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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NorthWood takes down defending Class 1A champion Oregon-DavisThe Elkhart Truth, January 29th
NorthWood — Taitlyn Trenshaw 2, Arika Flickinger 6, Nicole Flickinger 2, Jordyn Frantz 13, Karen Holmes 0, Haley Roe 19, Gabi Glass 5, Ashley Yoder 0, McKayla Fielstra 8, Savannah Feenstra 9. Totals: 24 18-26 64. Oregon-Davis — Taylor Kranenburg 10, ...Read more
Bearcats can't hold off VikingsCedar Valley Daily Times, January 29th
GREENE — Down three at the end of the first quarter of Tuesday's game against Northwood-Kensett, the winless North Butler girls' basketball managed to hold their own. The Vikings proved to be too much to handle though, as they outscored the Bearcats...Read more
Using Google Glass, Elementary Students Learn How Blind People LiveFast Company, January 28th
But Glass still has plenty of non-consumer applications for its technology. One of Glass's more unusual and poignant uses was well underway on a recent weekday morning in Julieann Cappuccino's fifth grade Northwood Academy Charter School classroom ...Read more
Evergreens slow down AshlandAshland DAily Press, January 27th
The Ashland girls basketball team is in an offensive funk lately, and playing a methodical team like the Northwood Evergreens isn't going to help. The Evergreens were in control from the start and held the Oredockers scoreless over the final 10 minutes...Read more
Courthouse security back-up planKIMT 3, January 26th
The original back-up plan may be on the back burner, but that hasn't stopped Worth County from putting in precautions of their own, including extra cameras and bullet-proof glass. A long-term solution however, is still in the works. “We learned a lot...Read more
Frantz leads NorthWood girls basketball past GoshenThe Elkhart Truth, January 24th
NorthWood — Taitlyn Trenshaw 13, Aricka Flinkinger 0, Andrea Tuttle 1, Nicole Flinkinger 0, Jordyn Frantz 24, Karen Holmes 1, Haley Roe 10, Gabi Glass 3, Ashley Yoder 0, Bailie Lehman 0, McKayla Fielstra 4, Savannah Feenstra 4, Roni Hochstetler 2, ...Read more
Big Northwood surge lifts Timberwolves over Ferris State in GLIAC women's playMLive.com, January 22nd
The Bulldogs did own the rebounding edge 44-35 over the Timberwolves and they recorded 22 offensive boards to just 11 for Northwood on the offensive glass, which led to a 22-9 margin in second chance production. Northwood, though, forced 13 Ferris ...Read more
NorthWood artists honoredGoshen News, January 17th
Amy Schrock — Honorable Mention, Ceramics & Glass, “Positively Negative Face Vase.” This art will be part of a special exhibit located in the South Bend Museum of Art, located in the Century Center in South Bend, from Jan. 31 through Feb. 28. Students...Read more