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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Pattern Glass School
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Northwood Glass
Source: Google News
NOMINATIONS FOR MYISLEOFWIGHT AWARDS ANNOUNCEDIsland Echo, March 4th
The awards, which are now in their third year, aim to showcase the best of the Island's tourism industry and were voted for by people who visited the Isle of Wight throughout 2014. The nominations for 26 awards cover each tourism sector, including ...Read more
Community CalendarNews Sentinel, March 3rd
ARTS AND CRAFTS: Glass Weaving, 6-8 p.m. March 23, Lane Middle School; $33. Watercolor Masa and Rice Paper ... HEALTH AND WELLBEING: Energy Medicine: Intro to the Body Talk System, 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 16, Northwood Middle School; $33...Read more
Letters: If we have a compulsory TV tax, it should be shared beyond the BBCTelegraph.co.uk, March 1st
SIR – I served as Acting Chairman of the BBC Trust in 2007, after Michael Grade resigned. The lack of clarity of the respective roles of the non-executive directors on the executive board and that of the Trust served to create friction between the...Read more
Cardinals pound WarriorsAshland DAily Press, March 1st
The win moves the Cardinals (23-2) into Thursday's sectional semifinal against Northwood. That game will tip off in Superior at 7 ... Ostrenga added seven rebounds as the Cardinals owned a 48-26 advantage on the glass. Kaylee Martin topped Winter with ...Read more
McDonald's Boys Basketball All-Stars include Filip Serwatka, Dakiryon Fox ...The Elkhart Truth, February 27th
Invitees (senior unless noted): Filip Serwatka (Concord), junior Dakiyron Fox (NorthWood), junior Braxton Linville (NorthWood), Rashaan Jackson (Warsaw), Pete Smith (Northridge), Tom Morrison (Northridge), junior Brady Bechtel (Goshen), Austin Woolett...Read more
Friday's ScoresSFGate, February 27th
Battlefield 52, South Lakes 42. Chantilly 60, T.C. Williams 45. Fairfax 54, Stonewall Jackson-Manassas 52. James Madison 72, Osbourn 50. Langley 53, Osbourn Park 38. Oakton 64, Lake Braddock 35. West Springfield 45, Centreville 41 ...Read more
Customized meal template helps you notice 'extra food'News Sentinel, February 26th
Though Bower, who lives in Markle and works at Northwood Computers in Bluffton, has since switched to a Wendy's lunch, he still uses a set routine to gauge his order. Option A is a plain baked potato with four chicken nuggets. If he's unusually hungry...Read more
Fox's board-crashing sparks NorthWood basketball past ConcordThe Elkhart Truth, February 7th
NorthWood (15-2, 5-1) stayed right behind Warsaw in the Northern Lakes Conference race and will finish its league season Thursday against Elkhart Memorial at North Side Gym. The Tigers, 5-0 in the league, have conference games left at Plymouth and ...Read more