Adams & Co., A Glassware Pioneer

Adams and Co. operated between 1861-1891. The company made both flint and non-flint glass. It produced blown and pressed tableware. Adams produced jelly glasses, tumblers, goblets tableware, lamps and lamp chimneys.

Adams and Company made many popular patterns which were originally believed to be the product of Boston & Sandwich Co. Among these are: Wildflower, Palace (Moon & Star), Daisy and Button with Thumbprint, as well as many others.

Odd Fellows Water Gobleet 1885

Odd Fellows Water Gobleet 1885

The Odd Fellow pattern on this goblet is a scarce pattern. The pattern is stippled, in relief, and set against a clear background. The water goblet is 6 inches tall by 3.25 inches across. The goblet is made of non-flint glass and was introduced ca. 1885 by Adams and Co., one of the early glass houses of the EAPG era. The goblet is bell-shaped. The pattern is very ornate with its focal point being a shield with 3 interlocking rings. There are scrolls of leaves and flowers, and fleur-de-lis accenting the shield. The goblet bowl is divided into 4 panels with each panel having the shield design with accompanying accents. There is a .25 in. clear band around the rim of the goblet. Below this band is a band of tiny thumbprints with light stippling between each. Another band below this band is a narrow band of small loops and darts. The shield pattern is below these bands. Each panel is separated by a clear thin line. The shield pattern is separated from the bottom of the goblet by a narrow belt with with a buckle design. The belt is accented by tiny notches above and below the band. There is a tiny band of clear glass above a 1 inch vertical band of scalloped flutes where the goblet narrows to very small clear center.

The stem is very ornate. It has tiny flutes with a knob about half way down the stem. There is a band of tiny beads with stippling between each bead above and below larger circles. Below the knob (round) there is a short stem with tiny flutes which extend to the bottom of the stem which flares to larger flutes. The foot is round and flat and is clear except for the small fluted area. DoRi Miles, EAPG ID site, indicates the mold for the goblet is the same as the one for the Horseshoe Knob-Stem goblet used for the Horseshoe pattern. The lodge emblem fills the horseshoe space. This indicates Adams and Co. as the probable manufacturer for the pattern, according to Ms. Miles.

The Wildflower pattern is another interesting pattern by Adams & Co.

Golden Amber Wildflower Celery

Golden Amber Wildflower Celery


Enlargement of Wildflower Pattern showing fine stippling

The Wildflower pattern was Adams No. 140.  It was a popular pattern of the floral group. Wildflowr was first issued around 1874 in an extended table service.  This was non-flint glass. It was made in a variety of colors including: amber (light and dark), apple reen,m, clear, and canary yelllow.  The pattern features a six-petaled flower, leaves, berries and a single stem.  The elements are finely stippled and pressed in high relief.  I have shown a close up of the pattern so you can see the stippling clearly.

Unfortunately, the pattern has been reproduced, beginning as early as 1936. Crystal Art Glass, Mosser Glass, and L. G. Wright were among the companies reproducing the pattern.  Many reproductions were made from new molds; however, L. G. Wright, a glassware distributor used the original molds for most of the items produced.  New molds ere used for the compote and the stick candy jar.

For the most part reproductions are poorly stippled and this makes them easier to detect as reproductions. Also, be aware that the pattern was produced in many colors which was not originaly produced:  amethyst, ruby, vaseline opalescent.

The company also made some interesting novelties: a “Shoe Brush” match safe, a covered dish, “Tomato,” a salt dish ” Wheel Barrow, and a “Garfield” commemorative mug. These items were produced between 1880 and 1885. A four-legged turtle on a boat shaped dish which came in a variety colors is a rarity.

John Adams, its founder, was widely respected in the glass making industry. The company exported products to South America, Cuba, and the West Indies. In 1861 Adams & Company was among the largest glass factories in the Pittsburgh area. Adams exhibited its products at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. The company reorganized in 1883 when James Dalzell (another well-known glass man) retired from the firm. Adams & Co. expanded in 1884. In1891 became Factory A as a part of U.S. Glass and the company’s identity was lost.

SOURCES: Hawkins, Glasshouses & Glass Manufacturers of the Pittsburgh Region, p.4; EAPG Identification Site, DoRi, Miles; Metz 1 Early American Pattern Glass (Goblets); Revi, American Pressed Glass & Figure Bottles, p. 15-22; Jenks, Luna, and Reilly, Identifying Pattern Glass Reproductions, p.320-322.


About tizzyloucat

I'm a retired paralegal and live in sunny SW Florida. I have an online store where I sell animal themed collectibles and vintage and antique glassware.
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