In order to make the pictures as high a quality as possible I have set the width to 900 pixels and used only the minimum amount of compression, therefore the size of each picture is high and can vary from 70k to 250k. Broadband, ADSL, Cable or T1 is needed to load the pictures quickly. They will load more slowly with dialup, usually in around 30 seconds.
Because the pictures are 900 pixels wide, if your screen is set to 1024x768 or less Internet Explorer may reduce the size of the pictures to fit your screen resulting in diagonal lines becoming jagged and a general loss of quality. To overcome this go to the Tools menu, then Internet Options, Advanced, then about half way down is Enable Automatic Image Resizing. Clear the check box. This applies to Internet Explorer 6 or higher as version 5 doesn't have automatic resizing.
At the moment there are eleven tours to choose from, more are being added as and when I take the pictures. Most of the descriptions within each gallery carry on from the previous picture so if you view the pictures in reverse order they may not make sense.
- (708 pictures) these poles are typical of what can be found alongside roads. They are all telephone lines which were installed by the GPO - General Post Office. This later became BT or British Telecom in the 1980s, long after insulators were abandoned. Poles with insulators still remaining no longer have them wired therefore collectors such as myself can help ourselves to them. Because insulators haven't been made since the early 1970s the youngest poles containing insulators are now over 30 years old. As replacement poles are installed the old poles are taken down and sold off and the insulators end up getting destroyed. The intention of these pictures is to record them before they all disappear. Don't worry, they'll be around for a while yet.
- (190 pictures) railway poles from around the UK. They are the same as GPO poles but the insulators would normally have railway company markings instead. Only a few railways still have poles and most of these are preservation lines where they have been retained for visual effect.
- (80 pictures) pictures of poles in the Republic of Ireland. The poles and insulators are basically the same as those found in the UK except the insulators are marked P&T instead of GPO. P&T stands for Post and Telegraph.
- (86 pictures) railway poles in France. A lot of the smaller non-electrified railway lines are still lined with poles. Many of them are in good shape so they may still be in use.
- (6 pictures) poles in Italy. Italy is one of the best countries to find telephone, telegraph and low voltage insulators. Redundant insulators are found on poles and buildings. A lot of poles in use still retain their insulators and no matter where you go there will be insulators nearby.
- (3 pictures) poles in the Netherlands. Holland is one of the toughest places to find wooden poles. Everything went underground years ago and nothing remains except for high voltage lines. A chance discovery managed to find a short section of low voltage line still in use as these handful of pictures show.
- (19 pictures) pictures of redundant railway poles still standing in Germany. There are some abandoned poles along isolated sections of railway around Germany.
- (14 pictures) poles in Hungary. There are still poles standing beside some roads and railways in Hungary although they appear to be out of use.
- (38 pictures) pictures of redundant railway poles standing in Sweden. There is only one stretch of railway that I'm aware of in Sweden that contains poles and I've shown them here. Sadly these poles were taken down in 2007 and there are no other similar poles remaining.
- (567 pictures) railway poles in the USA. The insulators in this section are the most commonly collected and there must be millions of them still sitting on poles waiting for their turn to end up in someone's collection.
- (117 pictures) railway poles in Canada. They appear identical to those in the USA but some insulator patterns and embossings are unique to Canada.
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