These Things

They’re made of solid glass.

They’re definitely older than my parents-possibly even older than my grandparents.


They are the coolest papercrafting tools this side of the Mississippi. Well, maybe. In my opinion, anyway.

They have good mass and smooth bottoms (so as to not scratch the paper when pushed), which are perfect for paperweights. They also make good stands for leaning other things onto. Two will guarantee that paper I’m bearing into with a dull X-Acto blade isn’t going anywhere. Even high winds won’t phase these bad boys.

So what are these things? They used to be on these:

Telegraph Pole

Telegraph Pole. Source:

The American West was built by railroad, and the telegraph followed in tandem with the trains. Both worked together to unify the East and the West.

These things were built to steadfastly survive everything Nature can throw at them. They outlived the technology they were built for. And now they’ve come to retirement.

Most people place them on shelves to collect dust. They sit buried among junk in old barns. Many still stand exposed to the elements, perched atop their poles in rural locales. But mine are still functional, albeit for a different purpose.

I carry pieces of California history in my toolbox to every art class. Call me overly-sentimental, but I think that’s a really cool fact.


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