I displayed a selection of my French insulators in April of 1984, after
having been an exchange student in France over the summer of 1983. Dick Bowman
was the display chairman for the Genessee Valley Bottle Collectors Association
(GVBCA), and he persuaded me, without much difficulty, to put together my first
display. This display contains almost all of the ones I found that first time
A reprise of my display from 1984, again at the Genessee Valley Bottle
Collector Association (GVBCA) Show and Sale, but this time in April of 1989. I
had come back from a trip to France the previous summer. Right after I
graduated, I went to Europe, met my friend Bill, and we bummed around through
England, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium, then I went on alone
through Italy to Sicily to visit Isabelle. The display contains most of the
ones from the previous display, plus a number more. The Pichots had found
another insulator dump, and a large number of these came from there. This is
the trip that Bill and I wrote about in an article
for Crown Jewels.
This display is one that Bill and I had been talking about for a long time.
We wanted to do a joint display of our insulators, and had actually reached a
point where we had enough decent insulators to put on quite a display. One
thing led to another, though, and in 1993 I agreed to put on a display at the
GVBCA Show and Sale again. Unfortunately, by this time Bill had sold off a
good portion of his collection. He generously agreed to let me do the display
on my own. This is the result. It would have been more fun doing it with him,
but I am glad to have finally done it.
In 2007 when we went to Maine for the summer, we brought along the daughter of a friend
of ours. With her, 2 kids, my wife and all the other stuff we bring with us, there
just wasn't room for me, so I had to ride my motorcycle. I took advantage of this on the
way home, and stopped by Bill and Jill Meier's house for of a tour of their insulator
collection. As you may know, Bill & Jill specialize in Hemingray insulators, so one
thing that really jumped out at me was when I noticed that they had a few CD 287.1 LOCKEs, not
to mention a CD 204 LOCKE. I had always thought these were made by Brookfield, so I couldn't
understand why they had them. Bill said they were made by Hemingray, and I eventually contacted
Elton Gish, Bob Stahr, and Ken Willick to pursue and answer to the question.
One thing led to another, and
we all agreed to bring a variety of insulators to the Mid-Ohio show for a comparison.
Ron Yuhas also got into the discussion, and brought some of his insulators as well. We
ended up putting all (or most of) the insulators in one of the front display windows at the
I had been wanting to do a baby signal display for a number of years (I actually had asked a couple
years ago for Springfield, but the displays were all taken up already!). This year I signed up
at the National, got help from my son Ian and daughter Kyrie, and managed to put something together.
I was happy to finally have the opportunity! Of course, as soon as the display was completed, I
got more information that exploded one of my timeline theories. A display like this will never be
"complete" I guess!
I had fun coming up with this display. Here's a short story on the birth of a display.