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Indiana Glass Company
Indiana Glass Company Patterns (gallery images)
In 1895, the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. built a large building in Dunkirk, Indiana. It was named the Dunkirk Locomotive and Car Repair Works and the intended use was to build and repair railroad cars. This idea was soon abandoned.
In 1896, the building and property were purchased by George Brady and James Beatty. Together they formed the Beatty - Brady Glass Company. They produced glass lamps, glass chimney tops, vases and some household glass.
In 1899, the Beatty - Brady Glass Co. merged into the National Glass Combine. National Glass was a large combine consisting of nineteen different glass companies.
In 1904, the name was changed to the Indiana Glass Company. An Indiana inspection book, dated 1904, lists inspections as having been done at the Indiana Glass Co., pressed and blown glass.
In 1907, the National Glass Combine failed due to the depressed economy and several bank failures and was placed in receivership. The Indiana Glass Company was sold to a group consisting of Frank Merry, (President), Harry Batsch, Harold Phillips (Sec. - Treas.), Charles Smalley, Rathburn Fuller and James Merry Overleaf. A document dated Oct. 11, 1907 stated, Indiana Glass Co. , manufacturers of Pressed and Blown Glassware, Frank W. Merry, Pres.; H. H. Phillips, Sec- Treas. Frank Merry remained President of the Indiana Glass Company until 1931. The founding date of 1907 occurred when the plant was purchased and the company incorporated. The early company letterhead stated, EST 1907.
The Indiana Glass Company made pressed and blown glassware. They made lamps and press molded decorative plates and bowls. Indiana Glass is believed to be the longest producer of Goofus Glass.
For those of you that are not familiar with Goofus Glass, Goofus Glass was a VERY inexpensive way to make colored, decorative glass. Pressed, patterned glass items were cold painted (not fired) and the paint was not permanent. If used or washed, the paint soon flaked off. A bowl or plate was painted gold on the exterior and the pattern on the interior was filled in with paint. Red and gold seemed to be the standard colors and sometimes green.
Early American Press Glass items were made from about 1900 (when Indiana Glass was part of National Glass) to 1930. Some of the more popular Indiana EAPG patterns include Bethlehem Star, Bird and Strawberry, Darling Grape, Ferris Wheel, Garden Pink, Horsemint, Late Butterfly, Paneled Daisy and Fine Cut, Shooting Star, Silver Anniversary and many more.
Depression Glass items were produced from about 1925 to 1940. Some of the more popular Indiana Glass Depression Glass patterns include Avocado, Bananas, Horseshoe, Lorain, Old English, Pineapple and Floral, Pyramid, Tea Room, Vernon and many more.
Classic Glass items were produced from about 1940 to 1970. Some of the Classic patterns include Christmas Candy, Daisy and Button, Garland, Magnolia, Orange Blossom, Park Lane, Teardrop, Wild Rose and many more.
Contemporary Glass items were produced from about 1970 to 2002, the date Indiana Glass closed it's doors. Sad day for those of us who love Indiana Glass. Some of the Contemporary patterns include the Canterbury Baskets, Crystal Ice, Diamond Point, Egg Plates, Harvest in milk glass and carnival glass, Heirloom Carnival, King's Crown, Lexington, Lotus Blossom, Monticello, Mt Vernon, Pebble Leaf, Recollection, Tiki, Windsor and many more.
Tiara items were produced from about 1970 to 1998. Indiana Glass founded Tiara Exclusives in 1970 and produced the majority of the glass sold through Tiara. Some of the patterns Indiana Glass produced for Tiara include Art Deco, Sweet Pear, Constellation, Crown, Dewdrop, Empress, Honey Boxes, Jolly Mountaineer, Lord's Supper, Monarch, Ponderosa, Sandwich and many more. NOTE: MOST ITEMS ARE REPRODUCTIONS (Except for Ponderosa Pine)
More important dates in Indiana Glass History
In 1919, Indiana Glass also added soda fountain supplies to their line of glassware. Their soda fountain line included the now famous and very familiar A and W Root Beer Mugs. The first A and W Mug was Indiana Glass, No. 1504, a 10 ounce mug.
In 1921, the Baby A and W Root Beer Mug was added. It was Indiana, No. 1505, a 3 1/2 ounce mug. Indiana Glass continued to make the A and W Root Beer Mugs until about 1980.
In 1923, Indiana Glass introduced a pattern of glassware called Avocado. Avocado is considered to be the very first Depression Glass Pattern.
In 1957, the Lancaster Glass Corporation purchased the Indiana Glass Company.
In 1962, the Lancaster Glass Corporation was one of five companies merged to form the Lancaster Colony Corporation. The reference of Lancaster was taken from Lancaster Glass and the Colony was taken from the well recognized trade name of Colony Glass.
In 1963, the glassware boxes were changed so they read, Indiana Glass, a subsidiary of the Lancaster Colony Corporation.
In 1970, Tiara Exclusives was formed. Indiana Glass produced glass for Tiara primarily using old moulds. Tiara items were sold through home parties.
In 1977, Lancaster Colony attempted to purchase Federal Glass. The deal fell through in 1979 due to a wage dispute with the American Flint Glass Workers Union. Indiana Glass acquired many moulds when Federal Glass closed.
In 1983, Lancaster Colony purchased the Fostoria Glass Company.
In 1984, a US Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of the Imperial Glass Company to Lancaster Colony and Consolidated International. The glass moulds and other assets were sold at a liquidation sale. Indiana Glass acquired many Imperial moulds as a result of this sale.
In 1986, due to overseas competition, Lancaster Colony closed the nearly 100 year old Fostoria Glass plant in West Virginia but kept the name to be used on products from other facilities. Indiana Glass acquired many Fostoria molds as a result of this closure.
In 1992, Lancaster Colony is incorporated in Ohio. (The beginning of the end for the Dunkirk Indiana Glass factory).
In 1998, Lancaster Colony closes Tiara.
In 2001, the American Flint Glass Workers Union, Local 501 voted 267 to 63 to strike. Health and safety issues were key factors that triggered the strike, as the factory itself was nearly 100 years old. The strike lasted 97 days. Work resumed in January 2002 but it was a very short lived victory for the workers of Indiana Glass.
In 2002, (November 2002) Lancaster Colony announced it was halting all glass making operations at Indiana Glass in Dunkirk, IN. The operation would be consolidated into the company's Sapulpa, OK factory. The Sapulpa, OK factory (Bartlett and Collins) continues to use the Indiana Glass name.
You can purchase books on CD for many Indiana Glass Patterns from our very own Donna who has spent many years studying and documenting Indiana Glass.
Many thanks to Donna, Carnival Glass Heaven for writing this article. You can buy her CD by following this link (her prices are very reasonable):
Link to Indiana Glass Book on CD
NOTE: Tiara Exclusives has been moved to its own page and folder and is being managed by Ken Hartwell who is developing a fantastic site on the subject at Tiara Exclusives Informational Website
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