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  • Writer's pictureCathryn Stanley

47th annual convention draws glass enthusiasts to Bellaire

The 47th Annual National Imperial Glass Museum Annual Convention starts on June 8 and continues through June 10 in Bellaire – bringing in glass enthusiasts from all over the country. The museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a grand reopening and ribbon cutting on June 8 at 4 pm, followed by the annual ice cream social.

Events throughout the weekend will include a silent auction, a former employee's panel, an evening reception, and special fundraiser, a "100 years of Free Hand" seminar, a luncheon, Bring and Brag, and a banquet.

The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Imperial Glass Corp, paying tribute to its employees, educating the public, and providing research opportunities. For 80 years, Imperial was one of the largest handcrafted glass companies in America and was located at Imperial Plaza on Belmont St. NIGM is a “must visit” for glass enthusiasts.

On display at the museum are over 3,000 fine examples of Imperial glassware created from 1904 to 1984, including Candlewick, Cape Cod, carnival, milk glass, slag, and more.

Begin your visit to the Museum by viewing a video presentation tracing Imperial’s history. After touring the glass display rooms, take the time to peruse the gallery of portraits, original photographs, and advertising materials, providing additional insight into Imperial’s history, including some of the people who played a significant role in creating such beautiful glassware.

In a separate display area are numerous tools and implements originally used in Imperial’s Mould Shop. Island Mould Co. of Wheeling, WV, has coordinated this specific display. Other original implements and glass from Ohio Valley Glass & Artifacts Museum (OVGAM) can also be viewed.

The museum is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm. Admission is $5 per person. The museum is a Blue Star museum. Admission is free for veterans, Glass Collector Society members, children under 12, and former Imperial Glass employees. The building is handicapped accessible, and there is a gift shop.

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