Heart of America Glass Collectors

Kansas City


Glass Show

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Meeting Highlights & Program


July 2011


Ed and Allen dazzled the club with a wonderful display of their Franciscan (Gladding, McBean & Company) El Patio dinnerware.  Ed described how they were drawn to the wonderful color palette and interesting pieces.  They have collected El Patio for 15 to 20 years and what they brought for the program is but “the tip of the iceberg.”  The club was treated to some unusual pieces and some hard to find colors.
Gladding, McBean & Company was established in Placer County, California, in the late 19th century.  They started out making sewer pipes for industries west of the Mississippi and soon added terra cotta tiles and other architectural elements.  They eventually purchased a factory in Glendale, CA, and transitioned into dinnerware manufacture in the 1930s, under the new name of Franciscan.  They pioneered the method of single firing glazed clay, which drastically reduced the chance of crazing as a piece aged.  In 1934, Frederick Grant became the manager of the new pottery department in Glendale and his wife Mary Grant (an art director) developed the El Patio dinnerware line, which debuted in August of 1934.
El Patio place settings, serving pieces, casseroles, and mixing bowls were originally offered in six solid colors.  During the production run (for which the ending date is unknown but is at least after 1948) some shapes were added, some were retired, and some were redesigned in 1939.  The range of colors eventually tallied 16 and the number of different shapes hit 53.
The El Patio pieces on display varied from thoughtfully shaped place pieces (plates, bowls, cups and saucers) and beautifully designed service pieces (platters, chop plates, and serving bowls) to fun artistic pieces that were both usable and sculptural (water jugs, individual casseroles, candlesticks, syrup, coffee pot, hot water bottle, and a handled relish).  Ed showed off the different colors available in matte finish and in a glossy finish.  They all worked well together and the table was spectacular.  Ed is still on the hunt for some elusive colors (black, dark green, and chartreuse) and some equally elusive pieces (mixing bowls).  The presentation inspired admiration from all club members, and may have stimulated quite a few potential new collectors.




Show & Tell

Club members brought the following treasures for Show and Tell!  Here are some highlights from this meeting.  Descriptions of each treasure is found below the pictures using the corresponding number.



Hand-craft wooden art bowl composed of more than 100 pieces of wood with no staining.
New Martinsville red Moondrops 2-handled 10” relish.
Imperial Glass clear #282 footed ice cream bowl, made between 1903 and 1910.
Fostoria yellow Windsor Crown candleholders.
Morgantown crystal martini pitcher with heavy amber base and pineapple optic, made for railroad use.
Indiana Glass IW61 Dot/Circle double candleholders.
Glass eggs (hollow) with painted scenes in various size.
Cambridge crystal Star candleholders.
Frankoma Pottery Prairie Green Plainsman teapot.
On the top right is a Cambridge crystal Wildflower 80-ounce 3400 ball jug with gold trim.
On the bottom is a Cambridge crystal gold encrusted Wildflower 3400-1186 2-handled 12 ½” tray.
On the top left is a Cambridge crystal gold encrusted Wildflower 3400-45 11” 4-toed bowl with fancy edge.
Imperial Glass Ritz Blue #701 pitcher and tumbler.
Green champagne glass with clear prism stem and foot and an Art Deco etch, from an unknown manufacturer.