Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Kaleidoscope of The Carnival Glass Makers

Oh, those beautiful hues we see as the light plays with the golden iridescence on the colored glass - pinks, purples, teals, blues and greens changing with each turn of the glass against the light.  I love the old carnival glass.  There are patterns that I love from all the great carnival glass manufacturers, but I think I love Millersburg the most.  You can get lost in a piece of glass looking at the kaleidoscope of colors - pinks, purples, greens and teals and oh, that radium finish.

Millersburg Blackberry Wreath 

There were five main carnival glass makers - Fenton, Northwood, Dugan, Millersburg and Imperial. Fenton introduced carnival glass to the world in 1907 and for the next 25 years, the stories of the men and relationships between these great glass companies are like a kaleidoscope as much as the carnival glass itself.  First in a series of five articles.

Fenton Art Glass - Of the five major old carnival glass companies, Fenton Art Glass has been in operation the longest.  Brothers, Frank L. and John W. Fenton opened Fenton Art Glass Company in July 1905 in Martins Ferry, Ohio as a decorating company using glassware made by other companies.  In a few years, land was purchased in Williamstown, W.Va and their first glass was produced on January 2, 1907.  It is said that their first piece of glass produced was a crystal cream pitcher in the Water Lily and Cattails pattern. The company officers were John W. as president, Frank L. as secretary/treasurer and general manager and Charles Fenton as vice-president.   A turn of the kaleidoscope and you see the hiring of their first plant manager, Jacob Rosenthal.  Jacob Rosenthal had worked at the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company in Greentown, IN from the fall of 1900 to June 13, 1903 when the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company burned to the ground and was never rebuilt.  While at Greentown, Indiana, Jacob Rosenthal invented the famous chocolate colored glass, Golden Agate aka Holly Amber and Rose Agate.
Fenton introduced carnival glass to the world later in 1907.  They produced this beautiful iridescent glass in many colors - green, marigold (clear glass), amethyst, blue, red and all the colors in between.   Numerous patterns with many different shapes and edgings.  I consider the Vintage or Grape Delight pattern their most recognized pattern.  Some of my favorite patterns include Acorn, Dragon and Lotus, Persian Medallion, Little Flowers, Orange Tree, several Peacock patterns and my most favorite, the Panther pattern and the Sailboats pattern.

Some Fenton pieces of my carnival glass collection including Acorn and Panther in marigold (golden) and Orange Tree, Persian Medallion and Sailboats in Cobalt Blue.  A lot of times, Fenton would use one pattern for the interior and a different pattern for the exterior.  Fenton used Orange Tree as the exterior pattern for a lot of pieces.  The Sailboats dish shown below has the Orange Tree pattern on the exterior.  The kaleidoscope is always turning..........

Frank L. Fenton, born in 1880 in Indiana, Pa, graduated from high school in 1897 and began his glass-making career that same year by becoming an apprentice at Northwood Glass Company when it was located in the old Indiana Glass Company glass plant in Indiana, Pa. and Harry Northwood was running the factory.  Frank became a foreman in 1898.   Frank L. left Northwood in 1900.  Harry Northwood had sold to the National Glass Company in 1899.  Frank L. went to work for a new glass company, Jefferson Glass Co in Steubenville, Oh.  Harry Bastow was the president and general manager of this new company.  When Harry Bastow opened his own business, Bastow Glass Company in Coudersport, Pa, Frank L. Fenton followed.  This was in late 1903.  John W. Fenton also worked there.  The Bastow Glass Company was destroyed by fire in mid 1904 and Frank L. Fenton moved to Wheeling, Pa to work for the new H. Northwood & Company in Wheeling, Pa.  The Fenton - Northwood connection and another turn of the kaleidoscope.

According to everything I have read about the Fentons, John W. was a character with a peacock personality.   He enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle and was a very generous man.  Financial prudence was not in his DNA.  I want to share the following story that I read in the book by William Heacock called Fenton Glass The First Twenty-five Years about how Frank and John Fenton made the decision to form their own company
"On May 4, 1905, Frank L. Fenton deposited in the Dollar Bank in Wheeling $284.86, which has given rise to a romantic legend about the company's humble origins.  As it was handed down in the family circles, John once told Frank that if the latter ever wanted to go into business for himself he should call on John for financial help.  Frank called on John and was asked, "How much money do you have?"
$284." was the reply
"Good," remarked John.  "Between the two of us we now have $284.86.  Let's get started."  
In July, 1905, Frank and John opened their own glass decorating shop, the Fenton Art Glass Company in Martins Ferry, Ohio.  Another brother, Charles H. soon joined them.  Charles had worked for the Northwood glass plant.  Charles became head of the decorating department.

Fenton Art Glass celebrated their 100th anniversary of glass production in 2007.  While they are still active and still under the family ownership, they closed their traditional glass making in 2011.

Next article - Millersburg  

Sources Used
William Heacock, James Measell, Berry Wiggins, Harry Northwood The Early Years 1881-1900  
Margaret & Kenn Whitmyer, Fenton Art Glass 1907 - 1939
William Heacock, Fenton Glass The First Twenty-five Years
Debbie and Randy Coe, Fenton Art Glass A Centennial of Glass Making 1907-2007
Bill Edwards, Millersburg The Queen of Carnival Glass
James Measell, Greentown Glass the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summertime Blues

Well, at last, it is summertime.  The trees are now fully dressed in green and flowers are blooming in all sorts of beautiful colors.  Sitting on the porch swing just after sunrise, you can feel the heat intensify as the sun climbs higher and higher into the bluest of blue sky.  In the quiet you can hear the birds singing or fussing at each other.  It is a good time to reflect on all of the wonderful memories of the past.

Certain words make me think of songs that either have that word in the title or are about that topic.  Take the word 'summertime'.  'Summertime Blues' sung by Eddie Cochran always comes to mind.  I was 10 years old when this song was released and rock n' roll was becoming the music of the young people.  The 1950s were a rebellious time.  Although not a singer, what do you think of when you hear the name:  James Dean?  What do you think when you hear the names:  Elvis Presley?  Gene Vincent? Chuck Berry? and Eddie Cochran?  I think sex appeal and rebellious excitement.  Not only did I enjoy hearing their voices sing of love, romance and sometimes a little naughtiness, I enjoyed watching them move and boy, did they know how to move.

OK, back to 'Summertime Blues' many shades of blues - the blue of the sky in summer, deep indigo blue, refreshing turquoise blue of the Caribbean sea, cold steel blue, navy blue, royal blue, baby blue oh, and Carolina blue.  I decided to search my stores using the word 'blue' to just see how many items I have that are either blue or have blue in them.  In one store, it brought up 127 items.  In the other store, 41 items.  Here are a few items in various shades of blues.............

A beautiful powder blue Imperial swan dish  

L.G. Wright S Repeat toothpick holder in celeste blue

Hazel Atlas Pillar Optic small mixing bowl in Ritz blue

Swirl hobnail pebbled cobalt blue vase

Stetson / Marcrest Pine Cone or Blue Spruce dinner plate

Anchor Hocking Soreno Aquamarine blue ashtray

And to get your summer rockin', I found this video of Eddie Cochran singing 'Summertime Blues' at the Town Hall Party show in 1958 on YouTube.

'Summertime Blues' by Eddie Cochran co-written by Eddie Cochran and released in the summer of 1958.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Vintage Ornaments Hold Special Memories

When I think of Christmas as a child,  my first thoughts are the silver aluminum tree with the rotating color wheel and Christmas lights strung across the fireplace - bubble lights specifically.  At night, I would sit in my rocking chair and listen to 45s on my record player.  All the lights would be off except for the Christmas lights and I would watch the changing colors from red, blue, green to yellow shine on the tree from the rotating wheel and the water bubbling in the bubble lights.

 Everyone except my grandmother would be upstairs.  My grandmother would be across the hall in her sewing room and I could hear the hum of her sewing machine in the background.  I would listen to Paul Anka, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Dion, Peter, Paul & Mary, the Shirelles, Neil Sedaka and so many more.  Or, I would listen to instrumentals like the themes from The Misfits or Lawrence of Arabia and make up stories to go with the passion of the music.
Last year, I set the silver Christmas tree (the same one that is in the 1963 picture) up with a rotating color wheel in my kitchen.  My kitchen faces the front and has a big picture window, so it was a perfect place to display the vintage silver aluminum tree.

I do have some vintage ornaments for sale at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.

 1993 Fancy Feast Happy Holidays Fireplace Christmas Ornament

Avon Christmas Ornaments Set of 3 Twelve Days of Christmas

1984 Avon Christmas Ornament Jewel Tone Mandolin

You can find other Christmas decor items at these online stores, too

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where Are The Memories?

When I first started this blog, I was going to include family memories, information about old glass factories and also vintage collectible items that I have for sale at my online stores.  Well, I haven't done a very good job.  There seems to be so many social media sites and there just doesn't seem to be time to engage in all the sites. But, to be honest, it seems that Facebook has simply taken over my life.
There is one thing that I enjoy doing on Facebook and that is on Thursdays, posting an old family picture for TBT (Throw Back Thursday).  I almost missed this past Thursday and my daughter said that I could always post one for Flash Back Fridays.  I thought that was pretty cool and why couldn't I do something for each day of the week if I wanted to.  So, I came up with a title for each day of the week with the help of my daughter for posting old family pictures..

Sunday - Set In Time Sunday (SITS)
Monday - Memory Lane Monday (MLM)
Tuesday - Travelin' Back Tuesday (TBT)
Wednesday - Way Back Wednesday (WBW)
Thursday - Throw Back Thursday (TBT)
Friday - Flash Back Friday (FBF)
Saturday - Sweet Times Gone By Saturday (STGBS)

The picture I chose for today for Sweet Times Gone By Saturday is a picture of my great-grandparents taken in 1900.  The picture is either of their wedding day or engagement.

Ed and Bertha (Northcutt) Weisenauer

Married 12-22-1900

This was the most cherished item that my mother owned.  She kept this picture with her until she died.  To my mother, her grandpa was the sweetest man she ever knew.

John Edward 'Ed' Weisenauer  1881 - 1976
Bertha (Northcutt) Weisenauer 1883 - 1938

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Avon's 1876 Cape Cod Collection Dinnerware

Avon isn't just about fragrances and cosmetics.  During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Avon started expanding their product line starting with jewelry and then collectibles.  In 1975, Avon introduced a new dinnerware line called 1876 Cape Cod Collection.  A rich ruby-red color coupled with a design reminiscent of the old 'Sandwich Glass' produced by the Boston & Sandwich Glass Works founded in Cape Cod in 1825.  The pattern was said to be inspired by the classic Roman Rosette pattern.  The designs and glass production were awarded to the Wheaton Glass Company of Millville, NJ.  Avon had to approve all the mold drawings before the production began.

 Here is just a sampling of pieces I have for sale at:
The 1876 Cape Cod Collection was produced from 1975 through 1993 and 37 different pieces were made.Such a beautiful design and gorgeous ruby-red color.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Diamond Point Pattern of Indiana Glass

Dunkirk, Indiana, a small town in east central Indiana was home to one of the longest living glass companies that sprung up during the natural gas discovery of the late 1800s. Originally formed in 1896 as The Beatty-Brady Glass Company, they manufactured clear glass household items. By 1899, with the economy slowing down, The National Glass Company formed combining 19 glass companies in hopes of saving costs of running the glass factories. The Beatty-Brady Glass Company became Factory #1.

The National Glass Company still couldn’t make it work and filed for bankruptcy in 1907. Factory #1 became Indiana Glass and operated until 2002 going through several more ownerships, but always retaining the name of Indiana Glass.

The Diamond Point pattern was first produced in the mid-1960s. This pattern had an extensive number of items and production continued through the 1990s. The most common was crystal and crystal with ruby staining. Other colors included amber, amber with gold staining, olive green, milk white, blue, amberina and pastels in blue, pink and green. The Diamond Point pattern was also made for Tiara Exclusives in black. While all items were made in crystal, not all were made in the other colors. Items include all dinnerware pieces and serving pieces.  I have several pieces available for purchase at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles.

A set of 4 crystal with ruby flashing Diamond Point Wine Glasses.  These are beautiful.  Indiana Glass began making this pattern in the mid-1960s through to the early 1990s.

Just listed and available at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles is a gorgeous Indiana Glass Diamond Point Blue Compote.