The National Insulator Association (NIA) is an international organization of collectors and friends interested in communication and electrical insulators, as well as other artifacts connected with insulators, such as telephone, telegraph, power transmission, railroads, and lightning protection devices.
The NIA was established and officially founded on July 7, 1973 at the National Show held in Hutchinson, Kansas. In the first year of its operation, more than 800 charter members joined its ranks. Since then, annual paid membership has averaged 900 members. In all, the NIA has had more than 5900 total members. Residents from each of the states of the United States and the provinces of Canada have been NIA members, as well as many foreign nations, including Germany, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Colombia, and The Netherlands.
The NIA, as stated in its By-Laws, is a non-profit educational and scientific organization; its aim is to encourage insulator collecting and to protect the interests of its members and collectors, and has established standards and ethics by which its members may fairly deal with each other.
The governing body of the NIA is the 10 member Board of Directors, the core of which are the elected President and three elected Vice-Presidents. Although the Board may poll the membership to determine the membership's opinion before establishing rules or policy, a full membership vote is required for: election of officers; approval of salaries for certain officers; dues amounts; and changes in geography of the three regional divisions. Ballots are mailed directly to the membership with results announced at the General Meeting, held each year at the NIA's Annual Convention. Other committee chairpeople are often appointed, but do not hold Board seats. For more details you can read the complete By-Laws.
Each paid member will receive "Drip Points", a quarterly newsletter published by the NIA and a discount coupon towards the joint NIA / Crown Jewels of the Wire Annual Directory. Each member receives a membership card entitling the holder to attend the official "NIA Day" at the NIA Annual Convention (only NIA members are allowed admission on NIA Day). New members receive an NIA window decal and a copy of the NIA's official By-Laws and Code of Ethics. Members are also entitled to insure their collection with an insurance plan designed especially for insulator collectors. Finally, every member becomes a part of the NIA's growing family of insulator collectors and buffs!
The NIA promotes insulator collecting in many ways. Local show hosts may obtain a complimentary NIA Show Ribbon, which may be awarded to the "Best of Show" exhibit of insulators. Sanctioned Regional Show hosts receive a "Best of Show" plaque. Each year, the NIA awards ten plaques for exhibits judged "Best of Category" at the National Convention Awards Banquet. Education and historical information are stressed in the NIA's judging criteria. The National Show is held in a particular region once every three years. Two Regional Shows (Western, Central and Eastern) are also held annually. The NIA supplies advertising subsidies to help promote these shows and the hobby!
Any person interested in insulators, lightning rod equipment or a related collecting or historical activity shall be eligible to apply for membership. Any club of insulator collectors and/or dealers may apply for a Regular membership in the NIA upon approval of its By-Laws by the NIA Board of Directors. The fiscal year for membership dues starts and ends at January 1 of each year.
New members are entitled to all membership privileges immediately upon payment of current dues.
For more information, visit the National Insulator Association Web site at www.nia.org
Last updated Thursday July 19, 2001