Goofus Glass

A Goofus vase form pickle jar in cobalt blue

p4A ItemID D9899428
Unattributed Goofus glass (type) plate having two bears in hunting gear

p4A ItemID D9839508
A Goofus glass Statue of Liberty cylindrical pickle jar

p4A ItemID D9664887
A Goofus glass miniature rose pattern oil lamp in gold and red paint

p4A ItemID D9664490

Goofus Glass

Goofus Glass is a type of inexpensive American late 19th century/early 20th century pressed glass which has cold-painted decoration or highlighting.

The name “Goofus Glass” is generic to the type and it’s origin a matter of folklore. Some say that people thought the manufactures were trying to “Goof-us”, i.e. fool them with a substitute for more expensive glass. Others say that the tendency for the ware’s decoration to chip caused to people to say it was a factory “goof”. Still others say that people choosing between carnival glass and goofus glass as premium give-aways would ask for the “goofy-looking” glass. Any or all of these explainations might account for the glassware’s distinctive name.

Companies known to have been major producers of Goofus Glass include: Northwood (1897 to circa 1910) in Ohio and West Virginia, Dugan Glass works of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Indiana Glass Co. of Dunkirk, Indiana, and the Jefferson Glass Co. of Ohio and West Virginia. Other known producers of lesser amounts of Goofus include: Imperial Glass Co. of Ohio, McKee Glass Co, of Jeanette, Pennsylvania, Coventry Glass Factory, Clayton Glass Works of New Jersey, Clyde Glass Works, Belleaire Glass Co., Crescent Glass Company of West Virginia, La Belle Glassworks of Ohio, Lancaster Glass Co. of Ohio, Westmoreland Glass of Pennsylvania, Gaynor Glass Co. of New Jersey, and Riverside Glass Works of West Virginia. Some of these companies may have made glass blanks which were then farmed-out or sold to others for decorating.

For further information consult Goofus Glass by Carolyn McKinley, published by Collector Books, 1984.


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