Antique glass clubs prepare as Mega Glass Convention stands to make history

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The National Toothpick Holder Collectors’ Society traditionally holds its convention the second week of August, but members were willing to give the new concept a try. Judy Knauer, founder of the National Toothpick Holder Collectors’ Society, sees several advantages to a multi-club approach to the convention.
“It can attract big-name speakers, with a wider base clubs can share expenses and in a time of declining membership clubs can attract a wider audience,” said Knauer. “There’s also a lot of crossover in collecting. A person who collects Mt. Washington glass probably has toothpick holders and salt shakers. Clubs can pick up news members from crossover collecting.”

Den Depew, president of the National American Glass Club, said he looks forward to meeting collectors with a variety of interests and “sharing ideas that we hope will benefit all of the sponsoring organizations.

“The general response has been favorable, although we share the joint problems of a weak economy and an aging membership with other collector organizations so the NAGC attendance is not as high as we would have expected,” said Depew, noting that his club shares members with the other sponsor organizations. “Based on the total number of registrations, it appears that this will be a large gathering,” said Depew.

Susan Ryan, president of the Antique Glass Salt Shaker and Sugar Shaker Club, will travel from her home in Burlington, Vt., to participate in the Mega Glass Convention. While only a small contingent of AGSSSC members will attend, Ryan looks forward to heading up the club’s Identification Clinic, this year with participation from the Early American Pattern Glass Collectors.

Speakers at the Mega Glass Convention will also include Alina Adams of the Wave Crest Collectors Club and Bill Evans of the American Cut Glass Association. As a change of pace, Kathy Freshwater of Overland Park will present a talk entitled “Traveling the Freedom Path: Quilts and the Underground Railroad.”

The National American Glass Club and the Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass Society will be sharing their speaker, Jane Shadel Spillman, curator of American Glass at the Museum of Corning Glass, at a lecture open to all attendees.

Jay Rogers hopes to have a representative of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City joining Jeffrey Evans on the panel discussion.

Convention-goers are also invited to participate in the Overland Park Antique Show at the nearby International Trade Center, an antique auction conducted by Pence Auction of Liberty, Mo., and two tours in Kansas City – one devoted to fine arts, the other to historic sites.

Basic registration for members of participating glass club members is $15. Registration for nonmembers is $25. Meals, lodging and tours are priced separately. 

For an agenda and updates on the Mega Glass Convention, visit the website

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