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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Harry Thompson

Larry Thompson sent the following information about his Father - Blenko Craftsman Harry Thompson. Harry was known as one of the best Blenko craftsmen.

Someone once said that a man was born many men but died only one. I'm not sure that I agree with that, Harry Thompson was the second born of nine children with three different last names. When he was young he loved to play baseball, but took a lot of ribbing, had a short temper, and so he got into a many fights according to his brothers and sisters.

In 1929, he was in Chicago in a boarding house, he was awakend by machine gunfire in the middle of the night. The next morning when he read the paper it told about the St. Valentines Day Masacure and he emedietly found a way to get back to Huntington.

According to the 1930 Cencus he lived in a boarding house in the west end of Huntington and worked at an unknown glass factory.

Like half a million other people, he was displaced by the 1937 flood. He went to another town to find work, to support the family and again referencing his brothers and sisters, played minor league baseball and they say he also played against Ted Williams(records show that Ted Williams played on the minor league Minisota Millers).

When Harry came back to the Huntington area, the factory he had previously had worked at had not yet been rebuilt so he went for work at Bishoff and in 1939 he went to Blenko.

Harry Thompson was a glassblower, instructor, and finally ran a handshop here in Indiana with Tom Connaly as

He was a fighter and a trainer, he trained his brother in law to a golden gloves state runner up.
He was a baseball player and a coach, he couched his oldest sons team to an undefeated season.
He was a Hunter, Fisherman, and a fishing guide in Florida, but most of all he was a husband and our father.

Larry T.


Anonymous said...

Harry Thompson was my great grandpa and i made a few spelling errors and i forgot to send the picture that goes with this but i hope you enjoy his story as much as i do
~Kylee Thompson
Daleville, In
P.S larry is my grandpa

Anonymous said...

Hillary you should update theblenkoproject
and add this info to the file on harry thompson.

tinyarmada said...

It explains why the pieces Connally designed for Greenwich Flintcraft turned out so stunningly - Thompson. I always wondered how GFC managed for a few years to do such high quality work, now I know. The years Conn

tinyarmada said...

This explains why Greenwich Flintcraft was able to turn out such amazing pieces for the few years Connally was designing for them. I had always wondered why the quality of the Indiana/ Greenwich Flint glass improved so dramatically under Connally - because he got Thompson as his craftsman. They are pieces only a master craftsman could have pulled off. Great info because I collect both vintage Blenko and Greenwich Flintcraft, so I guess I've been drawn to Harry's artistry and technique all these years without even knowing it.

Anonymous said...

Hillary I would like to learn more about the personal histories of the workers
Like Harry THompson more indepth will you do more of this?