Hemingray 42 Insulator Value and Price Guide

Hemingray 42 Insulators are one of the most popular types of collectible glass insulators. The Hemingray Glass Company produced them from 1921 to 1960. They were used to electrify homes and businesses across the United States.

Today, Hemingray 42 Insulators are highly sought-after by collectors. Identification of insulators is hard enough without having the date codes messed up. Fortunately, several online dating sites and price guides help collectors determine what their Hemingray 42 glass insulator might be worth.

This article will show you how to identify Hemingray 42 and its price range and guide you in the most common fake insulators.

Hemingray 42 Insulator

Precisely What Is a Glass Insulator? How Does a Hemingray-42 Work?

A glass insulator is a non-conductive material used to protect the electrical wire that runs through it. These insulators are used in conjunction with electrical wires to prevent shorting and other problems with your electricity.

They are usually made from a particular type of glass called porcelain or porcelain enamel. These insulators come in many different styles, shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

● History of Hemingray-42 Insulators

The Hemingray-42 was one of the most popular types of glass insulators. Hemingray Glass Company made them in Indiana, USA. It was used on telegraph and telephone lines, primarily in the United States.

It is unknown when this insulator style was first produced, but it was popularized in the late 1880s through the early 1900s.

The Hemingray 42 is a wide-mouth style, meaning that it has an opening at the top large enough to accommodate a thick wire. The glass has a very rough texture and is made of two different colors: blue on top and green on the bottom.

The bottom portion of the insulator is slightly more opaque than the top portion due to its thicker nature; this allows both colors to be visible from any angle without having to rotate or tilt the piece for one color to be exposed over another.

The most common color for this type of insulator is aqua blue glass with green glass below; however, other colors were produced as well, including dark aqua blue with green below or dark aqua with clear below.

The Hemingray 42 was initially produced at the Hemingray Glass Company and later manufactured by several other glass factories such as Owens-Illinois, Anchor Hocking, and Fire King Glass Company.

● How does it work?

The Hemingray 42 has two grooves that are designed to hold two wires. The top groove is wide enough to fit a single conductor.

In contrast, the bottom groove can accommodate two conductors twisted together.

To install this ground wire insulator, place your wires into their grooves, then twist them together using pliers or another tool.

You may also want to apply some electrical tape around the area where your wires touch each other for added protection against damage or short circuits.

How to identify a Hemingray 42

 Hemingray 42 glass insulator is a small teardrop-shaped bottle with the Hemingray name embossed on the base. It was used on some early telephone and telegraph lines, but it is most often seen on power lines.

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There are several ways to identify a Hemingray 42 glass insulator:

  1. Embossing
  2. Dates for Hemingray-42 glass insulator
  3. Smooth Base
  4. Hemingray Colors
  5. Style

Let’s read more in-depth details about these factors.

● Embossing

Hemingray 42 is an embossed Hemingray No. 42 insulator with four vertical ribs and an inverted top ridge. The glass is generally transparent or olive green but can also be yellow-green, brown, or purple.

The embossing HEMINGRAY 42 was first used by Hemingray in 1920, the same year they introduced the “H” trademark that would become so well known to collectors. The patent date on the insulators indicates that this style was produced well into the 1930s, but production dates vary by color.

Most Hemingrays produced during these years were clear glass with a two-part mold design (the double ring type). However, some have been found with a single-part mold design (the single ring type), and some have been found with a three-part mold design (the triple ring type).

Antique Vintage Hemingray #42 Double Petticoat CLEAR Glass Insulator Collectibl Source: eBay

● Dates and Marking

An insulator’s serial number and other indications can be used to determine its manufacturing date. They started using these markings in 1933 to show the year of manufacture.

Insulators.info has reported this Hemingray glass mark:

Marks Dates
O – A. The insulator was created in Owens, Illinois, commonly misinterpreted for a zero. On the face of the insulator, this mark debuted alongside the company name in 1933.
O-4 The firm began adding a number to signify the year 1934.

O-4 denotes the year 1934.

O-9 denotes the year 1939.

23-42 The company ruled out single-digit years as a viable option in 1940.

Instead, the insulator was marked with a mold number and the year it was made. It was in 1942 when the insulator mold, for instance, 23-42, was created.

Dots Dates in parenthesis indicate when the mold was created. On an insulator, 23-42 and two dots represent 1944.

 ● Hemingray Colors

Hemingray-42 Insulators are identified by their color. Glass insulators were made in various colors, representing different insulators.

The base of the insulator is marked with a number 42, while the top is marked with a small H inside a diamond.

The most common color found is aqua (greenish blue). Still, there is also cobalt blue (darker than aqua), amethyst (purple), blackberry (dark red-brown), opal (milky white), and even amber (yellow).

Hemingray No 42 STAINED Red Glass Insulator DIY Predrilled Pendant Light
Hemingray No 42 STAINED Red Glass Insulator DIY Predrilled Pendant Light (Image Source: Ebay)

● Style

These insulators were made with two different sizes of drip points, which are the tiny bumps around the outside rim of an insulator. The more minor points are known as “sharp” points because they are so small they appear almost needle-like.

The larger ones are known as “drip” points because their shape is broader and flatter than sharp points, and they look more like droplets than needles when seen from above or below.

The difference between these two types of drip points can make it challenging to identify a Hemingray 42 without good photos or a physical specimen in hand for comparison purposes.

● Base Type

Hemingray 42s have a unique base design that is not found on any other insulator. The base is not flat but has a circular center indentation. This indentation is lined with metal and forms a small pinhole when the insulator is pressed into place. It also acts as an electrical connection between the two pieces of wire that are passing through the hole.

How much is a Hemingray 42 insulator worth?

How much is a Hemingray 42 insulator worth

Hemingray 42 insulators are one of the most popular and common early American insulators.

They can be found in antique stores and even garage sales and can be used as a replacement for broken ones on old bottles.

In good condition, Hemingray 42’s are worth $10 to $20 each, but you can find them for less if they have damage or excess wear. If you want an example that looks Like it was dug out of an underground vault, expect to pay more than $50 for one in excellent condition.

But, several factors can affect the value of your Hemingray 42 glass insulator. The following are some of them:

● Age of The Hemingray-42

The age of the item is an essential factor that determines its value. The older it is, the more valuable it becomes as there will be fewer available for sale to collectors around the world.

If you are looking for an antique item, then make sure you check its age before purchasing or selling it so that you can get the best deal possible for your money.

● Condition

Another thing you need to consider when determining how much your Hemingray 42 glass insulator is worth is its condition. If your piece has any damage or flaws, it won’t be worth as much as a perfect example.

A few small chips or cracks shouldn’t significantly affect its overall value. Still, if there are more than just a few minor flaws, it may be worth less than what someone would pay for an average example.

Source: Etsy

● Rarity

One factor that affects the value of a Hemingray 42 is its rarity. This insulator was used on telegraph lines and telephone poles throughout North America during the 20th century, so thousands were produced over time.

However, some colors were made in smaller quantities than others due to their popularity or availability of materials at the time.

For example, find a purple Hemingray 42 or a yellow one with no chips or cracks. It will be worth more than one green with several chips because these colors are harder to find. The same goes for any other color as well. If it’s rarer than other colors, it will sell for more money accordingly.

● Coloration

Another factor that affects the price of your Hemingray 42 piece is its coloration. Most Hemingray 42s have some amber coloring, but some have more than others. If yours has a lot of amber coloring, it could be worth more than those without as much amber coloring.

Sample Comparison

To determine how much your Hemingray 42 is worth:

  1. Compare it to recently sold models.
  2. Start by searching eBay or other online collector stores for your item number (eBay only lets you search by one or two numbers per search).
  3. Browse the results for similar recently sold items, and note their prices. This will give you an idea of what people are willing to pay for similar pieces in today’s market.

Where Can You Find Old Insulators?

These days, collectors have become interested in these old glass insulators because of their unique shape and history. They are also attractive to collectors because they can be found in many colors and styles.

 Hemingray-42 glass insulators were made in the 1920s and 1930s. They are available on eBay and other online auctions but are usually expensive.

There are a few places where you can find Hemingray-42 glass insulators for less money:

  • Local antique stores or flea markets:Look for any place that sells old bottles and jars. You can also try garage and estate sales, though these tend to be more expensive than flea markets and antique stores.
  • Thrift stores and Goodwill stores:These will probably be even cheaper than antique stores because they don’t usually have much money invested. Of course, you can’t always know what you’ll get when you look for something specific like this, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for an inexpensive project.
  • Online Markets: eBay is an excellent place to find vintage glass insulators. If you don’t know the exact model number or color of the insulator, you’re looking for. This method could be a bit more time-consuming than searching by model number.

Amazon has a few different sellers that have Hemingray-42s available for sale. Amazon offers a wide selection of Hemingray-42 glass insulators on its website. Search for “Hemingray Glass Insulator” or enter the item number in the search bar.

Moreover, several sellers on Etsy specialize in selling antique pieces like these. Worthpoint is another great site where people sell old items like these insulators! They have some cool things listed there too.

Bottom Line

In the insulator and antique market, value is a tricky concept. These Hemingray 42 glass insulators‘ market prices vary widely yearly depending on what collectors are looking for. The variation in pricing can be attributed to several reasons, including color, shape, and size.

Ultimately, this guide will help you establish a baseline for how much H42 insulators are worth and which ones might be more valuable than others.


What is the rarest insulator?

The rarest insulator is the smoky aqua color with a hobnail design. This color was only produced on the top of water system insulators and had no known examples in collections. Other than that, most other colors are pretty standard and easy to find in some condition or another.

Are old insulators worth anything?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. The most crucial factor is whether the insulator is in good condition. In general, all old glass insulators are worth something, even those that are broken or damaged.

Are clear glass insulators worth anything?

The short answer is yes, but not much. Hemingray was the first company to make glass insulators in large quantities, and they were trendy by the 1880s.

Today, collectors value clearies for their rarity and historical significance. It isn’t easy to put an exact price tag on them because collectors are willing to pay different amounts for different ones. However, expect to pay around $5-$10 per piece depending on condition and rarity.

What glass insulators are most valuable?

Hemingray Glass Insulators are one of the most collectible items in all numismatics. The rarer and unusual the insulator, the higher its value. Value is based on an insulator’s rarity, condition, color, and age.

Hemingray, in 1848, made the most valuable insulators. Many collectors focus on collecting only Hemingrays because they were the most prolific manufacturer of glass insulators.

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