Monday, May 7, 2012

T is for Tiffin

Tiffin Classic Pattern

In 1845, Joseph L. Beatty and Edward Stillman started a glass factory in Steubenville, OH calling it simply the Beatty Glass Works.  It became known for its production of fine tableware and tumblers, supporting 150 glass artisans.  During the Civil War, A.J. Beatty & Sons Glass Company led all others in the US, with production of tumblers, beer and wine glasses and decorative bottles.  Glass makers pressed and created blown finely tinted opalescent glass which was also skillfully engraved.  Tiffin Glass is the product of a merger in 1893, between US Glass and A.J. Beatty & Sons.  Beatty & Sons relocated to Tiffin, OH in 1888, establishing a glass factory that created as many as 500,000 pieces of pressed glass tumblers per week!  Designated as Factory R, it became one of 19 factories owned by US Glass nationwide.

During the early 1900's, customer demand created a shift from pressed to blown tableware.  Until 1927 Tiffin glass products were identified with the paper label 'USG' from the US Glass Company, with the gold paper 'TiffinT' shield label appearing from 1927-1940.  Tiffin manufactured  what is known as Elegant Glass, with the earliest patterns including:  Cadence, Cherokee Rose, Classic, Flanders, Fuchsia, and King's Charm.  The 1940's brought major changes to the industry, with fewer types of glasses produced in stemware lines, a resurgence in appreciation for crystal pieces and an interest in fine china table settings.  In response to this, Tiffin glassware became known as 'America's Prestige Crystal' and the revered Lady Stems glassware were popularized from 1939-1956.  

Financial problems plagued all of the Elegant Glass companies in the 1950's, with the advent of inexpensive imports from overseas. Tiffin was the only US Glass Company plant remaining in the United States in 1951; despite this reprieve, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1962.  A year later, a group of employees bought the factory, renaming it Tiffin Art Glass Company, purchasing the glass molds from the T.G. Hawkes Cut Glass Company of Corning, NY.  Three years later in 1966 the company was sold once again and renamed Tiffin Glass Company, continuing production of beautiful blown and pressed stemware.

Tiffin Glass Company finally closed its doors in 1980 upon being sold to Towle Silversmiths. 
As you hunt for treasures, keep this special piece of US glass history in mind; you will not be disappointed with a Tiffin glass find, guaranteed.  Have fun!


1 comment:

Gardeningbren said...

I learn so much from your blog posts!! Love the etsy slideshow sidebar btw

Related Posts with Thumbnails