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Glass and Pottery Sellers’ Association - April 2008, Volume 43

Because of a hard disk crash, if you subscribed to the newsletter
between October 1, 2007 and January 10, 2008, please re-subscribe.

Combining Glass Collecting with Genealogy!

by mrvaselineglass Dave

I collect vaseline glass and my wife, Vickie, is a "Genealogy Queen," having been involved for the past 37 years. I recently saw this large bowl on eBay and thought it would combine both of our interests into a single collectible. We have all seen pieces that were 'souvenired' with an etching of Grandma, Mother or Atlantic City and only our imagination can tell us where the dish has been in the past. Every so often, however, a collector might run across a piece that has a first and last name, and it is unusual enough so that it is not common (i.e., John Smith). Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.

Benj F Dress vaseline bowl

I was the high bidder on this vaseline glass bowl that is 7-1/2" X 4" tall. On the front of the bowl, the name BENJ F DRESS is beautifully engraved. It also has floral trim around the name and on the opposite side of the bowl. Vickie has access (through a genealogy website) to every census that has been released to the public. She was able to put together the following information:

There was only one BENJ F DRESS that was listed in the census records and it was in the 1920 record for Camden NJ. At the time of the census, Benj was 35 years old and lived with his parents, Daniel and Phoebe Dress. Benj's occupation was WINDOW WASHER, OFFICE BLDG., and his father's occupation was HOUSE CARPENTER. Phoebe was listed as a housewife. At the time of the census, Benj. and his parents lived at 1234 25th St., Camden, NJ. By working backward and forward in various records (and in using the names of the parents), additional information could be developed.

Benj's full name at birth was BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DRESS and he was born on October 30, 1882, in Schuylkill Haven, PA. The subject also had a sister, Ruth, who was 23 years old (at the time of the 1920 census), and her place of birth was Iowa. Extrapolating this information, the family was living in Pennsylvania, then moved to Iowa sometime prior to 1897, then later moved to New Jersey. Benjamin Franklin Dress also had an older sister, Carrie, and younger siblings, Herman, Bertha, and Emily. There was one other "Benjamin Dress" living in Iowa City, IA in 1920, that was approximately the same age as Benjamin's father in the 1920 census. A frequent custom was to name a child after another relative of the same or earlier generations, so it was entirely probable that the Iowa City 'Benjamin' was the brother of Daniel, and the family moved out to Iowa City for work. That speculation would give reason to why younger sister Ruth was born in Iowa (the only child born in that state). The nickname of "BENJ" may have been used since birth, so that Phoebe and Daniel Dress could differentiate in conversation between Daniel's brother and their young son.

In 1941, all males had to register for the draft, and Benj was 59 when he registered. He most likely did not go to war (due to his age), but was still required to register. At that time, his job title was listed as JANITOR and he worked for the Founder's Realty Co. in Camden, NJ. No record is found for Benj F Dress in the Social Security records, so he either did not pay into Social Security, or passed away prior to collecting Social Security.

I also contacted the seller of the bowl, and she said that the bowl was purchased in Chadds Ford, Pa. There is a consignment shop there that supports the Chester County PA hospital with donations from approximately a 50-mile radius, which would put it within the area near Camden, NJ.

At this point, the mind gets to wander and speculate as to when and why the bowl came into existence. As Benj was a janitor about the age of retirement, this may have been a token of appreciation when Benj retired. A company executive would get a gold watch. The Founder's Realty Co. wanted to show some kind of appreciation, so he probably received this engraved bowl as his 'gold watch'.

Now, the next task: Figure out what glass manufacturer made the bowl!

PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.

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Featured Sellers

Recently featured GPSA sellers are: March - paddyandmax, gabla, cranberrymanor; April - fanoffenton, thetreasuredbutterfly, lan5. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.


Member’s Pick: Check out this Website!

by fanoffenton Sarah

A Collection of Pressed Glass

image courtesy and copyright of PRESSGLAS-PAVILLON.DE Art nouveau and art deco, this site includes figurines, lamps, bowls, decanters, and vases. This collector has been collecting pressed glass of any shape for over 15 years - mainly in the color pink, also described as apricot, peach or rosalin. The collection includes numerous crystal, mouthblown or moulded glass items and includes a very wide variety of shapes and patterns.

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Don’t You Wish You Had One of These?

by wgpaul Bill

On Vacation

The "Don't You Wish" section is currently on vacation! Check back on the next newsletter.

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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 the entire auction experience, from writing the auction, taking the photos, to packing the item 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!

Depression Glass Reproductions Tips! (the final section and continued from last issue) Thanks to marketpl Judy.

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No reserve clearance sales, less than TWO DOLLARS!

GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of $1.99 or less. 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!!

The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in January and February. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.

  • topshelfantiques
  • caarascup
  • belle-fleur-collectibles
Welcome New Members
  • terri9316
  • sekurujoh6
  • vintage*goodness
  • franberry

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