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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Written by Patriot StaffBarnstable Patriot, November 20th
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Hoosier Antiques Expo: Oct. 24 – 25WISH-TV, October 24th
show in Indiana. It attracts visitors and exhibitors interested in buying and selling items including pottery, porcelain, toys, silver, bronzes, pattern glass, hand painted porcelain, pottery, Majolica, flow blue, Jewelry products and more. For...Read more
National Glass Block Leader Contributes to Green Building and Universal ...PR Web (press release), October 22nd
UDLL installed DECORA® and IceScapes® pattern glass blocks in a beautiful aquarium-themed mural to add a touch of color to the master bathroom. The IceScapes® pattern created a bold border around the mural which used DECORA® pattern blocks ...Read more
Devoted mother Joan Moonan Pinnell enjoyed music, travelColumbia Missourian, October 15th
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Heinz History Center speaker featured at Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum seriesTribune-Review, October 11th
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Washington County festival shines light on glass designPittsburgh Post Gazette, July 16th
The show features a special exhibit of candelabra, candlesticks and candle holders in a variety of glass design including Early American Pattern Glass, Colonial Styles, Art Deco and Mid-century Modern. More glass candelabra will decorate the banquet...Read more
Retailer Spotlight: Zinsel GlassMy New Orleans, June 5th
What's the most unique way you have ever used glass? We used glass to create a custom LED serpentine bar top. Another interesting use of glass is custom-fritted pattern glass walls. This allows you to choose a design to print on the glass for either...Read more