This power insulator with the great nickname: "Roman Helmet" is one of my latest finds from the Springfield show this year. The insulator fills a void in my California collection being one of the few CD numbers not yet represented in my group. The sage green color that I captured nicely in full sun is the most common out of the handful of colors in which these insulators can be found.
My specimen is not perfect with a couple small flakes at the top of the ears. This is common damage found on these types of insulators whose ears stick out susceptible to dings from drops or rough handling. Although a common color this insulator is a relatively rare CD number made by the California Glass Insulator Company and now becomes the most valuable piece in my modest collection. While not perfect I am glad to have it proudly displayed with my other Californias.
I endured some mental anguish as tried to decide whether to splurge on this piece or purchase a few lesser priced California insulators that turned up on dealer shelves this year. In the end I made my decision on the Roman Helmet because I have been wanting one for a while and I love the sage green color.
The California CD 260 was put into service on electrical distribution lines from San Diego to as far north as Oregon and Washington State. The dealer that sold me this insulator told me that it has never been in a collection before. He purchased it from the son of a lineman who removed it from it's original line. He didn't know exactly the location of the line but it was somewhere in the Golden State. A vague history at best but still interesting and a perfect example of how most antique insulators find their way into the hands of collectors.
Snooping around the Internet I found a picture of California CD 260's still in service. The helmets were discovered during a restoration of a historic site near Huntington Beach, California. The picture shows the insulator installed in an inverted fashion that was probably common inside of mills and other industrial buildings requiring high voltage service.