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Carnival Glass - The Dugan Glass Company

by Mary Haberstroh

The Dugan Glass Company started out as the Indiana Glass Company located in Indiana, Pennsylvania from 1892 to 1896. English glass maker Harry Northwood and Samuel Dugan were in charge of the company from 1896 to 1900, calling the company Northwood Glass. Thomas E. Dugan, along with Harry Bastow became the new owners in 1900, naming the company National Glass Company. In 1904, the company was finally renamed Dugan and it was during this time that they started to manufacture carnival glass. Thomas Dugan started to imitate the luster look of Tiffany glass and the glass of Thomas Webb, and English glass maker, as early as 1902 but did not manufacture iridescent glass for public sale until 1905. Dugan's hallmark was a large D inside a diamond shape and some but not all of their carnival glassware bore this mark. Between 1913 and 1931 the company again changed their name, this time, to the Diamond Glass company. The company finally closed in 1931 due to a fire. The L. G. Wright Company eventually acquired some of the surviving glass molds and made reproductions of Dugan and Diamond carnival glass in the late 1930's through the 1940's.

The first carnival glass that Dugan produced was by using the process known as mold-blown. The hot liquid glass was dipped into using a special rod and then the glass on the end would be rolled into powdered glass, then blown into a specific shape. The glass shape would then be placed into a mold that might create ribbed or some other pattern in the glass. This elaborate glass technique would end up in a result that very closely resembled Czech or Bohemian glass. Once the glass shape cooled, the frit would oxidize, creating an iridescence within the glass, versus being applied outside of the glass, the technique used by Northwood and Fenton. The Dugan iridescence was more of a silver-gold in color rather than rainbow. Two of the first lines of this type of iridescent glass that Dugan created was Venetian, which came out in 1904, and Pompeiian, which came out in 1905. Both of these lines were made in shapes that resembled ancient Roman pottery. In the second half of the 1900's Dugan would use the same method of making carnival glass using pressed glass with the iridescent sheen that was popular with Fenton and Northwood.

Colors that were commonly used in Dugan carnival glass are: blue, purple, white, peach-opal, and marigold. Very few pieces if any were produced in green and none in red. A few Dugan pieces were made bearing what might be called “neon” iridescence. This simply refers to the extreme brightness of the iridescence shining off of the pattern. One such noted piece is a purple dish with the Four Flowers pattern bearing an almost neon shade of blue throughout the plate.

Like other carnival glass manufacturers, Dugan produced water glass and pitcher sets, plates, fruit bowls, and more, using their patterned pressed glass molds. Some Dugan carnival glass patterns are:

Adam's Rib. This is a finely ribbed pattern used in tumblers, cups, plates. Made in light green glass.

Beaded Shell. The design is a scallop shell with a beaded edge at the base edge of the water tumbler or plate. Colors this pattern was made in: purple, blue, and marigold.

Bellflower. The design has small bell shaped flowers with scroll-like stems and leaves. Colors this pattern was made in: peach opal, marigold, and green.

Butterfly and Tulip. Bowls with this design were made square with eight ruffles along the edge. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, peach opal, and purple.

Cherry and leaf. The design has cherries with leaves. Dishes made with this design had a ruffled edge. Colors this pattern was made in: purple and peach opal.

Circle Scroll. The design is of a vine in a circular scroll shape. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, purple, and blue.

Dahlia. This pattern has a very large dahlia. Colors this pattern was made in: purple, marigold, white, and white with blue dahlia.

Floral and Grape. This pattern has an overall design of grape bunches, leaves, and flowers. Colors this pattern was made in: purple, green, blue, white, and marigold.

Grapevine Lattice. The pattern looks like a wide basket weave. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, purple, blue, white, and champagne.

Harvest Flower. The design looks like wheat with a bow tied around the middle. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, purple, and blue.

Heavy Iris. The design is of a large iris. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, purple, white, and light blue.

Jeweled Heart. The design is of a heart shape with a small bow inside. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, white, and purple.

Lattice and Daisy. The design is of daises with a lattice bordering the flowers. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold, blue, and purple.

Peacock at a Fountain. The design is of a large peacock and a water fountain. Colors this pattern was made in: purple and blue.

Quill. The design looks like the top of a quill pen. Colors this pattern was made in: marigold and purple.

Rambler Rose. The design is of climbing roses. Colors this pattern came in: marigold, blue, and purple.

S-pattern. The design looks like elongated "S's" on an angle. Colors this pattern came in: marigold, purple, and blue.

Six Petals. The design is of a six-petal flower with a vine of green leaves and flowers surrounding it. Colors this pattern came in: peach opal, purple, marigold, and white.

Stork and Rushes. The design is of a stork with rushes and water. Colors this pattern came in: purple, blue, marigold, and lime green.

Wreathed Cherry. The design is of three cherries with the stems forming a wreath. Colors this pattern came in: marigold, purple, white, and white with red cherries.

Some price values for Dugan carnival glass:

Four Flowers pattern, purple plate with bright blue iridescence, about $2000.00.

Maple Leaf pattern, purple tumblers set of six, about $100.00.

Peacock at a Fountain pattern, blue water pitcher, about $500.00.

Raindrops pattern, peach/opal carnival glass bowl with round foot, about $270.00.

Wreathed Cherry pattern, purple water pitcher, about $200.00.

About the Author

Mary Haberstroh lives in Tucson, Arizona and she is a collector of antique and vintage glass. She can be reached at: daryavaush@yahoo.com

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