The 1993 Rakow Grant for Glass Research was awarded to Regina Lee Blaszczyk, a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware in Newark.
The grant was used to complete the final stage of research for Ms. Blaszczyk’s dissertation, “Imagining Consumers: Manufacturers and Markets in Ceramics and Glass, 1865–1965.” This study examined corporate strategy in a group of ceramics and glass firms—including Ball Corporation, Corning Glass Works, Homer Laughlin China Company, and Kohler Company—to gain a better understanding of consumer culture and industrial competitiveness.
“Understanding how deliberations between corporate actors in these companies—managers, scientists, home economists, sales staff—shaped product development and products themselves will not only lead to a more holistic vision of consumer culture, but will enhance our comprehension of what makes for industrial competitiveness,” Ms. Blaszczyk wrote in her application for the Rakow Grant.
She said that her consideration of glass and ceramics manufacturers and their products “will lead to a fuller comprehension of each in broader social, cultural, economic, and technological contexts.”
Ms. Blaszczyk, who received master’s degrees from George Washington University and the University of Delaware, worked for 10 years in the Division of Ceramics and Glass at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. She was the curator of several exhibitions there, including “From the China Cabinet and the Kitchen Cupboard: Twentieth-Century Ceramics and Glass” (1989–1990).