Emil Larson Rose
Emil Larson (attributed), circa 1930s
Morgantown Glassworks Guild
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Morgantown has had more than 30 glass factories over the past 100 years. Morgantown
Glass Works was founded in 1899 by Frank Bannister. It employed 600 and had
national and international offices. IN 1903, blown ware replaced pressed glass
in popularity and
the company re-formed itself into the Economy Tumbler Company (to again change
its name to Economy Glass Company in 1923 and Morgantown Glassware Guild in
1939). The Glassware Guild produced modern lines in a variety of colors. It
supplied handmade modl-blown glassware to luxury liners and hotels. The company
was bought out in 1965 by Fostoria. The plant closed in 1971.
incorporated in its paperweights the use of controlled bubbles, a technique
they developed in the 1930s. A bubble was formed by piercing the connectors
between bases and bowls or finial with a pattern while the glass was molten.
Unwanted air bubbles could be removed byf piercing the hot glass to let the
air out and then closing the gap.
William Zick, Sr. worked at the Morgantown Glassware Guild from 1904 to 1953.
He is said to have created his paperweights on lunch hours and after hours.
Some of his weights feature semi-abstract, floating, lily-like flowers with
air-bubbles in the center.
In the 19020s, Peter Gentile, with his sons, made as many as 100 paperweights
nightly three nights a week at the Morgantown Glassware Guild. John, Jr. and
Peter started their own company in 1947, concentrating on paperweights in Star
City, West Virginia. Some of the Gentile weights also featured the lilies with