Imperial Glass Company Records

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0105
Creators:
Imperial Glass Company.
Corning Museum of Glass.
Ceramics and Glass, Division of (NMAH, SI).
Lancaster Colony Corporation.
Dates:
1909-1940
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.1 Cubic feet
1 box, 29 microfiche sheets
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is divided into two series, Catalogs and Photographs, on fifty nine (59) microfiche sheets. These are photographic reproductions of catalogs of Imperial Glass Products from 1909 to 1912 and of several photographs showing Imperial Glass Company products, their stock numbers and rulers indicating size. Some of these photos are hand painted. Many of the catalogs have no dates and are arranged by number and type. A few of them have prices noted throughout and were presumably used by salesmen at the company. There is one catalog from The Central Glass Works of Wheeling, Virginia, one of the companies that Imperial purchased. There are General Catalogs, "Bargain Book" catalogs, a Special Catalog of Hand Engraved and Sand Blasted Glassware and a Special Catalog of Plain and Engraved Gas and Electric Glassware.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Divided into two series.
Series 1: Catalogues
Series 2: Photographs

Historical
Historical
The Imperial Glass Company was established in 1901 in Bellaire, Ohio. The company's first pieces were produced for the mass market for stores like Kresge's and McCrory's; they produced jelly glasses, pressed tumblers, butter dishes, pickle dishes, berry bowls, and a variety of other tableware.
With the introduction of machine-pressed glassware in 1910, the market expanded. Imperial Glass Company began producing "NUART" iridescent ware in colors of "rubigold, peacock, sapphire, rose satin, blue satin, iris ice, blue ice, and rose ice." The company began making "NUCUT" crystal ware, which was pressed glass made to reproduce early English pressed glass.
"Imperial Jewels," introduced in 1916, were free-hand iridescent "stretch glass" pieces. In 1922 the company imported a shop of Venetian glassmakers to what the company labeled Imperial "Art Glass." Catalogue 103G states on page 3-G, "these wares are covered with heavy deposits of various metal oxides, which make them nearly opaque in appearance. The enormous heat, necessary to develop these colors, cannot be regulated mathematically, and therefore there are scarcely two pieces alike, even when manufactured apparently in the same manner and under the same conditions." These pieces, mostly bowls, nappies, berry bowls, and nut bowls, are in colors of pearl green, pearl white, pearl ruby, and pearl amethyst.
The Depression and the influx of machine glass companies combined to push Imperial Glass Co. into bankruptcy in 1931, although the plant continued to operate after it went into receivership.
The company in 1940 started an acquisitions program and bought a series of other companies including the Central Glass Works of Wheeling, Virginia, (est. 1860). In 1958 Imperial Glass purchased molds from the Heisey Co. (est.1885) and bought the Cambridge Glass Co. (est. 1873). The firm became a subsidiary of Lenox China Inc. in 1973.
In June 1984 Imperial Glass went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The plant closed August 31, 1984, and the company's assets were taken over by Lancaster Colony Corporation, Columbus, Ohio.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by NMAH Staff, undated.
Author
NMAH Staff
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by the Corning Museum of Glass.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No original material in this collection at the present time. Researchers must view microfiche copies.
Preferred Citation
The Imperial Glass Company Records, 1909-1912, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The original collection of catalogs and photographs was acquired from Imperial Glass Co. by the Division of Ceramics and Glass, which transferred them to the Archives Center, April 1984. The Lancaster Colony Corporation requested return of the material in December 1989. Microfiche copies were made for the Archives Center by the Corning Museum of Glass in 1990; the original collection was returned to Lancaster Colony Corporation in Feb. 1992. As this firm needed the catalogs for a special project, it is possible that they will return the originals at a later date.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pressed glass Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Microfiche Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glassware -- Catalogs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glassware Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass, Colored Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass manufacture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catalogs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 1910-1930 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics and Glass, Division of (NMAH, SI). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives