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1650 Hartford-New London Turnpike, Montville, CT 06370


Nature's Art Village & The Dinosaur Place: 860-443-4367
The PAST & The Gateway Museum:860-437-3615


Westmoreland GlassNovember 28, 2018

The Westmoreland Glass Company grew out of the Specialty Glass Company of East Liverpool, Ohio, which, in 1889, relocated to Grapeville, Pennsylvania, to take advantage of the area’s abundant supply of natural gas. By 1890, production of pitchers, goblets, tumblers, and glass novelty items was underway, overseen by two brothers named George and Charles West. With the financial backing of Ira Brainard, the brothers soon bought out the Ohio founders and changed the firm’s name to the Westmoreland Specialty Company. Operation of the factory ran smoothly for nearly 30 years. During this period, Westmoreland produced virtually every type of glassware, from inexpensive pressed glass to pricier cut glass. Disagreements between the two brothers eventually resulted in George leaving the company, which Charles continued to run on his own. Around the same time, the name was changed to Westmoreland Glass Company to eliminate the confusion among consumers about what a “specialty” company might actually produce— “glass” made the company’s mission crystal clear.

Throughout World War I, the Westmoreland Glass Company manufactured and distributed intricately molded, candy-filled glass jars in the shapes of automobiles, trains, and revolvers to newsstands and dime stores across the U.S. The jars were made of high-quality milk glass, or opal, a signature material that distinguished Westmoreland glass from its competitors.

In the 1920s, Charles added a large decorating department to the factory’s output, which allowed for the distribution of impressive crystal and decorated ware. However, it was milk glass that proved to be most lucrative. An estimated 90 percent of all Westmoreland glass produced between the 1920s and ’50s was made of milk glass. Due to their high level of craftsmanship, Westmoreland milk glass pieces were considered some of the finest examples of the material in the country. This reputation for quality is one reason the factory was not forced to close during the Great Depression.

One of Westmoreland’s most enduring products was a covered dish called Hen on a Nest, which was manufactured in numerous sizes. The earliest Hens were pressed from a more fragile (and more collectible) type of milk glass than the versions that followed. Early Hens can be distinguished from later ones because they were a pure milk-white; it was only later that the hen’s comb was colored bright red. They also created other popular animal dishes including swans, cats, and even bunnies.

By the 1950s, milk glass seemed the best financial bet for the company. Many of the patterns produced during that decade were designed to capitalize on the material’s earlier popularity. Among the most successful patterns were Paneled Grape, Old Quilt, Quilted, English Hobnail, Beaded Fruit, and American Hobnail. As the 1950s drew to a close, though, the popularity of milk glass waned. Westmoreland struggled through the 1970s, and in 1981 David Grossman purchased the company. Despite an effort to revive the business, there was no longer a substantial interest in milk glass. On January 8, 1984, nearly 100 years after its founding, the factory shut down production.

Westmoreland glass of all types continues to be desired by collectors who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of these beautiful creations. We currently have a selection of Westmoreland glass on sale: but two get one free! (free item must be of equal or lesser value)

This time of year is perfect for settling into the kitchen and trying out new recipes for all kinds of delicious confections. With the help of modern technology, the process of trial and error is quick and easy. Imagine how time-consuming it would be to whip up these tasty tr eats without the help of an electric egg beater!

Hand-operated rotary egg beaters have been around since approximately 1860, and were eventually patented by inventor Willis Johnson in Ohio in 1884. He originally intended it as a mixing device for all ingredients, not just eggs, and in that way, modern mixers have essentially come full-circle.

The design of the rotary beater helps to cut down on the time and effort needed to whisk the eggs. By turning the handheld crank, the motion of the gear revolutions transfers the energy to the beaters to spin them. This is much faster and more efficient than whisking by hand. Another perk of this machine is that it is able to add a significant amount of air into whatever is being mixed –this would lighten the consistency of the recipe or dessert and add to its quality.

By the 1890s, the Dover Stamping Company had a monopoly on egg beaters in the United States, so most people referred to them as “Dover Egg beaters,” regardless of the maker. Dover also popularized the shape and design we are familiar with today, and between 1870 and 1890 they sold 4 million egg beaters. The prices for these devices could range from $1.25 to $1.50.

Americans also used the egg beaters to mix other household substances such as paint. While modern rotary egg beaters are typically made from stainless steel, they were historically made from tin-wire or brass-wire.

Across the pond, Europeans seemed to prefer the ordinary method of hand-mixing or whisking with a hand whisk. The demand for the rotary beater was quite low until the early 20th century.

The Past Antiques Marketplace in Nature’s Art Village is home to several antique egg beaters for purchase. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to check out our entire collection of antiques and collectibles.

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Bates TBT

Throwback Thursday: Bates Automatic Numbering Machine

Today’s Throwback Thursday takes us to the year 1891 with this Bates Automatic Numbering Machine. This self-inking machine was used by medical professionals, courts and businesses for identification, copyrights and dates during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Please click on a photo to view it larger, and visit The Past Antiques Marketplace on Route 85 in Montville, CT for more antiques & collectibles!

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Trivia Tuesday 6-30-15June 30, 2015

Can you help Monty find the answer to today’s Trivia Tuesday dinosaur question?

TriviaTuesday 5q

+- Click Here for today's Answer & Explanation!

TriviaTuesday 5a

The horn above the nose of the Ceratosaurus was originally believed to be a weapon for attacking prey and defense against predators. Today, most scientists believe the horn was actually too weak to be an effective weapon, but instead was used to intimidate rivals and attract mates. Some scientist believe the horn of the Ceratosaurus was brightly colored to further attract mates, like the feathers of a male peacock. The Dinosaur Place has a Ceratosaurus among its more than 40 life-sized dinosaur in the Outdoor Adventure Park! Come by and visit on Route 85 in Montville and shake hands with this fascinating carnivore!  Click here for more on The Dinosaur Place and check back next week for another Trivia Tuesday question!

Ceratosaurus with boy

 

 

Flume Falls (Click Photo to View Larger)

Flume Falls by Charles H. Sawyer

This week Famous Friday takes us to Concord New Hampshire. Charles Henry Sawyer (1868-1954) was a famous painter of photographic landscapes for the tourist trade during the turn of the 20th century. Much like postcards, travelers would buy the small prints as a memoir of their trip. Mr. Sawyer started his career working for Wallace Nutting, where he perfected his craft and later became a direct competitor of Nutting. Most of Sawyers scenes are from New Hampshire. Sawyer was not only a talented artist, but a Businessman, Manufacturer and politician as well. He served as the 41st governor of New Hampshire and for a time in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The Sawyer Picture Co. Of Concord New Hampshire operated from 1903 until the early 1970’s surviving nearly two decades after its founder’s death.

The painting above is available at The Past Antiques Marketplace and is Charles Henry Sawyer’s Print #13 titled “Flume Falls”, a wonderful piece of preserved history. Visit The PAST Antiques Marketplace on Route 85 in Montville, CT for more information and to see this painting up close.

Jurassic Fun at The Dinosaur Place with FOX CT Daytrippers!


Watch this awesome segment by FOX CT Daytripper Sarah Cody as she checks out the New Vortex SuperWave at The Dinosaur Place in Montville, CT! To read the full piece visit Fox CT Daytrippers Page by Clicking Here!

TBT Coffee Perculator

What would we do without our morning (and sometimes afternoon) cup of coffee?

This beautiful, ornate, Art Deco-style coffee percolator with pot stand burner was made and patented in 1904 by the Manning Bowman Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. The Manning Bowman Company, founded in 1849, specialized in coffee & tea pots, cutlery and more. Visit us at The PAST Antiques Marketplace on Route 85 in Montville, CT to see more wonderful antique treasures!

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Trivia Tuesday 6-9-15June 09, 2015

Can you help Monty find the answer to today’s Trivia Tuesday dinosaur question?

TriviaTuesday 3q

+- Click Here for today's Answer & Explanation!

TriviaTuesday 3a

Pachycephalosaurus was a medium-sized dinosaur up to 15 feet long that lived during the late Cretaceous period. Its most unusual feature is an incredibly thick skull surrounded by bony spikes. Pachycephalosaurus actually means “thick-headed lizard”. The head of a pachycephalosaurus was more than 2ft long with a dome made of solid bone. It is commonly believed this dinosaur used its skull for headbutting. Originally, it was believed these dinosaurs headbutted each other to prove dominance or impress mates; but contradicting evidence has shown their vertebrae were too weak to support head to head contact. Now, it is more commonly believed headbutting was a defense mechanism or a way to attack smaller animals, and was not done head to head. The Dinosaur Place is proud to have a Stygimoloch among its more than 40 Life-Sized Dinosaurs on display. Stygimoloch is a genus of the Pachycephalosaurus family. Click here for more on The Dinosaur Place and check back next week for another Trivia Tuesday question!

Stygimoloch

 

Can you help Monty find the answer to this week’s Trivia Tuesday Dinosaur question?

TriviaTuesday 1q

+- Click Here for today's Answer & Explanation!


TriviaTuesday 1a

Euoplocephalus, of the dinosaur classification Ankylosaurids, is best known for its well-armored head. In fact the meaning of Euoplocephalus is “completely well-armored head”! This dinosaur was so well protected, even its eyelids featured a movable slab of bone for protection; the only known ankylosaur with this feature! The Dinosaur Place is proud to have an Euoplocephalus among its more than 40 other life-sized dinosaurs in the Outdoor Adventure Park at Nature’s Art Village. Click here for more on The Dinosaur Place and check back next week for another Trivia Tuesday question!

Euoplocephalus