I began my insulator collecting career in 1985. My first major insulator show was the 1987 Fresno National, hosted by Mike Guthrie. I walked away from that show completely dumbfounded -- one insulator had a shocking price tag of $1,500! It's amazing how time and the popularity of this hobby have since shattered that record many times over.
I currently hold about 300 insulators in my collection, which are all on display. I primarily collect early telegraph threaded color and dramatic, junky UFOs (unbelievable foreign objects) found in glass insulators. This includes, but is not limited to: coins, nails, fish hooks, bottle caps, rocks, wire, unusual heavy swirls and huge bubbles or masses of bubbles�just about anything highly unusual. Other specialties include colorful lightning rod and radio strain insulators.
I served as the National Insulator Association President for the two-year term of 1992-94. I hosted the 1995 NIA Western Regional Show in Visalia, CA, and co-hosted the 1996 NIA National Show in Long Beach, CA. In the spring of 1995 I released my first edition of The Collectors' Color Catalog of Desirable Insulators, a consignment-based insulator auction service. My wife, Ofelia, has since collaborated with me on this endeavor, and our auction is now offered under the title of Open-Wire Insulator Services. We currently present our auctions in both Internet and hardcopy catalog form. This is a part-time sideline business for us and we enjoy it mostly for the friendships it establishes with other collectors. I am also involved in an ongoing educational and awareness project that provides documentation materials and color altered insulator samples for public educational purposes, for which I proudly received the National Insulator Association's 1998 Outstanding Service Award, which in turn partially led to the NIA Lifetime Membership Award in 2004. I enjoy traveling to insulator shows and have thus far attended 20 NIA National Shows across the country.
My wife and I jointly collect antique poison bottles, colored fruit jars and juice reamers. I also collect gemstones (with a fondness for tourmaline), fossils, mineral specimens and have a collection of personally formed and hand polished gem quality spheres, ranging from two to nine inches in diameter. I also have an extensive, historic collection of early (1870's-1910) embossed bottles from the local area. I collect colorful antique bottles in just about all categories and enjoy an occasional bottle dig (but insulator hunts are my favorite). I also have an interest in growing exotic varieties of palms and cycads on our property, as well as fruit trees. With all of these interests I am often asked, �Which one is your all-time favorite?� With no hesitation I always instinctively reply, "INSULATORS!"
I enjoy correspondence with other collectors, so if you would like to contact me please do so at my email address below:
Written by Dwayne Anthony,
Last updated Friday, February 1, 2008
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