U.S. History/Artifact


I have an old telegraph line insulater that was found on the Oregon Trail near Idependence Rock in wyoming in 1948. I was five years old and my family was visiting the Rock and the Sweetwater creek nearby. My grandfather and I were walking along the old ruts from the wagon wheels still very visible and he was telling me about how the early settlers came across this place in their wagons. We were walking along and he said "look there's an old telegraph pole still standing, probably from those days". I saw a glass thing, I picked it up and he told me to keep it. I only recently read that the first telegraph line across the U.S. went past independence Rock and I wonder if this insulator could be from that very line. I looked at collections of old insulators and none of them look like the one I have. It is very crudely cast compared to all the other insulators I saw. I wonder if it might have any real historical significance or value.


It certainly sounds like an interesting piece.  If it could be authenticated, it probably has some value to telegraph collectors.  It is probably not worth a great deal, but perhaps a few hundred dollars.

If you really want to find out, you may want to contact one or more of the telegraph museums in this country to see if they have any interest.  You can find a list of several of them here:


U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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