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?

Advertisements

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 are some of the different types of marbles that you will run across?

Marbles are a fun area to dive into and collect.  There are plenty of different types of marbles that you can find—cat’s eyes, steelies and even Latticinio core are just a few of what you will find.  Here are some more that you will come across:

Gooseberries – this is an example of a colored glass marble.  Gooseberries have numerous thin white threads of glass that are distributed evenly around the surface of the marble.

gooseberry marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Sulphides –this type of marble consists of clear glass spheres that have a white or silvery figure suspended in their center.  The figures consist of animals, birds, people, numbers or even letters.

Sulphide marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Corkscrews—this type of marble was made with 2 or more colors that have a spiral design.  In corkscrews marbles, the spiral design rotates around the marble from one pole to the other, but the design does not meet.

Corkscrew marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

Clouds—this is an End of day marble that came with colored flecks of glass that aren’t stretched.  The flakes look like clouds that are floating over the core.

Cloud marble photo ciurtesy of imarbles.com

This is just a small sample of all of the different types of marbles that you can find.  Which ones have you run across?

What are some glassware serving pieces that you might run across?

When shopping at your favorite flea market, antique mall or thrift store, it will not take long for you to run across a serving piece.  They come in all shapes like platters, punch bowls or even a cup.  Not only that, there are a wide variety of materials that they are made of.

Here are a few of the glassware pieces you might run across when you are out and about:

Berry set—this consists of a large bowl with matching smaller bowls.  They are used for serving items like fruit and some desserts.

Salt, saltcellar—this is a small bowl used at the table to hold salt.  This type of container is also called a “master salt”.

Celery vase—this is a tall and narrow vase that is used on the table to hold celery.

Compote—this is a dish that usually comes with a stem and a base that is used for serving compote (a fruit that is cooked in syrup).  There is a smaller dish that has a similar form used for a serving for one person.

This is only a small handful of what you will run across.  What types of serving pieces have you run across?

Grab yourself a cup and saucer, it’s tea time!

One of the areas that you can dive in and have a lot of fun collecting are cups and saucers.  They come in a wide variety of makers, sizes and even decoration.

Some of the materials that they could be made of are glassware, pottery or even fine china.  They could be decorated with just about anything–flowers, people and even outdoor scenes are just a small portion of what is out there.

Hocking Glass, MacBETH-Evans and even Royal Doulton are but a tiny portion of makers that have made cups and saucers, and there are many more.

One cup and saucer set that you could run across is this great Depression Glass example.

As you can see, it sports the CHERRY BLOSSOM pattern and is by the Jeanette Glass Company.  It was made from 1930 to 1939 and can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Hand painted examples are always fun for me, you will never find two that are exactly alike.  One cup and saucer set that fits in this area is this one by NAPCO Pottery.

This set features a yellow floral motif, and it dates to the 1950’s.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Wedgewood also made several examples, and one such example is this terrific Mulberry handle less cup and saucer from the 1800’s.

It sports the WASHINGTON VASE pattern, and you can see it in my Etsy shop here.

There are quite a few ways that you can collect cups and saucers.  Not only can you collect cups and saucers by the pattern that is on them or the manufacturer, you can also find examples that could go with a certain color combination that is in your house or apartment.

You can see all of the cups and saucers in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

What exactly is opalescent glass?

It doesn’t matter exactly where you are shopping for antiques and collectibles, you will run across a type of glassware called Opalescent glass. What is it exactly?

Opalescent glass is a general term for either a clear or colored glass that has a milky white,opaque or even a translucent effect to a portion of a glass piece.  It could be limited to just the rim of the piece, but you will also see it on the body of the item.

Lalique, Sabino, Jobling (this is from England) and even Fenton are all well known for their opalescent glass production.  This type of glass has also been produced in various other countries like Italy and Czechoslovakia.

One way of creating this glassware is the slow cooling of the thicker areas of the glass.  This results in what’s called crystallization, which is the formation of the milky white layer.  Another method is used in hand blown glass.  When hand blowing the glass, you use two layers of glass—the outer layer will contain chemicals that react to heat to cause the opalescence.

Another way to create Opalescent glass is to reheat certain areas of a piece and apply chemicals to the glass.  When you reheat the piece, the chemicals you use will create the opalescence (the chemicals are heat sensitive).

Over the years, there have been quite a few different colors that have been made that sport this type of effect.  Here are some of the colors that you will run across:

Amber Opalescent


French Opalescent

Pink Opalescent

Blue Opalescent

This is just a few of the colors that have been made.  What colors have you run across?

Wow, those are great flower vases to decorate with!

Flower vases can be as varied as the flowers that they can hold.  They can be made of a wide variety of materials like pottery and glass, and the color combinations are limitless.  Blue, gold, red and green are just some of the colors that you will see.

Like the materials and the colors, the companies that have made vases are countless.  Hull, Hall, Fenton and even Stangl are just some of the companies that have made an example.

One vase that would look terrific just about anywhere is this one by West Coast Pottery.

This cool gray and maroon fan vase dates to the 1950’s, and it is mold number 901.  You can check this vase out in my Etsy shop here.

Another vase that would look great holding flowers is this one that was made by Fenton from 1970 to 1974.

The vase has the Drapery pattern on it, and it has a color called rose satin. The vase can be seen in my Etsy shop here.

Another company that made quite a few vases is Hull Pottery. They made a wide variety of vases like this one from the 1940’s.

It sports the ROSELLA pattern on it, and the pattern looks like it sports Dogwood blooms.  You can see this terrific vase in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all the vases in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Wisdom Lane Antiques Store Highlight: Joe Mattson Signed Art Glass Vase

This Wisdom Lane Antiques Store Highlight features a terrific art glass vase that was made by Joe Mattson.

Joe Mattson

Joe Mattson is a self-taught glass artist, and he began working in glass in 1976.

The shapes, forms and even the patterns he makes in glass are like those of the Art Nouveau era from the early 1900s.  The items that Joe Mattson makes in glass are primarily one-of-a-kind pieces that he calls contemporary traditional glass.

joe mattson bottom

This terrific one-of-a-kind handmade vase has a white milk glass background with an orange zig zag pattern on it.  Not only that, it also has a flared top edge and a great hour glass shape to it.  I also like the fact that the top is not too small to where you can show off a good-sized bouquet of flowers in it.

joe mattson top

You can see this terrific signed Joe Mattson vase in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!

What are some of the different types of marbles that you will run across?

Marbles are a fun area to collect with a wide variety of them to find.  There are so many different names out there, it can make your head spin.  Here’s a few of the names that you will run across:

Bennington—this type of marble got their name from Bennington pottery in Vermont.  They made some spotted pottery that looks like this type of marble.  Bennington marbles have a blue or even brown glaze, and the marbles aren’t completely round.  This is because Benningtons have a circular unglazed spot on them that is a result from it touching another marble while still wet with glaze.

Steelies—this is actually a ball bearing that is being used as a marble.

Peewees—these are very small marbles that measure less than a 1/2 inch wide.

Onion Skins—these are End of the day marbles in which colored flecks of glass are stretched while these are being made.  This is so the core has may swirls that resembles an onion.

This is just a handful of the names that you will run across when you are dealing with marbles.  What names have you run across?

What are some of the different types of glass that I could run across?

When you are out and about shopping, you will run across a wide variety of glassware.  Satin glass, Depression glass and Burmese glass—there are more than enough types of glassware to make your head spin.  Here are some of the types of glass that you could run across at our favorite place to shop:

Peachblow glass—this is a late 19th century glassware that can be found either opaque and more often satinized.  This type of art glass is graduated in color from shades of red or rose to a white color at the bottom.  This glass is It is also never lined.

Glass etching—this type of glass comprises the techniques of creating art on the surface of the glass by applying an acidic, caustic, or even an abrasive substance.  Traditionally, this is done after the glass is blown or cast (although the mold-etching form has replaced some forms of surface etching).

Cameo glass—this is a luxury form of glass that is produced by etching and carving through fused layers of differently colored glass.  This will produce designs (one being a white opaque figure and motifs on a dark-colored background).  Highly coveted pieces are examples that have more that three colors on them.

Peking glass—this is an overlay carved glass created by layering material around a core that is very similar to Cameo glass. This glass was created in Peking, China (hence the name).  Peking glass is more often than not made with different colored layers of glass.  This creates a contrasting look when the outer layers are carved away.  In the late 19th century, glass companies in Czechoslovakia produced imitation Peking glass beads for them to use as costume jewelry pieces.

What other different types of glass have you run across?