National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society meeting June 9-11, 2011

The National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society has scheduled its 35th annual convention for June 9-11, 2011. Glass enthusiasts will gather in St. Clairsville, Ohio and Bellaire, Ohio to participate in three days of activities. 

Once again, the headquarters for the convention will be the Hampton Inn in St. Clairsville, Ohio.   However, the convention will commence in Bellaire June 9 with a new event.  “Imperial Madness” will begin at 3 p.m. in the Bellaire Public Library Activity Room, 330 32nd St., when sellers will begin unpacking and selling their glass.  Early admission for the first hour of the event is $10.  Beginning at 4 p.m., admission is free until the conclusion at 6 p.m..  All three hours are open to the public.

On the evening of June 9, another event celebrating the opening of the convention will be the traditional Ice Cream Social and Open House. Society members will gather from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the National Imperial Glass Museum, 3200 Belmont St., in Bellaire where they will renew friendships, make new friends, reminisce about “The Big I,” enjoy the museum exhibits, and partake of tasty snacks and ice cream.

encyclopedia cobalt glassMany of the major glass companies are covered in this book: Cambridge, Central Glass, Duncan & Miller, Fostoria Glass, Hazel Atlas, A.H. Heisey, Imperial, Paden City, Westmoreland, and many more.

On June 10, convention activities shift to the Undo’s St. Clairsville function rooms (adjoining the Hampton Inn convention headquarters), where two seminars will be held in the morning.  At 9:45 a.m., former Imperial glassworker Bill Blon will present a program on “Mixing Glass and Colors.”  At 11 a.m., Gary Himes will talk on the 2011 convention theme: “Slag Glass—Something for Almost Everyone.”

 The afternoon of June 10 features a “bring and brag” session from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m.  Participants are especially encouraged to bring examples of slag glass, stained glass, and flashed glass.

The three hours from noon until 3 p.m. will afford conventioneers to not only enjoy a relaxing lunch, but also time to visit local antique shops or the museum in Bellaire. They may also drop off consignments and donations for the evening’s auction during that time.

At 5 p.m., the doors open at Undo’s St. Clairsville for the preview of the All-Imperial Auction.  Bidding will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Anyone planning to attend the auction, or wishing to submit Imperial Glass items for the auction, should contact the NIGCS at the references listed below, or refer to the April 2011 Imperial Collectors’ Glasszette.

On June 12, morning and afternoon activities will be held in Bellaire. Convention registrants may enter the Glass Show and Sale at the Bellaire High School Cafeteria, 3590 Guernsey St., at 9 a.m.  The free event opens to the general public at 10 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m.

For eighty years Imperial produced a diverse array of hand-crafted glass items. At the onset, production ranged from utilitarian glassware to electric and gas lampshades. Then over the next twenty years the company transitioned to making pressed patterns, Iridescent Ware (early Carnival), Free Hand and Lead Lustre.

Also on June 11, the Former Imperial Employee Q&A session will be held at the Bellaire High School Alumni Auditorium (adjacent to the cafeteria) from 10:30 am until 11:30 a.m.  The NIGCS general membership meeting and election will convene in the auditorium at 11:45 a.m. and run until 12:15 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the NIGCS will host “Collectors’ Conversations” at the cafeteria.  Concurrently from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., various NIGCS members will conduct special Museum Tours.  Pertinent to the convention theme, museum visitors will want to enjoy the special exhibit of Imperial slag glass.  Imperial made slag glass in five different colors, and splendid examples of all five are on display during 2011.

Finally, back at Undo’s St. Clairsville, the three days of activities conclude on Saturday evening with the Convention Banquet.  The guest speaker will be Dave McCullough of JABO, Inc., Parkersburg, W. Va.  JABO produces industrial, toy, and collector marbles.  Dave has an extensive background in the glass industry, and since multi-colored marbles are closely related to slag glass, his presentation will tie in nicely with the theme of the convention and broaden attendees’ knowledge of this unique type of glass.

For information about the 2011 NIGCS Convention and the associated events, or Society membership information, visit the NIGCS website.  You may also contact the NIGCS via email at, by mail at P.O. Box 534, Bellaire, OH 43906, or by phone at 740.671.3971.

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