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 “gracious”.   However, 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:

  1. Milholland’s Glass Insulator Reference Book, 1967

  2. Milholland’s Glass Insulator Reference Book No. 2, 1969

  3. Supplement to Milholland’s Glass Insulator Reference Book, 1970

  4. Most About Glass Insulators, (First Hardcover) 1971

  5. Most About Glass Insulators Revised, 1972

  6. Milholland’s Most About Glass Insulators, 2nd Revision, 1973

  7. Milholland’s Most About Glass Insulators, 3rd Revision, 1974

  8. Brookfield Insulators, Reprint, 1974

  9. Milholland’s Most About Glass Insulators, 4th Revision (Bicentennial Edition), 1976

  10. 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 1968.

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 spirit.”


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