Monday, June 18, 2012

W is for Westmoreland

In 1889, two brothers, George and Charles West, left the Specialty Glass Company in E. Liverpool, OH to open the Westmoreland Glass Company in Grapeville, PA.  The natural gas-rich area provided a plentiful energy source for the production of high quality pressed glass tableware and specialty jars designed for vinegar, mustard, extracts and candy.  Their signature item was milk glass Hens on Nests produced during the 1920's through the 1950's, as well as novelty 'packer's goods'.  The West brothers manufactured two lines for Woolworth's as well as some of America's finest cut glass.  One of the most well known patterns,  Paneled Grape, was first produced in the late 1800's as a thinner more translucent white glass.  Westmoreland became well known for its glass toys such as submarines, wagons, windmills, automobiles, trains, animals, revolvers - countless lines of novelty gift ware.  To set themselves apart, much of the glassware was hand decorated.  At the turn of the 20th C this was an appreciated distinguishing element separating Westmoreland from the myriad of glass companies in existence at that time.

In response to the faltering economy of the Great Depression (1929-1940), the company reorganized in 1937 selling its holdings to Ira Brainard who purchased it for his sons. Westmoreland Glass continued to make lovely, heavy opaque milk glass until closing its doors just shy of its 100 year Anniversary in 1984.  Many of its molds were sold to companies still in operation at that time including Blanko, Summit and Viking Glass.  Take home a piece of history with Westmoreland milk glass and see for yourself just how happy you can be with the simple things in life!   Enjoy the hunt!

 Hens on Nests, Westmoreland Glass Company

 Hen Party

 Novelty Glass Wheelbarrows, Westmoreland Glass Company


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