by Rob Smith
LABAC ("cabal" spelled backwards) is an informal nonprofit research group that pools resources to find and acquire fresh and significant Brilliant Period cut glass catalogs, booklets, photo albums, scrapbooks, advertising, and similar materials. LABAC distributes copies of developed and found materials to members, for their personal study and research use. There are presently several dozen participants and everyone is invited to join in this important research effort.
LABAC has since inception been open to all individuals and institutions. Group leverage and "reach" increase as membership grows, so it's beneficial to involve new members. LABAC has been operating for almost eighteen years and seeks more participants.
LABAC is not affiliated with the ACGA or with any other organization. At cycle close, gratis copies of rediscovered materials are donated to the ACGA Reference Library (presently at the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art), the Rakow Research Library at the Corning Museum of Glass (which is granted microfiche replication but not publication rights), the West Virginia Museum of Glass, and the United States Library of Congress.
How it Works
Members collaborate by telephone, e-mail, and letters to find and acquire access to fresh cut glass reference materials and research results from the Brilliant Period. Copies of otherwise inaccessible items may be considered for distribution. Many members help to find material, and all work is done by unpaid volunteers. For each item found, high quality copies are distributed to members within bound books, for personal research use.
The cut glass information contained in each LABAC book is “fresh,” not available to most cut glass collectors from any other source. LABAC makes very few spare books at the end of each Cycle. Experience suggests that it is relatively difficult to find used copies of LABAC books that have gone “Out of Print” so it is prudent to join each LABAC Cycle before publication, to ensure access to book content.
Subscription cycle #1 opened in 2001. Cycle #20 closed during late 2017. Usual cost of each subscription cycle is $40, but rare "special circumstances" may occasionally increase costs. Members may request cancellation at any time, and the unused portion of current cycle subscription money will be cheerfully refunded, no questions asked.
LABAC is presently organized by Rob and Val Smith, until someone else volunteers. Telephone and e-mail are used for rapid communications regarding issues and opportunities, but the USPO is used to involve those not having access to computer tools. When material becomes available, members are sometimes asked whether LABAC should buy or borrow, and the applicable maximum cost ceiling. Decisions are usually voted within two or three days. By prior vote, LABAC participants have pre-approved purchase of old original catalogs obtainable at "reasonable" cost per page.
It is impractical to predict results for future cycles, but during the past eighteen years we have consistently rediscovered encouraging quantities of important information. The recently published LABAC Cycle 20 Cut Glass Advertisement Books Five and Six constitute our thirtieth and thirty-first bound volumes of Brilliant Cut Glass information.
A list of publicatons from LABAC is here: LABAC Publications
Spare Copies of LABAC Cut Glass Reference Books Available
LABAC is an open, informal group of enthusiasts that collaborate to make available fresh rediscovered information about American Brilliant Era cut glass. LABAC has since 2002 published several dozen hefty books reprinting catalogs, advertisements, and factory documents that are not available elsewhere. Everyone is welcome to join this non-profit activity: participants pay in advance to receive the next LABAC book. Unpaid volunteers do the work. After publication, spare books are sold for $150% of pre-publication subscription cost. Decisions are made by majority vote. Join LABAC Cycle #21 to receive a 350+ page book of "rediscovered" reprinted catalogs.
The following previously published LABAC spare books are available:
The softbound "AD5" Cut Glass Advertisements Book Five, A - K was published by LABAC in 2017. Advertisements reprinted did not appear in the earlier AD1-AD4 books. Provides documentation and illustrations of previously unknown companies and patterns. Packed with valuable identification and research material not available elsewhere. 298 pp. ISBN 978-0-937508-37-4. Available paired with AD6 (below) for $120.00 the set including shipping.
The softbound "AD6" Cut Glass Advertisements Book Six, L - Z was published by LABAC in 2017. These ads did not appear in the earlier AD1-AD4 books. Contains documentation and illustrations of previously unknown companies and patterns. Packed with valuable identification and research material not available elsewhere. 456 pp. ISBN 978-0-937508-41-14. Available paired with AD5 (above) for $120.00 the set including shipping.
The coil bound Second Edition of Cooking with Class, Dining on Glass (aka the Lone Star Cookbook) was published in 2012 (first edition, 1994) and the information is not available elsewhere. Contains favorite recipes of ACGA Lone Star Chapter participants, plus photos and descriptions of more than one hundred rare and unusual cut glass objects that had in 1994 never been published elsewhere. 422 pp. ISBN 978-0-937508-35-7. Available for $50.00 including shipping.
The “TRS” Tuthill Research Scrapbooks three books set was published by by a small team of ACGA members in 2001, and the information is not available elsewhere. There are a few softbound three-book sets available at $125 including shipping.
The "PBL" hardbound book Cut Glass Catalogs: Pitkin & Brooks, Libbey et al was published by LABAC in 2012. This information is not available elsewhere. Catalogs reprinted include Pitkin & Brooks 1911 & 1902, Libbey Blanks Catalog (n.d.), Alford 1904 Catalog, Higgins & Seiter 1901, Krantz Smith (n.d.), Benner (n.d.), Hoare Factory Documents, Kruth Cut Glass photos and Factory Documents. 474 pp. ISBN 0-937508-34-9 Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "KPW" hardbound book Cut Glass Catalogs: Krantz, Smith, Parcel Post, Wilcox et alwas published by LABAC in 2011. This information is not available elsewhere. Catalogs reprinted include Kranz, Smith 1910, Parcel Post Cut Glass 1914, Wilcox, Shreve 1912, Burley & Tyrrell 1903 , Hall 1908, Higgins & Seiter 1907, 1908 and 1900, Carson Pirie Scott 1900 and 1919, Pairpoint, Dorflinger, Macy. 447 pp. ISBN 0-937508-29-2. Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "PHX" hardbound book Phoenix Glass Co. Catalogs 1893-1917was published by LABAC in 2010. This information is not available elsewhere. Catalog cut glass sections reprinted are from the Phoenix Glass Co books for 1893, 1896, 1901, 1904, 1907 and 1917. 339 pp. ISBN 0-937508-26-8. Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "AWT" softbound book Cut Glass Catalogs: Alford, Wright, Tuthill et al was published by LABAC in 2009 and the information is not available elsewhere. Catalogs reprinted include Alford, Wright, Tuthill, Unger, Pitkin & Brooks, and the cut glass sections of catalogs issued by Burley & Tyrrell and Higgins & Seiter. 446 pp. ISBN 0-937508-21-7. Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "NEW" softbound book Cut Glass Catalogs: New England, Wilcox et al was published by LABAC in 2008 and the information is not available elsewhere. Catalogs reprinted include New England Glass Works 1884, Wilcox circa 1895, Standard Engraving & Cut Glass 1916, Pitkin & Brooks 1917 and Clark 1912. 424 pp. ISBN 0-937508-19-5. Available for $40.00 including shipping.
The "RN5" softbound book Cut Glass Research Notes Volume Five, with Comprehensive Indices, by Craig Carlson was published by LABAC in 2008, and the information is not available elsewhere. 162 pp., 113 illustrations, ISBN 0-937508-20-9. Available for $20.00 including shipping.
The "RN4" softbound book Cut Glass Research Notes Volume Four (Straus-Macy), by Craig Carlson was published by LABAC in 2007, and the information is not available elsewhere. 498 pp. 203 illustrations, ISBN 0-937508-18-7. Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "RN3" softbound book Cut Glass Research Notes Volume Three (Kellner & Munro through Wright), by Craig Carlson was published by LABAC in 2007 and the information is not available elsewhere. 446 pp, 129 illustrations, ISBN 0-937508-17-9. Available for $60.00 including shipping.
The "MF" softbound book Marshall Field Cut Glass, 1892 - 1922 was published by LABAC in 2005 and the information is not available elsewhere. Reprinted are cut glass sections from annual Marshall Field catalogs from the Brilliant Era, 1892 – 1922. 494 pp. ISBN 0-937508-11-X. Available for $45.00 including shipping.
The "BBB" softbound book Cut Glass Catalogs: Blackmer, Bergen and Blackmer was published by LABAC in 2003 and the information is not available elsewhere. Catalogs reprinted include an undated Blackmer catalog, 1915 Bergen catalog #51 and another undated Blackmer catalog. ISBN 0-937508-00-4. Available for $25.00 including shipping.
Cut Glass Flash Cards
Quickly hone your cut glass pattern ID skills. Learn shape names and motifs. Identify patterns in your collection. Add value to your collection and learn to recognize bargains overlooked by less knowledgeable collectors. See clear and crisp detailed pictures of patterns previously shown only in woodcut catalog and advertisement drawings.
Each Flash Card Set shows and describes 100 unique cut glass pieces and patterns, 1000 quality pictures in all, a powerful learning and research tool. Cards are laminated card stock, with high resolution photos plus detailed descriptions and carefully verified ID references on the backs. For most patterns, there is a single card describing and picturing an open piece (a plate, platter, tray, bowl or dish). Some patterns also have another card with a tall closed piece such as a vase, decanter or jug. So far, over 1,000 different cutting patterns are illustrated and described in available flash cards. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Set One ($30) introduces 92 patterns from 18 companies.
Set Two ($30) presents another 95 patterns from 22 companies.
Set Three ($30) shows and describes in detail 87 Libbey patterns.
Set Four ($30) shows 46 Anderson (non-Libbey) patterns plus 48 more designs.
Set Five ($30) shows 49 Straus patterns and 40 designs from other companies.
Set Six ($30) presents 99 additional patterns from 16 companies.
Set Seven ($30) presents 31 more Hoare patterns plus 63 other designs.
Set Eight ($30) has 99 fresh patterns from 26 companies.
Set Nine ($30) shows and describes another 96 patterns from 33 different companies.
Set Ten ($30) shows 67 more Hawkes patterns plus 25 additional Hoare designs
Set Eleven ($30) shows 97 more patterns from almost three dozen of the smaller cutting houses.
Set Twelve (only $25 before publication) shows 90+ fresh pattern examples from larger cutting houses.
If you would like to have pieces from your collection shown in a future Flash Cards Set, contact Rob Smith for specific details.