tom bond and i even removed a dozen or so at a location close to stanley park on a dis-used line (mostly clear,two aqua with one bieng the double patent date) tom also located a few when they lowered the water at the stave dam to do maintenance (they were used on the switch rack there,pics are around somewheres) and i have three examples that came from there that are a noticeably smaller mickey in all ways and should be a new listing. when our move up here to the island is complete and my displays set up i will post many reference pics, they are a cool beast-very crude and unlike any others (i have somewheres around seventy or so 257s) we had ever encountered.. best regards

David Boothroyd commented on 12 Jul 2008

I happen to live near the route of an old interurban line that was abandoned in the 1930's and years ago, sometime around 1980, I discovered a dump near there where I found several of these insulators. Most of these were the aqua Hemingray embossed ones but I did find one ice blue with the two patent dates only. I've seen some interesting porcelain power pieces along the line but unfortunately these were all broken. Some of the bridges still exist and I have photographed these recently. I wish I had photographed those Mickeys in the dump before I retrieved them but that was well before the days of easy to carry digital cameras and I never thought to carry a camera out there. Thats my "257" story. We'll probably see a lot more, as popular as these Mickeys are. One of the all time favorites with collectors.

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