The Eureka Art Glass Company was established in Milton, West Virginia in 1922 by William J. Blenko (British, 1854–1933). It was renamed The Blenko Glass Company in 1930. William J. Blenko was eventually joined by his son, and successor, William H. Blenko, Sr. (American, 1897–1969). The company has remained under the stewardship of the Blenko family until today.
Blenko Glass began as a manufacturer of sheet glass for stained glass, but in 1930, the company expanded into the production of tableware. The glass produced during the early years from 1923 to 1946 is difficult to attribute to any one designer. Craftsmanship has always been an important aspect of Blenko glass: the majority of Blenko’s production is hand blown, and most of the molds used are hand-carved out of apple wood.
Blenko’s most recognized glass products, which combine brightly-colored transparent glass with modernist forms, date to the mid-20th-century, from 1947 to 1970. The designs of this period were created by Blenko’s design directors Winslow Anderson (American, 1917–2007), Wayne Dale Husted (American, b. 1927), and Joel Philip Myers (American, b. 1934).
Much rarer are the earliest Blenko designs, such as this vase, which is one of a group of eight unusual early vessels donated by Damon Crain. The gourd-shaped vase, Blenko design #E-78, is one of the earliest tablewares made at Blenko. The vase is documented in a photograph showing 20 "Kenova" (or Blenko) glass designs in the Boston importer Carbone & Son's 1932 publication, The Shard. This vase is significant in that it retains its original Carbone & Sons label on the base.