Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oakland GlassWorks-OGW

 Here is a nasty crude quart size ammonia. These have become a collecting category in themselves and a beautiful collection can be assembled representing virtually every western glass color in existence. I have collected the early western blown ammonia's for many years, and on rare occasion, have been fortunate to find one with the base embossing "OGW". This stands for the Oakland Glass Works. This glass works was an extremely short lived business which was located on the corner of Linden and First Streets in Oakland. It appears that anyone attempting to establish a glass factory in California really seemed to have a curse on them. The glass works were either destroyed by fire, or could not seem to figure out how to manufacture a quality product ( Baker and Cutting). Since even the ancient Roman's were able to blow glass vessels centuries before ( these artifacts can still be purchased for the price of  a tooled top fifth), and glass factories in the East, and Mid-West were cranking out quality glass a hundred years prior to the short lived "OGW".
I believe that the Oakland Glass Works were only in the biz for about 6 months, beginning in September 1884, and the proverbial fire in June 1885 marked the beginning of the end for this company.
  The bottles themselves are very attractive and exhibit characteristics which appear to be early 1870s in many cases. Apparently they were just not in to the latest glass blowing technology, or were not the most skilled. The glass character and crudity make it difficult to believe that  these bottles were mid 80s, although of course they are. This company's bottles left behind for collectors are in the form of demijohns, flasks, squares, medicines, and of course a few ammonia's. The applied top ammonia's are very rare in my experience, and the tooled top examples are also very tough to find.

  I know that there a few collectors who specialize in OGW pieces, and believe that sharing their collections with the members of this blog would be very interesting. DM