2013 NIA Hall of Fame Inductee
In a September, 1989,
article in Crown Jewels of the Wire, author Clarice Gordon wrote: “To describe
Elton in just one word that word would have to be “nice.”
Along with that, you could add “quiet”, “intelligent”, and
polite”. Then there’s
“friendly”, helpful”, and “hospitable”.
So I guess if you rolled all of those words into just one, it would have
to come out “nice” anyway.
was born December 29, 1948, in Port Neches but he lived in Nedarland, Texas.
He graduated from Lamar University in 1972 with a
degree in Chemical Engineering. After
college he lived in Port Neches until he and Kathy married September 8, 1989,
exactly 1 year after Jack Tod died. Kathy
is a teacher and counselor. They
currently live in Lumberton, Texas. They
have three children.
started work at Texaco’s first oil refinery at Port Arthur, TX, June 3, 1968,
as a co-op chemical engineering student. This
company is now Motiva Enterprises LLC, which is a joint 50/50 partnership
between Shell Oil Co. and Saudi Refining Co.
It is now the largest oil refinery in the U. S.
has worked for 45 years and plans to retire Dec. 3, 2013, just a few days after
his 65th birthday.
is a charter member of the NIA being #41 and Kathy is NIA #4521.
Elton’s first national show was in Kansas City in 1972.
started collecting Brookfield insulators in 1970. He still collects Brookfield insulators but by the
mid-1970’s his major collecting interest became early porcelain. He specializes in Fred Locke, Imperial, New Lexington, Lima,
Macomb, early Thomas, patent tops, G.P. Co, dry process, and multipart
porcelain. He also collects cleats,
knobs, spools and other specialty porcelain styles with particular interest in
brown wall tubes.
interest he has is collecting historical information about our hobby.
From personal research at university libraries and trading with several
other collectors he knows has, Elton has an extensive file of insulator related
historical information. You can obtain copies of over 2,260 patents,
advertisements, and other historical information relating to our hobby by going
to the ‘Insulator Research Service” section of his website r-infinity.com.
has a few other collecting interests. He
has been collecting old Texaco cans and porcelain signs since about 1973.
Much of the refinery history where he worked was being thrown away, so
Elton started searching through old files, offices, and buildings to preserve
what was left. In 1980 he started
collecting historical photographs, paper items, can, etc. from around the
refinery. He is now the unofficial
local company historian and archivist.
are a few more of Elton’s accomplishments:
He developed the M-number system for porcelain multipart insulators.
He did extensive research and published the Fred M. Locke biography.
He took a survey of all the major porcelain collectors and collected colors, markings, and variations of the known styles – then published a quality price guide covering both U and M numbers.
He took over publishing and significantly expanded Jack Tod’s U-number books and assignments.
He researched insulator related patents and complied by far the most complete list in the hobby.
Elton was a key participant in the “Insulator Gazette” on-line research project for both content and entry.
He took over the bi-monthly column “Porcelain Insulator News” in Crown Jewels of the wire from Jack Tod in July of 1984 through the present.
He has reprinted a number of historic catalogs and historic pictures.
He is very active in the Lone Star Insulator Club having served as club President and newsletter editor. He coordinates the club’s yearly N. R. Woodward award.
activities that relate specifically to the National Insulator Association
He served as the Ethics Committee Chairman for 11 years (1990-2001)
He was a show host for the 1988 and 1994 Houston Nationals.
He received the Outstanding Service Award in 1990 and again in 2010.
He and Kathy received the Lifetime Membership Award in 1996.
Quoting from the article in Crown Jewels of the Wire, September, 1989; Elton stated,
is more to the hobby than just collecting insulators.
The many fine people make insulator collecting truly unique.
The many friends that one makes over the years make the hobby very
else could you have friends all over the country who would welcome you into
their home and share their collection and tales with you."
is a wealth of undocumented information that should be made available to all
should be preserved for current and future collectors, who would like to learn
more about our wonderful hobby.”
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