Fred Locke operating a successful insulator plant


Publication: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Rochester, NY, United States
vol. 69, p. 4, col. 2



Locke insulator Works Doing a

World-Wide Business.


Former Ticket Agent and Western

Union Operator Rapidly Making a

Big Fortune From Results of

His Invention—Ontario.

An industry of which Victor is justly proud, is the Locke Insulator Works, a plant employing more help than, any other industry in that place. The sole proprietor at the present time is Frederick [sic] Fred M. Locke, a young man who has built up his business by clear pluck and hard work.

A few years ago Mr. Locke was the ticket agent and Western Union operator at the New York Central station in that village, and most of his spare moments were devoted to the study of electricity and experiments in different directions along that line. He built in a crude manner several dynamos after models fashioned by himself, differing in style from those then, in actual use, and having attached them to the shafting in a nearby mill, found that his inventions were practical, as the machines did their work of lighting the building in a satisfactory manner, until they wore out from lack of proper attention. But his main thought was toward the perfecting of an insulator that would better perform its work than the ones then in use. As an operator he had seen the bad workings of the old style insulators during storms, and so bent all his energies toward contriving one that would overcome those difficulties.

After a number of years of experimenting, and at an outlay of considerable money, he finally satisfied himself that he had found the source of past difficulties and had had overcome them, and was ready to put his goods on the market. For some time he had his products manufactured by factories in different cities, but as his trade grew he decided to establish a plant and manufacture his own goods at home. The business was so promising a one at that time that he received tempting offers from other places to locate there, but the business men of Victor, seeing the advantages that would accrue to them by the establishment of such an industry in their midst, made Mr. Locke such financial inducements as decided him to locate in that village.

A little less than two years ago he purchased a planing mill located adjacent to the Central tracks, and proceeded to fit it up for his use. At first he commenced in a small way, employing only three or four men; but the demand for his goods increased so rapidly he was obliged to continually increase his force, until at the close of the past year he had on his pay roll seventy-five employees. The insulators manufactured there are all composed of porcelain, the inventor having found that high potential insulators can only be made successfully from that material.

The plant has been increased several times in size, and is now equipped with the latest improved machinery, and three immense kilns, in which the insulators are baked and glazed. There Is also in the factory a complete high tension electrical testing laboratory where every piece is tested up to 60,000 volts before being shipped, thus insuring perfect insulation. The goods are in use in every country on the globe where electrical transmission known, large shipments especially being made to Mexico, South America, Italy and Russia.

A great share of last season's work was in executing the two largest orders ever placed for high potential insulators, these going to California, where they are in use on a long distance power transmission line. The insulators made to fill these orders were the largest in size of any ever made in the world. The business is constantly on the increase, and it is only a question of time when the plant must be enlarged still more. Mr. Locke has purchased a beautiful home in that and to all appearances bids fair to soon become one of the solid men financially, in this part of the state, as apparently a fortune eventually is sure to be the reward for his enterprise and pluck.

Keywords:Locke Insulator Manufacturing Company : Fred Locke
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Elton Gish
Date completed:December 22, 2013 by: Elton Gish;