E. Ward Russell


by: John Valentine


Did you every pick up a piece of glass and wonder what the initials E.W.R. stood for? Or did you ever want to know who E. Ward Russell was? This may take some time because Ward is a very fascinating person to know.

Well to start Ward and his wife Evalyn has three children and three grandchildren, he worked for more than 30 years for the U.S. Department of Interior. He was also a member of the Numismatic Association for more than 25 years. Their expertise in this field is attested to by the fact that in 1954 President Eisenhower appointed Ward as a member of the U.S. Assay Commission. Then seventeen years later President Nixon appointed Evalyn to serve on the same commission. Ward said that George Washington first established this commission back in April 2, 1792. Although Ward has been retired for some time now, you can still find them volunteering in the White House.

E. Ward Russell’s love affair with glass started when he was around 10 years old. His older brother went to work for the Morgantown Glass Factory in West Virginia. His brother would come home with stories of what went on at the factory. Ward was fascinated with all he heard.

Later Ward started to collect all types of glassware including carnival glass. Through the years his glass collection grew to over 15,000 pieces. He became quite knowledgeable, and was a featured speaker for many clubs and groups. He was also the editor for the National Carnival Glass News, and co-authored a book with Ted Hake called "The Plate Collector’s Handbook" which was a price guide to thousands of collectible plates issued from 1895 up to the date of 1974 when the book was published. (The book has been out of print for some time now.) Ward designed a lot of his own glass and sold through his enterprise, The Glass House. Or one should say more specifically, their enterprise, for with all of this Evalyn, Wards, wife was deeply immersed also. Ward remarked that Evalyn was his memory. Because he had such a bad one, and she was good at filling in the details.

The picture on the right is when the Imperial Glass Co., decided to establish a museum of their work at Bellair, Ohio, Ward gave them their first 6 pieces from his collection. He is shown here with Carl Uhrmann, who was then the president of Imperial. 1973.

Ward was the motivating force behind the organization of the American Carnival Glass Club back in 1966. This all started back one wintry evening in December of 1964, Mrs. Charlotte Ormsbee, William Crowl and Ward met in Washington, D.C., to form a club for the collectors of Carnival Glass. The club was the Nation’s Capitol Carnival Glass Club, it began as a small group meeting in one another’s homes, sharing a common interest in a beautiful iridescent glassware, made in the early 1900’s. (Little did they realize how wide spread the interest was-and would become in a few short years!) In only a few months, it became apparent that there was a need for a national organization for Carnival Glass collectors. On Feb. 12th, 1966, the American Carnival Glass Association was incorporated.

Ward, because of his enterprise "The Glass House," had good relationships with most of the glass companies. He was responsible for most of the souvenirs in the beginning of the ACGA which he had commissioned by Imperial Glass. And he had commissioned Imperial to make a lot of his glass which included the Story Book mugs, Dumbo Mugs, Bicentennial Goblets, Red Robin 7 pieces water set, Verde Green Robin 7 piece water set, The America The Beautiful Series of plates and a few cup plates. One very famous cup plate in a green carnival was made with Ward’s face depicted in the center and the outer rim having "THE GLASS HOUSE" "1916 – E.W.R. – 1976." This little cup plate Ward gave away to his customers. He commissioned other companies as well to produce glassware and some were; Elephant paper weight, solid glass Liberty Bell and many more. There is an easy way to tell on most of the glassware he had made, if it is a piece of Ward’s glass all you have to do is look for Ward’s famous trade mark "E.W.R." which stands for Everett Ward Russell. You may also find other initials as well, Ward believed in giving credit were credit was due. There are pieces that do not have Ward,s famous trade mark.
Ward Russell & his Wife Evalyn, holding the first in the series of the America the Beautiful 10 1/2" plates.

Today Ward & Evalyn are enjoying their retirement. After selling most of their glass quite a while back, they still have a few pieces of glassware that are mementos and they love to talk glass to just about anyone who wants to lessen. Truly great glass lovers.


Links to Some Articles on Glass Ward had made:
Story Book Mugs
America The Beautiful Plates
Red & Verde Green Robin 7 Piece Water Sets
ACGA Souvenirs

Photos & Articles copyright 2015 John Valentine. The photos and articles
are intended for the education and enjoyment of Carnival Glass
collector enthusiasts. The articles or photos may not be used for further publication
in any form without the express consent of John Valentine..