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Pattern-Molded Glass

Shortly after the beginning of the nineteenth century another technique developed around Pittsburgh and was used for about fifty years. While the Jersey men took their traditions North, Amelung and Stiegel workmen migrated toward the West where they practiced their own techniques of glassworking. The early interest among collectors in Stiegel led to designating this pattern-molded glass made in the Midwest as Ohio Stiegel, although undoubtedly it was also made in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The shape and pattern of this ware was formed by blowing the gather into partsize dip or hinged molds. Then it was removed and further continuous blowing expanded the molten metal into the desired size of the flask or dish. The pattern impressed by the mold spread out into a soft delicate outline. While essentially the same technique practiced by Stiegel's men was used in the Midwest, certain features were developed which distinguish it from Stiegel-type pieces. Ribbed, swirled, and diamond patterns were the favored designs. The Broken-rib was made by dipping the gather into the mold twice. After the gather was blown into a rib mold, it was removed and given a twist. It was then blown into the mold a second time, thus forming the Broken-rib pattern. It was removed from the mold and expanded into a flask or dish. The quality and color of Ohio-Stiegel glass are excellent. Forms are pleasing. Flasks, pocket bottles, and flat dishes were the usual items made by this method. This early glass made in the Pittsburgh area is worthy of the attention and interest of the most discriminating collectors of American glass.

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