2016 NIA Hall of Fame Inductee

 Dick Bowman


Dick Bowman was born in 1932 and has been in the insulator hobby now for nearly a half a century. His wife Evelyn is to blame; in 1969, she received a CD 121 AmTel as a gift from a neighbor. As a family (2 sons and a daughter), they already frequented flea markets and antique shops when traveling; now they had something else to look for. The many rail lines of western New York were also great hunting grounds for insulators. Joining the Genesee Valley Bottle Collectors Association and educating himself with the hobby periodicals of the time along with meeting many fellow collectors at shows, insulator collecting soon became an addiction. Dick quickly realized that buying collections at wholesale prices was a great way to grow his collection; duplicates could then be resold. After a few years, he became one the hobby’s most prolific dealers. A staple at shows, his well-known sales lists kept the phone ringing. His well-deserved reputation as an honest and dependable dealer also led to referrals from all over the country as people decided to sell their insulator collections an also earned him his nickname of "Marshal Dick".

His collection contains over 550 pieces of very rare glass of which half are threadless. The Bowman museum has always been open to whoever showed interest in seeing the collection. Over the years, the guest registry Evelyn keeps reads like the who’s who in the insulator hobby. Over 75 collectors have admired the collection, which has contained 8 one of a kind insulators. Some of the highlights and contributions through the years include:

  • In 1983 hosting the NIA National show in Rochester, NY
  • In 1990 he participated in the Richmond, VA dig for confederate eggs
  • In 1989 he acquired six embossed Fishers from a Canadian dealer and mad them available to the hobby
  • During 1991-1995 he was Eastern Region Vice-President of the National Insulator Association
  • In 1999 He & Evelyn received the honer of National Insulator Association Lifetime Membership
  • In 1997 He participated in digging in the Southern Porcelain dump in South Carolina
  • He has Enthusiastically promoted and educated possible would be collectors and is responsible for many additions to the insulator hobby
  • He has attended 43 of 45 Mid-Ohio insulator shows



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