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The 1996 NIA Eastern Region Show
September 28-29, 1996
by Carol McDougald
(Reprinted with permission from Crown Jewels of the Wire)

Camera Be sure to take a look at the photographs of the displays!

Perennial Kulpsville show hosts, Steve Bobb and Claude Wambold, “retired” from hosting two years ago in 1994. Collectors who had counted on this late September event thought that the show might die. 1995 found the national show being held in New England, and again collectors thought the response would not be good for another show two months following the national. However, Jim Frustieri was not going to let the show disappear from the “coming events” calendar. He scheduled and held a show in September last year. It was smaller than in previous years, but just like the “phoenix” the Kulpsville show has risen from the ashes.

Jim (pictured on the right) did a great job in hosting the Eastern regional this past weekend. The hall was filled to capacity with nearly forty tables. It is really exciting to have the 9:00 a.m. announcement made that “we are going to be opening the doors, please man your tables!” And the collectors entered, and entered, and entered. The paid attendance on Saturday exceeded 300 people. That shows perseverance and dedication given to keeping the Kulpsville show alive! Thanks, Jim, for all your efforts.

Another change this year was to move the banquet to the local Methodist church. A family style dinner was served and the report this morning was that everyone really enjoyed themselves. Jim, a baker by profession, cooked up a special cake for the dessert!

One of the traditions of the Kulpsville show is that a lot of Canadian collectors can attend. Rob Lloyd (who usually sets the annual attendance record at more shows than any other Canadian collector) was there, along with Morgan Davis and Steve Goodell, Graham Catt and Jack Hayes. Graham brought a huge display of CD 121 Canadian tolls. He had a 6 foot by 5 foot backlit showcase he strapped to the top of his vehicle. His wife said that they almost didn’t come, for the display case fell off the top of the car enroute. Fortunately, nothing on the case (pictured on next page) broke and Graham and family continued south across the border.

Tom and Alice Moulton and Jim Colburn were up from Florida representing the deep South portion of the region and the Central Florida Insulator Club. There was also good support from the Insulator Collectors On Net members, the Capital District Insulator Club, the Yankee Pole Cat Insulator Club, and the Chesapeake Bay Insulator Club. My mission, (which I chose to accept) on behalf of the Greater Chicago Insulator Club, was to sell tables for the national show being held in Chicago next July 25-27, 1997. Tables sales are going well and I strongly urge you to contact Rick Soller and Bob Stahr for your tables TODAY!

Collector Stan Hammell from Absecon, New Jersey has a very special quilted wall hanging in his home. It was a gift handcrafted by his daughter that depicts Stan’s outdoor display of telephone pole and fence adorned with insulators. The multicolored hanging is bordered in some of Stan’s “dream insulators.” I sure was eyeing that quilt as a raffle prize at the 1997 National.

As usual there were some really interesting pieces that came to the show. A neat radio strain with an English marking from a nautical application; a memento from Scott Pahl’s honeymoon (and this is not the typical souvenir ;-) ) - a fuse switch marked Henley, Made in England from St. Lucia Island; a very unusual composition piece marked J.P.CO., HFD, CT Makers and J.M. Co. Sole Agent was brought by Mark Davis; a drop dead gorgeous CD 134.4 unembossed American in a medium honey amber; six or seven blackglass Tillotson threadless really caused a stir; one of the “ugliest (filled with snow, steam, milk, black junk) beauties” of an old Dec. Patent CD 133.4 bullets; a beautiful CD 132.2 unembossed Paisley in a rich yellow green; a CD 164 Brookfield No. 38 in brown amber; and a CD 145 K.C.G.W.Co. in lemon-lime — a color never before seen in a K.C.G.W. insulator.

Two of the CD 731 Tillotsons brought in to the show and quickly gobbled up by several dealers. They were in terrific shape and brought smiles to the faces of Doug MacGillvary, Ken Willick and Doug Williams. Photo by Kevin Lawless.

Al and Ginny Way put together a quality display of CD 151s. Here I thought they were interested in only Hemingray/H.G.CO. signals and B.G.M. products. Wrong! A beautiful case with a wide variety of side wire groove, double petticoat communication insulators (CD 151) were displayed along with pertinent historical and educational information.

And Steve Bobb made displaying as easy as 1-2-3-4 as each of four sides revealed 12 outstanding lightning rod insulators in his rotating, lighted display case.

As usual, Rich Wentzel, Bob Moss and Don Wentzel always come to the show with more of the buried treasures that keep surfacing in the town of Millville, New Jersey. Smallest walk-in at this show (in contrast to the LARGEST walk-in at the Central Region show in Houston) was a lineup of four Whitall Tatum salesmen samples.

Also of interest was a solid pour in metal of a CD 155 Whitall Tatum piece; a CD 122 Hemingray-16 manufactured using the dome top style and size of a Hemingray-42 (Another find from the experimental shelves of Millville suggesting more Hemingray/Whitall Tatum design discussions.); a CD 241 Fred M. Locke (embossed upside-down); a very unusual CD 115 Armstrong No. 3 in clear glass that had been vertically altered to give it a faceted appearance. As always, I look forward to all the new finds from New Jersey.

Speaking of New Jersey “finds”, David Sztramski brought several sections of a large insulator he dug at one of the Brookfield dump sites. (Drawing previously shown in Crown Jewels of the Wire, August 1996, page 60.) More on this insulator in the near future.

Sunday was a much slower day, which is pretty typical of the two day show format. Wish there was someway to strengthen attendance on the second day. No one has figured that out yet.

If you weren’t able to attend, you missed a great show. Kulpsville has been awarded the 1997 NIA Eastern Region show, and there is talk about getting a bid together for a National in eastern Pennsylvania. So, the hobby is definitely enthusiastic and active on the east coast.

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Last updated Thursday, December 26, 1996