Glass Turkeys by L.G. Wright

by Barbara Shaeffer
Glass Review - November 1986

Isn't there an old song called "Turkey In The Straw"? Our cover this month certainly makes one think of Thanksgiving.

L.G. Wright Turkeys These L.G. Wright turkeys (at right) belong to Linda Gardner, Marietta, OH, and when I saw them I was curious to learn more about them.

I remembered reading an article by Phyllis Smith (Nov. 1982 Glass Review) where she showed two photos of turkeys - one made by Cambridge Glass Company in 1930 and an "imported" turkey circa 1926. She mentioned that L. E. Smith also had a covered turkey but it was only 6" tall whereas the other two were taller - 9".

I've always heard that if you could fit two fists inside the turkey base you had a Cambridge turkey but the turkeys on our cover are L. G. Wright and both fists also fit inside. Were these copied from Cambridge?

I mentioned this dilema to William Heacock and he looked through his files and came up with an 1898 reprint of a United States Glass catalog showing the "imported" turkeys in Phyllis Smith's article. Notice the waffle design on the base. Did Cambridge copy the U.S. Glass turkey?

Phyllis says the Cambridge turkey has a grassy type pattern on the underside of the base. The Cambridge turkey has been found in royal blue, carmen, forest green, amber, pink, emerald green, gold crystal, willow blue, bluebell, crystal and crystal with flower decorations.

Turkeys The L. G. Wright turkeys have no pattern on the underside or top but otherwise are dead-ringers for the Cambridge ones.

I decided to call Mrs. Wright and ask if she could recall anything about this mold. She said her late husband, L. G. Wright (also known as Cy) had more than likely copied his turkey from either the U.S. Glass or Cambridge turkey about 40 years ago.

The turkeys have been in their line off and on since. In their 1979 Supplemental catalog (photo at left) they showed four different colors - amethyst carnival, amethyst with milk glass head white milk glass and white milk glass with carnival head.

Mrs. Wright couldn't remember which companies made certain colors but she said they took their molds to several glass companies including Fenton and Westmoreland.

While on the subject of turkeys I copied down some colors of the 6" turkey by L.E. Smith:

If anyone has additional information to share about any of the turkeys please do so.