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Insulator Hobby Timeline!


Key events are noted by approximate date.  Hyperlinks will provide additional information.  Please feedback additional key dates or note any needed corrections.  Dates considered particularly significant are highlighted in red.


N. R. Woodward publishes "The Glass Insulator In America 1865-1965 Progress Report".
1967   N. R. Woodward publishes "The Glass Insulator In America 1967 Report" which introduces the Consolidated Design or CD numbering system for threaded glass insulators.
1967 May

Claire T. McClellan introduces insulators to bottle collectors in her article in Western Collector.
1967 November   Marion Milholland publishes "Milholland's Glass Insulator Reference Book" with pictures of insulators using N. R. Woodward's CD numbering system.
1969 March

First issue of Insulators: Crown Jewels of the Wire published by Dora Harned of Chico, California.
1969 September

Joe Maurath, Jr. takes over editing/writing "Insulator Hot Line" in Bottle World (vol. 7, no. 9)
1969 December   Greg Kareofelas starts monthly column on insulators in Western Collector.
1970 June
U-1452 red porcelain insulator Claire T. McClellan asks in Bottle World, "A Red Insulator?" (vol. 8, no 6)  This question would continue to pop up through the years.  ( More about red insulators )
1970 June 20-21   First National show held in New Castle, Indiana. (More about this show)
1971 July 10-11

Informal discussion of a national organization takes place at the National show held in Colorado Springs, Colorado
1972 February

James Garrity of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania starts publishing Cross Arms: An Eastern Insulator Collectors' Magazine.  The magazine will run until July 1975.
1972 July 1-2

Following the Saturday night banquet at the National in Kansas City, Missouri, the debate over creating a national organization raged on into the evening and again no agreement on objectives could be obtained.  As the night wore on, Warren Olson was asked to chair an organizing committee and was assigned the responsibility of drafting a plan to be presented to collectors assembled at the next National to be held in July 1973 at Hutchinson, Kansas.
NIA Patch National Insulator Association (NIA) is established at the Hutchinson, Kansas national show.  (Click here for more about the formation of the NIA).  Fred Griffin is elected President; Steve Freedman, Jesse Moreland, and Richard Augustyn are elected to the Board of Directors. 
1973 August Capital District Insulator Club The Capital District Insulator Club, based out of Albany New York is formed with Tom Louden as President.  This club has since changed to CRAB "Capital Region Antique Bottle & Insulator Club".
1974 July   Joe Maurath takes over from Francis Terrill as the insulator by-lines editor for "Old Bottle Magazine".
1975 July

The last issue of Cross Arms Magazine (Volume 4, number 6) is published by James Garrity of Paxinos, Pennsylvania after starting on February 1972.
1985 April-May

With the publication of a single issue covering two months, Dora Harned ends her career as editor of Insulators: Crown Jewels of the Wire and turns the task over to Carol McDougald.  Dora's last issue was volume 17, number 2-3.
1985 June

Carol McDougald takes over as editor of the renamed Crown Jewels of the Wire.  Carol will outlast Dora Harned's long tenure by just a few issues before turning over the job to Howard and Linda Banks on January 2003.
1990   John & Carol McDougald publish a two volume set "Insulators:  A History and Guide To North American Pintype Insulators" that invigorates the hobby.
1991 November   Ron & Patti Norton published an insulator magazine "The Rainbow Riders Trading Post" dedicated to trading insulators.  This monthly magazine was published until December 1997.
1992 Greater Chicago Insulator Club Greater Chicago Insulator Club founded by Bob Stahr and Bob Cook.
1993 July

Steve Goodell begins writing a column on Canadian Insulators for Canadian Bottle & Stoneware Collector's Summer issue (No. 5) and would continue until the January 1995 issue.

Keith Roloson begins maintaining a central list of email addresses of collectors that will eventually become the list server for insulator collectors. (Click here for a full history )
1995 January

Steve Goodell's last column on Canadian Insulators runs in the No. 11 issue of Canadian Bottle & Stoneware Collector . Columns ran in the following issues: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11.  After issue No. 12, the magazine stopped covering insulators and the magazine was eventually sold to another editor.  Sources of information devoted exclusively to Canadian insulators once again dried up.
1995 March

Don Lundell takes over the mailing list maintained by Keith Roloson , and put it on an automated mailing list server allowing collectors to one address, and have their message broadcast to all other collectors on the list. ( Click here for a full history )
1995 April

Don Lundell starts a basic web page about insulators, at -- this was the "birth" of the insulators web site.  (Click here for a full history )

1995 May

Bill Meier takes over as webmaster of the insulator web site at  ( Click here for a full history )
1995 September
Bob Stahr Bob Stahr submits winning name for the list server: Insulator Collectors on the Net (ICON). ( Click here for a full history )
1996 January 21

On January 21, 1996, the domain was born, and the insulators web site was permanently moved to from ( Click here for a full history )
1998 October   The NIA gets it's own domain!
1999   Prairie Signals Insulator Club is formed.
1999 August
Jefferson State Insulator Club Jefferson State Insulator Club formed for collectors in Oregon and California.
1999 September

Great Lakes Insulator Association (GLASS) forms in northwest Pennsylvania.
2000 January

Columbia Basin Insulator Collectors Club formed in the Pacific Northwest.  By 2005 the club was no longer active.
2000 March   Based on Initial coordination by Kevin Lawless and Doug MacGillvary, A team of NIA members visited the Smithsonian Institution to record the insulator related contents of their archives. Since this data, several more trips have been made by various NIA members to further this work (Read full story here)
2000 August
ICON patch A patch for ICON members is created.
2002 December

The December 2002 issue of Crown Jewels of the Wire is the last one edited by Carol McDougald.  Carol started editing the magazine with the June 1985 issue (volume 17, number 4) and finished with the volume 34, number 12 issue.
2002 December

Marilyn Albers announces her retirement as the editor of the Foreign Insulators column in the Crown Jewels of the Wire. Marilyn edited her column for 23 years.  The search for her replacement is announced in the next issue of the CJ.
2003 January

Howard and Linda Banks take over publication and editing of the Crown Jewels of the Wire.  
2004 December

A couple of non-collectors purchase a CD 180 Fluid Insulator for a few dollars, list it on eBay and sell it for over $10,000. The wire services pick up the story and the hobby sees an upswing in requests for appraisals, hits on insulator web sites, and more insulators listed on eBay, often with outlandish starting prices.  The auction was mentioned on the "Paul Harvey" radio program!
2004 December

Eric Johnson has a mold made for a CD 162 with the embossing HEMINGRAY-19 // MADE IN U.S.A.  One-hundred and fifty cobalt blue insulators are made in the mold to use in a fountain he is building but some of the insulators are sold on eBay creating controversy in the hobby.  The initials NAJ are sand blasted into the side of the insulators but some collectors are concerned that people might still be fooled into believe the insulators are legitimate.   The NIA issued a Special Notice on this piece.

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