Vineland Flint Glass Company Stretch Glass Discussed on February 2, 2017

Note:  Page numbers below refer to this document, which contains many photos of the glass discussed.  The document (PDF) will open in a new window.

You really don’t want to miss our Stretch Out calls! They are so different from a lecture or printed article. You get to enjoy experts and other “enthusiasts” as they join in on the discussion and freely participate. It also is a delight to hear inputs from those who join the Call who come from various backgrounds, such as artist and chemist, as they share their insights concerning the production and colors of the glass being discussed.

Our February 2, 2017 Stretch Out Call explored one of the lesser-known companies that made Stretch Glass: Vineland Flint Glass Company of Vineland, NJ. Leading the discussion were Russell and Kitty Umbraco, Cal Hackeman and Dave Shetlar. 15-20 people joined the discussion. Bob Henkel moderated the call, keeping us moving as we discussed numerous photos of Vineland stretch glass previously distributed.

Dave gave us a brief introduction of Vineland. The company was most famous for their auto and scientific laboratory glass. This glass was mainly crystal and often tempered to withstand temperature extremes. Russell mentioned that he had actually used some of the laboratory glass that had the V-mark on the bottom.

Their stretch glass was made in a very limited number of molds. There are three bowl molds, three candleholder molds and one vase mold. The coloring of Vineland stretch glass is not consistent. Quality control over color didn't seem to be important, or at least not one of their strong points. It appears that the workers likely used small batches to make their stretch glass and these batches may have had colorants added after the tank had been used for other purposes. Another feature of many of the stretch bowls is chisel marks in the bases of the bowls. It appears that the workers overheated the bowl molds which can result in the glass sticking. The only way to handle this situation is to cool the mold down and chisel out the stuck glass. This can leave little marks in the iron molds.

Russell told us that the “coke bottle green” of the first console set pictured on page 1 was not an official Vineland color name. Vineland’s green ranges from a very light green, to a Coke bottle green to a fairly nice Florentine Green that you will see later on page 7. The candlesticks’ spindle shape is unique to Vineland, although similar to a Diamond shape. They are known only in this green color. Dave said that the purple trumpet-shaped sticks in the next set are similar to those made by Northwood and Central, but Vineland sticks have 3 rings below the candle cup and the other companies have 2 rings. The purple color that Vineland called Wisteria is usually very dark in their candlesticks, but the Wisteria color of their bowls can vary a lot in tone and density.

You can see this Wisteria color variance in the two bowls on page 2. These color names are known because there are about a half dozen pieces in collections that still have the original paper labels attached to the bases. The number included in the labels refers to the bowl shape. In this case it is #13. The first crimped bowl at the top of page 2 shows a lot of stretch effect and is similar to the Northwood #669 bowl and US Glass #179 vase.  The Vineland bowl has a unique snap base that is pointed out to the side as opposed to the other bowls which have a nicely rounded base. Unfortunately, this base chips easily! The second bowl on page 2 is a light Wisteria color and has a more satin appearance.

Page 3 shows a Vineland Old Gold paper label that was on a large, flared bowl (not illustrated).  A great color difference can again be seen in the bowls Vineland labeled Old Gold. The first bowl, with its center flare-out is unique to Vineland. It is a true Amber color. The bowl in the middle has a light Amber color. The color in the third bowl pictured is not mixed well, giving a dark, slag effect, but notice the stretch effect. The Vineland bases are of a unique size and are different on the inside. Only careful measurements will separate them from Fenton and Northwood bases.

Two Vineland Tut Blue paper labels on page 4 indicate two different bowl shapes – #14 and #12.  The Tut Blue color varies from aquamarine to a deep Celeste-like blue in these bowls. The top bowl is an aquarium shape. The second bowl is another one with the flare in the middle of the bowl, as seen at the top of page 3. The bottom bowl is from the largest bowl mold which does not contain the middle flare.

On page 5 there are two shades of cobalt: a light cobalt, which is a violet type of blue, and a true, deep cobalt that looks almost black near the bottom. Light doesn’t show through the deep cobalt items when they are sitting on a table.

The first bowl on page 6 is probably Crystal, but Vineland’s colors often look muddy, so this looks like clam broth. It is a larger cupped-in bowl. The middle bowl is unusual with marigold on milk glass. It has very little stretch effect. It looks as though the iridescence is rubbed off, either during finishing or cleaning. The bottom bowl, with light purple swirls, appears to be the result of the factory workers trying to make a pink stretch glass, with most of their pink cooked out so that it looks light brown.

The trumpet candlesticks on page 7 are the typical muddy pink color. This 6 ½” trumpet shape is thinner and more delicate than the earlier pictured dark Wisteria ones on page 1. The green single spindle stick is on the left. It looks a bit like one made by Diamond or Imperial. However, the wide part of the stem is at the top, not at the bottom. The pair of green Colonial style sticks on the right are so similar to Fenton’s that they are distinguished only by the number of mold marks: Vineland-3, Fenton-2.

Page 8 pictures Vineland’s only vase mold. It has 6 crimps and is only known in two colors: cobalt blue (on the left) and the very dark Wisteria which is almost black/amethyst (on the right).

As for availability and desirability: Russell says there is very little Vineland out west. Dave says the really nice Wisteria color of the first aquarium shaped bowl on page 2 is relatively more common and is often mistaken for Fenton because of the color quality. In terms of rarity and desirability, collectors look for:  labeled pieces; the dark cobalt bowl (page 5 – bottom); crystal bowls (page 6 – top); and the spindle candlesticks (page 7). The vases on page 8 are also pretty difficult to find. The many odd Vineland colors, though interesting, are not so appealing to collectors.

Page 9 is the Mixed Marriage Mystery. Others have the metal holder set, some with the Diamond car vases also. But this Vineland bowl is the only one known to fit into the bowl holder. Notice that the shade of blue in the Diamond and Vineland pieces match the blue in the prisms on the holder. So John Madeley’s question stands unanswered: Why was a set of holders made specifically to hold Diamond vases and a Vineland bowl?

The call ended with an enthusiasm for the next call on May 11 on Contemporary Stretch. There are a lot more items made than any of us can imagine, as we explore the catalogues, books, QVC data base, and experimental pieces. So be sure to plan now to join us and learn about Fenton’s later period (1980-2011) stretch glass.