Although Imperial was established in 1901 in Belaire, Ohio the company produced its first glass in 1904. At this time production of glass was limited to pressed glass items made for five and dime stores. As the Imperial Glass Company wares gained popularity many items were added to the line, including lamp shades, stretch glass, and pattern glass marked with the Nucut stamp. In 1929 Imperial was in bankruptcy, but due to a contract with Quaker Oats for a pattern similar to Cape Cod (to be given as a premium), Imperial was able to stay in business, and the company was reorganized under the name of The Imperial Glass Corporation. Cape Cod became Imperial's best selling pattern and stayed in the Imperial line until their closing. In 1936 Imperial introduced the Candlewick pattern which was and still is Imperial's most collected pattern. In 1940 Imperial was one of the major hand made glassware companies in the United States. During this time Imperial began purchasing other glass companies. Central Glass Works was the first of these acquisitions. They also purchased many of Heisey's molds when the company closed. In the 1950s White Milk Glass became popular and Imperial was one of the largest producers of pieces of white milk glass. In 1960 The Cambridge Glass Company was added to the list of companies purchased by Imperial. Because of these purchases they were able to add many of these companies' popular patterns to their glassware lines which increased their productivity. In 1972 Lenox Incorporated and Imperial arranged a stock exchange and began marking their glassware with the LIG backstamp. In 1982 Arthur Lorch purchased the company from Lenox and used a new ALIG backstamp on pieces produced. In 1982 Lenox foreclosed on its note to Mr. Lorch and sold the company to Robert S. Stahl who filed bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize the company. After this time a few pieces were produced with the NI (New Imperial) mark, but in spite of Mr Stahl's efforts, the company was closed in 1984.
For additonal information about Imperial Patterns and Colors please click on this link.
The brief history of Imperial was taken from the book
"Imperial Glass" by Margaret and Doug Archer. This book shows many catalog reprints from Imperials early production period and is a must for any Imperial collector.
Other must have books for the Imperial collector include:
"Imperial's Boudoir, Etcetera..." By Myrna and Bob Garrison
"Candlewick" By Myrna and Bob Garrison
"Imperial Cape Cod"By Myrna and Bob Garrison
"Imperial Carnival Glass Identication and Value Guide" By Carl O. Burns
Please be sure to check out our web page http://www.kandmantiques.com