Heisey Glass Company

From Ohio History Central

Augustus H. Heisey opened a glass factory in Newark, Ohio, in 1896. Heisey had immigrated with his family to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1842, when he was an infant. As a young man, Heisey trained as a glass blower. He eventually went to work for Ripley and Company, a glass manufacturer, as a salesman after the American Civil War. He gained more experience in the glass industry over the next few decades before deciding to build his own factory in Ohio.

Beginning in 1900, the Heisey Glass Company marked all of its products with a new logo: a diamond with an "H" in the center. This remained the company's distinguishing mark until its closing in 1958. Early products were simple in design, but Heisey introduced etched glass designs in 1914. Although A. H. Heisey died in 1922, his son Wilson continued to lead the company. A chemist, E. Wilson Heisey introduced a number of new colors to the company's offerings. E. Wilson Heisey died in 1942, and T. Clarence Heisey became the company's new president. Heisey Glass remained prosperous until the 1950s, introducing a number of new patterns and a line of collectable glass figurines. At its peak, the company employed almost seven hundred people.

Heisey Glass Company closed its doors forever in December 1957, and the Imperial Glass Company purchased its assets the following year. Imperial Glass continued to produce a small amount of glassware using Heisey molds until the company's bankruptcy in 1984.

Enthusiasts of Heisey Glass formed the Heisey Collectors of America in 1971. This group founded the National Heisey Glass Museum in Newark in 1974. When Imperial Glass Company went out of business in the 1980s, the club purchased the Heisey molds and established an archives. The Heisey Collectors of America occasionally reproduce pieces from the original molds for fundraising purposes.

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