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American Cut Glass Industry: T. G. Hawkes and His Competitors Hardcover – 1996
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From Library Journal
It wasn't until the early 19th-century that a cut-glass industry was established in the United States to meet the increasing demand. In order to avoid labor agitation, one of these first firms moved its plant upstate to Corning, New York, in 1868. The Philadelphia Exposition of 1876 promoted the popularity of cut glass, and soon many more factories were opening in Corning. By 1890, when the T.G. Hawkes company opened for business, the town was promoted as "the Crystal City," and by 1905 it could boast 400 companies. Spillman, curator of American glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, mixes a fascinating look at the cultural history of cut glass with details of the industry, based on recently discovered bills, ledgers, catalogs, and letters from T.G. Hawkes, whose firm remained in business until 1962. This is a fine study of American business as well as of glass design. With 512 illustrations of historic glass pieces, catalog pages, and early advertising, it will also be an important work for glass collectors. For decorative arts and American collectibles collections.?Joseph C. Hewgley, Nashville P.L.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
This authoritative book presents new information about the late 19th- and early 20th-century cut glass industry in Corning, New York. The recent discovery of a mass of archival material relating to T. G. Hawkes and Company, including thousands of letters, has enabled the author to research business practices in the glass industry in more detail than ever before. Using this new information, together with her already considerable knowledge, Jane Shadel Spillman has produced the first book on American cut glass to go beyond the glass and examine the workings of the industry itself, including labor relations, sources of blanks, special orders for the White House, Hawkes's representation at the Paris world's fair in 1889, and communication between the cut glass industry and silver manufacturers such as Gorham and Tiffany. Competition and cooperation between the glass cutting firms are also highlighted, and considerable attention is paid to other companies, such as J. Hoare, H. P. Sinclaire, and O. F. Egginton.
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In addition to the above, the book provides a really good look at what it was like to be part of the cut glass industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America. Many references are made to the recently discovered Hawkes archives, which contain day-by-day correspondence from T. G. Hawkes himself to his rivals in the industry and his suppliers and customers. Additionally, many references are made to Hawkes' patterns, and even his views on the labor movement. A whole chapter is given over to detailing Hawkes' preparations, manufacturing hassles and the major problems involved in the shipment of his display to the Paris Exposition of 1889. It's like being there.
This is a wonderful book which must be read if you are to consider yourself a true collector of American Brilliant Cut Glass.