Culver Glassware Identification, Then and Now
This is the third in a series of guest blog posts that I will be sharing with my readers. A small group of us, all with different backgrounds and geographical locations, have come together in an effort to share our combined vintage knowledge with all who love the vintage/antique world as we do. Visit all of us at the Vintage & Antiques Community on G+ .
I’m not sure about you, readers, but I know nothing at all about the U.S Culver glassware company. It has a very interesting history, which has been carefully researched by Pam of Whimsical Vintage on Ruby Lane.
Culver Glassware Identification, Then and Now
Many moons ago (okay about 10 years, still many moons:)), I carried quite a bit of Culver Glassware in my shop. At the time, there was very little info out there on the company. Considerable digging turned up a few newspaper articles that I was able to use to piece together somewhat of a bio on the company. That info was then used across the internet and now, as with all parroted info these days, is a little clouded.
Here is my original listing info from 2008.
“Culver Glassware was founded in Brooklyn, NY (as most good things are:)) in the 1930’s…later on they moved to beautiful downtown Rahway, New Jersey:) Known for lavish designs and the use of 22 and 24 Karat Gold over those designs, they gained notoriety and became highly collectible. Sadly…the founder’s son, Mark Rothenberg ran the company until 1996, when it was sold. At that point he headed another glassware company, briefly, until his untimely death on 9/11. Mr. Rothenberg was one of the passengers on the hijacked Newark to San Francisco flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.”
* A little note here that the sentence, “beautiful downtown Rahway, New Jersey” was said in jest. Anyone who’s ever been to Rahway, knows that it’s anything but beautiful. *
Flash Forward to 2018 and it appears that Culver brand is back in production by the Moderne Glass Company (for how long now, I’m not sure as I just came across the website). From the 1930’s to the 1970’s, Culver signed their glassware with Culver, Ltd. in script, you will find some from after the copyright implementation that have the circled C, alongside the Culver, Ltd. The 1980’s and 1990’s had them using either foil labels or a rounded, block print with the copyright C and no LTD. Culver was purchased by Moderne Glass Company in 1996. Moderne Glass did not reproduce the vintage Culver patterns for many years. I would like to think that it was out of respect for Mr. Rothenberg but time has passed and, as they hold the licensing, Moderne Glass is now reproducing the old vintage patterns with the old Culver cursive signature, minus the Ltd. This will create a little confusion once these sets are resold via estate sales, flea markets and online.
Basically here’s the rough timeline, until I can find out how long they’ve been reproducing the vintage designs…from how the company site reads, I’m thinking not very long.
1970’s and earlier – Culver Ltd. (in cursive), some with only a foil/paper label
Late 1980’s though 1990’s – Paper/Foil Label and/or Culver in curved block print with copyright symbol.
A lull in production from approx. 2001 to 2015/2017
Current mark (2015/2017? and forward) is Culver in cursive/script with copyright symbol used on the old, now new, vintage designs and produced by Moderne Glass Company of Aliquippa, PA. Culver trademark info shows that in 1989, the owners were as follow. My guess is that was the beginning of the partnership, which then turned to full ownership by Moderne Glass in 1996. This would be my guess on when they changed signature font.
Moderne Glass Company, Inc. (New), Hopewell Industrial Park 1000 Industrial Boulevard, Aliquippa, PA 15001
Culver Industries, Inc, 1000 Industrial Boulevard, West Aliquippa, PA 15001
Culver Glassware Co., Inc, 1905 Elizabeth Avenue, Rahway, NJ 07065
I will reiterate that when I wrote my first listing there was no info out there on Culver, as far as a Google search goes, other than the newspaper and incorporation info. I originally found the sad news of Mr. Rothenberg’s 9/11 death in a New Jersey newspaper article by searching the Rothenberg name. Shortly after writing my listing I was approached via email, by someone asking to use my info and images (with credit given) for a book that they were writing. Being relatively new to the industry, I was flattered and agreed.
A few years later, I noticed that a couple of books had been written. One around the time of my research and another a little later on. These books include the same info, as well as pattern identification. Feel free to do a Google search for those links.
The current Culver patterns being produced, along with a company bio, can be found here. There is a brief bio at the bottom of the page but click on the About link for a full bio.https://culverbrands.com/products.cfm?ProductCategoryID=128
Here is a link to Dorothy Morris’s Culver Pinterest board that includes most the Culver patterns (as well as some from other manufacturers).
Thank you, Pam, for another very engaging read, along with a few salutary lessons too! Culver glass is beautiful and very collectible. 22K gold embellishments certainly do add a certain panache! Well done, Pam for finding so much useful information starting with those newspaper articles.
and visit Pam’s Shop on Ruby Lane by clicking on the following link:- whimsicalvintage.rubylane.com
The other contributors to our series of Vintage and Antique Related Guest Blogs are:-