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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Kanata Lasers' Johnny Kyte competes in Deaflympics, carrying on a family legacyYahoo Sports (blog), April 17th
You had to look in the glass. You had to, in practice, go over and over and over the play and execute it on the ice. That's the only way you could play. "The other cool thing about when you play is that — I find — it's very, very rough," adds Kyte...Read more
All the entertainment events, eight days of the weekThe Register-Guard, April 16th
Richie G and Ma Beat — Americana, 6 p.m., Saginaw Vineyards, 80247 Delight Valley School Road, Cottage Grove. Free. (541-942-1364). Gumbo Groove — Folk-fueled fungrass, 6 p.m., Friendly Street Market and Deli, 2757 Friendly St. Free. (541-683-2079)...Read more
Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Dan Single share a kiss on the Game of Thrones ...The Daily Telegraph, April 13th
“A glass of red wine and an episode of Game of Thrones is a great night in for us.” Nine's Mornings presenter David Campbell could not wait to see the action on the big screen with wife Lisa. Bambi Northwood-Blyth. Picture: Andrew Murray Source: News ...Read more
Our Towns What's On CalendarToledo Blade, April 13th
Mosaic glass class offered by the Waterville Area Arts Commission and Animal House Glass at the Waterville Library, 800 Michigan Ave., 10 a.m. to noon April 25. Class will be taught by local glass artist Gail Christofferson with assistant Carol Rodgers...Read more
St. Tammany Parish real estate transfersNOLA.com, April 9th
RURAL LAND Section 12, township 7 south, range 11 east: William P. Strain, Tammy S. Glass and David T. Glass to Autozone Development LLC, $395,000. Section 16, township 5 south, range 10 east: Nancy L. Johnston, Jason D. Haik, Tracy L.H. Bennett, Jesse...Read more
Porcelain tea set made in CzechoslovakiaChicago Daily Herald, April 9th
Northwood Glass Company was founded by Harry Northwood in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1901. Northwood produced both pressed glass and blown glass. They made beautiful carnival glass from 1908 to 1915. The "Grape and Cable" pattern was available ...Read more
Phelps home Albany area Yard of the Month for April | PHOTO GALLERYThe Albany Herald, April 7th
#“This is a great yard with lots going on,” Marideane Maxwell, who chairs the club's selection committee, said of the Phelps home at 1802 Northwood Drive. “You will need to drive by and view the yard from the front …. and then down the paved alley and...Read more
Treasures: Amethyst bowl is a work of carnival glassBelleville News Democrat, April 6th
The ruffled bowl in today's question appears to be made from amethyst glass, which is nice, but in this pattern, colors such as pastel smoke, ice blue and ice green tend to be a little better. Wishbone was first made around 1911 by the Northwood...Read more