What Is Hoosier Glass?

By Kochava R. Greene
Hoosier Glass vases, commercial florists, the 1970s, 80s
Flowers image by filipkaluzny from Fotolia.com

Hoosier Glass is art glass made by Indiana-based Syndicate Sales, a glass-blowing company that was active in Kokomo, Indiana, in the 1970 and '80s. It should not be confused with the current Hoosier Glass Company, which specializes in building materials. Hoosier Glass is a collectible and is noted for its distinctive pressed and cut patterns in vases. Indiana has a long history of manufacturing art glass, and boasts the Indiana Art Glass Trail, a network of workshops and galleries showcasing local glass.

Glass Vases for Florists

Syndicate Sales began making Hoosier Glass vases in 1979 for commercial florists. The designs were simple and intended to enhance the natural line of stems in the vases. The company later expanded its line to include vintage-look glass storage canisters for sugar, spices and other kitchen items.

Identifying Hoosier Glass

Hoosier Glass is stamped with the words "Hoosier Glass" on the bottom of each piece, usually followed by a serial number in the format of four digits followed by a dash and four more digits. Although a catalogue isn't available that lists years of manufacture in conjunction with serial numbers, most Hoosier Glass can be dated by glass professionals within five to 10 years.

Types of Glass

Hoosier Glass appears in both clear and milk, or white, formulations. While salt and pepper shakers, spice jars, and coffee jars were apparently made in clear glass only, other designs, including vases, bowls, and glasses were made in both clear, clear tinted and milk glass. Clear tints included green and blue, with green tints being more common and frequently used for vases.

Designs on Hoosier Glass

Decorative designs on Hoosier Glass include swirls, diamond patterns, and dots or bobbles. The patterns on vases were originally intended to be spare and elegant, lengthening the line of stems in the vases without distracting from the flowers themselves. Newer items offered by Syndicate Sales in the Hoosier Glass line feature raised dots or other small raised patterns.

Value of Hoosier Glass

Hoosier Glass vases and replica canisters and salt shakers are frequently sold on eBay and other online sites that deal in vintage items.

About the Author

I wrote short pieces on arts and entertainment, sports, culture and society, health and fitness and other topics for the (now-closed) site www.aroundcinci.com, and have written freelance articles in the same areas for a variety of online and print publications.