The Stretch Glass Society is an avid group of Stretch Glass collectors. Our goals are to help preserve this beautiful glass and the history of its manufacture as part of our American heritage, to educate the public as to its existence, to promote an appreciation of collecting this type of glass -- and to have fun while doing all of the above!

Handled Servers at the Stretch Glass Convention

Dave Shetlar recently provided additional photos and comments on the Handled Servers display at our 2018 convention.  The Stretch Glass Society has the tradition of assembling a club display that concentrates on a color (we did green last year), a maker, or specific items. This year, Dave was in charge of assembling all the handled servers in stretch that we could find.  Initially he predicted we would have over 50 servers but we ended up with 120 different servers!!  It was quite an assemblage.   In this feature, previously published on Stretch Tuesday by Hooked on Carnival’s Fred Stone’s Carnival Mailing List, Dave discusses a number of the more uncommon handled servers in the 2018 club display.

First, most of the companies made sandwich trays which have fairly straight sides to the bowl part of the tray. When this has a rolled-up rim, the trays become fruit trays.  Below are examples of the Imperial #725 sandwich tray and the same item as a fruit tray. Both have a distinctive Imperial decal of a floral motif.   (click on any photo below to enlarge)

Of real interest to me are the unusual cupped in trays that Fenton made.  These are really tough to find and three of them were brought by our members!  We had one in Persian Pearl (crystal or white stretch), Topaz (Vaseline) and Celeste Blue.


We also had an example of the very rare U.S. Glass “Cumula” pattern which is a white cloud-shaped enamel with a green background (don’t ask me why the background isn’t blue!?, as nobody knows!!).


We had eight different cuttings on the Imperial servers and I’m not going to show all of them except for one that I’ve not shown before. Unfortunately, this cutting of what appears to be a rose bud is on an Iris Ice (Imperial’s crystal/white stretch name) server which makes the pattern very difficult to capture in a picture. This server also has a set of cut ovals around the rim which is not found on the other cut servers.


Since the theme was handled servers, we also had examples of Fenton’s butterball trays (#318). These come with a shovel-shaped loop handle (this one is in Celeste Blue) and the tray is about 6.5-inches in diameter.


These butterballs also come with an oval tray which is pretty tough to obtain. This example is in Velva Rose and it has a factory enamel decoration of raised flowers.


The unusual Imperial “candle tray” was also present in Iris Ice (crystal/white), Blue Ice (smoke) and Amethyst Ice (purple).



We have several options for future club displays and I assure you that they will be real eye-poppers!  Here is an image of just part of our club display that was arranged on a triangle of tables.


National Cambridge Collectors organize first annual Northeast Ohio Show, October 27-28, 2018

The Stretch Glass Society will have a display at the first annual Northeast Ohio Show, a new Cleveland-area glass show organized by National Cambridge Collectors.  This show is a full-line glass, china, and pottery show whose goal is to bring collectors’ organizations together under one roof.  It’s scheduled for October 27 & 28, 2018 in the Arts & Crafts building at the Cuyahoga County fairgrounds, located just 10 minutes south of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Middleburg Heights, OH.  Twenty-four high quality dealers from across the country will display their finest pieces of glass, china and pottery for sale.  Admission is $6 at the door (18 and under is free) which is good for both days.   Food and convenient parking will be available for all who attend.

It has been several years since a full-line glass show was hosted in the Cleveland area.  This show endeavors to take it one step further by providing the area with a great glass, china, and pottery event where national collector clubs and organizations from across the country will have the opportunity to host information tables so guests can learn more about these fine organizations.  A goal for the Northeast Ohio Glass Show is to bring together clubs and collectors from around the country to share their love and passion for collecting.   Attendees at this year’s inaugural event will be amazed at the quality and diversity of the glass, china, and pottery being offered for sale at this year’s show.

2018 SGS Convention Day 3 Report

Note:  Click any photo below to enlarge to its full size.

Our convention meeting room opened at 9am sharp on Friday.  We were all anxious to see the auction glass, which included quite a bit of stretch glass.  Later in the morning, Cal Hackeman presented a seminar on how to tell look-a-likes and similar colors from each other.  During the seminar we examined plates, candleholders, vases, and other shapes of stretch glass which were made in similar forms by multiple companies and/or were made in similar forms in both the early and late periods of stretch glass production.  We also looked at examples of stretch glass in colors which are quite similar and may be mistaken for other colors.

Cal talked about how to ID a piece of stretch glass.  He suggested starting with the color of the stretch glass.  If the item in question is a color which is unique to a particular company, then the maker of the item is easily identified.  Examples are Russet, Jade Blue, White Opaque (only made by Northwood) or Tangerine (only made by Fenton) or the US Opaque colors, which are unique to US Glass.


If the color is not definitive, that is to say the color was made by more than one stretch glass producer, then next consider the shape, is the shape unique to one company?  There are many shapes which are unique to a particular company and therefore a positive ID can be achieved.  Examples are most colognes, powder puffs and related items, which were only made by Fenton.  Ashtrays and smoking-related items are uniquely shaped according to the company producing the item even though at least 3 companies produced a form of an ashtray (Fenton, Northwood and US Glass).  Unique shapes are quite prevalent among stretch glass and are very useful for ID’ing stretch glass.  Finally we are left with the items which are somewhat or appear to be exactly the same shape and are known to be made by more than one producer.  These include candy jars, plates and some bowls.  Cal helped us learn how to examine these items for particular mold seams and other identifying characteristics leading to a correct ID of the company which produced the item.

At left, Late Period, with Early Period on the right

Late Period

Early Period

Later in the seminar Cal helped us look at items which appear to be similar but were produced in the early and late periods.  The Fenton Ruby Twin Dolphin square comport is such an item which has caused much confusion in the market because many of the late period comports are not marked with the Fenton logo.  When one has the benefit of comparing the early and late period comports side-by-side, there is no difficulty determining which is from the early period and which is from the late period.  The colors are different (the late period is usually a darker ruby), the thickness of the foot is different (the early period pieces have a thicker foot and the underside of the foot is different from the form in the late period).  Twin dolphin fan vases exhibit the same ID’ing characteristics in the foot since they were made from the same mold. 

All in all, more than 60 pieces of stretch glass were examined, compared and identified.

Lunch was hosted by John and Vickie Rowe and was enjoyed by all.  Our Annual Meeting followed immediately after lunch.  The minutes of this meeting will be published in the September issue of The Stretch Glass Society Quarterly.  Among the actions taken by the members were the following:

  • Annual dues will remain unchanged for 2019.
  • Stephanie Bennett was re-elected as Secretary and Jim Steinbach was re-elected as Treasurer to serve a 2-year term.  Jonathan Fuhrman and Gary Senkar were elected to be Directors. 
  • We thanked Mike Getichus and Sarah Plummer for their service as Directors and presented each of them with a gift of stretch glass appropriately engraved to commemorate their service. 
  • The Officers and Directors present updated the membership on significant activities which have been undertaken to further the promotion and preservation of stretch glass, in accordance with our stated purpose and also mentioned upcoming activities to continue the same.
  • A President’s Award was presented to Mary Elda Arrington in recognition of her efforts in organizing our Stretch Out Discussion Calls and initiating the Deluxe Edition Reviews of our discussions.

At the end of the luncheon, the winning tickets were drawn in our fundraiser and the winners were:  Bob Henkel, Arna Simpson and Dennis Groome.  Each winner received a piece of stretch glass, as previously advertised.


In the afternoon, Bob Henkel presented a seminar on how to arrange flowers in stretch glass.  Bob had made nine floral arrangements for our banquet tables on Thursday evening and he prepared another arrangement, pointing out the do’s and don’t’s of successful floral arranging.  The arrangement completed during the seminar was magnificent and serves as an example to all of us of how beautiful flowers are when they are arranged in stretch glass.


With Bob’s seminar complete, we turned our attention to the glass to be sold in the Burns Auction, which began at 5pm.  Tom and Debra sold nearly 500 lots of glass, including stretch glass, Fenton glass, Dugan frit vases, Imperial freehand, and more during the next several hours while members packed up their displays and ‘tear down’ proceeded in the background.  By around midnight, the room was bare of stretch glass and the 2018 Stretch Glass Society Convention and Show was but a memory.

If you were unable to join us this year, we hope you will make plans to be with us next year for the 45th Annual Stretch Glass Convention and Show.


Thursday, July 26, 2018 was a very full day for everyone at the 2018 Stretch Glass Society Convention.   We began the day with a seminar on how to make a center-handled server with George Fenton leading the discussion.  George’s career at The Fenton Art Glass Company gave him first hand insight into the making of glass.  He explained in detail the process of heating the mold, gathering the glass, pressing the server in the mold, turning it out, iridizing it, reheating it, shaping it and cooling it to make a finished product.  We had on hand the original mold used by The Fenton Art Glass Company to make their dolphin center-handled servers during both the early and late periods of production. 

Here are some photos of the mold in an open position showing the location of the dolphin handle in the bottom of the mold.  Above the dolphin there would be a bowl, opening at the top of the mold.  After the server had been taken out of the mold, iridized and re-heated, the bowl was reshaped into a flat or nearly flat surface with the dolphin on top, forming the handle for the server. 

We were also treated to Dave Shetlar’s video of the making of the Wisteria Dolphin handled servers in 2007 when Fenton made them for The SGS as a Convention souvenir.  George narrated the video as it showed all of the various steps necessary to make the servers.

After a delicious lunch of hot pizza, next up was Dave’s presentation of the Club Display of over 100 center handled servers from Central, Diamond, Fenton, Imperial, Jeanette, Lancaster, Northwood and US Glass companies.  Vineland did not produce a center handled server during the stretch glass era.  The Club display features the only known Central stretch glass center handled server as well as many other unusual and rare servers.  Here are a few pics of the club display.  (See also the above post, "Handled Servers at the Stretch Glass Convention.")

Following Dave’s presentation, several members talked about their displays of how they use stretch glass today.  Here are pictures of these members’ displays.

Thursday evening was our banquet and a presentation by Steve Lindquist telling the story of his and Gary Sullivan’s interest in collecting carnival and stretch glass beginning in the 1990s with the purchase of a marigold carnival glass bowl.  It is a fascinating story of how an interest grows into a desire to collect and then into a collection which today fills their home with carnival and stretch glass of all sizes, shapes and colors.  Here are a few photos of Steve’s presentation and the glass they brought with them to share with us. 

While we slept, Tom and Debra Burns set up the glass to be sold at their auction on Friday evening.  Below are photos of the auction items.

Our schedule for Friday, July 27, 2018 included another seminar, a luncheon, our Annual Meeting, the election of Directors and Officers, the drawing of the winning tickets for the fundraiser and, of course, the auction starting at 5pm.  Thanks for your interest in our 44th annual convention and The Stretch Glass Society.

2018 SGS Convention Day 1 Report and Gallery

The 2018 Stretch Glass Society convention kicked off Wednesday evening, July 25, 2018 with a wonderful reception.  Two of our members, Stephanie and Pam, provided us with a tasty spread of sweet and savory foods and wine.  All of our displays are set up, including the club display of center-handled servers.  This display, organized by Dave Shetlar, includes over 100 center-handled servers, all in stretch glass.

The member displays are quite interesting and varied.  Instead of having our members display their stretch glass in their rooms, we provide 5’ round tables and invite them to set up their displays in our main convention room.  The theme this year is “Repurposing stretch glass in the 21st Century” – we are not talking about gluing pieces of stretch glass together to make yard art or bird feeders, we are showing how we use and enjoy our stretch glass today.  One of the most interesting aspects of the member displays is what else is incorporated in addition to stretch glass.

One of the gallery photos features an amazing SGS member display called "Frankenstein’s Dinner Party."  It features topaz stretch glass under black lights, which cause the glass to glow due to the uranium oxide in the glass mixture.  Check out all the photos from the first day of Convention.

SGS Member Display at ICGA Convention

SGS member Wally McDaniel was busy promoting stretch glass and the SGS at the recently concluded International Carnival Glass Association (ICGA) convention.  His display featured a colorful variety of Imperial stretch glass.  The display was popular with those attending the convention, many of whom also include Imperial stretch glass in their carnival glass collections.  We thank Wally for contributing to our on-going efforts to show and promote stretch glass and congratulate him on his beautiful display.

Click on the photo to enlarge to full size.

Gary Senkar speaks to ACGA on Imperial Jewels

Stretch Glass Society member and Imperial Glass researcher Gary Senkar gave a presentation on Imperial Jewels and Imperial Stretch Glass to the American Carnival Glass Association’s members at their annual convention in Marietta, Ohio, on June 15, 2018.  The SGS thanks Gary for sharing his expertise on Imperial stretch glass, including Imperial’s Jewels, on our behalf.  Gary’s presentation is part of our ongoing outreach program designed to educate and inform collectors of all types of glass about Stretch Glass, and his talk resulted in 5 new SGS memberships.

To view the complete gallery of photos, click here.

How are Stretch Glass and Depression Glass related?

SGS President Cal Hackeman's essay "Stretch Glass -- The Older Sibling," describing how stretch glass is related to depression glass, was published in the June-July 2018 issue of the National Depression Glass Association (NDGA) newsletter News & Views.  We would like to thank the NDGA for allowing us to repost the article on our website.

To read the full article, click here.

June 2018 issue of The Stretch Glass Society Quarterly released

Stretch glass enthusiasts now have a new issue of The SGS Quarterly to explore for news, updates and informative articles on American Iridescent Stretch Glass.  The June 2018 issue of The SGS Quarterly was mailed or emailed to all members and subscribers recently.  Check out the featured pages here.

Not a member of The Stretch Glass Society but interested in learning more about stretch glass and seeing what else is included in the June issue of The Quarterly?  You can now join The Stretch Glass Society online and get access to this and all past issues of The Quarterly plus lots more information on stretch glass.  Go here to sign up today.  Your membership includes the June 2018 issue of The Quarterly plus future 2018 issues plus all the benefits of membership in The Stretch Glass Society, all for only $18.

Early Period Central and Jeannette discussed in May 10 Stretch-Out Call

Early Period Central and Jeannette was the topic of our Stretch-Out call on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 8 pm Eastern.  We discussed the photos in this document on the call.

This was our fourth discussion on the topic of lesser-known companies that were producing stretch glass from 1916 to 1933. On May 10 we discussed the production from two of the ‘minor’ glass companies, Central Glass Works (Wheeling, Pennsylvania) and Jeannette Glass Company (Jeannette, Pennsylvania).

Central appears to have used a single bowl mold, but shaped the mold into many forms. They also made two sizes of trumpet-shaped candle holders. Some of their pieces have gold glue-chip decoration. In contrast Jeannette used several bowl molds. They also made handled servers with unique handle shapes. Both companies used a multitude of different colors.

Watch this space for a full report on the discussion which will be published soon!

The Stretch Glass Society Establishes Bill Crowl Memorial Education Fund

Click for:  Press Release

 Bill Crowl

Bill Crowl

The Stretch Glass Society Board of Directors has established the Bill Crowl Memorial Education Fund.  A generous initial donation will allow us to begin to immediately utilize the fund to provide educational activities related to stretch glass.   The Fund also reminds collectors and future stretch glass enthusiasts of the many contributions Bill made to the rise of stretch glass as a recognized and appreciated category of antique and collectible glassware.  Bill was among the Founders and Charter Members of The Stretch Glass Society, a life-long and a Life Member of the Society.  The Fund will be managed by the Stretch Glass Society, a tax-exempt public educational charity under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3).

For full information or to donate online, click here.


About 800 boxes of items belonging to the late Bill Crowl, including stretch glass, Fenton glass, Imperial glass and more, were auctioned by Randy Clark Auctioneers over the weekend of March 24-25, 2018.

Click here for more details and photos.