After an interval of two decades, I have redecorated my workroom and in the process been forced to confront some unpleasant features of my life.  One of these is picking up discarded objects as I walk or go about some other task.  When the clearance phase of the renovation was complete, I had two boxes of “stuff” and a couple more hidden away in the loft.  Fortunately, the boxes are not very big, but I was forced to ask myself why I had acquired/kept these things.  Few museums are interested in broken spark plugs or a single clevis pin and I  am reluctant to toss them in a skip.  Thus I have photographed some of them, put the pictures on a website or blog and returned them to the loft thus delaying a decision on their eventual disposal.

For no obvious reason, there are some themes in this collection (of junk), e.g. insulators, smoking materials, mechanical fixings etc.  These page shows the insulators, it is probable that some of my descriptions are faulty, if anyone knows better, please let me know.

This ceramic telephone cable insulator was removed from a chimney of our first Brighton house, it is one of two.  I’m guessing, but this might have been installed sometime between 1930 and 1950.  The cap unscrews to reveal a brass connector.

This one came from our current house, it was probably installed will before 1980 it is made of fibre reinforced plastic.  It is much simpler in construction than the ceramic one having no electrical connections.

I dug this one out of an old farm track that runs next to a railway line.  I’m assuming that this came from one of the telegraph poles that used to run alongside railway lines.

I acquired this glass telegraph insulator on a business trip to Canada (why?).  It is conveniently marked as a “Hemingray No 16”.  I have subsequently learned that there is a thriving community that collects these insulators and as result there is a lot of information available about them.  Wikipedia tells me that this one was introduced in the 1890s and discontinued in the 1920s.

This was fished out of the River Adur.  It is a radio aerial insulator.  I think these were in use during the second world war and it may have fallen off a small naval craft which was based in the river.  It is not obvious how it was used, there is a metal (brass?) core which might have allowed it to take a tensile load.


About SolarBucket

I trained as a mechanical engineer in the 1970's and then spent most of the following 25 years doing sums and software for Oil and Gas Exploration. Current interests are the study of wind and solar resources.
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