The Other Windsor!
by Dr. Leonette Walls
Windsor pattern name, to many, quickly means Depression Era glass by Jeannette Glass Company in the thirties and forties.  However, the topic of this article deals with the Federal Windsor pattern, also later produced by Indiana Glass Company.  Examples of various pieces , in an array of colors, can be seen at malls and shops more frequently. These previously unpublished items are usually unidentified by the displaying dealer. This lack of identification contributes much to the great range of prices.  
   Dating Windsor has been difficult.  An advertisement, provided by Donna Warner of California, appeared in the November, 1971 issue of Good Housekeeping  Magazine. This gave some basis for a time frame . A calculated guess is that production began in sixties. This supposition is based on the fact the Anchor Hocking and Hazel Atlas both had crystal pressed glass items on the market at that time.  Why use that  fact as a reason to date Windsor?  Often, glass companies tended to follow the same trends much as car manufacturers tend to follow design trends.
Advertisement for Windsor
     As I progressed with my conversations with Donna,  I came to the conclusion that two companies had produced the same pattern. The 1971 ad showed Windsor in crystal, but now we are finding colored pieces. Donna emailed me about  a piece of Windsor in the commonly seen blue carnival color by Indiana Glass  in her collection. Our suspicions that Indiana Glass produced this pattern heightened.  Rob Granhold, avid collector/researcher from Denver, Colorado, concurred with us and added to the mix that he had a boxed set of Indiana Glass product marked "Royal Brighton". Another set was marked "Home Trends". No guesswork here! Nailed! Now, we feel that we are "on a roll".  Multitudes of colors are now showing up, with all of us purchasing samples we find. Melissa Miller of Austin, Texas supplied a boxed crystal candy dish labeled Confections (Indiana Glass). It is not an uncommon practice for glass companies to produce a pattern under more than one name.  Also, names such as Home Trends appears to be a "line", not just a pattern.
    There is an array of pieces surfacing as well. Both true colored glass and flashed versions are appearing in addition to the original crystal color. It is our theory at this time that the colors were done only by Indiana Glass. We know that a boxed "breakfast set" in crystal  was distributed by Federal, as well as the items noted in the 1971 advertisement; however,at this point,  no color pieces can be directly connected to Federal.  There is no mention of colored pieces in the ad, only crystal. The advertisement states that there were "seven attractively packaged sets, all surprisingly low priced, at department, gift, discount and variety stores in the United States and Canada". Further text in the ad follows: The intricate, jewel-like design motif of Windsor Tableware is pressed into sparkling crystal to re-capture the brilliance of the past for today's tables. So purely traditional, it fits perfectly when used in a classic manner. Yet, it also adds charming accents as part of the most contemporary table settings.  Windsor Crystal is truly "THE CROWNING TOUCH ON ANY TABLE". Note the crown above the Windsor logo in the ad shown.
    Pieces have been documented in Lime Green , Blue, Carnival Blue, Green (not Forest Green, but closer to a Teal Green), Pink , Peachy Pink, Flashed Ruby Red , and crystal. The quality of the flashing on the Ruby red candy dish is excellent.  I took a pin and scratched on the bottom to determine whether or not it was flashed.    Only the Red and the Carnival items seen to date are flashed.  Other colors are transparent, true colors. Among the items seen to date are, footed cake stand, 6" plate, dessert dish, serving bowl, dinner plate, 11-12" serving plate, covered candy dish, bowl (same as candy dish with out lid), creamer, sugar,tray, shakers, two-part relish dish, butter dish, cream pitcher,  and covered compote.
 Donna also filled in a "gap" about imported pieces from Taiwan, called "Eternal Crystal".  As might be expected, the quality is less than that of Federal and Indiana Glass items.  I purchased an after-market night lamp and shade  that appears to a composite of the Eternal Crystal" vase and ring holder.
    About a year ago, my husband, Carl found a lead crystal marmalade or sugar with silver lid and spoon. This item was labeled West Germany.  The plot thickens now to this mystery. We have since seen other lead crystal items.  These appear to be only "look alikes", and bear no connection to the American produced items.
     In an on-going cooperative effort with Mary Newsome of Dunkirk Glass Museum in Dunkirk, Indiana, I received a large array of research materials regarding Indiana Glass.  Unfortunately, some of the data bears no dates.  However, the blue carnival items produced by Indiana Glass appeared in catalog pages.  There were several items of Windsor in this same color.
    I also contacted Indiana Glass Company.  As is true, far too often, the current company has little to offer research projects.  Indiana Glass did send a 1999 sales catalog. In that document appears a crystal Windsor domed cake stand. This item then brings up another question that hopefully we have answered correctly.  The foot of the cakestand is a plain footed, no design. This foot is noted on other Indiana Glass cake stands, such as Monterrey.  I also have a cake stand in crystal Windsor in which the foot has the "button" Windsor design.  Assumption is at this date that the designed foot cake stand was Federal.  
    One unanswered question that plagues me is when did production of the Federal Windsor begin and end? The other question that haunts me is the transition from Federal Glass to Indiana Glass.  We can generalize about the time frame of the Carnival pieces, but no documents have been available to pin point a date.
   Very often research is a group effort among fellow "glass sleuths".  These team efforts are producing some exciting results, and the circumstances surrounding these "findings" is fascinating.  The internet plays a ever increasing  role in this net-working.  Information has been meshed together to form a more complete record of Windsor.  It is sure to be a continuing effort.  Also assisting in this research effort are Anne Shatru of Dgshopper and April Tvorak.  It is only through cooperative efforts that the pieces of "glass puzzles" can fit together. There are still "loose ends" and unanswered questions; but rest assured , we all are still searching for the answers.This pattern is certain to be a growing collectible to the next generation of glass lovers. Have a great Glass Day!
Copyright, 2000 by Leonette Walls and Glass & More! Publications.