Co-Operative Flint Glass

by Bill Horton
Volume 10 No. 6 - January 1984

In 1879, the Beaver Falls Co-Operative Glass Company was formed in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Pressed wares, common to the crystal Elephant period, brought extensive trade with restaurants, soda fountains, cafeteria, and hotels. Because of its durability in the hard usage trades, the nickname "flint glass" emerged and in 1889, the name of the company was changed to the Co-Operative Flint Glass Co.

Novelty glass in the form of furniture knobs, pipe rests and gazing balls made their appearance and many a "bird in the gilded cage" had seed cups and their very own bird bath of Co-Operative glass.

Frog Following World War I and into the early 1920's, Co-Operative Flint became a pacesetter in colored glassware in tableware, glass gift items and novelties.

Crystal and clear delicate shades of blue, green, turquoise, topaz and amethyst were being done by 1933. Midnight or black glass, amber and cobalt blue were added in late 1923 and 1924. Ruby and sunset came about 1925 with aquamarine and rose shortly after that. "All lines available in all popular colors" became the mainstay in the company's advertising. The sunset color was a deep red in the center thinning to light shades at the edges, a direct opposite of the Fenton color variation.

Powder jar Dresser sets featured the "Fleur-de-lis" and are often mistaken for Fostoria Glass but the difference is quite noticeable when compared.

The "Pookie" set was in keeping with the pinch bottle water sets of the time but the company's "glass menagerie" is a high point to collecting this company's wares.

The elephant, frog, bear, whale, Boston terrier and rabbit are known to have been made by Co-Operative Flint, with reports of an Airedale dog, but as yet I have not seen one.

The animals were originally bath salt containers. When empty they became containers for many items, The company made their containers more desirable by modifying the removable backs to include a flower Fish frog and a cigarette ash tray with rests. The animals were advertised as being available in all colors; however, I do not have, nor have I seen a cobalt blue animal.

Company outlets were found in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco; however, the company succumbed to the depression and closed its doors in 1934.

Recently there has been a report of a reproduction crystal elephant containing jelly beans but as yet I have nor seen one to make a comparison.