Chris McClelland's glass insulator webpage

Extremely unique insulators.
Water photos
More cool glass!
Hawken Valley Railway collectibles store and favorite links.
Contact Me
Insulator Photo Album
Early script embossing Hemingrays.

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I will be working on this site continually as long as insulators exist. ;-)

How about starting off on the right foot? Eyecandy! CD151 peacock blue HGCO NATCO. Very expensive and tough color to get.


Hello,welcome to my glass insulator collectors page.Here you will see some of my collection and what kinds and types of insulators I specialize in collecting.                                                                                                  First off,my name is Chris McClelland,I have been mesmerized by these colourful pieces of glass since I was six and now,29 years later am still deeply rooted to this hobby.In the following paragraphs and photos you will learn a little more about me and the insulators I keep company with.


This champagne fizzy Brookie is one of my newest additions,with it being so dark yellow green it is hard to make the thousands of champagne micro bubbles show well.Gorgeous in person!
If you like em bubbly,check out the 170.1 "fat boy" below!


What I specifically target and collect.

If you are new to this hobby it will not take you long to see that insulators come in almost any shape and colour imagineable,in this hobby you will hear and see words used to describe insulators that never really were meant by Webster's dictionary to be used in such context until we came along,words such as "snotties,globbies,comets,boulders,hockers,fizzies",ect...all used to describe objects and foreign pieces embedded into the glass itself.These types of insulators my friends are what I collect,so let's move on into the wonderful and intriguing world of...

                    JUNK IN GLASS!


A meteorite hits Brookfield.Wonder how this one got out?

What causes these unique pieces?

Insulator manufacturing has come a long way since Ezra Cornell made and patented the first glass insulator in 1844,now we have gone to porcelain pieces for power poles and no longer do telephone poles have glass or insulators on them,they went underground years ago.
When insulator companies were making glass pieces basically they used whatever glass was available to them at the time,you will also learn that insulator companies also made alot of other glass products as well,bottles,fruit jars,oil lamps,dishes,ect...,so they would use what glass was left over from the other lines and mix it all together and in doing so would come up with different colours as well,this miscellaneous glass was called cullet and sometimes objects would end up getting mixed in by accident such as furnace brick pieces,coins,nuts,nails,paper clips,ect and become embedded into the glass.For the most part Hemingray Co among some others were good at catching these "oopsies" and very few made it out into service but the Brookfield Co blessed us with poor quality control thus we have a treasure trove of good junk in glass pieces to choose from.Most commonly what you will find embedded in the glass is white pieces of furnace brick we call rocks or stones,these are cool but what is even more desireable are nails,screws,nuts and bolts.

Very cool Hemingray 12 in clear/yellow 2 tone.This one's a bit more dramatic than most having good drippy lines of yellow amber thru the skirt and into the dome.Most of these just have a very thin,small line of yellow in them.


What got me into collecting junk in glass pieces?

In the years that I have been collecting I have had alot of people ask me" why would you want glassware that is imperfect much less something so utilitarian?"
My answer was,"why did man climb the mountains?",cause it's there.
For everything in this world that man or nature made there is a collector,so why not something like insulators with oddities,it stands out from the rest like a sore thumb,plus there is something to be said about the feeling you get when someone is looking at your piece with awe and envy wishing desperately that it was in their collection.:-)Cost for that feeling...Priceless.
I am going to reserve this spot here for some well deserved kudo's to friends of mine in the hobby who have been nothing but help to me in furthering my collecting and knowledge of insulators.
I would like to thank Mr. Dave Watkins for all the goodies and junk in glass "education" he has presented me in the past 8 years,Mr. Bill Meier for spending his time and hard earned $$$ to give us a phenomenal resource which the likes I have never seen till now called "ICON",Mrs. Mary Cameron for being the best and most supportive online friend I could imagine,and last but not least,Mr. Lee Brewer who first helped me get on board and up to speed in the new collecting age of puters.
Thank you all!

Seen below,this was the most incredible Civil war era threadless I had ever owned!Deep dark honey amber and crammed with snot and junk,this piece was opaque because there was so much junk in the glass.To properly display this threadless,it needed to be kept in a backlit box.


Seen below is another pretty darn tough Hemingray No 40.This one's got lots of milk swirls giving it a jade effect.Insulator is mint to boot!


This toll I call the "never used" toll because of the massive stone and air bubble.The stone actually caused the bubble by exploding in the glass leaving the stone hanging half way out into the middle of the bubble.Inside the pinhole,the bubbly expanded out without popping and closed the pinhole by half.The linemen just dropped this one to the ground.


These hideously bubbly CD106 Hemis are a very tough little pony to find with most all of them being plain old boring aqua.This one is packed with a little of everything!


Colour and errors are the name of the game here,a stunning light purple errored CD113 Hemi 12.This piece has an upside down No. blotted and re embossed plus there is an extra HE embossed below HEMINGRAY.What more could you ask for in a colour piece?


This one I call the "coinholder",it has a very unique open bubble in the top of the upper wire groove lip.


 These Brookfields in purple are some of the more difficult Brookfields to get your hands on.I got this in a trade and all it cost me was a measly $10.