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257
Why collect insulators?

Glass insulators were the means of insulating the early communication wires starting in the later 1800s.  The production of glass insulators spans a time line over 100 years with many changes effecting the design and use.  There is quite a history in the colorful hunks of glass that have been made obsolete by satellites and fiber optics that has endured all this time.
The insulator hobby is relatively new compared to other hobbies like stamps and coins but has seen a large growth in the last couple of decades.  Some of the first collectors got their start in the early fifties when there were still many open wire lines still up all over the country.  Eventually collectors were able to find each other and hold shows.  It was at one of these shows in 1973 that the National Insulator Association was formed.  The NIA is an international organization of collectors and friends interested in the history and preservation of this early  communication device and related gowiths.   In the first year more than 800 charter members joined its ranks. Since then the NIA has averaged 900 active members. In all, the NIA has had more than 5900 total members. The largest majority of members reside in the United States with other members scattered throughout the world including Germany, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Colombia, and The Netherlands.

Today open wire is a rare site that mostly resides along railroad tracks for communication signals but this too is quickly disappearing from the landscape.  By collecting glass insulators you are preserving a piece of history long forgotten from the minds of  many people. 




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