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Vintage Brand History Series: Degenhart Glass

Posted by Haley M

Degenhart glassware collection

An assortment of Degenhart Star & Dewdrop and Daisy & Button salt cellars. 

 Degenhart toothpick holders

Degenhart toothpick holders in Gypsy Pot, Colonial Drape, Heart, Basket, Beaded Oval and Forget-Me-Not.


In the first part of this Vintage Brand History Series, we’re going to explore Degenhart glassware! The Degenhart Crystal Art Glass Company was started by John & Elizabeth Degenhart in Ohio in 1947. Glass manufacturing companies were very common in Ohio during the area’s brief “Gas Boom” in the late 19th century. Other glass companies that started in Ohio include Mosser Glass & Boyd’s.

John and Elizabeth Degenhart

John had started working in glass factories at the age of 9 and by 15 he was working at the Cambridge Glass Company in Cambridge, Ohio. There he and his brother Charles were originally producing glass paperweight gear shift knobs for automobiles from a 1929 patent they received. These gear shifts are still highly sought after for older model cars!


 Degenhart gearshift patent

Patent drawings for the gear shift designed by Charles Degenhart.


Degenhart Crystal Art Glass Company made all sorts of pieces like toothpick holders, salt cellars, salt and pepper shakers, paperweights, cream and sugar sets and owl, shoe, bell and “pooch” figurines in a variety of patterns using over 145 colors of glass! In addition to these pieces John also made several paperweight-related objects like doorstops, gravemarkers, vases, lamps, and bookends. Many of these items are very hard to come by! The Degenhart logo is a heart with a block letter “D” or a script letter “D” inside. Prior to 1972 only the owl figurines were marked.

 Degenhart logo



John died in 1964 and Elizabeth took over management of the company and also helped establish the Degenhart Paperweight & Glass Museum in Cambridge, Ohio which included her personal glass collection (unfortunately the museum permanently closed in November of 2011). And a fun fact – Mrs. Degenhart's glassmaking operations were drawing so much attention throughout Ohio that governor James A. Rhodes honored Elizabeth on October 2nd, 1975 by declaring her as Ohio's "First Lady of Glass"!

Elizabeth passed away in April of 1978. The glass color in the tank at the time of her death was named in honor of her: Elizabeth's Blue. After her death the company was sold to Boyd’s Crystal Art Glass - Bernard Boyd and his father Zack both worked for Elizabeth and created over 200 of the colors used in Degenhart pieces, including a lot of the slag glass (combinations of two or more glass colors). Boyd's Crystal Art Glass factory closed in 2013. 

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about the history of Degenhart Glass! With all the colors that were used and all the different patterns and unique styles they’ve remained a favorite of glass and vintage collectors to this day. Click here to shop our available pieces, and stay tuned for more in the Vintage Brand History Series!

Degenhart Glass Book

Much of the information in this blog post was taken from this book, 'Degenhart Glass and Paperweights: A collector's guide to colors and values' by Gene Florence.

the Degenharts at the county fair

John and Elizabeth Degenhart, c. 1950 exhibiting their glass novelties along with other gift items at the Coshocton County Fair. 


image of toothpick holders from Degenhart book image of toothpick holders from Degenhart book

Images of toothpick holders from the collector's guide book. Such a range of colors!


What colors are your favorites? Do you own any Degenhart pieces? Let us know in the comments below!


Much love, 




Degenhart collection





blog post cover photo with text



(Please note that email addresses submitted in order to leave a comment are kept private and are not shown to the public.)



All imaging and written copy on this site is original and the protected property of The Mustard Dandelion™ brand. Image source for the gearshift knob is the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.  

Copyright © 2022 The Mustard Dandelion™


  • This is a great post, i’ve recently got into glassware collecting and despite my searches, had not yet heard of Degenhart.

    I stumbled across a set of the small two-piece nesting turkey trays (unfortunately someone had bought all the trays so it was just the tukery tops left) and I could just tell that there was something special about the glass. Fell down a rabbit hole about the brand while still in the thriftstore, and then was luck enough to stumble across four toothpick holders, the glass hand ring tray, and a uranium owl!

    I bought them all, so fun.

    It’s hard to find good info about this glassmaker, but this was cool.

    Kristy Bender on

  • Hi David! Oh wow, thank you so much for sharing your personal account and experiences with the Degenhart glass history! I had to look up where Cambridge was – we’re in Cleveland but were just in Columbus this past weekend, which looked to be a little closer to Cambridge.

    I can’t believe that you have a paperweight WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!! and that your grandpa had one of those gearshifts – those were probably the coolest pieces that I saw when I was researching, and are most likely the rarest pieces too. If you have any pics of any of your stuff, please feel free to share it with me at, I’d love to see them!

    And no worries about the “rambling on” – one of the reasons why I’m in the business of collecting and selling vintage and antique items is because I love history and I love personal stories, so it’s even better when I can get both at the same time, haha. I love it!

    You have a lot of history with Ohio in general, which is nice. I’ve lived here almost all my life and I love it! It’s wonderful to have such pretty seasons and parks, though as I type this we’re experiencing one of our first snowfalls of the season, haha. Thank you again for sharing, and please feel free to reach out anytime to chat! You can always find me at the shop address,


    Haley on

  • Hello! I feel I must apologize for this epic message, but I’m so very familiar with this subject and was so happy to come across this website tonight. A short story for you of which my beautiful Daughter, Leah, says I’m incapable of since I talk so much! My dear Mother Ruth Conrath O’Dowd could out-talk anyone! But never mind that! God bless her she went ‘home’ to be with Jesus in December of 1998.

    My comment is made to let you know that this entire family was raised in Cambridge. My Grandfather, Walter C. Conrath, and his Son Carl were, I believe, the last two Coopers (Wooden Barrelmakers) at Cambridge Glass! They both retired from there in 1954 or so, and ’G’pa Conrath used to take me down to Cambridge Glass on his days off when I was a very small boy and show me around the plant. I was born in 1942, amid WWII, and my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins, finally left C’bridge for other Ohio towns during the 1960s. I left for the Navy in 1960.

    My parents and I lived on S.11th St. next to the “SALLY O’ SWEETS” CANDY Company," and if you know the town’s layout, you will know that we lived just atop the hill from Degenharts/Boyd’s Glass factories. My best friend for years was Sally McCracken, daughter of the Candy store named after her. The two of us (when we were allowed) would go down the hill to Boyd’s and pick up some ‘samples’ of discarded glass from the outside “rejects” that were tossed out.

    My parents and grandparents were friends with John and Elizabeth, and of course, my Grandfather had a gearshift knob with his name embedded in it. I have several old Degenhart paperweights (one with my name) I’ve collected over the years (I wish I had more!), but the prized one was my Grandfathers gearshift knob somehow, it slipped through my fingers, and one of the other family members ended up with that.

    Well, I’ve “talked enough,” I’m sure; I hope I haven’t bored you! You should get me on the telephone! That goes on and on!
    My best friend of 67 years passed away last December, so my Sister drove me to Cleveland to the funeral. We met when we were 13.
    P.S. I now live in Westerville, Ohio, since 2016, after moving from Texas after living there for 27 years; I was happy to be back here. My Sister lives a couple of miles from me, and a couple of times a year, we take an old nostalgic trip to C’bridge to look around.
    Many thanks for ‘listening’ to me ramble on; I feel that I know you, and that’s hazardous to someone who doesn’t have the patience to listen to an old man!
    God Bless you!
    David O’Dowd ><>

    David O'Dowd on

  • Hi Pat! Thanks so much for the comment – they’re such beautiful pieces! I sent you an email.

    Haley on

  • Deb, thank you! That’s so cool about your grandfather! I would have loved to take a tour of the factory. And I love the idea of paperweights around a flower bed – so pretty!! Being glass I bet they held up to the weather pretty well.

    Haley on

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