Lynchburg Insulators

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Lynchburg Insulators: Lettering Types

Dennis Bratcher

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The lettering that appears on glass insulators is incised (cut) into the molds so that it appears raised on the finished product. The style or contour of the lettering depends both on the shape of the tool used to make the incision and on the skill of the mold maker.

On Lynchburg insulators the original Gayner lettering retained on many pieces had rounded edges, as did early Lynchburg lettering. Also several examples of early Lynchburg lettering were very crudely cut resulting in errors, shallow, and uneven lettering. Later lettering was more skillfully done with clearly triangular edges and with more deeply cut and relatively even letters. As a result many Lynchburg insulators have both types of lettering. Complicating this is the fact that as the later triangular-edged lettering wore from the molding process it often began to resemble the earlier rounded letters (see below).

So while the type of lettering is not really helpful in determining when an insulator was made, it is helpful in determining whether a particular piece was made soon after a mold was made or retooled or whether it was made much later after the mold had been used extensively. Yet complicating this further is the fact that some molds were used nearly throughout Lynchburg's production, since they occur in nearly all the colors and drip point types made at Lynchburg (for example, CD 154 Type II, Mold L1 and CD 154 Type II, Mold L1.1, and possibly CD 154 Type III, Mold L1), while others evidently were used only a very short time (for example, CD 154 Type II, Mold L20).

Lettering Types

Example of normal rounded lettering Example of weak or worn rounded lettering
Example of strong triangular lettering Example of badly worn triangular lettering
a b c d


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