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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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Harry Thompson at Pilgrim

There are so many unnamed Blenko and other West Virginia Craftsmen, a goal of the Blenko Project http://www.blenkoproject.org/ is to photograph and oral history as many workers as possible. Harry Thompson was a superior glass worker. He worked at Blenko Glass. We are beginning to learn about Harry, as we do we are sharing his story with you - - we hope to have Harry's photos and story on the website before the end of summer. Note: If you or a family member worked for Blenko or another W.Va Glass Company and you want to be a part of the Blenko Project http://www.blenkoproject.org/ please send an email to theblenkoproject@aol.com . Thanks HJH
Hillary, In the late 50s a man in a 3pc suit knocked on our door one evening and wanted to talk to dad, Harry Thompson. When he left i asked who died, Dad laughed and said it was a big wheel from Pilgrim Glass wanting me to go to work for him. Harry Work for Pilgrim for two weeks during shutdown at Blenko but the increase in pay wasn't enough to make up fore the long drive from Milton to the west end of Huntington before I64 was built. Here is a 30 inch peace from the Masterworks collection of Pilgrim, the blue peace next to it is a signed Kelsy Murphy peace. Two Pilgrim lamps and rolling pin.

Thanks Larry T.

4 comments:

chitrakahn said...

More more more please about the former workers. I find these stories to be interesting and informative leaving me wanting to know about all the workers.

Anonymous said...

The vase is very beautiful. I am getting ready to pack for the birthday party on Tuesday. Lilly and I are having a slumber party, she gets to sleep with MomMaw on the pull out couch. Maybe we will play wii all nite,eat strawberries and ice cream and get put in time out. She got her new Easter shoe's yesterday and was having a blast when I called. Blenko is getting good advertising from the WSAZ news and the internet local news. It was good to see them actually working. The two men looked happy at what they do. I image it is a very relaxing thing to do once you are taught, must need good hands and the ability to know when to shape, and when to mold. I will say that a furance full of glass looks know different,when full of brass same hot red orange and yellow color. I know alittle permanent mold. Seen this done with alum. I was going to learn how, only scared I would get stuck with pouring. The job I had was hot enough, so I passed. Was a very simple process. I know about the molding process out of sand also my job was making the core that you placed in the sand mold to make a part. Some molds were made by hand and some by machine. Push buttom assembly line type of work. I was interested in learning it all. Wanted my supervisor's job when he retired. Moved here instead and the brass foundry is know more in life but a memory. Did learn from that job to have a good ear and yes I still do not mind working like a man. I grew-up with the Virginia Slim , Susan Anton. commercial/? I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan,I'm a woman. Sorry Hillary ! Just remebering the history of my own life and a Barbie doll was not it. Heard PETLAND in Ohio is in trouble for saling sick dogs, Hope they check that one out at Corridor G, where we brought Jake. I brought him home with ear mites. Yes I did let them know, and just got an I'm sorry, Well I have rambled enough! Just keeping in touch and do plan on going to Blenko here soon, weather is getting good and I need a topper for The Moon! And need to start that Christmas shopping. Four grandbabies, big difference from one. So I think I will invest in afew pieces, like a savings account.God Bless, Roxie

Anonymous said...

Hilly
You often say you will write more about these men, then you fail to do so.
Sol

Hillary J Homburg said...

Sol, My 5am response is.
Geting the material, the individual history and photos is difficult. As I receive photos I usually publish them to the blog, then when there is enough material and a personal interview has been conducted I pass along everything to the webmaster for www.blenkoproject.org. Believe me I know there is a desire for this information, I get 50 emails a month asking WHY don't I have more
If you are a former or current Blenko Glass Worker or the child of or grandchild of a Blenko Glass worker send your family members history and photos to theblenkoproject@aol.com we want to include all West Virginia Glass workers.
hjh