Book Report: Steuben Glass by James S. Plaut (1948)

Book coverThis “monograph” is more of a marketing piece for the (former) Steuben Glass, which was part of Corning that made and sold high-end hand-blown glass objects as well as created pieces for museums to promote the consumer glass.

The text tells the history of the company as well as the techniques of hand glass blowing. We can see an example of this every time we go to Silver Dollar City, and I have some objects that a friend made when he took a glass blowing class twenty or so years ago, so I understand the craftsmanship involved.

A lot of the pieces within, and not just the museum pieces, are flawless and beautiful works of glass that you can maybe use when the company comes. At the tail end of the depression and in the immediate war years, they must have been expensive status-provers.

But now you can go into Walmart and get something possibly not as beautiful, but attractive and cheap. I explained this to my son yesterday as I was looking at the book. The march of technology and progress continues bringing things that were luxuries into the reach of people working real jobs.


As this is an ex-library book from the Springfield Art Museum, we can judge its relative popularity by the last stamp on its checkout papers in the back cover. In this case, 7/27/99.

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