“knife-edged” Pitkins made by “that guy”

Hi Ferd,

This Sunday a week ago, the annual members’ meeting of the Museum of Connecticut Glass was held at the Manchester Connecticut Historical Society. One of the highlights was an outstanding presentation by Tom Haunton on 20th Century South Jersey Glass.


Picture of Dana’s Pitkins at the MOCG Meeting, Manchester History Center.

Dana Charlton, a museum member, had brought a couple of Pitkin flasks. After taking a picture of them, I asked her to tell me why she brought them and what made them interesting. With the hub-bub of the meeting, Dana never got a chance to answer and said “I’ll send it in an e-mail”, and here is her reply:

“The annual meetings of the Museum of Connecticut Glass are enjoyable for me for a variety of reasons…Manchester was home to Pitkin Glass Works and as a collector of Pitkin-type flasks, I bring a flask or two with me to the meetings for show & tell. Recently, when Pitkin Glass Works expert Tom Duff and I spoke by phone, I asked his thoughts on an unusual form of Pitkin — I call these “knife-edged” Pitkins, because the side edges of the flasks are flattened, bringing them to a near point.

Although it’s hard to know what New England factory they were blown in, every example that I’ve seen is crafted with great skill, well blown in the pattern mold to give good definition to both fine swirls and ribs, and the glass itself has good clarity.

There are few enough Pitkin flasks of this form known that I theorize they might have been blown by one glassblower. Indeed, collectors who have examples refer to them as made by “that guy”. Tom was intrigued by the form and we discussed the possible reasons for forming the edges of the flask this way. Possibly it was to make it easier to get a grip on the flask when drinking from it, or it was the way the apprentice pinched the sides carrying it to the annealing oven, or it could have been, my favorite theory, that it was the personal style of “that guy”!

Dana's Charlton's Pitkins

The same flasks from another angle, to better show the ‘knife-edge

Dana also provided another picture that better illustrates the “knife-edge” or flattened edge, with a second form for comparison.


K. (Ken Previtali)

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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2 Responses to “knife-edged” Pitkins made by “that guy”

  1. tryna says:

    Mr Meyer,
    I recently uncovered a bottle in the dirt on some Family property. It is a very unique and amber colored bottle. Not what I consider a usual shape. It has a beautiful pattern. What would you suggest is the best way to find or identify this beautiful piece of History?

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