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Glass and Pottery Sellers’ Association - August 2004, Volume 17

The High “Tec” World of McKee’s “Tec” Patterns


by wgpaul

I recently identified a piece of EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) for a GPSA member as a McKee “Tec” pattern. Her reaction was, “Are the ‘tec’ patterns attracted to me or were there just a lot of them produced?” Our member is very charming indeed and I am sure any glass pattern would follow her home given half the chance. But, the truth is, there are many McKee “Tec” patterns.

The “Tec” patterns, as they have come to be known, are a line of 18 patterns all named with the suffix tec. The most well-known and popular of these patterns is the Aztec pattern. Nortec, another well-known “tec” pattern is often known by the popular name Centipede.

A Little History

McKee Glass Company began its life as McKee and Brothers Glass Works in Pittsburgh, PA in 1853. The factory later moved to Jeannette, PA, which was founded by H. Sellers McKee and named for his wife. In 1901, the National Glass Company took over the factory and ran it as McKee Glass until 1904. In 1904, National leased the factory to McKee-Jeannette Glass Company. It is this company that launched the patterns we now call the “tec” patterns.

The Introduction of the Patterns

In 1904, McKee was granted a patent for the Pres-Cut trademark. The trademark was used on pressed glassware that imitated the fine cut glass of the time. McKee introduced its new line with two patterns that had already been part of the line under National — Aztec and Toltec.

This new marketing approach was very successful as the line quickly gained popularity. Later that same year McKee added another former National pattern to the Pres-Cut line — Nortec. Fentec, the first McKee-designed pattern, was the next to be added. It also turned out to be the longest produced “Tec” pattern. Fentec can be seen in McKee catalogs as late as 1942. Two more patterns, Sextec and Bontec, were introduced in 1906.

The introduction of new “Tec” patterns slowed down in the years between 1908 and 1912, as the company once again reorganized, becoming the McKee Glass Company in 1908. While new Pres-Cut patterns were added during this time, only Yutec was named using the “Tec” suffix.

1913 brought new activity to the “Tec” line. Between 1913 and 1915, eleven more patterns were added to the line: Bontec, Glentec, Carltec, Doltec, Plytec, Plutec, Quintec, Rotec, Startec, Valtec, and Wiltec.

Note: Some authors give 1894 as the date for some of the “Tec” patterns. It may be that some of these patterns were made at that time, however, documentation is conflicting. It is known that these patterns were called by their “Tec” names and added to the Pres-Cut line after 1904.

Identifying “Tec” Patterns

Many, but not all, “Tec” patterns are found with a Pres-Cut trademark. There are several variations of the trademark, including:

(sometimes found in a circle)



I confess, at first glance, many of these patterns look like each other and also like similar “imitation cut” patterns of the period. I have created the chart below to help you identify “Tec” patterns using their most distinctive design motifs.

“Tec” Patterns
 Pattern  Distinguishing Motif(s)  Photo
 Aztec  Double buzz saw  Aztec three-sided bowl - Photo courtesy ezauctionbytwogals
 Bontec  Hobstar snowflake in a shield of diamondpoint  Bontec
 Carltec  Hobstar in a beveled U  Carltec
 Doltec  6-petaled flower alternating with hobstars with small fan motif  Doltec
 Fentec  Deep pattern with multiple motifs including hobstars and tassels  Fentec relish
 Glentec  Ovoid buckle alternating with rows of hobstars  Glentec
 Martec  Large central hobstar (Kemple reproduction)  amber Kemple Martec - Photo courtesy Jpthings
 Nortec  6-pointed star alternating with reverse herringbone “centipede” motif  Nortec — more commonly called Centipede by collectors
 Plutec  Band of small hobstars topped with fluted panels  
 Plytec  Teardrop with fanned tassel motif  Plytec decorated in gold and ruby - Photo courtesy nvilla
 Plytec  Teardrop with fanned tassel motif  Plytec — a better look at the pattern from a berry bowl
 Quintec  Hobstar and cane panel alternating with fine point panel  Quintec - photo courtesy Jpthings
 Rotec  Ovoid buckle with hobstar alternating with cane  Rotec  a classic cane pattern - Photo courtesy jj_holiday
 Sextec  6-petal flower alternating with small hobstars (very similar to Doltec)  Sextec - Photo courtesy niceandspicy999
 Startec  Stars alternating with ovoid panels  Startec
 Toltec  Panels of hobstar snowflakes (Kemple reproduction)  Toltec Kemple milk glass bowl from original McKee molds
 Valtec  Upside down V of herringbone, alternating with hobstars  Valtec — note the triangular herringbone insert
 Wiltec  Spinning feather motif  Wiltec
 Yutec  Floral sunburst alternating with hobstar  Yutec, sometimes mistaken for Millersburg Ohio Star, the difference is the two-part “stick” on the bottom of the Yutec star


In 1945, Kemple Glass Works purchased many of the former McKee molds. They made reproductions of several of the “Tec” patterns in clear, milk glass, and colors until 1970. If you have a “Tec” piece in color or milk glass, it is likely a Kemple piece. Kemple produced glassware in the following patterns:

 Aztec  Rotec
 Bontec  Sextec
 Carltec  Toltec
 Martec  Valtec
 Plutec  Wiltec
 Plytec  Yutec

After the closing of the Kemple factory in 1970, Wheaton purchased a number of Kemple molds. While they did not purchase all the molds, they acquired at least one mold in every “Tec” pattern made by Kemple except Quintec and Valtec. Glassware was produced by Wheaton until 1979.

Trends in Collecting and Selling “Tec” Patterns

Most collectors I’ve met concentrate on collecting one pattern. Recently, however, I met a collector who is working on finding one nappy in each of the 18 “Tec” patterns. Despite their age, most “Tec” pieces can be found inexpensively on eBay.

The Aztec punch bowl and cups were heavily reproduced and are among the most common “Tec” items found. Water pitchers, especially in the patterns that feature hobstars, often sell in the $50 — 65 range. Ruby-stained items command the highest dollar figures as demand for ruby-stained EAPG remains high.

The Complete Book of McKee, Sandra McPhee Stout, 1972
Field Guide to Pattern Glass, Mollie McCain, 2000
Early American Pattern Glass 1850 — 1910, Bill Jenks and Jerry Luna, 1990
Kemple Glass 1945 — 1970, John R. Burkholder and Thomas O’Connor, 1997

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Featured Sellers

GPSA’s Featured Sellers this month are backthenvintage, geekaw and roxannesebastian. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.

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Member’s Pick: Website of the Month

Swedish American Line pillow ashtray

by Ezauctionbytwogals Pamela

Once again, I picked up something interesting. Hmmm, an ashtray, Swedish American line. I’m thinking that must have been a line of dinnerware or art pottery done by a Swedish company for their American market. The quality is excellent and the impressed mark is also interesting. So I put down my 50 cents and take it home.

A few days later I finally find time to sit down at the computer, go to Google and type in “Swedish American Line”. Wow, a nice surprise. The following link comes up: Cabin Class Collectibles and a whole new world opens up for me. This native I love the water as long as I can have one foot on land Nevadan never imagined that there was such an extensive collecting field. Everyday is an adventure and one never knows where researching our items will lead us. I haven’t listed yet.

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Collector’s Corner:
  When does one piece become a collection?

Judy’s Hummel Collection

by Judy

It has to start somewhere! With a gift, a lone purchase or a souvenir. Then something happens! That need for more.

Almost 40 years ago I got my first Hummel figurine. I’ve had many since then, when later I became a dealer and imported them from Germany. My scaled-down collection now holds 35, with 3 of them the giant ones which are over 10” tall.

Judy’s perfume collection

Perfume bottles came next. As a child I loved my grandmother’s vanity table which held treasures that a little girl could only dream of having. There were 3 perfume bottles that were my particular favorites and my grandmother waited until I was a married woman before handing them over to the next generation. Well, 3 looked a little sparse on the shelf, so I’ve since added 21 more.

Judy’s Frankoma collection

I’ve always loved pottery and have bought, sold, and kept several pieces over the years.

Frankoma became a favorite of ours and we currently have over 70 pieces, and it’s growing daily.

During a trip last fall we were introduced to Dryden pottery and visited the factory and showroom. Bill and I finally agreed on one piece to purchase as a souvenir. That one piece has now grown to 18.

Judy’s Dryden

We only have 2 Rumrill pieces. What’s that? Is it a collection yet?

Oh, and I almost forgot my Pewter. About a hundred pieces which include a couple of dozen ice cream molds.

Then there’s the blue and white porcelain, letter openers, small brass tools, the Spanish swords and one lone pistol from early 1800’s.

I think that’s it.

for now. lol

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Don’t You Wish You Had One of These?

Greentown Glass Hen on Nest

by wgpaul

This fabulous green nesting hen was offered on eBay recently by seller gbush39. There are always many hen on nest items (frequently abbreviated by collectors to HON) on eBay. If you do a search for “hen on nest,” you’ll generally find at least 400 items being sold at any given time. This piece is special, however, because it is a hard to find piece made by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company in the color known as Nile Green. Glass made by this company is commonly known as “Greentown Glass” for the city in Indiana where it was made. The seller tells us she has more rare HON items coming soon. We don’t know if it’s possible to top this one, which sold for $1881.60!

For more information on Hen on Nest items:

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It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!

Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?

We share a few practical tips on photo taking and packing to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!

Packing Tips

Photo Tips

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No reserve clearance sales, less than ONE DOLLAR!

GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of 99¢. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.

Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!

To see Shazaam listings at any time, click here. Check back often — sellers add items all the time!

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Welcome New Members

We’re so happy to have you join us!!

Our apologies for being so tardy in recognizing our newest members. We have ironed out most of the kinks in our new website. Thanks for your patience.

The following eBay sellers became GPSA members between January 1 and July 31, 2004. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.

  • gregsglass
  • thomasandkatherine
  • yesteryearsgoodies
  • jgtiques
  • koalatsales
  • bearswamp-tradingpost
  • lost-spirits
  • detritusofourlives
  • ladyofengland
  • niceandspicy999
  • cat1ink
  • backthenvintage
  • booksandpieces
  • kekar2
  • mabumom
  • dancie
  • dreamfinder44
  • lukinbuy
Welcome New Members
  • rousemark
  • dodielevi
  • aatreas
  • 4$
  • nnyl
  • nebrickhouse
  • abbyscollectibles
  • ferrety5
  • webbuying
  • shy4
  • stuffaholic
  • verykerry
  • serenity-fair
  • serenissima000
  • lls231
  • james_antique
  • retro-deco*arts
  • mikkilou54

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