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Blenko Glass Company
Blenko Glass Company is universally recognized as one of the 20th century masters of blown glass.
Originally headquartered in West Virginia, Blenko Glass Company developed a reputation as one of North
America's leading glass designers.
London native William J. Blenko arrived in the United States in 1893. He opened his first company in
Kokomo, Indiana, specializing in sheet glass, but this venture proved disastrous. The company closed in
1903 and he returned to London soon thereafter. After a few more failed starts, Blenko moved to Milton,
West Virginia, where in 1921, he started a new company. His initial focus remained on sheet glass, which
was essential for stained glass creation, but the pressure of the Great Depression forced Blenko into the
tableware and stemware markets.
This transition to tableware and stemware was pivotal, as it ushered in an era of Blenko success.
Blenko's blown glass designs, which began as streamlined and straightforward, evolved over the following
decades. They took on more elaborate designs and elegant shapes such as amphorae and bent-neck cruets.
This dynamic production was further stimulated by chief designer Wayne Husted, who, over the course of
his tenure in the '50s, carried Blenko's designs into the mid-century modern age.
Blenko's original name for his Milton company was the Eureka Glass Company, which he
changed to Blenko in 1930 in response to his shift in product line
Blenko Glass Company has created glass trophies for the American Country Music Awards
While some Blenko pieces bear signatures that have been engraved, the vast majority of the company's
designs can be identified with a foil label that reads BLENKO HANDCRAFT. These labels were used
from the '30s to '80s, so the presence of this label can help date a Blenko piece