Paden City Discoveries         

William P. Walker

(This article first appeared in the February/March 1999 issue of Glass Collector's Digest, published by The Glass Press, Inc. The article below has been updated to reflect new information discovered since the original was published.)


When I began collecting Paden City glass in the early 1980's, I was limited to collecting the Crow's Foot lines and the various "Bird" etchings. As my knowledge and experience expanded, I began to recognize other Paden City wares- some undocumented. This article shares a few of those discoveries.

At first glance, the pair of candlesticks shown in figure 1 looks like they belong to either New Martinsville's No. 37 Moondrops line or their No. 44 Teardrop line. A closer look reveals Paden City's Spring Orchard reverse etching (No. 545) on the underside of the base. This etching dates to the early 1930's.

Figure 1

If this is a Paden City candlestick, to what line does it belong? Note the three-part and five-part fans or plumes. No. 890 Crow's Foot Round and No. 900 Cavalier have the five-part fan/plume, and the No. 895 Lucy line is readily identified by a three-lobed, fleur-de-lis motif. On some pieces Lucy also has a five-part fan( e.g., the ice bucket handle, figure 2).

Figure 2

Unfortunately, Lucy is less well documented than Crow's Foot or Cavalier. In "Paden City Glass", Jerry Barnett (1978, pg54) illustrated two Lucy plates and a center-handled server. He quotes from a February 28, 1935 trade journal report:

"Another new line is No. 895, which is of entirely different character. The raised decorative motif, which is its outstanding feature, is a three-line treatment which is a cross between a fleur- de-lis, and the crest motif of the Prince of Wales. The entire effect is one of simplicity, and is carried out in the full line of tableware in which the pattern is shown. The pattern not only has charm itself but fits nicely with other articles. As a result, many specialties have been brought out to fit in there with that do not carry the treatment referred to. Notable among these is a very attractive two-armed candlestick."
Neither Barnett nor the 1935 trade journal report distinguishes between one-lite and two-lite candlesticks; however, they do mention "double-branched and 'two armed' candlesticks." These terms raise some uncertainty about how to describe the two-armed, one-lite candlesticks in figure 1. 

Barnett (1978, p.23) also illustrates what he calls a double-branched candlestick that was mated with a three-toed console bowl in No. 890 Crow's Foot Round - both with the same Paden City cutting. Barnett suggests that this candlestick (Figure 3) belongs to either the 890 Crow's Foot Round line or the 895 Lucy line, but he favors No. 890. (Paden City and the decorating companies did a lot of mix and match.) In support of this attribution, the 890 candy box (figure 4) has a five-part fan as a finial handle which corresponds to the fan in the double-branched candleholder.

Figure 3

Figure 4

The handles on the No. 895 Lucy ice bucket (figure 2) are shaped as five-part fans, and there is a three-lobed, fleur-de-lis pattern on the side of the bucket. The two-armed, one-lite candle has the same five-part and three-part decorative motifs and the ice bucket. My bet is that the double branched, two lite candleholder (figure 3) belongs to the No. 890 Crow's Foot Round line, and the two-armed, one-lite candleholder (figure 1) is the No. 895 Lucy candleholder mentioned in the 1935 trade journal report. 


In the Spring of 1997, I challenged a fellow dealer to find a piece with a known Paden City etching on a previously unknown shape. Not six hours later, he called to say that he had been visiting a collector and found a dark ruby vase decorated with Paden City's well-known Orchid etching. It took many weeks of begging, cajoling, and outright pestering, but eventually he was able to obtain this vase. (figure 5)

The ridge and groove design at the base of this 9" tall vase looks like the edges of the No. 888 MK Line pieces, so this vase may have an affinity to this line (See Barnett, 1978, p. 51). The upper part is smooth and perfectly suited for the well executed Orchid etching. The cupped rim is a distinctive styling of Paden City Glass.

Figure 5

Paden City researchers are anxiously trying to locate more advertisements and catalogs from the late 1930's, 40's and early 50's, in order to resolve many questions. Unless further research documents this vase to be a part of another line, I will consider it to be the vase from the No. 888 MK Line.


Using the guide in the "Paden City Party Line" newsletter by Jerry Barnett (1980), we know that the celery tray in Figure 6 belongs to the No. #890 Crow's Foot Round line.  

Figure 6

The oval celery tray has three fans spaced equally on both sides and one fan centered on either end of the bowl. Of the eight fans, only four - the center side fans and the end fans - have darts. That is, the darts are associates with alternate fans.

The dish measures 11 3/4" long, 4 3/4" wide, and 1 5/8" high. The bottom is ground as are so many pieces of elegant glassware. This item is also illustrated in a 1954 Canton Glass Company catalog page reprinted in Weatherman's Price Trends (1982, p. 230). Canton Glass of Marion, Indiana, acquired several of  Paden City's molds after they closed in 1951 - possibly in late 1952. Canton used the number 890 in their catalog which we know as the Crow's Foot Round line.

The two Crow's Foot lines (#412 & #890) are often lumped together by many current authors. This is unfortunate as the Round variation is much scarcer than the Square variation. Recently, a popular author went a step further and included pieces from the #895 Lucy line in the listings of the combined Crow's Foot lines. Again, values are different for this line as well.

With few exceptions, Crow's Foot Square and Crow's Foot Round may be identified simply by the fact that the Square variation usually has the darts associated with the fans; on the other hand, Crow's Foot Round usually alternates fans associated with darts and fans without darts.

The exception is in the cups where the Crow's Foot Square cup has four exposed fans with darts, while the Crow's Foot Round cup has one set of fans with darts covered by the handle.

The above information was given greater detail by Jerry Barnett (1980) in the "Paden City Party Line" newsletter. Regrettably, these newsletters edited by Michael Krumme from 1980-1982 are hard to find today. Perhaps they could be reprinted - this would certainly benefit new Paden City glass Collectors today.

The octagonal item in figure 7 has an alternating rib and panel design on the sides. One set of panels contains the vertical ribbing of the No. 215 line while the alternating panels have a flat surface bearing the Spring Orchard reverse etching. This plate etching is not as deep as normally seen on No. 215 Glades. 


Figure 7

Measuring 3 1/4" high and 2 3/8" wide at the top, the dark-ruby walls are quite thick in comparison to items in the Glades line. The piece seems too tall for a votive candleholder, toothpick or match holder, and too narrow
for a pretzel or cigarette holder. About a month after this item was discovered, I found a matching ruby ash tray set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which is illustrated in figure 8. About the same time, Paden City researcher Michael Krumme saw a cobalt ash tray in California. This got us thinking along the lines of a smoker set. Our current idea is that this piece is intended to hold cigarettes, and that these are items in a smoker's set. Does anyone have an alternate explanation?

Figure 8

Now, where do these items fit into Paden City's scheme of product development and line numbers? Is this an integral part of No. 215 Glades or is it a line unto itself? There is no question as to its similarity to Glades; however, there is also quite a variation. Glades has round shapes and continuous ribbing. This piece is octagonal and has ribs and panels. Note however, that the cigarette holder has a very striking similarity in shape and design to the New Martinsville #445 cigarette holder as shown in Miller & Miller 1975, p. 50 and Measell 1994, p. 226. For the present, I consider this piece and the ash trays as belonging to a distinct Paden City line that has not yet been identified. Hopefully, more pieces in this pattern will be found. Meanwhile I call it the "Paul" line.

One of my earliest Paden City pieces was a No. 182 Cheriglo (pink) 8" vase with the Peacock and Rose etching (figure 9) In fact, this was the item that sparked my initial interest in Paden City glass. In August 1996, a No. 182 vase in the 5" size with the Orchid etching was found. (This size is shown in figure 10, but in an ebony vase with Ardith etching.) These two sizes are also illustrated in Weatherman's Colored Glassware of the Depression Era 2 (1974, p. 305), although she doesn't give their line number. 

Figure 9

Figure 10

After this find, we discussed the possibility of there being other sizes of this elliptical-shaped vase. Collectors will sometimes refer to these 5" and 8" vases as pillow and half-pillow. We joked about whether there might be queen-sized and king-sized pillows! 

A few weeks later, on a trip to Cape Cod, I found one of the 10" vases in figures 12 & 13. The second example was purchased at the Williamstown WV Antiques Mall in February 1998. To date, I haven't found catalog or advertising evidence of a No. 182 vase made in a 10" size. Figures 11 & 12 have geometric patterns: a checker board and diagonal stripes. Are they the Paden City No. 182-10" queen-size pillows that we joked about? Is there a 12" variant? You tell me... 

Figure 11

Figure 12

An ad, catalog page, or another vase with a known Paden City etching is needed to resolve the question. We do know that U.S. Glass produced a similar design: their Echec decoration on Ebony glass. This satinized design contrasts bright shiny areas against dull grey areas in geometric patterns (Piņa and Gallagher, 1997, pp. 56-60, 69).

In the fall of 1997 a Paden City collector in the Midwest told me that she had found a No. 890 Crow's Foot Round crystal 10" vase with a bird etching (figure 13). When she sent me a rubbing of the pattern, it revealed a single pheasant with a long crescent tail. The bird was standing on one leg and surrounded by flowers. The pattern is repeated three times on the vase. We are still trying to locate the original name or number. Until then, I refer to it as the "Melissa Bird" in honor of its finder.

In December 1997, I visited this collector and her collection and was shown a very interesting piece that is similar to New Martinsville's "Oscar Vase." Its rounded, cylinder shape somewhat resembles a hummingbird's nest, so I call it the "Hummer Vase" (figure 14). Measuring 8 1/16" high and 3" in diameter at the top, it is decorated with Paden City's Frost etching which we have seen on the No. 215 Glades, No. 330 Cavendish, and No. 881 Gadroon lines. To date, I have not been able to locate a catalog page showing this shape to be Paden City's or any other company's blank. I therefore conclude that this may very well be an undocumented Paden City shape. 

Figure 13

Figure 14


Barnett, Jerry, 1978, Paden City: The Color Company, Astoria, IL: Stevens Publishing Co.

Barnett, Jerry, 1980, "Crow's Foot Square? Crow's Foot Round? Confused?" The Paden City Party Line.

Florence, Gene, 1998, Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass, Paducah, KY: Collector Books.

Florence, Gene, 1997, Pocket Guide to Depression Glass (10th ed.), Paducah, KY: Collector Books.

Krumme, Michael, 1980-1982, The Paden City Party Line, a quarterly newsletter.

Measell, James, 1994, New Martinsville Glass 1900-1944, Marietta, OH: Antique Publications.

Miller, Everett R. and Addie R., 1975, The New Martinsville Glass Story, Manchester, MI: Rymack Publishing Co.

Piņa, Leslie and Jerry Gallagher, 1997, Tiffin Glass: 1914-1940, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Co.

Walker, William P., August 1997, "Collector's Alert: A Paden City Vase Not Previously Recognized or Illustrated," North Jersey Depression Glass Club Newsletter.

Weatherman, Hazel Marie, 1974, Colored Glassware of the Depression Era 2, Ozark, MO: Glassbooks.

Weatherman, Hazel Marie, 1982, Supplement and Price Trends, Colored Glassware of the Depression Era 2, Ozark, MO: Glassbooks.