I have been collecting glass for about
eight years now. I recently have tried to narrow my collection to
South Jersey style glass. This has required a lot of
research but fortunately I live in this area and have met many people that
related to those that worked the glass houses in the area. The main
problem I have had is with Vineland Flint Glass Works. When I mention
this company it is often assumed I mean Vineland Glass Works, which was
owned and operated by August "Pop" Hofbauer founded in
1932. If I mention Durand they think art glass or "Fancy Shop".
It is as if the early years, 1897 to 1924, did not exist. It is these
years I am going to try and address here.
In 1897 Victor Durand and his father started Vineland Flint Glass Works at
the old Vineland Glass Manufacturing Company which was founded in 1892 but
did not survive. In 1899 Victor became the sole owner after buying
out his fathers share of the company. His father continued to work
part time at the factory to train employees in different areas. In
1904 the old glass works caught fire and was burned to the ground.
Victor, refusing to give up, rebuilt the factory out of brick to avoid this
happening again. The glass works lasted until 1931, when
Victor died in an automobile accident. The cause of his death was
lose of blood due to the severe cuts he receive from the glass
windshield. At the time a merger with Kimble glass was in the works for a
second time. Victor's wife finalized the paper work and ended the
existence of Vineland Flint Glass Works
Originally they blew lamp chimneys and bottles. They then expanded
into lab glass and tubing and eventually vacuum bottles. In 1912
Vineland Flint and Kimble Glass merged to become the Kimble-Durand Glass
Company, but the merger was ended in 1918. In 1912 Ralph Barber came
to work for Durand and became Superintendent of Vacuum blowing.
In 1915 they were making bathroom fixtures, mainly out of opaque colored
glass and opal. It has been said there were many vases blown during
this time, mainly out of the green glass, but I have yet to see one that
can be documented. This same color green glass was also used for many
of the leaves in Ralph Barber's now famous rose paperweights. 1920 Vineland
Flint Glass Works was one of the largest privately owned glass works,
making glass tubing and thermos bottle
inserts in the country. At that time they were producing over
10,000 pounds of glass tubing and 40,000 thermos bottles a day, and
employed more than 700 workers!
From about 1910 through 1924 they produced tableware, which is now often
referred to as "Durand Commercial"
glass. Many of these pieces made in the Commercial line were also
made in the Stretch glass line. Unfortunately
there is very little information available on either one of these lines of
glass to help document these pieces. Some pieces have been found with
original stickers still
attached, and this has helped in identification of other pieces as being
Vineland Flint. Other pieces have been verified through family
history and can be of help to verify other pieces of Vineland Flint.
I am fortunate to own many of these bowls in the Commercial line.
Photos of the bases of pieces have been taken and
accurate measurements will be given to try and help others in finding and
verifying pieces. One company,
Fenton, has made some bowls with very similar bases to Vineland. One
of the first things I have learned to look at is the depth of the
"kick-up" in the center of the base. Even though the size,
shape and mold marks (seams) may appear very similar at first look, the
depth in the center of the base is often quite a bit deeper on most
Vineland pieces. Even though the measurements I am showing were taken
by a micrometer you may find a variance caused by the shrinkage of the
glass after removed from the mold. This difference should be very
little for the base. One other thing that seems t be quite
common in Vineland Flint glass are scratch marks on the bases of bowls and
candlesticks. This was due to the
workers having a problem getting the glass out of the molds. These
marks are also common on the bases (stands) for the bowls.