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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kokomo in Howard County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Kokomo Opalescent Glass

 

— Industrial Heritage Trail —

 
Kokomo Opalescent Glass Marker image. Click for full size.
By Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
1. Kokomo Opalescent Glass Marker
Inscription.  Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company, at 1310 Market Street, is an early natural gas boom business. Established in 1888, it is the oldest producer in the country of colored glass for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Workers carry ladles of molten glass from the kiln to rollers that flatten the glass into sheets. KOG continues to produce colored glass by implementing the same method used over 100 years ago.
 
Erected by Howard County Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
 
Location. 40° 28.294′ N, 86° 7.679′ W. Marker is in Kokomo, Indiana, in Howard County. Marker is at the intersection of Industrial Heritage Trail and East State Street, on the right when traveling south on Industrial Heritage Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1310 S Market St, Kokomo IN 46902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Vermont Bridge (approx. ¾ mile away); Chief Kokomo (approx. one mile away); Manetoowa (approx. one mile away); Haynes’ Horseless Carriage (approx. 1.2 miles away);
Kokomo Opalescent Glass Workshops and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
2. Kokomo Opalescent Glass Workshops and Marker
Seiberling Mansion (approx. 1.4 miles away); Tipton County (Indiana) Veterans Memorial (approx. 13.9 miles away); Tipton County Courthouse (approx. 13.9 miles away); Land Between The Rivers (approx. 13.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kokomo.
 
Also see . . .  Kokomo Opalescent Glass - Our History. Excerpt:
Charles Edward Henry was born in Paris France in 1846; he migrated to the United States in the early 1880’s. He was a good glass chemist, forming Henry Art Glass in New Rochelle, New York in 1883. Henry Art Glass made glass buttons, novelties, and opalescent glass rods. While producing glass products Mr. Henry met many glass artists in the New York area including Louis Tiffany.

Mr. Henry had heard about the gas boom in Central Indiana and stopped in Kokomo while returning to New York from a business trip to Chicago, IL. On April 27, 1888, the same day he arrived in Kokomo, he met with local officials about establishing a glass plant in Kokomo. Within 24 hours an agreement with local government officials was made and signed. This agreement provided Mr. Henry with a plant site and a free natural gas supply.

After completing the agreement Mr. Henry returned to New York to begin his preparations to move to Indiana. Within 30
Kokomo Opalescent Glass in Inventory image. Click for full size.
By Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
3. Kokomo Opalescent Glass in Inventory
days he returned to Kokomo, where he purchased a home and began building a glass production plant with a seven pot furnace. Actual production started at Opalescent Glass Works' new plant on November 13, 1888. The primary product was sheet glass; electric insulators were made for Edison General Electric with the excess glass.

On November 16, 1888 one of the first shipments of sheet glass went to Louis Tiffany. The shipment included 600 pounds of blue and white opalescent glass. The relationship with Louis Tiffany continued to grow over the years.

By early 1889 Opalescent Glass Works employed over 50 people and was the only opalescent glass manufacturer west of the Appalachian Mountains. In early 1889 Henry sent 30 sheets of opalescent glass to Paris France for display at the Paris Exposition (now called the World’s Fair). On the Ocean journey to France 16 sheets were broken. The remaining 14 sheets that arrived were sufficient for him to win a Gold Medal for the glass and also obtain over $50,000 in sheet glass orders.
(Submitted on February 7, 2021.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Transcription of the visible text on the placard in Photo No. 4
The history of Kokomo Opalescent Glass is a fascinating story. For over 125 years the company has been manufacturing sheet glass in
“Hunter’s Moon” at Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co. image. Click for full size.
Photo by Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
4. “Hunter’s Moon” at Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co.
Located in the factory showroom and gift shop. Click on image to zoom in to examine the detail.
the same facility where the company had its start in 1888. Recently an old window frame from the original brick structure was removed and repurposed for use as a frame for a newly-designed original stained glass panel by one of KOG’s artists.

Hunter’s Moon, as this lovely nine-panel design is named, is perfectly housed by this newly-stabilized window frame. Using a fascinating combination of KOG glass products, the landscape design captivates the viewers attention. The haloed moon is comprised of two separate blown rondels while the clouds in the night sky are pieces of another cut rondel selected to match the newly formulated sheet glass color featured in the mountain and valley areas.

A single sheet of color #473 makes up nearly all of the terra firma features. This combination of color made from the mix of colors #509D and #701 and #33 is a lovely selection. Visual interest is heightened by the artist’s choice of juxtaposing varied pieces from the sheet. The mountains have a quite distinct appearance by facing the back of the sheet to the front side of the design. A small amount of color #473 run in the granite texture adds interest to the valley ground. ...
    — Submitted February 7, 2021.
 
One of the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Kilns image. Click for full size.
By Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
5. One of the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Kilns
Smaller Opalescent Glass Sheets in Inventory image. Click for full size.
By Phyllis Prats, April 22, 2015
6. Smaller Opalescent Glass Sheets in Inventory
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 7, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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