Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG), also known as pressed glass, was produced from roughly 1850 to 1910. Cheaper to manufacture than blown glass, this glassware was made in cast-iron molds and marketed as an economic alternative to hand-cut crystal. Manufacturers made a wide range of patterns in order to compete with each other, usually patenting their work. Despite these steps, competitors routinely copied patterns by making minor changes to them and varying the names of the patterns just enough to keep from being sued.
One of the most famous of the early manufacturers was McKee, which established itself making windows and bottles in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1836. By 1850, the company, which had numerous names in the 19th century, moved into flint glassware. By the 1860s, its patterns included Sprig, New Pressed Leaf, and Crystal. In 1889, the firm relocated to Jeannette, Pennsylvania.
Another famous Pittsburgh firm was Atterbury & Company, whose first patent came in 1874 for a pattern called Basket Weave. Others such as Lily (most collectors know it as Sunflower) followed, while one of Atterbury’s most famous designs, for a covered dish in the shape of a duck, was patented in 1887.
Ohio was also a center of EAPG. For example, Heisey was founded in 1895 in Newark, producing pressed glassware that was so precise it looked like cut glass. Early on, the company was known for its colorless pressed glass tableware. In the first two decades of the 20th century, designer Arthur J. Sanford produced much of tableware for Heisey, a lot of it in the Colonial style, although some of its most memorable pieces came later during the Depression.
Also from Ohio was Fostoria, which was established in 1887 and was known for its almost sculptural patterns such as Bedford, Frisco, and Heavy Drape. Some of its earliest products, though, were kerosene lamps.
By the 1890s, the industry was ready for consolidation. That occurred in earnest in 1891, when the United States Glass Company was created out of the merger of 18 glass factories. These included some of the biggest names in the business, including Adams & Company and Bryce Brothers of Pittsburgh; Columbia Glass and Bellaire Goblet of Findlay, Ohio; and Hobbs Glass and Central Glass of Wheeling, West Virginia. One company that did not join the group was Northwood, which, in 1902, moved into the factory that had been vacated by Hobbs.
After World War I, pattern-glass manufacturers struggled as the real thing from Waterford and Baccarat, among other European manufacturers, became relatively inexpensive and plentiful in the United States. But when the Great Depression hit, Americans once again turned to pattern glass made by companies that today are associated with Depression glass, including Anchor Hocking, Cambridge, Jeannette, Imperial, Hazel-Atlas, Indiana Glass Company, and Macbeth-Evans.
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In Defense of Pattern GlassMaine Antique Digest, April 9th
What a winter. Everyone seems to be talking about the weather. We've been lucky here, keeping mostly warm and never losing power—until the day after Hollie wrote this sentence. There's hardly an experience more jarring to young Americans than losing ...Read more
Market research report on global deep-etched pattern glass industry of 2014 ...WhaTech, March 24th
2014 Global Deep-etched Pattern Glass Industry Report is a professional and in-depth research report on the world's major regional market conditions of the Deep-etched Pattern Glass industry, focusing on the main regions (North America, Europe and Asia...Read more
History on display at Fox Valley Antiques ShowChicago Daily Herald, March 15th
A new feature at the spring show was a one-hour presentation on pattern glass featuring Nancy Smith of Lamplight & Old Glass Ltd. from Grand Rapids, Michigan. There is a fall show in the same location on the third weekend of October. This weekend's...Read more
Modern style intersects with history at Fox Valley Antiques ShowChicago Daily Herald, March 2nd
A new feature is a one-hour presentation on pattern glass at 4 p.m. Saturday featuring Nancy Smith of Lamplight & Old Glass Ltd. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has been a collector of Early American Pattern Glass since she received her first piece as a...Read more
Glass club to host antique show in Bethel ParkPittsburgh Post Gazette, February 19th
Exhibitors John and Alice Ahlfeld, a couple from Manor, Lancaster County, are specialists in Early American pattern glass, the common everyday tableware of the 1850s to 1910. They started collecting glass nearly 50 years ago as a hobby and have been ...Read more
The Houston Glass Show & Sale and The Best Little Antique Show in Texas set ...Fortbendstar.com, February 11th
We have two buildings filled with top quality merchandise. The show features American made glassware and antiques from 1880-1970. This includes Pattern Glass, Carnival Glass, American Brilliant Cut Glass, Depression Glass, and American Art Pottery...Read more
How Can I Use Sandblasted Glass?Glass on Web, February 10th
Sandblasted Glass is not a new glass finishing process; in fact it has been used on windows for many years, however, the effect and precision possible now to create sandblasted patterns in the surface of glass has advanced exponentially over the last...Read more
Mould maker to speak at Mt. Pleasant Glass MuseumTribune-Review, August 13th
In 1961, representatives of Mt. Pleasant's former L.E. Smith Glass Co. ventured south to Wheeling, W.Va., to tour the Island Mould and Machine Co., according to John Weishar, who along with his elder brother, Tom, co-owns the company today under ...Read more