A brief history of the Westmoreland Glass Company

The Westmoreland Glass Company was founded in 1889, and was based in Graceville, Pennsylvania (which is not too far from Greensburg, Pennsylvania).  The company was run by brothers George and Charles West, which were the majority shareholders of the company.

When the company opened, the main production was pressed glass tableware lines, mustard jars, and even candy containers.

The brothers ran the company until 1921, when George West went on to run his own company.

The company was then run by Charles West and his close friend Ira Brainard.  When this happened, the name of the company changed from Westmoreland Specialty Company to Westmoreland Glass Company.  Shortly after the change, Westmoreland started to produce cut glass and even high-quality hand decorated glass.

The 1940’s saw James H. Brainard (Ira’s relative) take over ownership of the company.  At this time, they went with mass produced milk glass and discontinued the hand decorated glass.

The company eventually went out of business in 1984, and the building was apparently converted into a storage facility.

There’s a very wide range of glassware that Westmoreland produced over the many years they were in business.  This can be very helpful for a collector that’s on a very strict budget, and they can find something to decorate with or collect for not much money.

What kinds of Westmoreland pieces that you have found that you treasure?

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The green flag is about to drop on the Indianapolis 500. . . from 1972?!?

The Indianapolis 500 race (also known as the Indy 500) is a race that’s held every year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it’s been held there since 1911.

The photo-finishes, drinking the milk in victory lane and even the fabled yard of bricks at the start-finish line are just some of the things that you think of when it comes to this race.

One of the years that is memorable for this race is 1972.  Several important things happened during 1972, and this is the first year that Jim Nabors was invited to sing the pre-race song “Back Home Again In Indiana.”  It was the start of a 36-year tradition for Jim Nabors performed nearly every year from 1972 to 2014.

The second thing that happened in 1972 is that this is the first year that the cars were allowed to use bolt on wings.  This helped the speeds climb drastically—Bobby Unser won the pole with a remarkable 195 mph, and the average race speed was 162 mph (that speed would stand until 1984).

The 1972 race was also the first year where the Electro-PACER light system was used during the caution laps at Indy.  The officials at the speedway also did not use the pace car during the cautions, and this enforcement tool was used at Indy for 7 years (there were some controversies with the system in the years to come).

There are also many collectibles for the race, and one of them is this souvenir tumbler by Libbey Glass.

The Libbey Glass Company made this terrific souvenir glass celebrating the 1972 race. The glass features a blue race car scene on the front with a yellow 1972 at the top, and the back even has all of the race winners from 1911 to 1971 in blue.

You can see this great tumbler in my Etsy shop here, head on over and check it out!

What a great gift for a fan of the race!

What exactly is a Capped Bust Coin series from the United States?

When it comes to the designs on United States coins, there are many different designs.  There are the Seated liberty coins and even the Barber coins series.  There are also coins that feature presidents, eagles, and roman numerals—there’s enough to make your head spin!

One of these designs is the Capped Bust series.  There’s one question that comes to mind about this design—what exactly is it?

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

John Reich designed the capped-head concept of Liberty, and it was modified by the United States Chief Engraver of the Mint, William Kneass.

The design proved to be a popular one—it lasted several years on the circulating coins.  The half dollar ran from 1807 to 1839, the quarter’s design ran from 1815 to 1838, the dime ran from 1809 to 1837, and the half dime ran 1829 to 1837.

There was a capped bust design on the gold coins, and it is more popularly known as the “Turban Head”.  This name was because it had an unusual and exotic appearance, and this design ran from 1795 to 1834.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The Capped Bust coin series is still very popular today with coin collectors, and this is but one of the designs that you will run across.  What designs have you seen?