The United States Glass Company issued a series of patterns with the names of the States of the
Union over 100 years ago. These patterns represented the majority of the production of the
company for several years. Considering all of the pieces available for each of these patterns
coupled with the complexity of some of the pattern designs, one realizes that it is indeed a
significant part of American history. Realizing the labor required making the molds as well
as the glass production and sales, it was indeed big business!
We originally wrote this article in 1997 for The Pioneer when we found the New York hotel
(crystal) shaker. The U S Rib pattern had only recently been identified as New York but
the shaker had not been identified. We had searched for a shaker that might be the correct
shape to match the pattern. Of course, we purchased a few that we thought might be, only to
discover it was not when we got home and compared to known pieces of the pattern. We first
found the cruet, so when we found the shaker we knew that was it. Only collectors can appreciate
the "rush" one gets when mission accomplished. At that time we wrote what we knew about the
States Series for publication in The Pioneer. After reviewing the article we realize that we
have learned very little about this series since, although we managed to collect at least one
shaker for each of the known patterns.
The series has been a fun part of our collecting experience. Some of the patterns are common
and easy to find, others are very rare. Today, the shakers for these patterns range in price
from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Many are only known in clear but some can be
found in green, Dewey blue, custard and ruby stained. The Michigan pattern is also known in
yellow and green stained. The shaker that completed our set was the Tennessee pattern. Peterson
considered it rare when he wrote his books in the 1960s, and we sure found that to be true.
It was typical that we had to find it in Tennessee. The latest exciting addition was finding
the Delaware shaker in custard (or ivory) which was previously an unknown custard piece.
It took us several years to complete what we considered the first phase of finding at least one
shaker in every known pattern. Of course there is no end in sight as not all of the patterns
are known, nor is it known if the missing patterns exist. And there is always the hunt for a
colored example in a pattern we only have in clear. In our beginning collecting years we were
intrigued by these glass patterns that had the names of the States. We always wondered why
only some of the states had patterns named after them. Why not all of the states? Several
articles have been written in the past with information and speculation about these patterns.
Some have claimed or speculated they were not named after states, but that they were named after
battleships of the era that had been named for certain states. We wondered why all of the original
colonies did not have patterns named after them. We also wondered why some of the states have
patterns named after them even though they were not part of the Union at that time. We think that
we have found answers to most of these questions, but there are still many unanswered questions
that we can only hope will be answered as more knowledge surfaces.
Our research began with a review of Volume 5 of Heacock's series on Victorian Colored Pattern
Glass (1), which we consider the first published comprehensive discussion on these patterns.
This research also led us to obtain copies of articles by J. Stanley Brothers Jr. (2). Brothers
wrote a series of articles for Hobbies magazine in the late thirties and published some catalog
reprints from the U S Glass Company. We were also given catalog reprints from the U S Glass
Company from a friend that we had not previously seen. Finally, we obtained books from the library
on the ships in the U S fleet during this era.
The New York state pattern (AKA U S Rib) is the last pattern to be identified in the literature as
a State Series pattern. Heacock suspected it to be a state pattern in Vol. 5 (1), and stated it
as fact in an article published in the Glass Collector's Digest in 1987 (3). The confirming catalog
reprint that the pattern commonly known as U S Rib is the New York State Series pattern is shown in
Husfloen's book (4) and attributed to the research of Tom and Neila Bredehoft. We found the New York
hotel shaker at an antique show in Southern California. Fortunately, unlike the Tennessee shaker,
we did not have to go to New York to find it.
We mentioned in the introduction that some authors have believed this series to be named after U S
battleships. We believe that this is a misnomer. A literature search was made of all the ships
in the U S Navy during the time of manufacture of these patterns. Many of the ships that had state
names had not yet been commissioned when the patterns of the state series were issued. In fact,
many of these ships were not even on the drawing boards. The last known state patterns were produced
in 1903. At least eight ships named after the states were authorized in 1903 or later and didn't
see service until four years later. In addition, there was no ship named Delaware, a very popular
State Series pattern.
There have been many patterns named after the states by many different glass companies. We have
taken the view that only those issued as States patterns by the U S Glass Company are the true
State Series patterns. Other state patterns may be more desirable to the reader, and we are not
excluding them for any reason other than it is beyond the scope of this article. Here, we are
concerned with this particular series of patterns and not one or two isolated patterns that carry
a state name.
The series of patterns named after the states were issued by the U S Glass Company from at least
1897 to 1903. Some of the patterns are believed to have been issued under a different pattern
name earlier (4) and reissued as a state pattern after the giant merger of glass companies to
form the U S Glass Company. The reader is referred to Reference (1) for a more detailed
discussion of the companies forming the conglomerate, the reasons for the merger, and the
details about the individual patterns.
When we have seen displays or articles on the States patterns, we noticed that there were
always several patterns shown which were not states at that time. For example, Alaska is a very
popular pattern but Alaska was not a state during the Victorian era. So, we know it was not
one of the original State Series patterns. We looked at the dates that each state was
admitted to the Union and the dates of issue of the State Series. What we found was that
there were 45 states that were in the Union at the time the patterns were issued. The states
that were not yet states are:
Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Thus, one would not expect to find a State Series pattern for these five states. Subtracting
three corresponding to North and South for the Dakotas and Carolinas, and West Virginia, leaves
a possible 42 states that could have patterns named after them. Reference (1) identifies 36
state patterns. There are therefore six states that were in the union at that time for which
a state pattern is not known. These, along with the date admitted to the Union are:
Arkansas(1836), Idaho(1890), Montana (1889),
Rhode Island(1790), Mississippi(1817), Nebraska (1867).
It is our belief that these six states did have patterns named after them and they have not yet
been attributed. Not all share this opinion! Note that one of these with no known pattern was
one of the original 13 colonies! One of the confusions in the series is that Ripley issued some
patterns prior to the forming of the U S Glass Company. Thress of these are Idaho, Montana and
Dakota. It has been reported that Dakota was reissued after the U S Glass company was formed,
but no 15,000 series number is known for it. However, we feel it should be considered as part
of the states series. The Idaho and Montana patterns are shown in reference (1). It is reasonable
to assume that they were possibly not reissued. No salt shaker is known for these patterns.
It should also be noted that Ripley issued a Wyoming pattern shown in a catalog reprint with
their Idaho pattern. But a different Wyoming pattern was issued by U S Glass and given a 15,000
series number. As a side note, it is interesting that these patterns were issued by the Ripley
Company to the forming of the U S Glass Company, and Daniel Ripley was the first president of
the U S Glass Company. Therefore, it is not surprising that a major production of the U S Glass
Company were patterns named after the States of the Union.
That would still leave Arkansas, Rhode Island, Mississippi and Nebraska as states with no
identified pattern in the 15,000 series. Perhaps one day a catalog reprint or advertisement will
show up that shows us the patterns for these states. Of course, some think they just did not
We have heard some state that the Snail pattern is the Idaho State Series pattern. We tried to
find some information to support this assertion. All we could find was an article by Brothers (2)
showing two compotes and a covered butter. One of the compotes was called the Idaho pattern.
Careful reading of the article, with comparison of the catalog reprint in Reference (1), clearly
indicates he was writing about the same Idaho pattern discussed above. However, the butter dish
(called a covered cheese dish) is the Snail pattern. Possibly the Snail/Idaho attribution come from
A review of the patterns, when they were issued, and by what company of the U S Glass Company combine
issued them, can lead one to suspect that some known patterns might be States Series patterns. The
known states patterns are all numbered by the U S Glass Company with a 15,000 series number. There
are some that have names that were given by early researchers, some with no known pattern, and some
with catalog reprint names supposedly eliminating them as possibilities. However, the dates on
these catalog reprints are not always given, leading one to question if there was a renaming of
them at later dates.
In summary, we believe that there were 42 patterns in the U S Glass Company 'State Series'. Of these,
there are at least four and possibly six that remain to be identified.
As collectors, we are still looking for these unknown patterns in salt shakers as well as a few
of the other known shapes the salt shakers were known to be produced in that have still escaped us
and possibly unknown or unreported colors. It is fun, enjoyable and adds a new dimension to our
collection. We hope you have enjoyed this article and would consider adding state patterns to your
collection if you haven't already.
1. Heacock, William and Bickenheuser, Fred, U.S. Glass From A to Z, Book 5, 1978.
2. Brothers, J Stanley, Thumbnail Sketches, Articles Written for Hobbies Magazine, Circa 1940.
3. Heacock, William, New York - New York!!, Glass Collectors Digest, V1, No 2, 1987
4. Husfloen, Kyle, American Pressed Glass, 1992
5. Reilly & Jenks, U. S. Glass, The States Patterns, 1998
Information presented was taken from the references above as well as from copies of U S Glass
Company catalogs and various other history reference books.
Addendum to Article: All of the known shakers have now been found by the authors as shown on
the previous pages. No new States Patterns have been identified to date. A friend recently
pointed out that Metz shows a Rhode Island pattern goblet that was issued in the 70's.
Further research is pending, but if that was the OMN name, and the company that issued it later
became a member of the U S Glass Company, it could be and likely is in our opinion, the reason no
other pattern is known for Rhode Island.
(This article was published in "The Pioneer" Vol. XI, No 2, April 1998, page 6; it was updated as a
three-part series in Vol. XXIII, No. 3, July 2008; No. 4, October 2008; and Vol. XXIV, No. 1,