1980 >> August >> Me And The 143  

Me And The 143 (#3)
by Grant Salzman, NIA #1785

Reprinted from "INSULATORS - Crown Jewels of the Wire", August 1980, page 8

In case you have been wondering why these articles are being written, there are several reasons: First, the hobby needs many areas "cleaned up". Over the years there have been typographical errors, informational errors, unconfirmed data, etc. creep into the catalogs, and these need to be edited and corrected as necessary. These articles are just an attempt to do that for the CD 143's. But it is not enough to develop a new listing, or even to get it published. You also need feedback from other collectors; and that is another main purpose of these notes. 

(Drawing is by Clay Salzman)

If you have colors or varieties of 143's which I do not list, please let me know. I can't guarantee that I will use all of the information that you send me, because in the long run each of us will decide what level of detail we will seek; but I'll try to incorporate as much as I can before the whole thing is reduced and digested and given to Paul Keating for his use in the price guide. In fact, if you have any comments at all about any of the statements, or if you have any questions or discoveries to share, just drop me a line, and I will do my best to answer. (In print, if possible.) 


Once the manufacturer of the CanPac insulators changed to the three-piece mold, the product became fairly uniform thereafter, and except for some variation in the base, did not change further. However, there were a large number of embossing and color varieties produced, which makes these fun to collect. 

MOLD STYLE #1D. This mold had a large wire groove (1/2" tall), and the skirt was thick (7/16"). The base was smooth, but varied in configuration. Many of them sloped in sharply. Others were rounded near the outer edge and then sloped in moderately, and a few were just rounded. There is no differentiation made for base style. However, a couple of varieties have the base style noted where it appears that the rounded base was the only one used. The height of embossing (if any) might vary slightly, but all embossing was bold and strong. In addition to the CanPac embossing, this mold was also used for no-names CPR, GNR, GPR, STANDARD, and some CNR. These latter embossings were produced in many varieties and will be discussed in a later article. 

So far there have been seven varieties of embossing found in Mold Style #1D:

    B--blot-out of STANDARD
    Colors: Aqua, royal purple, medium purple, pale SCA, light SCA, SCA, light steel blue, and pale SCA with purple swirls. 
  2. F--CANADIAN PACIFIC RY. CO. (Note periods) 
    B--blot-out of STANDARD 
    Colors: Pale aqua, pale aqua with milk swirls, aqua, pale SCA, pale SCA with milk swirls, light gray.
    Colors: Pale aqua, light aqua with purple swirls, aqua, aqua with milk swirls, aqua with amber swirls, light green, steel gray, pale SCA, pale SCA with purple swirls, pale SCA with milk and amber swirls, SCA, SCA with amber swirls, pale purple, light purple, medium purple, and royal purple.
    Colors: Pale aqua, pale aqua with amber swirls, pale aqua with milk swirls, aqua, blue with purple swirls, pale SCA, pale SCA with milk swirls, pale SCA with purple swirls, SCA, light purple. 
    Colors: Pale aqua with milk swirls, aqua, pale SCA, pale SCA with milk swirls. 
    Colors: Aqua. (Note the rounded base on this one.)
    B--STANDARD over a blot-out of "CANADIAN PACIFIC RY CO" 
    Colors: Aqua and light green. (Note the rounded base on this one also.) 

PRICES: The aqua shades are very much overpriced. The purples are still popular and sell fairly well in spite of being fairly common. I personally consider the SCA varieties to be scarcer and more valuable than the purples. 

ADDITIONAL NOTES: In the price guide there is a variety listed as the "CANADIAN PACIFIC TY CO". Have any of you ever seen this variety? 

The price guide also lists a variety called the "CANADIAN PACIFIC BY CO" and implies that it is in this mold style. Although I have seen something like that in the "curve-under base" mold (which we have not yet discussed), I have never seen it in mold style #1. Have you? 

Before I go further, you have probably asked yourself, "What does he mean by all those shades of SCA or Purple? What is the difference between Medium Purple and Light Purple?" 

There are several clear-cut shades of SCA and of Purple, which seem to change with the times. I have tried to see if I could group these into categories that could be described. However, it is possible that these may be considerably condensed for publication in the price guide. Identification of each listed shade should use these standards, as viewed under normal overhead incandescent lightning, without backlighting or baselighting: 

Royal Purple: Opaque under normal lightning. Threading cannot be seen. This color is typical for Mold Style #1C varieties, but also appears in #1D. 

Medium Purple: Almost opaque. Threading can be seen clearly. Shades will vary a little. Darkest examples appear in the STANDARD purples, and lighter types throughout Mold Style #1D. Degree of transparency is equivalent to an extremely dark SCA, except the SCA is reddish. 

Light Purple: Very transparent and about on a par with the SCA. Can be seen as purple from the side. 

Pale Purple: About the same heaviness of tone as the Light SCA. The color is light, and distinction between the purple and SCA is best seen by viewing the insulator through the base, upward. 

Pale SCA: Only a faint tinge of color. Just a bare touch of lavender or violet. 

MOLD STYLE #1E. This mold is the same as #1D, except that grooves were cut into the mold so as to produce the "Withycombe" ridges in the glass. Close examination of the insulator reveals the original "CANADIAN PACIFIC RY CO" embossing, through which the grooves were cut in the mold. 

This mold style has 69 vertical ridges above the wire groove, and 9 horizontal ridges below. As with all "Withycombe" styles with horizontal ridges, the grooves below the wire groove are all spiral, not circular. By the way, if you have any of these that are grooved differently, please let me know. 

Special notes are appropriate regarding the colors found in this type. Some collectors, myself included, have questioned the existence of the purple variety. However, I have since actually seen one and have also spoken with another collector who formerly owned one. Both items were owned by collectors of unquestioned reputation. However, because our hobby in the early days had some people who loved to tamper with color, I sure would like to hear from anyone who has ever actually picked or found one of these. This would really resolve things. Right now all I can say is that I have seen this variety, and it looks legitimate to me. 

I do question the existence of the "Blue" variety listed in the book. I have seen many of these, and they are all a light aqua. Under florescent lighting they look nice and blue, but a look in daylight reveals that the prize of the night before is just plain aqua today. I have seen several of these that the owners called "blue", but they were the same old light aqua. If any of you have side-by-side examples of the light aqua and the blue, please let me know, and I will correct this listing. However, for now I can only certify to the existence of the light aqua and the light purple. 

PRICES: The book price for the aqua seems to be a little high. The price for the purple, however, is low. 

Incidentally, in a later article there will be more information about Mr. Withycombe and his magical ridges!

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