Cal here from the Stretch Glass Society, one of the ‘kissing cousins’ of carnival glass. Thanks to Brian and Galen for inviting me to chat with all of you about stretch glass and invite you to join us in celebrating the 100th anniversary of stretch glass being made and sold in America. Yes, it was 100 years ago that stretch glass made its debut in 1916. The Stretch Glass Society is sponsoring a year-long celebration, “Stretching over 100 years, a century of handmade stretch glass in America” so hopefully you will be seeing and hearing a lot about stretch glass in 2016. I’ll share more news about the celebration later, but first I thought we would review a few stretch glass basics.
What exactly is stretch glass? Stretch Glass is a pressed or blown-molded glass that has little or no pattern and is sprayed with a metallic salt mix while hot. It is reheated and usually reshaped after the iridescence has been applied. When finished, the stretch glass will have either a cobweb iridescence effect (equal to stretch marks) or a plain iridescence effect. Production of ‘vintage’ stretch glass ceased c. 1932. In the 1970s the Fenton Art Glass Company re-introduced iridescent stretch glass and included it in its annual offerings for the next 40 years. Iridescent stretch glass is no longer in production. Stretch glass was made by nine American glass companies. Here is an example of stretch glass made by each company (credit goes to Dave Shetlar for these wonderful photos):
Central Glass Works of Wheeling, WV
Diamond Glass-Ware Company of Indiana, PA
Fenton Art Glass Company of Williamstown, WV
Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, OH
Jeannette Glass Company of Jeannette, PA
Lancaster Glass Company of Lancaster, OH
H. Northwood & Company of Wheeling, WV
United States Glass of Pittsburgh, PA
Vineland Flint Glass Works of Vineland, NJ
I hope you will share some photos and stories of the stretch glass in your collections with us. I’m anxious to see what stretch glass you collect.