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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Pattern Glass School
Clubs & Associations
- Heisey Collectors of America, Inc.
- Early American Pattern Glass Society
- National Cambridge Collectors, Inc.
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Recent News: Heisey Glass
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Licking County Chamber celebrates 100 yearsThe Newark Advocate, January 29th
Augustus Heisey of Pittsburgh would be convinced to locate a factory on land that the Board of Trade purchased. Heisey Glass, one of the giants of glass-making, had a long and illustrious history in the area. Its glassware is still acclaimed for its...Read more
Innovation and development boost region's job marketThe Newark Advocate, January 29th
Favorite local weekend activity: The Granville Antiques Fair followed by a tour of the Robbins Hunter House Museum or the Heisey Glass Museum. Favorite local restaurant: The Buxton Inn or Brews Cafe — I love them both. One place every visitor must see...Read more
Exhibit highlights county's role in WWIThisWeekNews, January 26th
More items came from the Alexandria Historical Society, Denison University, National Firearms Museum, National Heisey Glass Museum, Ohio History Connection and private collectors. "The Great War Comes Home" features personal stories of several ...Read more
Paint nights mix art and drinks in Lancaster CountyLancasterOnline, January 26th
night January 15, 2015 in Lancaster. Marty Heisey/Staff LNP Media Group ... "Sometimes that glass of wine or bottle of beer helps people get over the edge," said Jonathan Lauchner, co-owner of Art and a Bottle. The paint-and-sip (or sip-and-paint, ...Read more
Free Heisey glass appraisal and ID event to be SaturdayThe Newark Advocate, January 21st
•What: Free Heisey glass appraisal and identification event. •Where: National Heisey Glass Museum, 169 W. Church St., Newark. •When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. •FYI: Heisey collectors and members of the Newark Buckeye Heisey Collectors Club will ...Read more
Equestrian farm expands, welcomes noted trainersThe Newark Advocate, January 20th
“Granville's Sally Sexton had Saddlebreds and the iconic Heisey glass horse figurine is modeled after a Saddlebred horse that T. Clarence Heisey owned.” Sally Sexton was a former owner of the Bryn Du Mansion, where she held horse shows and gave ...Read more
Robust red wines to warm up the cold monthsThe Tennessean, January 10th
Long Meadow Ranch's winemaker Ashley Heisey skillfully blended cabernet with 20 percent merlot and 3 percent cabernet franc for a big but deftly balanced wine. Expect a classic Rutherford ... Dessert in a glass if ever there was. Dark roast coffee...Read more
Estate Sale Roundup: January 10-11: Baby, it's cold outside, but your holiday ...Austin Chronicle, January 9th
Vintage glass and crystal includes Westmoreland "English Hobnail" punch bowl, underplate, ladle, cups, and dessert plates; Heisey "Lariat" platters and other platters; Fire King peach lustre "Laurel Leaf"; Fostoria and other pressed glass; Fenton; pair ...Read more