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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Police Beat-Sept. 18The Baytown Sun, September 17th
A Baytown woman was arrested for assault/family violence in the 900 block of Northwood Drive at 6:16 p.m. Tuesday. • At 10:24 p.m. Tuesday, a husband and wife got into an altercation in the 600 block of Miriam Avenue. • A Baytown man was mailed a ...Read more
Juneau and southeast calendar.Capital city weekly, September 17th
English as a Second Language, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Learning Connection-Gruening Park, 1800 Northwood Drive, Apt. G-49. Rotary Club of ... Stained Glass Basics, 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 4, The Canvas Community Art Studio. Learn the ...Read more
Fly ash builds green cement mixturePhys.Org, September 17th
Credit: Chris Northwood. An eco-friendly cement, known as Alkali Pozzolan Cement (APC), containing a mixture of fly ash, dry lime powder and sodium sulphate under specific scaffolding conditions has been developed by Curtin University research...Read more
Community CalendarNews Sentinel, September 16th
Fused Glass Wreath Plate, 6-7 p.m. Dec. 1, Lane Middle School; $33. CULINARY: Sushi: Doesn't Always Mean Raw Fish, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 7, North ... 3, Northwood Middle School; $39. HOME: Holiday Gift Baskets, 6-8 p.m. Nov. 3, Lane Middle School; $33. MUSIC...Read more
The Beauty Hot Spots to Hit Up During LFWStyle.com, September 14th
“If you want to experience that done, un-done look us London girls love, then I highly recommend heading straight for Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whitely's favorite hairdresser, George Northwood. He is the master of freehand cuts and the un-done do!...Read more
'Upcyclers' use imagination and skills to make trash into treasuresFayetteville Observer, September 13th
Cowger is known for taking old window frames and turning them into mosaic stained glass masterpieces. "I can't keep them when I ... Her favorite spots include the Northwood Temple Thrift Store and Apex's Guardian Angel Thrift. "Sometimes I walk out...Read more
BUSINESS NOTEBOOKToledo Blade, September 13th
#8,758,544: Method and apparatus for forming a vehicle window assembly, assigned to Pilkington Group Limited St. Helens, Great Britain: David Kovach, Blissfield, Mich. and Charles Sitterlet, Northwood. #8,758,563: Method of making tough, flexible mats, ...Read more
Friday's ScoresAlbany Times Union, September 12th
GW-Danville 31, E.C. Glass 13. H.D. Woodson, D.C. 34, Yorktown 21. Halifax County 42, Person, N.C. 29. Hampton Roads Home School 19, Quantico 0. Handley 48, Fauquier 6. Hanover 45, J.R. Tucker 13. Haysi 29, Clintwood 16. Henrico 41, Deep Run 0...Read more