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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- Heisey Collectors of America, Inc.
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Recent News: Heisey Glass
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WWII veteran relives memories of driving a tankThe Newark Advocate, April 18th
When he came home to Newark, he worked for Heisey Glass and the railroad before retiring from the former Newark Air Force Base. He has been married to his wife, Frances, for 42 years and enjoys being a grandfather and a great-grandfather. Although he ...Read more
"Tradition of Progress" ExhibitMaine Antique Digest, April 13th
I was comfortable with my knowledge of Ohio history and culture during that time period, and I certainly was familiar with many of the makers (Mitchell and Rammelsberg, Heisey, Cowan, et cetera), but it's such a complex story. Such a big story...Read more
In Defense of Pattern GlassMaine Antique Digest, April 9th
It led him to visit places such as the Heisey and Cambridge museums we talked about a few months ago. When asked to choose just a few pieces to tell the story of any one of the early Ohio glass factories (or potteries) covered in the exhibition, it...Read more
Stage Scenes: Cage match dramaticsNOW Magazine, April 8th
Often something totally weird but funny will happen, such as when Rosen's Randi is asked to recreate the movie Jurassic Park for Tough Rod (Jess Bryson), a young baseball-obsessed misfit, who possibly reminds Randi of her own kids, and Sister Meredith...Read more
Easter egg hunt warms children on frigid morningThe Newark Advocate, March 28th
NEWARK – The cold and snow-covered ground didn't seem to bother the 62 children hunting for Easter eggs Saturday morning outside the National Heisey Glass Museum. In fact, the 19-degree temperatures may have provided extra motivation to collect the ...Read more
Look what hopped into my collectionPalm Beach Post, March 28th
Detail of a Heisey cheese tray that has a frog motif on its handle and dates from the 1930s or '40s. Photo by ... And as it turns out, Froggy is one of the most valuable pieces of glass I own, and to think the piece hopped into my collection courtesy...Read more
ALL-HEISEY GLASS SHOW & SALEFredericksburg.com, March 19th
The glass was made from molds for pressed ware and blown ware. It was etched, cut, produced in beautiful colors and in numerous patterns. Contact David at 703-819-6429 should you have questions. Visit www.natcapheisey.org to print ad for the discount ...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