ArchitecturalLightning Rod Balls

A few of the lightning rod balls in our collection.


     Lightning rod balls are ornamental decorations for lightning rods.  Although they serve no practical function, they add a distinctive element to each lightning rod giving them an extra touch of beauty.  Many times these balls would be spherical in shape, with a hole in the top and bottom.  These balls would be placed over the lightning rod.  Other times the lightning rod balls were pendants and several of them would be hung from the lightning rod.

     Lightning rod balls were made by a number of different companies, a few of which were from right here in St. Louis.  Each company had their own styles, shapes, colors and sizes, giving a wide variety to the uniqueness found in lightning rod balls, in addition to the large number of plain lightning rod balls produced. 

     Being that there are so many different varieties of lightning rod balls, some are more valuable than others, usually depending on their uniqueness.  There may be one ball that is worth $10 or $20 in a common color, such as white, but the same ball in a different color, like red, may be worth several hundred.

     According to Russell Barnes, in his book, The Lightning Rod Collectibles Price Guide, there are about 25 different colors of lightning rod balls, including four varieties of red colors.  While there are several slight variations, these are the basic colors that have been found.  Click here for a list of these 25 different colors.  In addition to these colors, there are about 40 well know styles of balls.  Most companies manufactured their own style ball in addition to the standard plain balls.

   A   number of these styles can be seen in the Antique Warehouse collection, which has amassed 44 lightning rod balls, ranging from the most common shapes and colors to the more unique.

     A article in Antique Week, a weekly antique auction and collection newspaper, featured several lightning rod balls from the Antique Warehouse collection.  Click here to read this story.


The information used to compile this article was found in The Complete Book of Lightning Rod Balls by Krupka/Bruner and The Lightning Rod Collectibles Price Guide by Russell Barnes.


Below are a few of the Lightning Rod Balls in the Antique Warehouse collection, click on any of them to learn more about each item in the collection.

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