glass books books on American glass

Books on American Glass


books on American glass
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The first glass made in the Americas was in Mexico in 1535 and in 1592 in Argentina. Neither of these glass-works succeeded due to the small population and lack of demand. Virginia was the first English colony to start a glassworks, in 1608 near Jamestown. This also failed after a year and so did the efforts to establish glassworks in Salem in 1641 and in Philadelphia in 1682. The Dutch operated 2 glassworks in the 1650's in New York (New Amsterdam at the time). We know very little about the glass made in these early works. The demand for glass items increased until in the 1730's the first successful glassworks were set up. In 1738 Caspar Wistar built his glassworks at Wistarburgh, New Jersey and started producing bottles and window glass the next year. They also made tableware, but it is not marked so is hard to identify. Another successful glassmaker was Henry W Stiegel, who set up three glass-works in Lancaster County, west of Philadelphia. He made bottles and window glass but also tried to compete with the imported luxury glass. And the third early glassmaker was John F. Amelung, who bought a glassworks in Frederick County west of Baltimore around 1784 and called it the "New Bremmen Glass-Manufactory". However all these early ventures were opposed strongly by the British and eventually failed. And it was not until the Revolutionary War in 1783 and the war with Britain in 1812 and a trade embargo on British goods, that American glass manufacture really took off. Between 1790 and 1820 some 63 glass-houses were set up.Protective tarrifs were introduced in 1824 and about half of this wave of glass houses survived into the 1830's.

In the first half of the 19th century the population of America went from 5 million to 23 million, and the market for glass items increased hugely. To meet this demand the glass-makers invented methods of speeding up manufacture, and mold-blown glassware became very popular. About the middle of the 19th century the supplies of cheap fuel dried up in Eastern America, and so many glassworks switched to luxury, cut, lead crystal glass so they could more easily pass on the higher costs of manufacture. There followed several phases of popularity for cut glass (the "Brilliant" period) and this gave way eventually to the Victorian vogue for colored glass. Around the turn of the century superb quality Art Nouveau glass was popular internationally, and American had its share of Art Nouveau glass works. Tiffany with their Favrile glass and their glass mosaics; Frederick Carder's Aurene glass, Verre de Soie, Cluthra, and Diatreta; Hobbs Brockunier Glass, Mt.Washington Glass, and others. To some extent the beautiful glass produced by these companies lost popularity when large factories began producing pressed glass copies..
The late 19th century and early 20th century saw the growth and success of many pressed glass factories in the US. Some of the books listed below focus on the history of individual companies, such as Fenton, Millersburg, Heisey, Imperial, Fostoria, Lancaster, Fry, Northwood, Indiana and others. Some companies acquired molds from these early companies and reproduced art glass in later years. Kemple (1945-70), for example, focussed on milk glass reproductions of early American pressed glass; Fenton (1905-2017) discovered in the 1970s that glass collectors were a major new market for reproduced early items such as Carnival glass; and Tiara Exclusives (1970-1998) built a small army of Home Sales representatives selling quality art glass reproductions for the home hostess. Kemple, Tiara, and Fenton reproductions are all collected in their own right today.


Our selection of books below includes some new books as well as older classics, and covers between them the whole spectrum of glass made in the USA. Click on the book cover or title for more information.
Alison Berger's glass 2016 Lamps of Tiffany Studios 2016 Timeless Beauty Tiffany Art Bryce Higbee Co. 2016 Indiana Glass 2016 West Virginia Glass Between the World Wars, 2007 West Virginia Glass Towns, 2012, by Dean Six Higgins Glass Higgins Glass Pittsburgh Glass Book on Carder and Steuben glass Steuben glass book Carder Steuben book Fred Carder book Indiana glass book Phoenix Art glass book Tiffany 2008 Tiffany glass guidebook Tiffany Lamps 2012 American cut and engraved glass Fenton 2nd Edition book Fenton Burmese Fenton Patterns 2nd Edn American Cut Glass book EAPG book L G Wright book Fostoria value guide Fostoria American Line book Depression glass book Depression Glass Treasures Carnival Glass book Best Carnival Glass Northwood book Dugan glass book Doty Field Guide to Carnival Glass Big book vaseline Westmoreland glass book Libbey glass book Hawkes cut glass book Anchor Hocking book American glass book Fostoria guide book Hobbs B glassbook Imperial Glass Encyclopedia Glass makers book A History of Owens-Illinois Libbey American Glassmaker 2011

  • Clearly Indigenous: Native Visions Reimagined in Glass (2021) by Letitia Chambers, former trustee of the Institute of American Indian Arts. The glass art created by American Indian artists has melded the aesthetics and properties of glass art with their indigenous cultural knowledge. Well illustrated with photographs of the glass creations from indigenous artists.
  • Venice and American Studio Glass (2021) by Tina Oldknow and William Warmus, former curators at the Corning Museum of Glass. Examines the influences of traditional Venetian techniques on American Studio Glass from the 1960s to the present, based on the glass creations of 60 American and Venetian artists.
  • Tiara Glass Exclusive: The Catalogue Collection (2019) by Angela Bowey. A comprehensive book of catalogues and information about Tiara glassware. Extensive source of material about which companies made which Tiara designs for the Tiara company, and when they were made.
  • Chihuly at Kew: Reflections on nature (2019) by Dale Chihuly and Tim Richardson. Outstanding pictures of Chihuly's glass exhibits across Kew Gardens in London, with informative text about these installations.
  • American Glass: The Collections at Yale (2018) by John Stuart Gordon. Illustrated with items from the Yale University collections, this book tells the history of glass in American life, art and culture; showcasing 18th-century mold-blown vessels, 19th-century pressed glass, contemporary studio work, luminous stained-glass windows and including an essay on the history of collecting American glass.
  • Kemple Glass: 1945-1970 (1997) by John Burkholder and D. Thomas O'Connor. An informative book with good photographs of the milk glass reproductions that made this company successful for 25 years.
  • Artistry And Innovation In Pittsburgh Glass, 1808-1882: From Bakewell & Ensell To Bakewell, Pears & Co. (2005) by Arlene Palmer. History and exhibition catalogue pictures of 19th century glass made by the Bakewell company in Pittsburgh.
  • Glass and Glamour (Steuben Glass) (Oct 2003) by Donald Albrecht. Companion book to the Steuben Glass centenary exhibition, showcasing its glamorous and sophisticated art glass creations, 1930s - 1960s.
  • Tiffany (Jan 2008) by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Jacob Baal-Teshuva. A very popular book with great pictures and text.
  • The Lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany (Oct 2012) by Martin Eidelberg. A smaller more affordable format than the original, but with very good reviews and praise for the great pictures.
  • Tiffany Favrile Art Glass (Mar 97) by Moise S. Steeg (Schiffer Book for Collectors). Louis Comfort Tiffany made some of the finest art nouveau glass around the turn of the century, and his most delicate and beautiful pieces were in the Favrile Art Glass range.
  • Fenton Art Glass 1907-1939: Identification and value guide (July 96) by Margaret and Ken Whitmyer; covering the first 32 years of glass from this highly collectible company.
  • Westmoreland Glass: Identification and value guide (Jun 96) by Chares West Wilson. a useful book about this Ohio glassworks which made glass for nearly 100 years, finally closing its doors in the mid-1980's.
  • Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass 9th edition (Jun 2004) by Bill Edwards - a very useful book with over 2000 patterns all photographed in colour.
  • More books on Carnival Glass
  • Avon Collector's Encyclopedia: Avon and California Perfume Company Products 18th Edition (Oct 2007) by Bud Hastin. Essential information source covering 1886 to the present day, with thousands of pictures many in colour.
  • Anchor Hocking's Fire-King and More (April 2006) by Gene and Cathy Florence - with great pictures and information.
  • More books by Gene Florence.
  • Elegant Glasware of the Depression Era: 13th Edition (July 2008) by Gene Florence. A very popular book.
  • More Depression glass books
  • American Pressed Glass and bottles Price Guide (Dec 94) by Kyle Hustle; still a popular book.
  • Fostoria: identification and value guide to Etched, Carved and Cut Designs Vol. 2. (Nov 96) by Ann Kerr. An excellent guide to identify the many Fostoria patterns.
  • More books on Fostoria Glass
  • Hobbs, Bruckunier and Co. Glass: Identification and Value Guide (July 97) by Neila, Tom and Thomas H Bredehoft. Great pictures useful id.
  • Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass: American Classic(Oct 98) by Thomas P Dimitroff, Charles R. Hajdamach, and Jane Shadel Spillman. An excellent reference book about the history of Carder and the Steuben Glass company plus hundreds of coloured photographs and line drawings.
  • The Glassmakers, Revisited: A History of Owens-Illinois, Inc. (May 2010) by Jack K Paquette, vice president and assistant to the chairman of Owens-Illlinois who worked for the company for 33 years. The book describes the people and the inventions that changed glassmaking and changed the industry.
  • Edward Drummond Libbey, American Glassmaker (2011) by Quentin R. Skrabec. The story of Libbey's long career, his innovation of American flint cut glass, his affordable glassware and how he changed the glass industry with the automatic bottle-making machine and automatic sheet glass machine.


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