American Iridescent Stretch Glass can be found by collectors and enthusiasts of glassware who attend antique shows, auctions, markets or scour antiques shops or even garage sales! A colorful, varied array of pieces are available for beginners to advanced collectors. The place setting at right is an example of Irridescent Stretch Glass from Diamond Glass Company.
The Stretch Glass Society defines Stretch Glass as a pressed or blown-molded glass that has little or no pattern and is sprayed with a metallic salt mix while hot. When finished, it will have either a cobweb iridescence effect (equal to stretch marks) or a plain iridescence effect. Stretch Glass is reheated and usually reshaped after the iridescence has been applied. The stretch effect is not overly noticeable, especially in candleholders, candy jars, and other pieces that were not reshaped after the molding process. Stretch Glass was originally produced from 1916-1935; Fenton Art Glass Company re-introduced stretch glass into their production line from approximately 1980 until 2011.
Stretch Glass varies not only by color and style by each manufacturer, but the iridescent effect can vary significantly because of the process itself. The plate at left is by Imperial Glass Company and the color is called marigold. Styles, or shapes, range from various size bowls, plates, candlesticks, candy jars, beverage sets, center handled servers, compotes, vases and creamers and sugars to the rarer shapes such as punch bowls and colognes. Iridescent Stretch Glass rarely has impressed patterns other than simple patterns, rings, diamonds or ribs. Colors are as varied as the styles, from blue, topaz, pink, green, white, marigold and various opaque colors to vibrant red, tangerine, wisteria and cobalt blue. Each manufacturer produced multiple shapes and styles in multiple colors so one can see how a collection can grow in size by focusing on color, style and manufacturer!
To date, nine manufacturers have been identified as producers of Stretch Glass. They are: Central Glass Works of Wheeling, WV, Diamond Glass-Ware Company of Indiana, PA, Fenton Art Glass Company of Williamstown, WV, Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, OH, Jeannette Glass Company of Jeannette, PA, Lancaster Glass Company of Lancaster, OH, H. Northwood & Company of Wheeling, WV, United States Glass of Pittsburgh, PA and Vineland Flint Glass Works of Vineland, NJ. The bowl and stand shown at right are by Fenton Art Glass Company in their aquamarine color.
Multiple sources are available for information on iridescent stretch glass. Consider joining the Stretch Glass Society to receive their informative quarterly newsletter to members. You may also want to attend their Annual Convention, Show & Sale featuring hundreds of pieces of stretch glass on display and for sale. Membership and convention information is available on the website and Facebook page. The Stretch Glass Society Website is: www.stretchglasssociety.org and you will find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Stretch-Glass-Society/116636962913. In addition, you can explore www.shetlarglass.com/stretchglass/SGopenpage.htm for a large collection of photos and other information on stretch glass.