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Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Morgantown Lead Crystal

www.oldmorgantown.org A Collectors Guild and Museum are located in Morgantown West Virginia. This item was a gift from my grandparents and is a part of my yearly Holiday Decoration - I'd forgotten that it was Morgantown Glass, last evening we were taking out decorations. I'll bet you all have nice older WV - or American Glass items, hiding in your home. Today I plan to add the history of Morgantown Glass to this box, so - it I'm not around, people will be reminded of the history! hjh


The Morgantown Glass Works was established in 1899, in Morgantown, West Virgina. After reorganization in 1903, the company assumed the "Economy Tumbler Company" moniker. It operated under this name until late 1923, when the name was changed to Economy Glass Company to better reflect the diversty of products being produced. In July, 1929 the company name was changed to the Morgantown Glass Works, Inc. As the early name suggests the primary production of the company in the early years was blown tumblers. As the company matured and demand for general household glassware increased, Economy Tumbler began to diversify. In 1920, Joseph Haden came to Morgantown from the Fry Glass Company. His extensive knowledge of chemicals and color soon established Economy as "The Color House of America." New lines and colors were developed through the 1920's and 1930's as the company prospered. Later the company reorganized again and continued operating as the Morgantown Glassware Guild. In 1965, Fostoria bought the factory, but production was maintained under the Morgantown Guild name. The plant was closed in 1971. In 1972 the factory was sold to The Bailey Glass Company for use in the manufacture of lamp globes.
The Information for this brief history came from the book "Colored Glassware of the Depression Era 2" by Hazel Marie Weatherman.
and from "A Handbook of Old Morgantown Glass" by Jerry Gallagher.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Morgantown has had more than 30 glass factories over the past 100 years. Morgantown Glass Works was founded in 1899 by Frank Bannister. It employed 600 and had national and international offices. IN 1903, blown ware replaced pressed glass in popularity and the company re-formed itself into the Economy Tumbler Company (to again change its name to Economy Glass Company in 1923 and Morgantown Glassware Guild in 1939). The Glassware Guild produced modern lines in a variety of colors. It supplied handmade modl-blown glassware to luxury liners and hotels. The company was bought out in 1965 by Fostoria. The plant closed in 1971.

Seneca Glass remained open until late 80s in the spot where the museum sits.

Anonymous said...

Morgantown has had more than 30 glass factories over the past 100 years. Morgantown Glass Works was founded in 1899 by Frank Bannister. It employed 600 and had national and international offices. IN 1903, blown ware replaced pressed glass in popularity and the company re-formed itself into the Economy Tumbler Company (to again change its name to Economy Glass Company in 1923 and Morgantown Glassware Guild in 1939). The Glassware Guild produced modern lines in a variety of colors. It supplied handmade modl-blown glassware to luxury liners and hotels. The company was bought out in 1965 by Fostoria. The plant closed in 1971.

Seneca Glass remained open until late 80s in the spot where the museum sits.

Anonymous said...

In January 1939, the factory reopened with a new name "Morgantown Glassware Guild", producing tableware, stemware and bar ware. During the early years of the Guild a whole new line of glassware was being designed along with a rainbow of new colors. In April 1965 the "Fostoria Glass Company" of Moundsville, West Virginia bought the "Morgantown Glassware Guild" and in the spring of 1971 the doors of the Old Morgantown Glass factory closed for good.
Your item is old but not too old from 1952 I believe.
Sam P.

Anonymous said...

whats the name of the guy who made paper weights and lived down in star city?
He died recently?

annu said...

How did you ever get to learn so much about such an obscure subject at such a tender age?
and better yet Why?

annu said...

Not meant to be an insult, just an inquiry.

Anonymous said...

The Gentile family/glass factory in Star City made the paperweights.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has wealth enough to have heirlooms just hanging around by the dozens in boxes.
You and your little gold spoon
make me want to vomit.

Anonymous said...

John Gentile
In the 19020s, Peter Gentile, with his sons, made as many as 100 paperweights nightly three nights a week at the Morgantown Glassware Guild. John, Jr. and Peter started their own company in 1947, concentrating on paperweights in Star City, West Virginia. Some of the Gentile weights also featured the lilies with bubble centers.

Anonymous said...

John Gentile
In the 19020s, Peter Gentile, with his sons, made as many as 100 paperweights nightly three nights a week at the Morgantown Glassware Guild. John, Jr. and Peter started their own company in 1947, concentrating on paperweights in Star City, West Virginia. Some of the Gentile weights also featured the lilies with bubble centers.

Anonymous said...

John Gentile
In the 19020s, Peter Gentile, with his sons, made as many as 100 paperweights nightly three nights a week at the Morgantown Glassware Guild. John, Jr. and Peter started their own company in 1947, concentrating on paperweights in Star City, West Virginia. Some of the Gentile weights also featured the lilies with bubble centers.

Anonymous said...

anonymous - One doesn't have to have a gold gold or silver to have heirlooms. Just come from a long line of packrats who seldom threw anything away and couldn't afford to leave! Usually, the value is sentimental, not monetary. I've known people who threw Waterford glass in the drive to smash it "because no one wants that old stuff". The fact that there is now some monetary value to much less expensive old glass is very nice, but not expected when it was made.
Car Girl

andreerods said...

Last summer at GAS, I had the honor of making friendship with Hillary and her
Mother. She was well dressed, good jewelry, impeccable manners, understated,
her interest was the glass only the glass. Her Mom was totally opposite only
interested in the people, making immediate contacts. Dynamic duo, and yes,
I would say there was a silver spoon. In your language the English language expression silver spoon is an expression for wealth; someone born into a wealthy family is said to have "been born with a silver spoon in his mouth" in my language it often means someone with the ability to
make everyone comfortable in their presence.
Hillary is a gem, she loves that little state and every person who lives there without
condition. She is prejudice to think everything in Virginia is better just because., but she
is one very good promoter of your state and Blenko glass. Upon hearing about Hillary and
her (project) I quickly assessed she needed some vitae buffing and this was the means, well
I was totally wrong. H. is the real thing. A very genuine, talented, gentle, knowledgeable, caring,
devoted woman. Anonymous you perhaps could listen and learn, Salter proved monkeys
positive behavior improves with mimicking other positive behaviors.

Anonymous said...

Anro
Agree with you but would like to prove the gold or silver spoons.
Sol

Anonymous said...

Just read the blog and to the person that wants to get sick, stop blaming your life on someone who has one and take you some lessons on how to be a people person, not a abusive person. You really should go to a doctor with this problem. Know one could ever want or need to be around you except your own kind. That is one thing I did find in Kanawha County some of the women and men find NO good in anyone. That is what I like about Momma Kay and HIllary they are two of the nicest people that I have meet here in this part of West Virginia. Even if they do have boxes of stuff from along line of pack rats. Are we all not collecting something. I have stuff that is over a hundred years old might not be worth to much, only it is family history and memories. Go get alife and leave this blog alone. You need to look at your own life and get out of Hillary's yard. Roxie

Anonymous said...

We welcome you all to The Glass Museum in Morgantown 1628 Mileground Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505 Tel :304-291-2957, 304-290-3923. Morgantown Glass Museum
No Blenko but many one of kind items and a glass history buffs delite.

Anonymous said...

Trash is in my attic, only trash.
K-mart blue light specials.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...

"Trash is in my attic, only trash.
K-mart blue light specials."


Anonymous, thanks for the introspection. You said it better than we did!

Anonymous said...

Black lead crystal Morgantown WV.How old is it? Four different sizes 13 in all three missing.