When I first took over the job as editor for the WCCC newsletter I wrote this little story, I hope that you enjoy it. The people I talked about in the story were all members of the club!
OOPS so much for spell checks! My very first issue and already I have forgotten how to spell Charlie’s middle name although I am not the first. Sorry! Fabyn! Fabyn!
After my last issue I received this question from one of our members:
Here’s a minutiae question that won’t have an answer… Why do you think they put a period after Wave Crest. Nakara. and Kelva. Inquiring minds want to know.
Well I have scoured the “Harpers Weekly”, “The Meriden Dailey Journal”, the internet, have asked many of the big collectors and even tried to communicate with the dead. You know that back in 1883 they did not keep very good records.
Well, I have finally come up with the answer to this very intriguing question.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent!
You see long, long ago there were three gentlemen J. Raymond, Stephen and Wilfred who were trying to learn all they could about the C.F. Monroe Co. They ventured into the factory one day and stumbled across three lovely women decorating glass. Oh they were three very dapper gents you see. Each one of them was on their very best behavior and took their turn and approached the ladies. See back then they called these young girls “leisurely ladies, with time on their hands, so they could go to the studio for an afternoon of painting on glass or china blanks supplied by the company, with professional decorators on hand to show them how, that is.” Many of the pieces found today are the handiwork of these ladies and were not signed as the Monroe Company was not in existence as of yet.
J. Raymond was first and asked Christina, “What kind of glass are you decorating?” “Wave Crest.” she softly said.
So then Stephen took his turn thinking there must be more of an answer to this age old question so he asked Nan, “What kind of glass are you decorating my dear?” Her response also very short and sweet “Nakara.”.
Wilfred is thinking to himself there just has to be more to this, “What kind of glass are you decorating young lady?”, then all of a sudden Dolli stood up and said, “Kelva.”. Oh you just know she would have loved to say more.
So there you have it, the answer to the age old question about the “period” behind the different types of glass “signatures” decorated in the Monroe factory.
I know that you are going to find this hard to believe just like I did but after some more extensive research I have found a similar story that happened in the Cut Glass world of Monroe except we know that Charlie’s cut glass was not marked. As you know glass was cut in a cutting room probably by many different hands, one was a rougher and one was a smoother and after the glassware was finished in the cutting room it had a frosted look to it then it was dipped in the acid for polishing it had to be lined with black paraffin, after which the scallops had to be cleaned very carefully.
So back to our story two men were working very hard on this gorgeous two foot vase that weighed approximately sixty-seven pounds and they have been working on it for two months, the story goes on to say that this vase was being prepared for the St. Louis exposition at the request of the fair managers, anyway these two ladies decided to take a break from decorating some opal pieces and wandered over to the cutting room Barbara (we’ll call her Bobsie) and Carrol went over to Clifford and Donald and said “What are you two guys doing?”, Well you could have heard a pin drop when they turned and said “Really? Are you kidding me? Cutting glass!”
This is my story and I’m sticking to it!