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Heisey Glass - Part 2
HEISEY GLASS - Part 2
This segment about Heisey Glass is somewhat different from most of our others on the 101 site.
When Bob Smith contacted us with photos of some tumblers he knew to be of Heisey origin, he had already read what is offered in the history portion of our Heisey - Part 1, and felt that he could (with time and proper contact with some men he had known in past years) ascertain the derivation of some iridized tumblers, known to be of Heisey origin.
A letter to us from Bob, dated July 7, 2005 states the following:
It has been just dreadful trying to remember details over a conversation that occurred 15 years ago, about the lady who iridized Heisey in Newton. I searched everywhere around here and finally came up with the names of the two partners who used to own an antique shop that featured only glass. I used to drop in there quite often. The shop was long ago gone, but I went searching in the telephone book and came up with one of the names. Turned out to be the right one! (incredible!)
The partners names were George Fogg and Frank Maloney. George was heavy into glass research and most important, was the President of the National Heisey Glass Collectors. He was the one who told me the story about the iridizing lady. The glass she left was not in barrels, but in boxes. It was shipped to her in barrels, which was the shipping method of the time.
I left my phone number and they will need some days to refresh their own memories, but they will get in touch with me. They did confirm the glasses in the boxes and the $5.00 per box. It turned up in Brimfield (where they both saw it) and then I remembered that was where I bought five of the iridized Heisey Colonial Juice glasses.
They also confirmed that there was a prominent antiques dealer who lived and had a shop in Naples, Maine, who wanted her glass very badly and almost had a stroke when she found out how the nephew had sold it. (He had told me her name back then, but like myself, he now cannot remember it.)
I also mentioned and he remembered that he had gotten some actual factory invoices of sales to the lady. He gave them to me and I, to my regret, sent them to John Britt without making copies. She bought small quantities, like a half dozen or a dozen items of each. I remember the invoices were dated in the 1920s. And here's another thing - she also did the same thing with Cambridge, Fostoria, and a few other glass makers. She iridized the stuff in her basement and had her shop in the front room of her house.-(Oh, yes-the invoices came out of the Heisey Museum.)
I do have another tumbler that I found while they still had their shop, which Frank Maloney said he was sure is called Heisey's “PLAIN and FANCY” tumbler. They had a Heisey pattern book on hand and I saw that the pattern was indeed in the book. This one was written up by Britt after I sent him a photo.
Now it's a matter of waiting for them to collect their memories.
A letter from Bob Smith dated July 8, 2005 relates an interesting bit of history surrounding enameled items.
It was explained to me years ago how different enameled items appeared on such tumblers as the Heartband, including those that were souvenirs, having town or city names on them.
A lady here in Massachusetts owned what she called a “salesman's sample kit”, which had several carnival items in it, including a Heartband tumbler and a Near Cut tumbler, some mugs and a few smaller pieces.
A “traveling salesman” would bring this kit with him as he traveled from town to town in a section of the country (seems each salesman had their own sales territories, consisting of several states. (New England was considered one territory.) It was their job to talk the locals into buying their merchandise, which the salesman would then have “printed or painted” with whatever the buyer desired; be it a souvenir with the town name or whatever.
There was a little leaflet in the kit which had the glass printer's name and address, along with a couple of paragraphs of what they could provide. The lady believed that each salesman had his own “printer” and received a commission from him. It was a really interesting kit! Lord knows where it is now?
This leaves me wondering whether the glass companies may have had their own salesmen who went out seeking businesses to purchase their carnival glass with their business names on, which eventually became our coveted carnival glass advertising items?
While I think of it, I did not mean to imply that the salesman's kit was just confined to carnival items. It also had a couple of flashed Ruby (or red) mugs and tumblers. Actually, a run through on eBay would pull up more of the ruby flashed examples than carnival ones. They seemed to be quite popular for small town souvenirs (never heard of places) than the carnival items. ---------- Bob
Note: Booths for inscribing names on these ruby flashed pieces were set up at places like the Ohio State Fair during the 1940s-50s. A small glass box with ruby lid was purchased for me with Diane in script, while attending that Fair in 1942 in Springfield, Ohio. The style of the box was art nuveau, having small projecting feet.
-------- Diane Fry
LETTER from FRANK MALONEY dated July 26, 2005:
An e-mail from Bob Smith, dated July 30, 2005:
Just received an envelope with a two page note and six pages of Heisey invoices of items sent to Sara Comer. I was right with the name the first time - it is Sara Comer.
I am scanning the 2 page note and attaching it to this letter. I'm not sure this is going to work, so I will hold off scanning the invoice pages. Let me know if you can read these and I will scan the invoices.
The dates on the invoices are 1924 and 1925. - This gives rise to a thought. They were still making carnival glass during this time period. Mrs. Comer was not deliberately iridizing glass to deceive people as some folks do nowadays. She could only have been making a small amount of money from each piece she iridized. Technically, we could say she was a maker of original carnival glass, although she did not make the pressed glass herself. Her iridized glass is at least 80 years old now.
August 6, 2005
Note: The attempt at scanning the invoices was not successful, so Bob mailed copies of the invoices. Some of the detail was lost in the process, but Dean took photos of each one. They are here for your appraisal. We believe you can read enough for verification of Sara Comer's “sideline”.
No one who has ever become involved in the research process could tell you it is “easy”. Frustrating at times-better describes the issue! However, there is no other method for verifying history. We appreciate Bob's extreme efforts extended in this project! ------- Respectfully, Dean & Diane Fry
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:
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