Antique carnival glass was manufactured between the early 1900s and early 1930s, by various companies around the United States and abroad. Carnival Glass received its name because it was used as prizes at carnivals.   

Molten glass was pressed in a two part cast iron mold. The mold was locked together and then a plunger was inserted after the glass was poured in. The plunger was pushed down by a hydraulic press to make sure that the glass was well distributed throughout the mold.  

Once the glass had cooled, it was removed from the mold and reheated so any ruffles or shaping could be added. While it was still hot the surface was sprayed with a metallic salt solution (dope) to give it the irridescence or oil on water appearance.  

There are over 2,000 known carnival glass patterns, most were made by American companies such as Dugan Glass Company, Fenton Art Glass Company, Imperial Glass Company, Northwood Company, U.S. Glass Company, and Millersburg Glass Company. Some companies sold their molds and many were remanufactured starting in the 1970s. To be a true collector, you must do your research! Patterns come in many shapes and are often interchangeable. Discovering the pattern of your Carnival pieces may seem like a treasure hunt, but you will enjoy the search.  

The value of carnival glass lies in its color, which can be determined by holding it up to light and looking through the bottom. Carnival glass items can be found in green, marigold, red, amethyst/purple, aqua, white, cobalt blue, smoke and many shades in between. Carnival glass comes in all the colors of the rainbow!  

Charlton Park has only 17 pieces in its collection, which are fairly standard pieces. Here are some examples from the collection:
 


  • 1. “Imperial Grape” Pattern, in marigold
    Imperial Glass Co.
    Production began in 1912
    8″ diam.
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  • 2. “Triplets” Pattern, in marigold
    Dugan Glass Co.
    Produced between 1904 & 1913
    2.5″ tall, 7″ diam.
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  • 3. “Rococo” Pattern, in marigold
    Imperial Glass Co.
    Production began in 1909
    3″ tall
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  • 4. “Vintage” Pattern, in marigold
    Fenton Art Glass Co.
    Production began c. 1910
    2″ tall, 5.5″ diam.
    Known as a “fernery” bowl, has 3 feet

 

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  • 5. “Grape Arbor” Pattern, in marigold
    Northwood Glass Co.
    Produced between 1910 & 1914
    12″ tall

 

Want to learn more? Check out David Doty’s site: http://www.ddoty.com/index.html. You will be overwhelmed by the shapes, patterns and colors of Carnival Glass!

Sources:

Carwile, M. Standard Companion to Carnival Glass. Collector Books: Paducah, KT. 2007.
Edwards, B. and M. Carwile. Carnival Glass: The Best of the Best. Collector Books: Paducah, KT. 2004.
Edwards, B. and M. Carwile. Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass. Collector Books: Paducah, KT. 2006.
Quintin-Baxendale, M. Collecting Carnival Glass. Francis Joseph Publications: London, England. 2002.
Schroy, E.T. Warner’s Carnival Glass. KP Books: Iola, WI. 2004.