America The Beautiful Plate #1

America The Beautiful Plate #2

America The Beautiful Plate #3

American The Beautiful Plate #4

America The Beautiful Plate #5

America The Beautiful Plate #6

America The Beautiful Plate #7

"America The Beautiful Series Plates"

Series: 1969 - 1975
by: John Valentine

The "America The Beautiful" series of limited edition glass collectors plates commemorate well known America landmarks and national shrines. Each plate in the series illustrates a scene of natural beauty or one made by man, associated with American historic personages, or events. The series was conceived and commissioned and distributed by E. Ward Russell.

Each of the scenes depicted have been visited by Ward and his wife Evelyn, a native of Denmark. The Danes originated the idea of producing an annual collectors plate, limited to the year of issue; Bing & Grondahl of Copenhagen being the first to do so. Mrs. Russell began her collection in Denmark and continued her collection in America.

In 1969 Russell conceived the idea of commissioning a limited edition collectors plate which would be made in America and be illustrated with scenes which depicted "America The Beautiful".

The series of 10 1/2" Carnival Glass plates were made by the Imperial Glass Company, Bellair, Ohio, for Russell, in a limited edition of less than 300. The Greek Key border is retained each year and the back of the plate is marked "America The Beautiful", the Imperial "IG" trademark, and the plate’s number in the series. The front of the plate is marked with the year and the subject. There will also be initials on the plates and below I have listed them for easy reference.
"E.W.R." for E. Ward Russell
"L.J.K." for Lucile J. Kennedy secretary of Imperial Glass during this time.
"C.J.U."
for Carl J. Urhman" president of Imperial Glass during this time.
"B.M.H." for Bob Harty, plant manager at Imperial Glass.
"J.W." for Joseph Wishar, mould maker & president of Island Mold Company
"R.R." for Robert Roup, plant manager at Westmoreland Glass
"J.C." for Jack Choko, sculptor for the plaster moulds
"R.W." for Robert Workman, plant manager Imperial Glass

The first plate in the series depicted the capitol building in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. This plate was made in ruby red; 48 were given the acid treatment which produced a frosted appearance known to collector’s as "satin" glass. The remaining plates were iridized. See Picture of Satin Plate.

The second plate in the series, made in 1970, was made in green and depicted Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. These plates were iridized, then the scene in the center was frosted, providing an attractive contrast to the unfrosted border. There are a few samples out there that are all iridized. See Picture of Sample Plate.

The third plate in the series was made in 1971 in dark amber carnival, and illustrated the "Statue of Liberty" in New York, one of the first American landmarks to be seen by immigrants to America. There were three samples of this plate made in the "Amberglo Carnival" color, this color is similar to honey amber. See Picture of Sample Plate.

The fourth plate was made in 1972 in rubigold carnival, and showed "Monument Valley", Arizona, a scene familiar to every fan of Western movies.

The fifth in the series, made in 1973, made of white carnival, shows the Liberty Bell as a symbol of the "Declaration of Independence", Philadelphia, Pa., a popular American Revolution Centennial and Bicentennial motif.

For the making of the sixth plate, the 1974 in black carnival, Russell was forced to chose the Westmoreland Glass Company of Grapeville, Pennsylvania. The reason he chose Westmoreland Glass Co. was because Imperial was on strike at the time. This plate shows the "Golden Gate Bridge" of San Francisco, California.

The seventh and the finial plate in the series, made in 1975 by Imperial Glass Company in the sunburst yellow carnival, the scene depicted is "Mount Vernon", the home of George Washington.

This set of plates all are very beautiful, and a master piece to anyone’s collection.

A very special thanks to Ward and Evelyn for the information on the America The Beautiful Plates.

 

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