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American Manufacturers - Emil Larson

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> American Manufacturers - Emil Larson


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Emil Larson Rose
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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.

Morgantown 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

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.

John Gentile

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 bubble centers.

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