In some of the posts I’ve done including one on Depression Glass and another on Glasbake , Jeannette Glass Company has made an appearance. It’s an interesting history that is intertwined with some other glass houses. I have this lovely set for sale in the Vintage Eve’s store. I love the pattern and the glass is solid and heavy in your hand.
As I mentioned in my Glasbake post, Jeannette Glass isn’t named after someone but rather somewhere, Jeannette, Pennsylvania. According to the “Hidden History of the Laurel Highlands” by Cassandra Vivian, Jeannette Glass Company started as the McKee-Jeannette Glass Company in 1904.
McKee was a glass maker in 1899 when he sold his business to the National Glass Company tableware trust. In 1906 it was listed as the “largest tableware glass factory in the world” (Vivian, 2014). They sent their tablewares all over the United States and Europe by that time.
During the early 1900s the company went through a few name changes but continued to make glassware. They made pressed glass, jadite, white milk glass, black glass and they were the creators of Glasbake. They even made headlight lenses! Don’t forget though, this was the McKee-Jeannette Glass Company. Eventually in the 1960s, this company was absorbed into the Jeannette Glass Company.
Jeannette Glass Company started in 1890. It was right next to the McKee Glass Company. They made pressed glassware. Jeannette Bottle Works was also around at that time making bottles. They were absorbed into the Jeannette Glass Company in 1898 and started making glass jars for condiments of all kinds.
So as you can see, all of these companies sort of morphed into one big Jeannette Glass Company which actually closed for good in 1983. There is a company called Jeannette Specialty Glass Company that is still in business but that is not the Jeannette Glass Company that we think of when we think of Depression Glass and glass through the mid-century.
As I said, an interesting history. I am always amazed at how blurred the lines between companies can become over the years. All this information came from the book I referenced by Cassandra Vivian, which can be found at Amazon.
Well, that is everything I found out about Jeannette Glass Company. I hope you have learned something as I did. Please join me at the link parties listed to the right. I’ll be linking up all week with some other fabulous blogs! Drop me a note if you have a moment in your day and have a great week!
In my travels I recently picked up this beautiful divided dish. I love the shell handles and lovely ribbed design.
It went into the Vintage Eve’s Etsy shop today, but before I could do that, I needed to find out who manufactured it since it was unmarked. Turns out it was the Hazel-Atlas company. I have a few pieces in the shop by Hazel-Atlas like this jelly jar.
At one time in America, Hazel-Atlas was one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world. According to Collectors Weekly the company started out as Hazel Glass Company in 1885 and were making opal glass liners for Mason jar zinc caps.
Then in 1902 the company name was changed to Hazel-Atlas when they merged with the Atlas Glass Company of Washington, Pennsylvania. By this point, the company was a leader in making fruit jars, oil bottles and commercial glass containers for everything you can think of. Pickle jars, check. Vaseline jars, check. Need a snuff bottle, Hazel-Atlas was probably making it.
They also made a number of these containers in colors. Amber, blue, crystal, yellow. This is in part what led to their production of dinnerware and glassware, many of it known as Depression Glass today. Their first line of dinnerware was known as Ovide.
It was made in a transparent green or an opaque black, the black is above. Collectors Weekly says that another early pattern was called Ribbon. Moderntone was introduced in 1934 in cobalt and amethyst.
Then in 1936, Hazel-Atlas came out with Platonite, a sort of semi-opaque glass that is often mistaken for milk glass. Platonite could come in any color but are more often than not found in white with colored concentric rings that have been fired onto the white.
During the post-WWII years, they became popular for their fired-on patterns. Many of these were created by the Gay Fad Decorating Company. Collectors Weekly lists designs such as dancing sailors, hats, windmills, maple leaves, daisies, musical instruments and flying geese as all popular motifs. There are many more designs that can be checked out at Collectors Weekly.
The mark to look for is a large H with a small A under the “H’s” bar. This mark was used starting around 1923 (GlassBottleMarks.com).
Although this mark is found on many of their bottles, most of their Depression Glass bears no mark. It’s on the bottom of my jelly jar, but not the dish at the top of this post. Another line that Hazel-Atlas put out was kiddie ware that consisted of bowls, mugs and plates for children.
The company did well with the kiddie ware but they really did well with their kitchenware. They made mixing bowls, butter dishes, juicers (or reamers), among other things. They also made refrigerator dishes and Platonite stacking storage containers. They also made shakers.
I have been trying to track down what actually happened to the company. At this writing, I haven’t been able to do that. They were producing stuff that people were buying but in 1956, running 13 plants, the Continental Can Company purchased the firm. According to Archiving Wheeling the sale was contested and it took from 1956 to 1964 for the sale to be completed. After that, most of the factories were sold off and the Hazel-Atlas company ceased to exist.
So that is the story of the Hazel-Atlas Company. What once was is no more, however, they have produced some enduring pieces that are beautiful and functional. Such a great company and one that gave people work through the Great Depression. If you have a favorite Hazel-Atlas piece, let me know. I would love to hear about it. Also, check out the link parties on the right where I will be sharing my blog with other great bloggers this week. As always, have a great week!!
When I first started writing this blog, my first post was on my favorite bowls. I love bowls. I think I’ve established that in subsequent posts. In that first post, one of the bowls I showed was this one …
Robinson Ransbottom Bowl Girl With Watering Can circa 1930s
It will never be put up for sale in my shop because I love it too much. And here is the other set I love and will not part with. I had to wait 6 months from the time I found this set at “A Well Kept Secret” in Kingston, NH, to when it went on sale almost half off. From there I talked them down another $10 while I hoped against hope someone else didn’t scoop it up! Also, because it is my favorite set 😉
Robinson-Ransbottom Zephyr Mixing Bowl Set
Close up of relief on Zephyr mixing bowl
Can you see why I can’t part with them? How many sets do you see like this from the 1940s that are in great shape, no cracks or chips AND together like this? You don’t — so I’m keeping them. I sell many pieces of vintage pottery in the Vintage Eve’s Etsy shop, but this set will not be one of them. Below is a cool poultry fountain by Robinson Ransbottom. They have a rich history.
Robinson Ransbottom Pottery was started in 1920 in Roseville, OH. You have to go further back to understand where they actually started, though. According to a source I go back to frequently, Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain and Clay (1988), it began further back in 1856 with Whitmore, Robinson and Company. From 1862 to 1900 this company made stoneware, yellowware, and Rockingham.
They then formed the Robinson-Merrill Company with the addition of the E.H. Merrill Company. By 1902 the company was called the Robinson Clay Products Company. Sometime during the year of 1920, the Ransbottom Brothers Pottery in Roseville, Ohio combined with Robinson Clay Products and viola Robinson-Ransbottom Pottery was born.
Let’s go back slightly. There were 4 Ransbottom brothers who founded a pottery in Ironspot, Ohio. They also ran a pottery in Saltillo, Ohio where they manufactured stoneware jars. In 1910 they combined all their efforts into the Roseville plant. By 1916, the Ransbottom Brothers Pottery were the number one maker of stoneware jars in the U.S. Not too shabby!
The Ransbottom Brothers Pottery also made jars for preserves, churns, milk pans or bowls, poultry fountains and other utilitarian items. Many times the Robinson-Ransbottom pieces are marked just “Roseville” which causes confusion among collectors. There is a different “Roseville” that people collect and it looks different, the colors are more matte and pastel. The Ransbottom pieces are high gloss for the most part. Look at this matching piece to my beloved bowls I found for sale at Etsy! It’s a small milk pitcher.
Well, Robinson Ransbottom had a nice long run, but unfortunately went out of business in 2005. And so is the history of another great company that employed hundreds of potters over the years. A number of their pieces seem to be unmarked having lost their paper stickers as time passed. I would recommend the Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain and Clay (1988) to get a look at all the different marks they used; there are over 20. Check your library for the book or Amazon (which is where I got mine in perfectly used condition).
I hope you all have a great week! I will be partying at the link parties to the right this week. Check them out if you get the chance. And as always, leave me a note if you liked this post because I love to hear from everyone!
So I’ve told you all before that sometimes … just sometimes I have a hard time letting go of stuff that I find for the Vintage Eve’s store. Well, this was one of those items. If you have been following me for any length of time, you will also know that bowls are my weakness. I don’t get it either, but there it is. But let’s just take a minute to admire the beauty of the bowl below.
I know, right?!! It’s perfect and it’s now sitting on my kitchen table; 1930s, Universal Potteries, Inc. Morning Glory mixing bowl. Take a look at that pic collage, though. Do you see the pottery mark from the bottom of the bowl? It says, among other things, National Brotherhood of Operative Potters. Never heard of it? Me either until I purchased this bowl. So you know I had to find out who they were. Here is the story.
According to the Kent State Library, The National Brotherhood of Operative Potters (NBOP) is associated with the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL/CIO). The Brotherhood was founded in 1890 around East Liverpool, Ohio.
The NBOP were unhappy with the dominance of the eastern unionists in the Trenton, New Jersey area. During that time, the early 1900s, these potteries set up in areas rich in fuel, clay and water. The University Library states that there were 2 major areas of potteries and they were Trenton, NJ and East Liverpool, OH. The Trenton potters dominated the industry through the Civil War. The pottery workers had already started unionizing to protect their skilled positions “as early as 1862.” (Library Kent).
So in 1890 the first convention of the NBOP started a push towards developing an organization that would protect and benefit potters’ interests. It definitely helped Ohio’s potteries grow to be the producer of 25% of total production. New Jersey’s share of that production was slipping.
The NBOP was successful in gaining members and changing labor-management relationships during those early years.The University Library says that they formed 5 locals in those early years: “Local Union One in Toronto, Ohio; Local Union Two in New Cumberland, West Virginia; Local Union Three in Kittanning, Pennsylvania; Local Union Four in East Liverpool, Ohio; and Local Union Five in Findlay, Ohio.”
They eventually merged the Eastern and Western factions to form a truly national union. They managed to secure a uniform wage contract by 1911. Over the next 30 years they went through their ups and downs. During the time I’ve been writing this blog, we’ve read that many potteries went under due to cheap foreign imports, however during the Progressive and WWI years, foreign imports were greatly reduced in the U.S., thereby increasing demand for domestic wares.
Between that increase and the government’s leniency toward labor, the NBOP membership increased. They were able to change sanitary and wage agreements within the industry getting higher wages for their members and checking unskilled workers dangerously operating machinery. But as things happen, the country began to swing the other way after the war.
There were strikes in 1921 and 1922 that caused people to disaffiliate with the NBOP. Over the next few years, they elected James Duffy into office and he began to strengthen the organization. They continued to go through ups and downs but their membership grew, changing their name in 1951 to the International Brotherhood of Operative Potters (IBOP). So any pieces marked NBOP were before 1951.
Through the years it also became the International Brotherhood of Allied Workers including unskilled, semi-skilled and non-ceramic groups to increase membership. This happened in 1969. There is more information but for the purposes of this post, this is where I’ll leave off. For more information on the subject, please visit the Kent University Library website which also lists a book that goes more in depth.
It’s an interesting history to be sure. So although pieces carry the NBOP mark, the pottery where the piece was made was just a part of this organization. In the case of my bowl, it was made by Universal Potteries, Inc. which was part of the larger organization. When you are trying to identify a piece through the mark, look closely to figure out which pottery company actually made the piece.
As usual, I will be partying all week at the awesome blogs on the right. Check them out if you have a chance. Thanks for visiting and drop me a note to tell me about a piece you just love too much to give up! Have a great week!!