After leaving the Union army as a Major after the Civil War, A.H. Heisey spent his adult life working in the glass business, and in 1895 he founded his own company in Newark, Ohio. His company went on to create pressed glassware so precise that it looked like cut glass. The Heisey Glass Company continued selling glass in its famously vivid colors until it was sold in 1958. Some of its most memorable pieces come from the Depression era.
Early on, the company was known for its colorless pressed glass tableware. In the first two decades of the 20th century, designer Arthur J. Sanford produced much of tableware for Heisey, a lot of it in the Colonial style.
Heisey was a forward-thinking company. It promoted itself around the United States through magazine advertising and became the first glassware company to use advertising as an essential marketing tool.
In the 1920s, shortly after the death of Major Heisey in 1922, the company began experimenting with exotic colors. These colors, which included Flamingo (a pink), Sahara (a yellow), and Dawn (a purple), supplemented the company’s already thriving crystal business and helped make Heisey one of the most popular Depression-era glassware companies. Today, these colored pieces are some of Heisey’s most collectible items.
During the Depression, Heisey released dozens of designs such as Charter Oak, which was produced between 1926 and 1935 and featured bowls, candlesticks, plates, stems, tumblers, lamps, pitchers, and comports. Charter Oak, as well as other designs like Chintz and Lariat, came in various colors, in addition to clear crystal. Other patterns such as Crystolite were produced exclusively in crystal.
During and after World War II, Heisey dabbled in high-end art glass, which the company branded as Verlys. It also produced and sold figurines. During the postwar period, Heisey became particularly known for its glass animals in a wide array of colors.
Heisey’s output was not limited to glass for the home. Over the years, Heisey also produced commercial glass for hotels and bars, as well as items like car headlights...
In 1958, Heisey was purchased by Imperial Glass Company, which continued to use Heisey’s molds through 1984. Glass made in those molds after 1958 can be confused with Heisey glass because of the similar designs, but the colors are different. Pre-1958 Heisey glass is also recognizable for its logo—an H inside of a diamond—on its pieces, though collectors have discovered that unmarked Heisey pieces also exist.
Affection for Heisey did not stop when it changed hands in ’58. In 1971, fans of Heisey formed a group called “Heisey Collectors of America.” Three years later, they founded a museum in Newark, Ohio, devoted to vintage Heisey glass.
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Gorham Manufacturing Co. was founded in Providence R.I. in 1815Orillia Packet & Times, November 21st
By this time some American glass companies had a special department for the process of putting silver on glass, but generally companies like two of the largest glass makers, Steuben and Heisey, supplied pieces to silver companies to be decorated. The...Read more
There and Back AgainMaine Antique Digest, November 13th
This was kind of how Andrew felt when he visited the National Heisey Glass Museum in Newark, a museum with a similar history to that of the Cowan Pottery Museum, where collectors banded together, pooling their resources and collections to get the ...Read more
Heisey Wind Ensemble to kick off 30th season SundayThe Newark Advocate, October 22nd
NEWARK – Audience members at the Heisey Wind Ensemble's first concert, on June 10, 1985, received a program explaining the origin of the new group. Local music lovers, including many band directors and retired teachers, decided to create the ensemble ...Read more
Tourism industry brings big money to Licking CountyThe Newark Advocate, September 10th
People flock to Licking County for events as varied as the Denison University graduation, the Mopar Nationals, the Heisey Glass collector's convention, the Flint Ridge Knap-in and Buckeye Cup soccer. European travelers are interested in sites of...Read more
Merchant Street houses hidden architectural gemsThe Newark Advocate, August 30th
That block started out as Webb Place, named after the Webb family farm, according to Tom Heisey, who grew up at 388 Merchant St. Heisey, who now lives in Buckeye Lake and sells antiques, is the great-grandson of A.H. Heisey, founder of the Heisey Glass ...Read more
Couple spent decades hunting Heisey glasswareStarNewsOnline.com, August 15th
Unbeknownst to the Lavengoods, the classy tumbler in a pattern called "Greek Key" was made around 1912 by the A.H. Heisey Glass Co. of Newark, Ohio, an iconic manufacturer of what's known to collectors as elegant glass. The rest, as they say, is history...Read more
National Heisey Glass Museum celebrates 40 yearsThe Newark Advocate, June 24th
Jack Burriss, curator and director of the National Heisey Glass Museum in Newark, stands in front of one his favorite collections, the Greek Key collection. The museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year...Read more
Annual All-Heisey Glass Show Returns to Annandale SaturdayPatch.com, March 14th
The National Capital Heisey Collectors Club, which began in 1972, was created by a group of admirers who wanted to meet, share, and learn more about Heisey Glass, which was produced from 1896-1957 at the A. H. Heisey Company in Newark, Ohio...Read more