How Carnival Glass Got Its Name

In vintage glassware, many collectors and vintage lovers alike are on the hunt for what is properly named “Carnival Glass”. Let’s take a quick look at some varying patterns of carnival glass:

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Shown above are just a few varying patterns of carnival glass – a chemical process applied prior to the firing of the pieces that is sometimes referred to as “luster”. This look was considered novelty by many people – especially the wealthier class of people. In its origin the masses really did not come to appreciate it when it was birthed in the early 1900’s. It came about as a way to compete with famous art glass makers at the time such as Tiffany.

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One of the most collectible colors of carnival glass is this – named “Ice Blue” by Northwood.

So, how did it get its name? Due to the lackluster start it got in the early portion of the 20th century, they really did end up giving many pieces away as prizes at popular carnivals. Instead of winning candy or a stuffed bear, they handed out this stuff in hoards resulting in many mother’s and grandmother’s having it on a constant display in their dining rooms or kitchens.

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By the time mid century hit, makers such as Fenton (who was the original maker of carnival glass in 1908) the pieces had long since stopped being produced. They were produced in other countries by other makers up through the late 1920’s. These days to find a rare Fenton or Northwood piece can still prove profitable though. But, the name will certainly never go unnoticed.

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