Great Western Glass Ball Manufacturing Co. Target Ball

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch collection, American Glass Gallery

Here is an excellent example of a heavily embossed, ‘Great Western Glass Ball Manufacturing Company’ target ball from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was likely blown to appeal to pioneer and western settlers who were part of the expansion of our western frontier. This 2 5/8″ diameter, light golden amber, 3-piece mold example is perfect and has a sheared mouth.

From around 1876 to 1885, glass balls were made for target shooting for sport and exhibitions at Wild West shows, circuses and other events. Birds and particularly pigeons were used previously. Interestingly enough, The Great Western is embossed on the GX – 30 historical flask.

Read: What are target balls? I’m glad you asked! By Ralph Finch

Support: John Pastor and American Glass Gallery.

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Target Balls Gallery

The Target Balls gallery is still under development. Stay tuned!