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Pole Top Discoveries' March 2020 Auction (Closed #175664)

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#003 735 CHESTER. Aqua. With tie wire.

  Lot # 003
Listing Image
  • Lot # 003
  • System ID # 176027
  • End Date
  • Start Date

#003     735     CHESTER.     Aqua.     With tie wire.   

A small number of Chesters have been found along the Union Pacific Railroad right of way in Nebraska and Wyoming.  Aside from those few examples, the majority have been discovered in British Columbia, Canada, where they were used mostly on the 1866 segment of the Collins Overland Telegraph Company line.  Portions of the “Collins line” were built in 1865 and 1866 as part of a grand project devised to link America with Europe.  

Telegraph communication had been completed across America in 1861.  In 1864, a telegraph line reached northward from California to the State of Washington.  Materials from New York had arrived in British Columbia in June, 1865, and wire was strung in the general course of the Fraser River and Cariboo Wagon Road, to a point slightly beyond the town of Quesnel, by the close of the season in September.  The 1865 construction consisted of 735 Tillotsons. 

In May, 1866 construction started once again 18 miles north-west of Quesnel, using 735 Chester insulators.  Work progressed for 378 miles until operations were shut down again for the winter.  By that time, a successful Atlantic cable was in operation, so the Collins project was halted and the 1866 portion of the land line was abandoned.  Due to more extensive searching by collectors on the Tillotson section many years ago, more Tillotsons have been found, resulting in the Chester examples being offered for sale less frequently.

This particular unit was found in the 1980's on the 1865 portion of the Collins line, where Tillotsons were extensively used adjacent to an old section of the Cariboo Wagon Road.  Apparently the original Tillotson that was installed became broken within a short period, at which time this Chester was used as a replacement insulator.  

Sharp, bold embossing!  Excellent overall condition with only a little shallow flaking on the base edge and flat base area.  Sparkling, bright glass.  A great example with the original wire still attached!