SGS creates Bill Crowl Memorial Education Fund

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).

Bill Crowl

Bill Crowl is a name which is synonymous with “rare and unusual” Fenton, stretch and carnival glass, World’s fair memorabilia, Souvenir china and much more.  To thousands of collectors in the US, Bill’s arrival was like Christmas on any day of the year.  Bill traveled over a million miles crisscrossing the country searching for “finds” for his extensive network of customer-collectors.  His dented, white van was easy to spot in the parking lot, a sure sign that Bill was scouring the flea market for “good glass” and other items of interest.  Not only did he travel to buy, he also delivered stretch glass, carnival glass, Fenton glass and a host of other antiques and collectibles to his loyal buyers.  He “showed up” at customer’s homes ready to unwrap and sell his recent purchases.

He was a fixture at auctions, usually sitting in the front row, banana boxes and brown sacks nearby to pack his purchases after affixing his signature yellow adhesive tags with his secret code.  His collections contained the best of the best; all the rest of his purchases were available for sale to customers.  Over the years, Bill sold thousands of items but also accumulated an enormous inventory.  Bill passed away in July 2017 after a brief time in a nursing home in Parkersburg, WV. 

He was, in his own way, a teacher and a researcher.  He “knew his glass” and shared his knowledge freely with all who would listen.  Bill did more than talk about glass; he usually showed you the glass he was talking about.  When Bill passed away, he left many of us more knowledgeable about stretch glass, carnival glass and his other passions.  He also left us with many wonderful memories and, in many cases, rare and unusual stretch or carnival glass in our collections. 

The purpose of the Fund will be to support educational activities related to stretch glass.  Initially a portion of the donated funds may be used to purchase stretch glass which is deemed to have educational characteristics during Bill’s estate auction to be conducted by Randy Clark on March 24 & 25, 2018.  This stretch glass will be used in displays of stretch glass at museums, other glass club meetings where Stretch Glass Society representatives are speaking and at our convention.  There are many other educational activities which this fund will support over time. 

The fund will be separate from the Stretch Glass Society’s operating funds and will continue into perpetuity unless dissolved by the Board of Directors.  We welcome all who benefitted from Bill’s constant hunting for ‘good glass’ to contribute to the Fund in memory of Bill.  Contributions can be made using the donation mechanism to the right or can be sent to Treasurer, The Stretch Glass Society, PO Box 117, Sunbury, OH 43074.

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For further information please contact Cal Hackeman, President, The Stretch Glass Society at or (919) 600-4533.