Item Highlight: multi color slag glass gear shifter knob from the 1920’s to 1930’s

Ever since cars have been made, people have been adding their own personal touches to them somehow some way.  It has been known to be a wide variety of items from a fancy hood ornament or even a different radio.

One of the items that people have changed over the years is the gear shifter knob.  This has also been found on the cars from the 1920’s to the 1930’s, and one of the knobs that has been used is this really cool glass gear shifter knob.

As you can see, it was made out of slag glass that has a swirl pattern to it, and it has multiple colors to it.  With cream, tan, yellow, brown and even white colors, it also has a flat top and tapered sides to it.

You know what is great about it?  All you need to do is to unscrew the old gear shifter knob and screw this one on (you may need to rethread the threads on this example—they don’t look very straight to me).

This great Art Deco knob would look terrific in someone’s rat rod or Ford Model A Roadster, and it would be a fun paperweight either in a garage or on a desk.

You will be able to see the slag glass gear shifter knob in my shop on Etsy here.  Head on over and check it out!

What are some glass pieces that you may not use anymore?

Whenever you sit down at the table, you will run across items like saucers, plates and even serving bowls that are made of glass.  What are some of the glass pieces that you may not run across on a modern table?

Epergne—this is a centerpiece that is ornamental, and you will find it on a dining table.  This item is used for holding flowers or fruit.  The horns in the center of it are detachable, and there are examples with as many as 5 horns.

Finger bowl—this is a bowl that has water in it for you to wash off your fingers during a meal.

Cream soup bowl—this is a two-handled bowl.  The reason for the two handles is so you can hold them while you drink the soup instead of using a spoon.

This is a small handful of the pieces of glassware that you may not see on a modern kitchen table.  What are some of the other items like this that you have run across?

A little history of Goofus Glass

When I was younger, I was at a flea market one day and I saw a vase that was decorated differently than the others that were on display.  The person that was at the cash register told me that it was a piece of Goofus Glass.  I loved it, but it had me asking one question.

What exactly is Goofus glass?

Goofus glass is also known the names Mexican Ware, Holligan Glass, or even Pickle Glass.  It is a pressed glass with relief designs painted either on the front or the back of the class.  It was very popular from 1890 to 1920, and it was used as a premium at carnivals.

The glassware was produced by several companies such as Imperial and Northwood.  It lost its popularity when people found that the paint tarnished or even wore off after repeated washings and wear.  If you find a piece in good condition, treasure it.

The color of the glass also varies just like the manufacturers as well.  Green, crystal, and even milk glass are some of the colors that can be found.

Even though there has been no record of its manufacture has been found after 1920, there are plenty of patterns to show off anywhere in your house.  Patterns like Cabbage Rose, Peacock In A Tree, Three Mums, or even Morning Glory are but a small examples that can decorate any room in the house.

There are a wide variety of pieces also on the market right now, you never know which one you will run across next.  It could be a dresser box, a vase, a bowl or even a plate.

Which patterns of Goofus glass have you run across while shopping at your favorite flea market or antique mall?

What a truly odd bird!

Goofus glass was made in the early 1900’s and was the first type of carnival glass giveaway because it was relatively cheap to make.  Plates, bowls, vases (like the one above), and even oil lamps were made in mass quantities.

The glassware was also made with highly decorative patterns like the one on the vase above.  The pattern on the vase featured here is called, “Odd Bird Sitting On A Grape Vine.”  The bird on the vase looks like it could have come out of a comic book!

The great thing about goofus glass is that it comes in a wide variety of colors form what’s on the vase to red, gold and even green.  With a wide variety of colors and shapes, you could find the perfect piece and color combination for any room.

One thing that you need to keep an eye on is the paint itself.  Since the paint was not fired on, it tends to flake off.  So if you are patient, you will find a piece of Goofus Glass with all of its original paint intact.

Another thing that’s great is that goofus glass can be seen from flea markets to swap meets to even antique stores and shows.  You never know what you’ll find where!

What kinds of patterns and pieces of goofus glass have you found or run across?

What are some glass terms that you will run across?

Whenever you go out to an antique mall, flea market or even an auction, you will hear some terminology that describes areas of collecting.

Here are a few words that you will run across when you hear people talk about glass:

Frosting—this is a matte finish that is produced by exposing the glass item to fumes of hydrofluoric acid.  This is also a small patch of surface cracks by weathering.

Ice glass—this is a decorative effect that causes the surface of the glass to resemble cracked ice.  This is accomplished by plunging a piece of hot glass into cold water as quick as possible.  This process creates a finish to the glass that resembles cracks.

Luster—this shiny metallic effect is made by painting the surface of the glass item with metallic oxides that is dissolved in acid and mixed with an oily medium.  The item is fired in oxygen free conditions which cause the metal to deposit a distinctive shiny surface after it is cleaned.

Opal glass—this is a glass item that looks like an opal being translucent and white, and it has a grayish or bluish tinge to it.

This is a small look at some of the words that you will hear about glassware.  What are some of the words you ran across?

Madrid Depression Glass and its counterpart

This pattern has been around 1932 and is still being produced today.  It is now called the Recollection pattern, and it is made by the Indiana Glass Company.  There are quite a few ways to tell if the piece you are looking at is Madrid or if it is part of the Recollection Pattern.

In 1976, the Federal Glass company released Madrid as part of their Bicentennial line.  To help discern this from the original, there is a “76” that has been stamped into the mold.

The Indiana Glass company released the Recollection starting in the 1980’s.  Some of the pieces that Indiana Glass has released were never produced by the Federal Glass company.  Some of the molds were put together, like the candlestick and bowl molds to produce a kind of a pedestal bowl.  If you happen to run across one of these pieces, look at where the bowl joins with the base”.  If you see ribbing inside what looks like a hollow area, then this is a modern piece.

The grill plate is different as well.  The original has been divided into three compartments while the newer one has only two.

It is amazing how much both patterns are here in the Ozarks. Keep an eye peeled when it comes to this pattern—you just might be paying good money for a newer piece.

What are some of the different types of finishes that you will see on glassware?

When you dive into the world of antiques and collectibles—especially glassware—you will find many different types of finishes applied to the item.  Frosted glass, satin glass and even pearlescent glass are a few of the finishes that you will run across.  Here are a few more that you will see:

Matte finish—this type of glassware has a non-shiny finish that was made by sandblasting or even applying an acid to dull the finish of the glass.

Luster—this has a shiny (almost a metallic effect) that was made by applying the glass with metallic oxides that were dissolved in acid and fired in a kiln.  After cleaning, the glass has a distinctive shiny surface.

Acid etched—this is glassware that has been treated with an acid to produce a finish that has a frosted appearance.

This is a few of the different types of finished that you will run across.  What types of finishes have you seen?

Look at all of the different colors on glassware!

Pink, green, black and even red are only a few colors that you will see on glassware.  There are so many that it will make your head spin!  Here are some of the colors that you may have not heard of:

Jadeite—this is a type of glass for the table made of Jade-green opaque milk glass.  Jadeite was popular in the United States in the mid-20th century and has a blue variety that’s called “Azur-ite”.

MONAX—this is a translucent white glass that has a faint blue hue when held up to the light. This unique colored glass is sometimes mistaken as milk glass (which is whiter in color).

Ruby Flashed glass—this is created by coating a clear glass with one or more thin layers of colored glass (this is also known as flashed glass).  The colored glass can be either partly or completely etched away by using items like acid or sandblasting.  This results in spots where the colored glass has been removed.

This is a ridiculously small portion of all the colors that you will run across.  What have you seen?

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?

What a great store display!

Occasionally, you will find something for sale that makes you stop for a second in amazement.  It could be just about anything—something like this ESCADA SENTIMENT store display.

ESCADA SENTIMENT By Escada is a men’s cologne that was first sold in 2002, and it was more commonly sold in department stores.

This store display bottle was found on the countertop of the fragrance department in department stores that sold the fragrance.  The bottle is a large glass bottle with a cranberry color, and it has a plastic lid and atomizer. Both the lid and atomizer are removable, and the store display has the same artistic / triangular shape as the normal bottle.

The store display is huge—it measures 14 ¾ inches tall including the lid and 5 inches at the base.

Since this was a store display, it was more than likely sat with similar display pieces to show off what the store was selling.

I love the shape of the bottle—it looks like it came out of the Art Deco era with the front having a triangular shape and the geometric shapes of the back.

This is one type of store display that you can find—what other types of displays have you run across?