Hemingray Floor Tube Insulators/Bushings  

Hemingray made several specialized insulators over the years, including glass floor tube insulators (also known as wall tube insulators) and bushings. The purpose of these insulators was to carry a line through the floor or wall of a building, insulating it on all sides as it passes through. Floor tube insulators are not currently assigned CD numbers, though I would imagine they will be in the future as we learn more about them.

Based on catalogs dating from 1903-1918, we know that Hemingray offered floor tubes in at least 13 distinct styles, as listed in the table below. The style numbers range from No.120 to No.132. Like most of Hemingray's break knob spools, so far none of the floor tubes have been found embossed.

There are three distinguishing characteristics of a Hemingray floor tube insulator: the length, the bore (tapered hole diameter), and tube type (screw, without screw, or split plain). The diagram on the right shows how they are measured. Most of the floor tubes are of a screw type with a 6- or 8-sided head and outer threading; only No.124 and No.132 are not. The No.132 is also unique in that it is a two-piece insulator that is tongued and grooved.

Hemingray Floor Tube Insulators
Style # Length Bore Type Notes Photo/Wanted


¾" Screw Last appears in 1915 catalog.1 < WANTED
121 3" ½" Screw   < WANTED
122 3" 1" Screw  
123 3" 1¼" Screw   < WANTED
124 3½" ¾" Without Screw Last appears in 1915 catalog.1
125 3½" 1" Screw   < WANTED
126 4" ¾" Screw  
127 4" 1" Screw   < WANTED
128 4½" 1" Screw   < WANTED
129 5" 1" Screw  
130 6" 1" Screw  
131 6" 1¼" Screw   < WANTED
132 6" 1" Split Plain From 1918 catalog: "The 6-inch split insulators are in two pieces, tongued and grooved, and fit together closely."2

Is it a bushing? Is it a spool?

We don't know for sure, but so far the general consensus is this piece is likely a bushing, so it's being filed here until we find out more.

What we do know is, in 2008, one of these was dug out of the Hemingray Dump by Roger Lucas (photo here). It's a rather unusual insulator, and almost resembles a stretched version of CD 1074.

It has a tapered bore like the wall tubes shown above, but it also has what could potentially be a wire groove. The measurements are 4 1/4" high, 2 1/4" wide at the middle, with a tapered inner diameter of 1 1/4" at the top to 1" at the bottom.

It comes in a typical Hemingray ice aqua color, and there are at least three specimens known to date. It has never appeared in any Hemingray catalogs (that I know of). Does anyone else out there have one or know more info about this piece? Contact me!

1. 1915 Western Electric catalog, page 1066.
2. 1918 Mid-West Electric Co. catalog, page 41.

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