Ask the Old Guy – April/May/June 2018

Dear Old Guy,

I have a small collection of opalescent glass and two pieces with this pattern. Would you know the name of this design and the manufacturer? Thank you,

Wanda Robertson, Ottawa.

Hi Wanda,

The footed bowl in your picture was made by the Northwood Glass Company based in Wheeling West Virginia. Northwood was one of the major opalescent, carnival, and depression glass manufacturers in the U.S. They had several factories and produced decorative pieces that were sold world wide until 1925. The company was founded in 1887 by Harry Northwood who died in 1919. Harry was known as one of the original developers of the formula used to produce carnival glass. The pattern on your opalescent piece is known as Pearl Flowers and was produced in 1904. The procedure used to create the opalescent effect involved the re-heating of molten glass after it was cooled. Your piece would have been reintroduced to the heat source after cooling and the heat sensitive chemicals on the re-heated section would turn a cloudy white. This effect became quite popular and many people collect opalescent glass. There is an excellent book by Bill Edwards titled The Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass that identifies patterns and gives values that you might find helpful. Thanks for your email and enjoy your collection.

The Old Guy