Harry Northwood, son of esteemed English cameo glass maker John Northwood, came to the United States in 1880. He first worked for Hobbs, Brockunier and Company of Wheeling, West Virginia, for five years, getting hands-on experience in the glassmaking trade. After a brief stint as manager at La Belle Glass Company of Bridgeport, Ohio, he moved on to Buckeye Glass Company of Martin's Ferry, Ohio.
Finally, in 1896, he struck out on his own, forming the Northwood Company in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he introduced his famous Northwood custard glass. Between 1899 and 1901, Northwood joined the National Glass Combine, but because of that group's financial problems, Northwood left to manufacture independently again. In 1902, Northwood purchased the old Hobbs, Brockunier plant and started to make his glass in two factories.
It was one Northwood's students, Frank L. Fenton, who came up with the techniques for iridizing glass, in which a piece of pressed glass is sprayed with metallic salts while it is still hot to give it a color-changing shimmer. His Fenton Glass Company of Williamston, West Virginia, introduced this "iridescence ware" or "Poor Man's Tiffany" in 1907. Today it is known as carnival glass.
Even though Fenton's product was not a smashing success, Northwood quickly followed in his footsteps, introducing its own iridescent ware called Golden Iris, which was known for its marigold color. Waterlily and Cattails, Cherry and Cable, and Valentine were among some of Northwood's early carnival glass patterns.
Unfortunately, most customers at the time didn't see iridescent ware as top-notch glass since it was so cheap to make, and they refused to pay good money for it. That's why these shimmering glass pieces—from vases and pitchers to goblets and candy bowls—were given away as prizes at carnivals, or as promotions at movie theaters or in grocery stores. Still, this supposed failure turned into a lucrative business for many companies.
Northwood succeeded because it was innovative, experimenting with splatter patterns and previously unseen colors. While all pieces of carnival glass appear to contain multiple colors, iridized glass tends to be identified by the base color of the glass that's treated. Northwood invented many signature colors for its iridized glass, including amethyst, cobalt blue, and green, as well as in pastels, ice blue and ice green, and white. Its esteemed marigold color, however, was an exception to the glass-color-naming convention: It was made by spraying clear glass with an orange-metallic color.
One of Northwood's most popular patterns is Grape and Cable. It was in such high demand, many mold variations were made, and it can be found in plain or stippled. The standard de...
In one variation, a large band replaces the cable—these rare pieces are highly sought by collectors. These include a hatpin holder in amethyst, blue, or marigold, a fruit bowl, a banana boat in marigold, green, blue, or aqua, and a dresser tray in marigold. Another variant found on ruffled bowls or rare double hand-grip plates features one leaf in the center of the circle instead of the four small ones. Colors include amethyst, green, blue, ice blue, aqua opalescent, smoke, and marigold. Grape and Gable with Thumbprint, meanwhile, is seen in berry sets, table sets, cookie jars, tobacco humidors, ruffled hat whimsies, and a water set.
Another well-received Northwood pattern is called Good Luck, which came in bowls and plates. It had a horseshoe in the middle and the words "GOOD LUCK" around the top of the center circle, surrounded by a floral pattern. Good Luck had three variants, could be stippled or unstippled, and usually had ribs or a basketweave texture on the back.
Collectors also love Northwood's peacock patterns, including Peacocks (or Peacocks on a Fence) found on bowls and plates; Peacock and Urn, found on a chop plate, an ice cream set, a large ruffled bowl, and a small plate; and Peacock at the Fountain, which was used on pitchers, tumblers, bowls, water sets, punch sets, table sets, berry sets, butter dishes, and creamers.
One of Northwood's most esteemed creations is its Tree Trunk vase, which came in five sizes, several design variations, and multiple colors. These vases range from 5-to-22-inches tall and are called, in order of smallest to largest, "squat," "standard," "mid-size," "elephant's foot," and "funeral." These come in marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, ice blue, ice green, white, teal, aqua opalescent, lime green, marigold in custard—particularly rare is a vase with an iridized blue slag treatment.
Though widely copied, Northwood pieces can be identified by a circled or underlined “N.” The company went out of business in 1925, eight years after the founder's death.
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Saginaw Valley State tops Northwood men in basketballMidland Daily News, February 6th
“But it was our execution on rebounding that hurt us. They (SVSU) had 15 second-(chance) points in a one-possession game. … You've got to give them credit for going hard to the glass, but it looked like we were waiting for the ball to come off the rim...Read more
Castle Guards avenge loss to Solon SpringsAshland Daily Press, February 5th
Cook finished with a game-high 29 points for the Guards, who finished 23 of 52 from the floor for 44 percent. Washburn was 24 of 44 from the free throw line and held a 59-48 advantage on the glass. Schick pulled down 18 rebounds and Alec Bouchard 14...Read more
Friday's ScoresSFGate, February 5th
E.C. Glass 74, Heritage-Lynchburg 63. East Rockingham 74, Wilson Memorial 52. Eastern View 64, Brentsville 27. Eastside 81, Twin ... North Stafford 43, Mountain View 22. Northside 79, Rockbridge County 43. Northwood 65, Holston 54. Norview 60...Read more
Wendling's Double-Double Paces SVSU in 55-39 Victory at Lake Superior StateCardinal Athletics, February 4th
Wendling scored a team-high 14 points and added a career-high on the glass, grabbing 17 rebounds. Danielle and Katelyn Carriere each ... Saginaw Valley returns home for a rival matchup with Northwood University Saturday (Feb. 6) for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off...Read more
Plan It Calendar: 2-4Toledo Blade, February 3rd
Tiffin Glass Museum: 25 S. Washington, Tiffin; 448-0200. Hours: Tue.-Sat., 1-4. Toledo Botanical Garden: 5403 Elmer Drive; 536-5566; Open daylight hours; Visitors Center: daily, 10 a.m.-5. Toledo Firefighters Museum: 918 Sylvania Ave.; 478-3473; Hours: ...Read more
Alameda police logs: Man found with marijuana in traffic stopContra Costa Times, February 3rd
A traffic stop on Jan. 30 led to the arrest of a 36-year-old man after he was found with marijuana in his vehicle, Alameda police said. The man, who was arrested about 10:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of San Antonio Avenue, is suspected of transporting the ...Read more
GIRLS BASKETBALL: NorthWood cruises past Lakeland; Wawasee routed in ...Goshen News, February 2nd
Freshman guard Mackenzie Bergman turned in nine points, and junior guard Taitlyn Trenshaw and senior guard Gabi Glass added eight points apiece. “That's great to see,” Yoder said. “A lot of kids should have some confidence coming into Friday night, ...Read more
Chapel Hill downs Orange for girls' 6th straight winNews & Observer, February 2nd
Chapel Hill closes its regular season with two more home games – Friday against Northern Vance and then Tuesday, Feb. 9, against Southern Durham. Orange closes out with a game Friday at Northwood, at home next Tuesday against Oxford Webb, and ...Read more