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Ruby Stained Glass
A Popular Souvenir Item

Ruby stained glass is clear, colorless pressed glass which has been painted, or stained, with a thin layer of red material. Production of this glass began about 1875, but most of the dated pieces now found are from the 1890 to 1910 period.

It was a popular souvenir item and pieces were often etched with the name of a person, place, date or event. The demand for souvenir pieces increased after it was bought by thousands at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

It was all the rage by 1898 when the Omaha Exposition was held. Many pieces are also found from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis in 1904; and the Lewis and Clark Centennial in Portland in 1905.
It continued to be an exceedingly popular souvenir at carnivals, fairs and resorts as late as the 1940s.

Several glass companies were producing the pressed glass used for ruby staining, including, Greensburg Glass, Gill?ander & Sons, McKee and Brothers, Heisey, Northwood, Tarentum, the U.S. Glass Co., Duncan and Miller, and Westmoreland.

Several thousand clear glass patterns were distributed by these factories. Most of it was of heavy, excellent quality. These blanks were then sold to other factories that specialized in decorating them.

Button Arches is considered by many to be the most popular of the ruby-stained patterns, but Daisy and Button, Ruby Thumbprint, Plume, Roman Rosette and Red Block are also very well known.

Table settings in these patterns were highly prized by housewives during the heyday of ruby-stained glass. Some of the items collectors can expect to find include plates, cups and saucers, tumblers, goblets, syrup pitchers, cake stands, lemonade sets, vinegar cruets and many more.

The souvenir items are usually smaller and often carry inscriptions. Their selling price is usually less than that of tableware pieces.

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Bed Design Follows Fashion Trends

Since most people spend approximately one third of their lives asleep, there has always been a lot of interest in designing beds. And, like all furniture, the beds also followed the fashion trends of their day.

The 20th century brought a change from mattresses filled with feathers, which rested on metal springs, to the inlaid box mattress which is common today. There was also a shift away from the massive and imposing beds of the Victorian age.

Early 20th century bed frames were made from heavy woods such as mahogany, walnut or other dark-stained woods. Inlet cuts were popular. Designs were simple, following the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement. The cut out designs, called chip carving at the time, are more commonly called spoon carving today. Both headboards and footboards were decorated in this way.

In the 1920s, bow-end beds with rounded footboards were fashionable. So were veneers, sometimes in exotic woods like zebrawood. Veneer­ite, a thin and paper-like material, was used to imitate the more expensive woods when cost was a problem.
Beginning in the 1920s, and on into the ’30s, poster-type beds with tall turned posts were popular.

In the 1930s, a slim single bed was fashionable. This soon shifted to the more spacious double bed and eventually to the very spacious king-size bed. This period saw glossy white painted beds with decorated end boards. There was also a craze for Chinese-style furniture.

The 1940s saw a return to the styles of the earlier part of the century, with mahogany and walnut both coming back into demand for bedroom furniture.

By the 1950s, a bit of nostalgia was creeping in, and reproduction brass beds and four-posters were once again being sold. The use of footboards was discontinued by many manufacturers at this time.

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Coffee, Tea Or Chocolate?

Chocolate was in use by the 1700s, and was usually sold in cake form at that time. It was grated before being added to hot milk to form a beverage as popular then as it is now. In fact, fashionable colonists considered it the equal of tea and coffee as a drink to serve. Eating chocolate “plain” is a fairly recent innovation.

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