2013 NIA Hall of Fame Inductee
Marion & Evelyn Milholland
Marion Collier Milholland was born
August 20, 1885 in Roxbury, PA.
Marion spent most of his school days in Seattle, WA, and as a young
businessman in Olympia. After
working as a carpenter for a number of years he took up contracting in building.
Later he studied and became an architectural designer of buildings, from
which he retired. During his time
in Olympia he was a Scout Master.
Marion began collecting
insulators as far back as 1964, in Sequim, WA. On page 68 of his last book, Milholland’s Most
About Glass Insulators, 4th Revision, he tells us how he got
started in his own words. “With
the afternoon sun setting, we looked through this stack of helter-skelter
crossarms and behold; most of the colors of the rainbow came to life. A more beautiful sight in colors would be difficult to
find… that moment I was really taken into the insulator hobby.”
Marion passed away on
January 17, 1976. But his years of
work on behalf of our hobby will live on in his many books which he and Evelyn
created out of an intense love of insulators.
Evelyn Sofia Milholland
was born in Beloit, WI, on March 15, 1904.
She lived there until she was fourteen, when her family moved to Everett,
WA. Twice widowed, Evelyn met
Marion in Seattle at a dance. They
were married in Seattle on May 17, 1968, and she became his partner in life as
well as in insulator collecting. Clarice
Gordon has written, “If I had to describe he in just one word, it would be
she’s also pleasant, friendly, kind, sympathetic, and fun to be with.
Another one of her qualities is that she really listens to what people
say, and she cares for people. To
know her is to love her.”
The Milholland’s love
for insulators was reflected in many ways, just one of which was the many books
they wrote on the subject. N. R.
Woodward created the CD numbering system, but Marion popularized its usage when
he authored the earliest complete book about glass insulators in 1967.
Marion, and later Evelyn, were prolific writers and would update their
standard reference four times as well as produce price lists and other books
between 1967 and 1976. For collectors of insulator books here is the list:
Insulator Reference Book, 1967
Insulator Reference Book No. 2, 1969
Milholland’s Glass Insulator Reference Book, 1970
Most About Glass
Insulators, (First Hardcover) 1971
Most About Glass
Insulators Revised, 1972
About Glass Insulators, 2nd Revision, 1973
About Glass Insulators, 3rd Revision, 1974
Insulators, Reprint, 1974
About Glass Insulators, 4th Revision (Bicentennial
Six Price Guides
That’s quite an
impressive list, and one that represents a lot of work and dedication.
Marion already had the first book out when he and Evelyn were married in
Another facet of the
Milholland’s love for insulators was seen in the many miles they traveled each
year in pursuit of new finds. Over
a period of 8 years, right up until Marion became unable to travel, they logged
up to 25,000 miles a year. Traveling
was very easy for Evelyn and Marion. According
to Evelyn, “Marion was a good driver, with a new car every other year, and he
drove carefully, observing all the rules.”
Their travels took them all across the nation.
They visited a great many collectors in their homes, as well as attending
shows, looking for new finds for their collection and to add to the book.
Their years together in
the hobby brought them many recognitions and awards. In 1982, Evelyn was awarded Lifetime Membership by the
National Insulator Association at the Berea, OH National Show. In the early 1970”s the NIA instituted the presentation of
the Milholland Educational Award to be given for “the one exhibit which most
effectively achieves an educational theme.”
This award is given to the qualifying displayer at each national show
“in recognition of Marion and Evelyn Milholland, for their tireless work over
many years to research and publish information on glass insulators, all of which
contributed immeasurably to the growth and enjoyment of the hobby.”
Evelyn Milholland passed
away in Tacoma, WA on February 22, 1999. Carol
McDougald wrote: “Evelyn never forgot who you were, where she met you and what
special interests you had in the hobby. And, we as collectors will never forget your pioneering
Return to the National Insulator Association page