Bill Meier's Insulator Page
I was born on November 22, 1955 (11/22/55 !), and married on October 15, 1989. My wife, Jill Meier and I are avid insulator collectors. We started collecting (again) in the spring of 1989. In addition, we are both very involved in the hobby, at the local, regional, and national level. Currently I am
In the past I have been
I also received the NIA Outstanding Service Award in 1997.
Jill and I received the NIA Lifetime Membership Award in 2001.
For almost twenty years I was a Principal Software Engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation working on developing networking software and file servers for personal computers and main frames. Now, I have started my own small consulting company, Creative Computer Consultants doing custom CGI programming, database design, and web page design and web site hosting.
We collect anything produced or related to the Hemingray Glass Company. We have a large and diverse collection of Hemingray insulators, including early telegraph, telephone and eletric power insulators. They range from minor embossing and base variations to a rainbow of colored insulators from common to one of a kind, as well as a broad range of CD's. We also like "Hemingray Dump" items; these are often unique, and provide some insight into insulator research and production at Hemingray.
Many people just associate "Hemingray Insulators" as those "newer" insulators embossed with HEMINGRAY. However, insulators produced by Hemingray include those with the following embossings:
In addition to our large collection of insulators, our collection of Hemingray glass products also includes Water Bottles, Fruit Jars and glass blocks.
Take a look at our want list; we offer generous trades or cash payments for insulators on this list. Help us build the "complete Hemingray reference collection"!
In addition, with the help of other collectors, including Bob Stahr and Elton Gish, we have assembled a large amount of research material on Hemingray including old advertisements, catalogs, and patents. We eagerly share this material with other collectors at no charge.
This is a question many insulator collectors are asked, so I'll make an attempt to answer it! To us, all of our insulators are special in some way, but there is one that stands out in my mind... A CD 112.4 HEMINGRAY No 8 in Golden Amber. Wow, quite a piece! We got this in September, 1990 only about a year after we started collecting. This piece was also acquired through one of our very first trades. We traded a nice CD 257 "peacock" Mickey, a CD 113 Hemingray No 12 in purple, and some cash to Duane Davenport for it. At the time, it was also the first insulator that we owned that was valued at over a thousand dollars. But it's not how much we paid nor how much it is worth that makes this piece extra special for us! It's the story of how we got it and the friendship with Duane that developed. I call it the "AMBER8", and have even named my computer's node name after it!
Some insulators you trade for, others you pay for. Over time, you may forget where you got them, or how much you paid. For me, there is one special insulator I will always remember.
It was Saturday evening at the banquet at the 1995 National in Marlboro, MA. First, the NIA awards were given out, and then the club awards. Crown Jewels of the Wire (aka John and Carol McDougald) started a new tradition in 1993 when they decided to give out a "pre-judged" award to someone who had made significant contributions to the insulator hobby in the previous year. This year, they presented their custom plaque to Joe Maurath, for his 40 years of collecting and research.
Before the McDougald's stepped down they went on to tell this story about the production of the 1995 Price Guide. And, all the hard work and hundreds of hours that Bill and Jill Meier had spent providing computer consulting and database work for them. And, the completely automated process they provided for the production of the price guide, and also the creation of the special "Insulator Arial" font that allows symbols that appeared on insulators to be printed as actual characters. No more ['A' in a circle] notations were needed!
They called us up, and presented us with a CD 732.2 DEC. 19. 1871 threadless Hemingray insulator in sage green! It is one of three known. What a thrill and surprise for us! An insulator any Hemingray collector would "kill for"! It even came with a cap and a diploma, to fit into our "Hemingray University" display. [I wondered why Carol had called up several weeks before and wondered if we were going to do our "Hemingray University" display that we showed a preview of at the spring YPCIC show...] The next morning, we had placed the insulator in our display, next to Hemingray University's President; a CD 154 "MR" Hemingray, as a "Professor Emeritus". A number of people stopped over to see the insulator. Some people not knowing that a small group of these threadless embossed Hemingray's were found a few years ago, thought the gift the McDougald's had given out at the banquet was a gag gift. You should have seen the surprise on these people's faces when they saw it was a real insulator! You can even feel the Floyd pinhole inside it.
This will be an insulator we will never forget what, where, when, and how we got it!
103 Canterbury Court
Carlisle, MA 01741-1860
Written by Bill Meier,
Last updated Thursday, April 24, 2008