WASHINGTON, Pa. — The National Duncan Glass Society (NDGS) is celebrating its 40th (ruby) anniversary with an expanded Annual Convention, Show & Sale at the Washington County Fair & Expo Center, Washington, Pa., on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2015.
It was July 22, 1975, when Orva Heissenbuttel and Betty Duncan Freeze (deceased) held the first meeting of the NDGS at the Washington Library. The Constitution ratified at that meeting defines the mission of the Society: To support the study and preservation of the handmade glassware manufactured by George Duncan & Sons in Pittsburgh and George Duncans’ Sons & Co. later renamed the Duncan & Miller Glass Co. in Washington, Pa. Over the ensuing 40 years, the NDGS, with members from 31 states, has established a museum to display thousands of examples of the “Loveliest Glassware in America” spanning four generations of Duncan family leadership, from 1874 to 1955.
Due to the exceptional length of time the Duncan companies manufactured glass, their products span several eras of glass collecting, including Early American Pattern Glass, Depression Era glassware and Mid-Century Modern glass design. As a 40th anniversary is designated as the Ruby Anniversary, the Society has selected the color ruby as the theme of this year’s celebration.
During the EAPG era of 1874-1915, the Duncan companies produced crystal tableware often found decorated with ruby stain either alone or associated with gold, enamel or cut decoration. It is believed that many of the ruby stained pieces were decorated by the Oriental Glass Co. or L. J. Roberts Co., decorating firms located in Pittsburgh. Included in the many patterns to be found with ruby stain are Snail, Barred Oval, Swag Block, Zipper Slash, Block and Rosette, Sunflower Patch and Mardi Gras.
The Duncan & Miller Glass Co. began the production of colored glassware in the
mid-1920s initially with pastel colors of amber, green and pink. From 1932 to 1936, ruby was incorporated into most of the patterns under production including Georgian, Ripple, Early American Sandwich, Teardrop, Arliss, Astaire, Plaza, Chanticleer, Terrace and selected pieces of Puritan, Caribbean and Nautical. A second production interval to include ruby occurred from 1948 to 1953 and resulted in a selection of ruby giftware incorporating pieces from a number of lines including Canterbury, Venetian, American Way and Pall Mall smoking accessories and the distinctive Duncan Swan. Three of the many blown stemware lines were produced with ruby bowls on crystal stems – #5300 Dover, #504 Granada and #5375 Diamond.
The 40th Annual Duncan Convention, Show and Sale will feature a display of the ruby glass produced by the Duncan & Miller Glass Co. In addition, raffle prizes are all ruby. First prize consists of the rare ruby #30 Duck cigarette box and cover, the ruby #30 7-inch Duck ashtray and the #30 4-inch Duck ashtray. Second prize is a ruby Puritan cheese and cracker tray with lid and the third prize is a pair of 10 1/2-inch ruby Swan candleholders. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 each at the Duncan & Miller Glass Museum or during the show. The drawing will be held Sunday, July 19, and winners need not be present.
Information regarding the 40th Annual Duncan Convention Show & Sale and Raffle ticket sales can be obtained at duncanmiller.net or firstname.lastname@example.org.