Heisey's Crystolite

by Virginia Scott
Rainbow Review Glass Journal - August 1974

Crystolite Ads "CRYSTAL-light your table in the radiance of Heisey glassware," read an October, 1938. advertisement for Heisey's Crystolite glassware pattern. I have found many ads for Crystolite from l938 throughout the 1940s. The pattern was named by A. H. Heisey & Co. as their most popular glassware pattern for the 1942 survey "The 15 Most Popular Glassware Patterns."

Crystolite, a rather heavy glass, has large curved ribs which catch and reflect light. Mr. Clarence W. Vogel states that it was made mostly in crystal, but that a few items may be found in Limelight and Sahara. A Heisey ad describes the pattern as "Glassware of purest ray serene. It is deftly molded and finished by expert hands to reflect lights in sparkling, shimmering beauty. It is a distinctly modern pattern in its bold modeling of clear crystal.". Another ad declared, "Crystolite is really functional. Its forthright charm is equally at home in a fine period setting or with fresh, modern furnishings." Many ads informed the reader that Crystolite was "Patented" and "handmade with a special,conscientious care for Heisey quality." A Heisey "Choose as you use" plan was suggested as an easy way to "gradually acquire pieces. Purchase the 'starter pieces' you need most. Add to them from time to time, purchasing from a splendid array of 'open stock' pieces." Ii was stressed in the ads that "Crystolite is designed for use as well as loveliness" and that it was reasonably priced."

Crystolite was made in an extensive line of pieces and shapes. A 1939 ad announced that the pattern was available in "over half a hundred pieces," while a 1943 ad disclosed that one could choose from "more than 200 pieces." Items were made in many shapes: round, square, oval, shell, and clover-leaf. A master nut and individual nut dishes were made in swan - or is it goose? - design. Notice the prices given in the 1940 ad: Goblet and sherbet, 65 cents each; shell dish. 50 cents; cloverleaf relish $1.50; 2-comparment conserve, $1.00; and candleholder and vase, $1.90. A 1944 ad gives more prices: 14-inch sandwich plate with footed cheese dish, $2.65; 2-quart water pitcher $1.75; covered shell candy box, $1.25; candle rosettes, 60 cents; deep oval bowl, $2.75; 3-piece mayonnaise with ladle, $1.50; oval sugar & creamer set, $1.20; sugar & creamer set with circle handles, $1.00 and round flower bowl. S2.00.

Crystolite weas introduced around 1938. Since it became a very popular pattern and was always in demand, it remained in continuous production until Heisey went out of business in 1957. Heisey's molds, patents and trademarks were later acquired by Imperial Glass Corporation, Bellaire, Ohio. Some items of Crystolite have been reproduced by Imperial. Not all items are marked with the Heisey trade mark.

"Imagine the sparkling, shimmering brilliance of Crystolite on your table!"