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Dorflinger: America's Finest Glass, 1852-1921 Hardcover – December, 1988

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The story of Dorflinger's began in Brooklyn, NY, a heavily industrialized American city on the eve of the Civil War. By the mid-1860s, Christian Dorflinger decided to move the manufacturing of fine glass blanks for cutting and engraving to the village of White Mills, in northeastern Pennsylvania. Within ten years, Dorflinger's was recognized as the leader of the American glass industry. In 1904, Christian Dorflinger retired and his sons, William, Louis, and Charles assumed control over C. Dorflinger &Sons, Inc. World War I had a devastating effect on production at White Mills and elsewhere in the glass industry, as essential glass-making ingredients became scarce. Orders for stemware dwindles with the passage of the Prohibition Amendment. In 1920, Lambert Dorflinger and Morton Howard tried to resuscitate the business at White Mills, but the effort was so plagued by financial problems and family disagreements that the factory closed for the last time in May 1921, just a half dozen years after the death of the founding father. Dorflinger American's Finest Glass, 1852-1921 contains the names of more than 500 individual patterns, many of which are reproduced for the first time from surviving company catalogs. In addition, the author has identified over 800 men, women, and children who eked out modest living in Wayne County, PA while working for Dorflinger's. Of special interest to the social historian is the author's success in rescuing the rapidly vanishing details of White Mills' past. In addition, the names of more than 80 firms which purchased Dorflinger's "best metal" and "second quality" or commercial blanks are identified in chapter 9, as well as the names of more than 90 retail firms which regularly featured Dorflinger's fine crystal, such as Tiffany or Marshall Field, out of a list of more than 400 uncovered by the author during his research.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Antique Publications; First Edition edition (December 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915410559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915410552
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theseus on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Author J.Q. Feller has outdone himself in this extensive history of Dorflinger glass. This book is a history of the company, certainly. But is is also a compendium of beautiful glass objects dated, named and/or numbered, and described with a remarkable amount of detail. Finally, it is a history of an America that found itself increasingly able to (and eager to!) purchase fine glass objects from the middle of the 19th century into the 1920's.

Handsome, large format hardback from Antique Publications: textured paper with gold details over boards; sewn binding; in a heavy dustjacket. 375 pp, 4 pounds. B&w (mostly) and color illustrations on every page.

Bibliography, Index, Index of Patterns, Dorflinger geneaology, and Four Appendices including over 80 pp of line drawings by LD and the E.D. Wetton Portfolio Catalog. (The line drawings are particularly informative given how difficult it can be to photograph uncolored cut glass.)

The illustations are probably 75% of glass objects but one also finds family portraits, advertising, historic photos, Dorfinger family photos, and some pictures of the workers and the works.

The Odyssey to White Mills
The Dorflinger Glass Works
The Golden Age: C. Dorflinger & Sons

The Dorflinger Family
A House Divided
An End a Beginning

Making Glass
The Dorflinger Workers
Advertising and Marketing
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By lyle miller on June 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good resourse
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