Glass wire mesh insulators are being considered by Western Union


Publication: The Daily Review

Decatur, IL, United States
vol. 35, no. 243, p. 23, col. 1


During the past twelve months 10,000 glass insulators have been used in repair work on the 25,000 miles of wire over the Wabash system. The insulators themselves are estimated to cost about three cents each and this alone makes a good sized item of expense in connection with one of the least considered articles in telegraphic equipment, aside from the money paid out in larbor charges, which costs almost twice as much as the value of the insulator.

No small amount of trouble also results in the constant breakage of insulators. The insulator problem, though one of importance, seems to have been one of the neglected details in the electrical side of railroading on the Wabash at least, until recently J. P. Church, superintendent of telegraph with headquarters in Decatur took up the matter.




Mr. Church is new in communication with B. W. Whitehead, superintendent of the division plant of the Western Union company in Chicago, concerning a new system of insulator manufacture which has so far met with approval.

Mr. Church's idea is briefly to mold glass insulators around a mesh or matrix of wire, thus giving the glass greater resisting power and strength greater than exists now, when the instruments are that in glass alone. Window glass and other articles have been cast around wire and silver meshes in different forms and proved capable of heightened resisting power and there seems no definite objection in the minds of local railroad men to the plan, which should it succeed will prove a great aid to the telegraph department.




From estimates made in accordance with the suggestion, it has been found that the manufacture of the mesh insulators will cost no more than the present system. The wire meshes could be made in moulds and the glass product cast aruond them with no more expense than the present system.

No final word has been received from the Western Union concerning the plan of the local superintendent, but the idea impresses all those interested in telegraph and will in all likelihood find a market elsewhere should the Western Union turn it down.

Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Elton Gish
Date completed:August 31, 2007 by: Elton Gish;