The antiquarian

 

 

 

  

 

History of Imperial Glass Co.

1901 - 1984

Bellaire, Ohio

Imperial Glass Co., early photo year unknow

 

Imperial Glass, 1936

 

Imperial Glass Co, either 1940s or 50s

     The Imperial Glass Company was founded in 1901 in Bellaire, Ohio by Edward Muhleman.  Muhleman was a riverboat captain and financier based out of Wheeling.  He sold his company; Muhleman’s Crystal Glass Company, Bellaire, Ohio to National Glass Company and then severed his relationship with National.  Other investors in the Imperial Glass venture included:  James F. Anderson of Bellaire, J. N. Vance, Morris Horkheimer and Lawrence E. Sanders (all of Wheeling).  Thomas E. Shelly, an experienced glassmaker, was hired to oversee the construction and manage the plant when operations commenced.  For various reasons but mostly financial, the Imperial plant did not begin production until approximately October 1904.  By 1905, Imperial was producing bottles, tumblers, tableware, plus gas and electric lamp shades.  Within a few months of the plant opening, Imperial had established itself as a major producer of American glass tableware.  Imperial used creative marketing of barrel assortments and low cost items to sell their products.  By the end of 1906, the huge Imperial Glass plant was running near capacity.

In 1973, Imperial Glass Co. was purchased by Lenox, Inc.  Lenox sold Imperial in 1981 to Arthur Lorch, a “turn round expert.” By 1982, Imperial had filed bankruptcy (Chapter 11), and in 1984, Imperial Glass Company closed its doors forever.

We included Imperial Glass Co. in our Glasshouse History Section more for their overall contribution to U.S. glass production than their rose bowl production.  Imperial Glass Co. produced glass for more than eight decades from 1904 until 1984. During that time, they produced a wide range of glass including some rose bowls.  Unfortunately, the majority of their rose bowl production falls outside the time frame of interest to the “The Antiquarian.”  Therefore, it is unlikely that many examples of Imperial Glass Co. rose bowls will be illustrated on TheAntiquarian.US website.  While conducting our research for Imperial Glass history, we referenced the best publication available, the Imperial Glass Encyclopedia, Volumes I, II & III edited by James Measell.  While scanning these three volumes, we tried to note rose bowls and glass pieces that could be defined as rose bowls.  The list below is based on our bias and understanding of rose bowls.  We have ignored some lily flower bowls and ball vases that were produced far after the rose bowl production period.    For the reader’s convenience, we have produced a table below illustrating these pieces of glass, which are or can be called rose bowls:

 Rose Bowls summary for the Imperial Glass Encyclopedia

Volume           Page                Figure             Pattern Name        Identifier                                                             

I                       135                  C                     Candlewick          400/132 footed rose bowl

I                       185                  4\39Y               Modern               4\39Y 7” rose bowl

1                      185                  4\728GY          Black Beauty        4\728GY 6” rose bowl

1                      186                  558                  7286                     6” rose bowl (c. 1931)

1                      188                  595                  51735                   4” ball vase

1                      195                  707                  400/74N                ” four-toed flower bowl

II                     314                  742                  E. A. Hobnail       Footed Ivy Ball, pressed

II                     440                  1523                Dew Drop             #188 footed Ivy Ball

II                     441                  1535                Dew Drop             #1886/188 6” tall Ivy

II                     453                  218                  Spec. Lot 1983     None given

II                     454                  202                  Spec. Lot 1973     None given

II                     455                  242                  Spec. Lot 1986     None given

II                     457                  301                  Spec. Lot 1989     None given

II                     459                  300                  Spec. Lot 2003     None given

II                     459                  394                  Spec. Lot 2003     None given

II                     459                  392                  Spec. Lot 2003     None given

II                     461                  374                  Spec. Lot 2006     None given

II                     462                  539/33             Spec. Lot 2009     None given

III                    495                  7286Y              Manhattan Cut    6” Rose Bowl

III                    506                  7286Y              Mount Vernon     6” Rose Bowl

III                    558                  260                  Rose Bowl            4” Rose Bowl (c.1904)      

III                    558                  260                  Rose Bowl            6” Rose Bowl (c.1904)    

III                    558                  400                  Rose Bowl            8.5” Rose Bowl (c.1904)

III                    631                  51740              Y. & B. Optics      6” Rose vase (c. 1982)

III                    674                  2234                51560 Ivory Satin 5.5” rose bowl

III                    689                  2432                Reed, #701            Pink 6” Rose bowl

III                    689                  2437                Reed, #701            Amber 6.5” Rose bowl

III                    689                  2440                Reed, #701            Ritz Blue 6” Rose bowl

III                    689                  2446                Reed, #701            Ruby 4” Rose bowl

III                    689                  2447                Reed, #701            Amber footed Rose bowl  

III                    690                  2454                Reed, #701            Ruby footed Rose bowl    

III                    690                  2455                Reed, #701            Ruby footed Rose bowl    

III                    690                  2456                Reed, #701            Stiegel green Rose bowl   

III                    690                  2459                Reed, #701            Ritz Blue Rose bowl         

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