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The Collectics Antiques Information & Education pages are designed to further knowledge of antiques, collectibles, collecting styles, periods, artists, designers, and manufacturers of fine and decorative arts. To learn more, our Antique Collector Bookstore lists only the best collector books and price guides, complied by surveys of top antique dealers and auction houses. For a different shopping experience, you can also browse our featured selections in a fun new way with the Antique Price Guides Slideshow or see current bestsellers by using Collector Books Topic Search.

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William Blenko founded the Blenko Glass Company in Kokomo, Indiana in the year 1893. William grew up in London, England where he worked in some of the London glass houses starting at the age of 13 and learned about glassmaking from the inside. He immigrated to the United States in 1893 to start his own glass company, planning to initially supply antique sheet glass for use in stained glass windows. This type of antique glass was mouth blown, and prior to the founding of Blenko it was all produced in Europe. Blenko Glass Company operated in Kokomo until 1903 when the factory closed. Later, William Blenko founded 2 more glass factories in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but both closed within a few years of starting production primarily due to American's association of this type of glass and European glassmakers. At the age of 67 in 1921, William moved to Milton, WV to start yet another glass company, this time calling it the Eureka Glass Company. Legend has it that after finally perfecting a method to make ruby sheet glass, he celebrated by uttering the phrase "Eureka, I've found it!" William J. Blenko's 26 year old son, William H. Blenko Sr., joined him working at the glass company and proved to be a very effective salesman. When Eureka Glass sales declined in 1929 and the subsequent years of the Great Depression, William H. Blenko sought to diversify the company by contacting Carbone, a glass importer based in Boston, MA. Bill Sr. told Carbone that they could design and manufacture at lower cost glass vases that were superior to the ones Carbone was then importing from Venice, Italy. After being awarded the contract, Blenko returned to Milton where he needed to find the right skills to produce the glass vases for which he had just signed up to deliver. There, he found Axel Mueller and Louie Miller, 2 skilled Swedish glassmakers who had experience making fine stemware. From this point on, Blenko begain to specialize in hand blown glassware which led to lucrative and exclusive contracts such as an agreement to be the exclusive provider of glassware for Colonial Williamsburg which was just then being excavated. William Blenko Sr. died in 1969 at which point the company was led by his son, William H. Blenko Jr. who became President of the Blenko Glass Company. Today, the Blenko Glass Company is still in business, producing beautiful fine tableware that reflects a very modern design sensibility.

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Blenko: Cool '50s & '60s Glass (Schiffer Book for Collectors) Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass: American Classics (Schiffer Book for Collectors)
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