I started collecting threaded insulators in 1998 while out photographing along the railroad tracks around Ashland Virginia. Being an artist, I was attracted to the colors when the sun struck the few that are still left on the poles. Most are clear or aqua but a few were what I later found was Hemingray Blue and some were yellow green.

My first find was a chipped aqua one with the only marking being a "B". This turned out to be a CD145 Brookfield Beehive. In local antique shops I soon found undamaged examples of this and other pieces. On the web I located a site "INSULATORS.com" where there was tons of photos and information. You can join the ICON email list there where you can post and receive email from other collectors.

New in 2003 is an insulator site INSULATORSCANADA where there is a forum that is really great for collectors who want to interact with other collectors without all the bashing and off topic talk. This site is suitable for family and younger collectors who need a more positive experience.

On a 1999 shopping trip to Williamsburg I happened upon a CSX work crew near Providence Forge cutting down the old poles. Each pole had 2 or 3 crossarms with old W.Brookfield CD145s and CD133s some from the 1880's. There were CD162 stars on of which was a great yellow green. While my wife waited in the car with our baby, I scrounged plastic bags and managed to make piles along US 60. I went back to the car just before my wife's patience came to an end and we put the piles into the trunk. What a haul for a beginning collector.

It was sad seeing the poles gone as even before I became interested in insulators, I used to like the view along there of the tracks with all of the glass shining on all of those crossarms. CSX just throws the pieces away, I would like to know where they took them!

Now I live in western Virginia at Boones Mill and many of my pieces are holding wire on my electric fence around our goat pasture. I discovered EBAY and now have a nice little collection of various types and colors from all over North America.

I have had some good hunts over the last few years but just as the buffalo once numbered in the millions and disappeared so to will be the fate of the glass insulator. They once lined the tracks and highways and were uncountable but the chain saw is cutting down the last of the poles and over the next ten years the glass in the air will be a thing of the past.