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Heisey Glass - Part 1

Following our visit to the National Heisey Glass Museum  located at 6th and Church Streets, Newark, Ohio on Aug. 27, 2004, we feel qualified to say that NO carnival glass was ever produced by Heisey  Glass. The Museum is owned and operated by the Heisey Collectors of America, Inc. since 1974. The Collectors' Society was founded in 1971. More than 5,000 pieces of glassware produced by the A.H.Heisey & Co. in Newark from 1896-1957 are housed there. Also on display are molds, tools, etching plates, factory designs, samples and “whimsies”. The Collectors' Society added a new wing to the Museum in 1993. A gift shop is available on site.

We spoke at length with a member of the Collectors' group, a local lifelong resident of Newark who is now in her early `70s. She has volunteered her time to the Museum for the past fourteen years. During that time, two Museum Curators have prevailed, and neither of them find evidence that any carnival glass was ever produced.
1916 HEISEY Breakfast Set-Smokey blue flash iridescence. - 5 and one-quarter in. diam.inside tray or 8 in. across handles   
1916 HEISEY Breakfast Set-Smokey blue flash iridescence.  
5 1/4 inch diam.  inside tray or 8 inch across handles

Center rim of the sugar tray is raised to hold the small creamer in place
Center rim of the sugar tray is raised to hold the small creamer in place
Center rim of the sugar tray is raised to hold the small creamer in place
The Diamond H logo found in some examples of Heisey Glass
The Diamond H logo found in some examples of Heisey Glass, was designed by the son of A.H. Heisey while attending college.
Diamond H on bottom of this bowl.Heisey
Diamond H on bottom of this bowl

At the time Heisey ceased operations on Christmas Eve, 1957, all molds were sold to Imperial Glass Co. of Bellaire, OH. Shortly after the formation of the Collectors' Society in 1971, enough monies were appropriated by that group to buy-back the “rights” to usage of the Diamond H by Imperial.
HEISEY Colonial pattern - 4 and one-half in. vase-flashed mgld.
HEISEY Colonial pattern - 4 1/2 inch vase-flashed marigold.

Two of the examples of  “Heisey”  patterns we display in this segment have been seen in sale ads from the “vintage” category of carnival glass offered over Ebay.  The vase was included in a recent Reichel Auction.  As we handled it, we could determine it to have been nicely iridized in a radium-type finish. It sold for a substantial amount. There are no known carnival glass pattern names to apply to any of these pieces.

Dean & Diane Fry - 9/04


This email was received from the current Heisey Museum curator on November 23, 2004:

"Heisey never made any carnival glass -- that can be said with certainty. However many pieces of Heisey were given a carnival like treatment.  Many companies purchased Heisey blanks and decorated the pieces with cuttings, etchings, painting, and even carnival treatment. I can remember back in the '80s a barn full of Heisey was found in New England that had all been given carnival treatment by a lady who did it as a hobby. Very few pieces of Heisey were given a carnival treatment by Imperial - the story book mug and the top hat match holder being the only pieces that come quickly to mind as being given that treatment after the Heisey factory closed."

Part of an email received November 23, 2004 from Tom Felt.  Tom is a well known glass researcher who works for the Library of Congress:

There is no evidence in the existing archival materials from the factory that Heisey ever offered any iridized pieces and, while it isn't impossible that they could have experimented with carnival finishes, the
consensus of most knowledgeable researchers today is that they did not.  This would be especially unlikely during A. H. Heisey's lifetime, since his emphasis from the beginning was on the clarity of the crystal. Ruby stain and other decorations offered by the company in the early years were used only to enhance the pieces and never allowed to interfere with the overall fineness of the crystal. Based on the known opinions and beliefs of A. H. Heisey, a carnival finish is highly unlikely.  

Most of the iridized Diamond H pieces seen today are from the 1920s and were done by the Cora Carter Studio in Newtonville, Massachusetts. The Spicer Studio in Akron, Ohio (distributed by Howard Seldon in New York) also decorated some Heisey blanks with "Amethyst, Amber, Blue and Rainbow luster," according to an ad from 1921. Based on the existing Trade Journal information, it is an accepted belief that the iridescent Heisey pieces were all done by decorating companies in the 1920's.

I asked for clarification concerning the barn full of iridized Heisey found in the 1980's and received this reply from Tom Felt on November 23, 2004:

Yes, I should have clarified my clarification. The barn full of glass found in the 1980s was left over from the 1920s. (Wouldn't it be nice to make a discovery like that?)  Walter's (Heisey Museum curator) description implies that Cora Carter was an amateur decorator, and that's where I disagree with him. She may (or may not) have done all the work herself, but as far as I know she sold her pieces commercially, so what was found in the barn was leftover stock from her business.  Her business was in operation in the 1920's.

Donna Adler - 11/04

Chevrolet Truck Circa 1930.
Heisey Delivery Truck 1930's

Be not weary in well-doing,
Though your labors cause you pain-
There could never be a harvest
Without sowing of the grain.

Instead of giving up on a person, give that person to God.

*INSIGHT*~~ People who explain God in simplistic formulas are on a collision course with disappointment. The reality is that God's workings are often beyond our comprehension (Isaiah 55:9).
When things don't make sense, remember that God has more information than we do. We need to trust Him.

Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:

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