Notebooks have individual cataloging records.
Fragile materials. Use the digital or microform copies of the notebooks.
The collection holds 33 of the personal notebooks of Frederick Carder, including 3 diaries. These notebooks are mainly filled with notes and recipes for making glass. This collection also includes the 1902 travel diary which consists of a collection of diary entries from Carder's visits to various glassmaking centers around Europe.
Frederick Carder was born on September 18, 1863, the son of Annie and Caleb Carder. He was born at in Brockmoor, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England. He was the second son in a family of five boys and one girl. His father and paternal grandfather owned Leys Pottery which produced salt-glazed stoneware articles. Carder spent the first forty years of his life studying and working within about five miles of his birthplace. By the time he was fourteen, Carder was top in his class. However, latter he quit school to go to work at Ley's pottery. He enrolled in night classes at the School of Art in Stourbridge, and took evening classes in chemistry, electricity, and metallurgy at the Dudley Mechanics Institute.
Carder learned that John Northwood (renowned artist and sculptor), the father of a fellow student, had made a copy in glass of the celebrated Portland Vase. Carder visited John Northwood's studio. Northwood was impressed by a small marble head that Carder had just finished carving and had brought along. He invited Carder to spend Saturday afternoons at his studio learning the art of cameo glassmaking and Carder accepted. Carder showed such promise that Northwood recommended him to the Brierly Hill firm of Stevens & Williams, for the position of glass designer. In 1880, Stevens & Williams offered to hire Carder. Carder accepted and began his career in glassmaking. Carder designed original glass forms and cut decorations. Carder also believed in reviving colored glass. Eventually, the principal of the factory consented to have some colored glass designs produced on a trial basis. These were sent to London for sale. Carder's designs sold fast and for the next two decades Carder remained at Stevens & Williams.
In 1903, Carder sailed for the United States, and arrived in New York. Other places he visited included Pittsburgh, Washington (for a day or two of sight-seeing) and Corning, New York. He met with Corning Glass Works officials, was taken on a tour of the plant and met with Thomas G. Hawkes. Hawkes was the president of "T.G. Hawkes & Company", a firm that had continued a glass decorating business in Corning since 1880. Hawkes had been buying glass blanks from Stevens & Williams for many years. It is possible that Carder signed the papers to join on his first day there - all he would ever reveal was that Hawkes was very persuasive.
Steuben Glass Works was run by Carder. He developed the glass formulas; designed the factory and furnaces; designed the product and supervised sales policies and production. Steuben factory records show a total of over 7,000 varieties of vases, bowls, goblets, candlesticks, and dozens of other decorative and useful shapes which he designed for sale from 1903 to 1932. Also, almost 600 designs were made as special orders for wealthy customers and manufacturers.
In English with two letters in French.
Notebooks digitized by Boston Photo Imaging in September 2009, August 2010, and April 2013.
R-1058: Notebooks 1-29; R-1059: Notebook 31 [ie 30]; Diaries 1-3; Publications; Loose pages, etc.