GXIV-3 • Star And “Traveler’s / Companion” – Star And “Ravenna / Glass Co” Flask

Provenance: Louis & John Fifer Collection, ex Darl Fifer Collection

Our pint GXIV-3 “Traveler’s Companion” – “Ravenna Glass Co” flask is eye-catching in this yellow-green glass color. When looking at the obverse side of the flask you see the embossed word ‘TRAVELER’s’ in a convex arc over the embossed word ‘COMPANION’ in an opposite similar concave manner to create a “football” shape. The “s” in “Traveler’s” is smaller and raised. Both ‘R’s” have a knee and short foot. There is a centered embossed star shape formed around a circle. Eight triangular shapes create the compass rays of the star. The top center ray is considerably thinner.

On the reverse side of the flask is a similar graphics layout as on the obverse. The embossed word ‘RAVENNA’ is presented in a convex arc over an embossed ‘GLASS Co’ in an opposite similar concave manner to create a “football” shape. The “o” in “Co” is smaller. The ‘R’” has a knee and short foot. There is a centered embossed star shape formed around a circle. Eight triangular shapes create the compass rays of the star.

The flask has a plain mouth with an applied round ring. Other GXIV-3 examples are recorded with a doughnut ring with a lower bevel. The flask bottom is smooth and is a recessed No. 17 McKearin illustrated base. There are iron pontiled examples. You can find the flask in aquamarine, amber, and yellow-green. The flask was produced for Ravenna Glass Works from 1860 to 1870 or so.

See the museum example of a GXV-17 “Ravenna Glass Works” flask

The Ravenna Glass Works, or Company, had a troubled history with at least five incarnations during the period between 1857 and 1893. The glassworks is primarily known to collectors for their fruit jars and flasks that are embossed with the “Ravanna Glass Works or Co” name or initials, “R.G.W.”

The first Ravenna Glass Company dates from 1857 to about 1860 or even a little later to April 1861. A grocer named Seth Day, his wife, Mary, Ebenezer, and Frances F. Spaulding, plus Samuel H. and Helen F. Terry, under the banner of the Ravenna Glass Co., purchased three parcels of land in Ravenna, Ohio in August and September of 1857 and transferred the titles to the Ravenna Glass Company. Day apparently converted his store into the sales vehicle for the fledgling glassworks. 

An advertisement in the October 31, 1857 issue of the Cleveland Leader called the firm “Manufacturers of All Kinds of Green Glass Ware,” featuring especially druggist’s ware, although it also offered “vials, in every variety, Caster Oil, Packing, flask and globe bottles, Cap Jars, Demijohns, &c. Also Porter, Mineral Water and Wine bottles, Ink Stands, Ink bottles, Glass Milk Pans, &c., &c.” See the Ravenna Glass Works Air-Tight Fruit Jar which was produced during this period.

Our smooth-base GXIV-3 Traveler’s Companion flask was probably made at the third Ravenna Glass Co. from 1863 to 1864. The glassworks was sold at a sheriff’s sale on April 20, 1861, for $2,783.34 to John and George Forder. Just over a year later, the sheriff again sold the property to George Messenger for $2,400 on July 19, 1862. The Ohio Farmer reported on the new arrangement on January 21, 1863, when it reported that, T. J. Terry was in operation producing all kinds of druggist’s ware, wine bottles, and bottles of every kind. This reincarnation, too, failed. In the Portage County Democrat on February 10, 1864, Henry G. Abbey announced, “I shall offer for sale at public auction at the south door of the Federal Court Building . . . on the fourteenth day of March 1864, the Ravenna Glass Co.” 

The aquamarine and amber iron pontil examples, also on display, were probably made at the first Ravenna Glass Company indicating that the molds traveled with the glasshouse sales.

See the museum example of a GII-37 Eagle “Ravenna Glass Company” and Anchor flask.

Primary Image: GXIV-3 Traveler’s Companion – Ravenna Glass Co Lettered Flask imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1978.

Support: Reference to Ravenna Glass Co. by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Bill Lindsey, and Carol Serr

Support Image: Auction Lot 236: GXIV-3 TRAVELER’S COMPANION – RAVENNA FLASK, pint, obverse embossed “TRAVELER’s / (star) / COMPANION”, reverse embossed “RAVENNA / (star) / GLASS Co”, applied flat collar below the plain mouth, plain base with concave center. aquamarine, Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio. Circa: 1860-1880. Undamaged except for a very minor flake to edge of mouth. Size: 7″ H. From the estate collection of Russell and Doris Evitt, Jackson, CA., McKearin/Wilson – American Bottles & Flasks, p. 672. – Jeffrey Evans, Jeffrey S. Evans & Assoc., February 28, 2020

Support Image: Auction Lot 119: “Traveler’s / (Eight Pointed Star) / Companion” – “Ravenna / (Eight Pointed Star) / Glass Co” Lettered Flask, Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna Ohio, 1845-1860. Olive yellow, applied double collared mouth – iron pontil mark, pint. GXIV-3 Beautiful, unlisted color, fine condition, strong embossing. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #98

Support Image: Auction Lot 16: Star And “Traveler’s / Companion” – Star And “Ravenna / Glass Co.” Flask, Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio, 1860-1870. Rich olive-yellow, most likely an applied sloping collar with ring – smooth base, pint; (applied mouth has been broken away with a 1/2 inch piece adhered to the clean break). GXIV-3 A beautifully colored flask with no wear, many bubbles and strong embossing. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #144

Support Image: Auction Lot 96: Star And “Traveler’s / Companion” – Star And “Ravenna / Glass Co” Flask, Ravenna Glass Company, Ravenna, Ohio, 1857-1860. Medium golden amber, applied double collared mouth – iron pontil mark, pint; (light exterior high point wear). GXIV-3 An attractive flask with bold embossing and a bright color. Fine condition. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #177

Support Image: Detail of star: “TRAVELER’S” / STAR / “COMPANION – RAVENNA” / STAR / “GLASS CO.”, (GXIV-3), Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio, ca. 1855 – 1865, tobacco amber pint, reddish iron pontil – Jim Hagenbuch, Glass Works Auctions, Auction #98

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