by Glen Thistlewood
Pictures by Steve Thistlewood
Turn the clock back
to 1996. The world seemed a little more innocent in many ways
back then. Our hottest movies featured attackers from outer
space; in fact top of the charts was “Independence Day”. 1996
was the year that saw the O. J. Simpson civil trial begin on TV;
the demise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the advent of
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”. In that same year, another
Daily Show of a slightly different nature also started - and it
was sent out to an international audience via Carnival Central
in Topeka, Kansas. It was the Daily Mailing List about Carnival
The Carnival Mailing List was the brainchild of Brian Pitman
and Fred Stone. They had wanted to utilize the unique potential
of the internet to offer communicative interaction on a regular
basis for Carnival Glass collectors. There were a few private
email discussions about it and then on the 15th April 1996, the
first official group Mailing List was sent out to around 40
members. By August 1996, membership hit the 100 mark; the Daily
Mailing List became a welcome, familiar and essential feature in
the lives of many Carnival Glass collectors.
On the left a Brockwitz Rose Garden
cylinder vase in cobalt blue.
On the right, a Northwood Rose Show plate, also in cobalt blue
The first editor was Fred Stone, but from time to time, Brian
Pitman would also sit in the daily editor’s chair too. After a
couple of years Brian took on the daily role - an exhausting
task - so in 2000, I (Glen) joined the team as weekend editor.
For ten years the Mailing List has gone out pretty much every
single day - including Christmas Day and all other “high days
and holidays”. The List is emailed out in the evening: the
actual time varies according to the time zone of the editor
(Brian is on CST and Glen is six hours earlier, on British time
- GMT). It goes out as a group Mailing on an international basis
- to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
Our members are a huge cross-section of collectors (ranging from
advanced to “newbies”), writers, researchers, dealers and
auctioneers - with one thing in common of course, a love of
So what is in the Daily Mailing List?
The Daily Mailing List begins with an introduction by the
editor of the day, followed by messages from members. Questions,
answers, stories and an astonishing range of information you
simply wouldn’t believe has appeared on the List over the past
ten years. Photos are essential for many topics and queries, and
here the world wide web proves invaluable. Photos can be posted
on our members’ bulletin board by the editors or individual
members, thus providing a phenomenal resource that works in
total sync with the Daily List.
So, what’s been in the Daily Mailing List over the past ten
years? We’ve covered so many topics: “finds”, queries, colors,
shapes, patterns, prices, eBay, repros, auctions and so much
more. And we’ve also grown into a community sharing bad times as
well good: sadness as well as joy. You want to see some of the
things we’ve talked about? Let’s dip into one or two of the
thousands of Daily Lists we’ve sent out. But first, remember I
said that the List goes out every day? Well you can imagine that
sometimes that involves a little “sacrifice”…
The Mailing List must go out!
April 1997: “Fred here...just barely. The
infection came back with a vengeance. Have had a high temp all
day and can't think straight. So all the messages are going out
April 1999. “Brian here. Busy night
here with an Air Supply concert, a nice big thunderstorm with
power outages, and a dog being bitten by a copperhead snake”.
November 2000 - “Glen here. Well, we
have our power back on! Cooking by camping gas burners is not my
idea of fun”.
May 2002: “Brian here. I laid out in
the sun yesterday a little too long, so my whole body is a much
deeper red than any piece of carnival glass”.
We welcome new members and we like to get to know
From Alex and Sheila in 2002 - “Thanks for
the welcome. We just KNOW that we are going to enjoy our
We love hearing about Carnival “Finds”.
From Albert in 2000 - “A fellow
collector who was an appliance repairman, left word that he
wanted to see me at his shop which was just around the corner.
He said he had a piece of carnival that he wanted to sell to me.
I stopped by his place later that day expecting to see a
marigold Stippled Rays compote or something. When I walked in he
said that the piece was in a glass case where he stored spare
appliance parts. It had some gears, relays, etc. laying right in
the bowl. I said to him, almost shouting, "Please be careful."
He said it had been there a long time and his wife wanted to get
rid of it. Bob, his name, said I need at least $50.00 for it and
you can drop a check by tomorrow. I said ok, took the bowl and
left. It was a ribbed back, cobalt blue Hearts and Flowers with
PCE!! Not a chip or ding on it anywhere.”
And just a few more examples of the many, many “finds” that
have been reported on the List over the last decade: aqua opal
Peacock and Urn bowl, aqua opal Dragon and Lotus bowl, marigold
Pillow and Sunburst plate, ice blue Wild Strawberry bowl, teal
Pearly Dots bowl, marigold Jesus candlestick plus so very much
more, it’s totally impossible to list them all here.
As well as the ones that got away.
From Roger in 2001 - “I found a
Panther master bowl in blue. It was early in my collecting, and
when I saw the bowl I was impressed. But I said to myself "The
iridescence is too thick and bright--it's gotta be fake." After
doing some research that night, I found out it was the real
deal. I scurried back the next morning to find it was gone. And
the cost was just over $100. I can never get that memory out of
my head, because to this day, it was the most electric blue
piece of carnival I've ever seen--hands down.”
We love being able to solve Carnival mysteries.
From Sylvia in 1999 - “I have an April
Shower vase which I've had for some time and noticed that at the
bottom of the vase (guess it's the Marie) there is a daisy like
design. Is this the norm for this vase?” Joan’s full
explanatory response to the query began -
”The daisy like design on the interior of the base is actually
part of the Peacock Tail interior pattern………”
From Martin in 2000 - “What’s this? A
pitcher, very rich marigold with 8 panels around it divided into
4 panels vertically with a very basic leaf and stem pattern
running around it, an octagonal collar with a ground base and a
12 petal flower, dimensions 6.5 inches high and 7 inches wide
including handle.” The Mailing List provided the answer -
it turned out to be a “Heavy Vine water pitcher.
On the left a Riihimaki Little Leaves vase
in cobalt blue.
On the right, a "Woodsland Pine" plate in black amethyst.
We find that Carnival colors and eBay are topics that are
always controversial as well as informative.
Colors! They are a never-ending source of discussion and
controversy. The ones most talked about are emerald green,
Persian blue, pastel marigold, black amethyst, pumpkin marigold,
amberina, celeste blue, sapphire blue, vaseline, red, ice green,
electric blue, and white.
And eBay, of course, constantly provides topics that we want
to talk about. Here are a just a few snippets from the past
From Anonymous in 1998 - “That Aqua
Opal Rose Bowl on eBay was NOT iridized”.
From Faith in 2000 - “The best eBay
bargain I got was a blue Treetrunk vase with incredible
iridescence for $19. It was mislabeled as a blue Rustic vase and
the photo was lousy, so I took a gamble.”
From Anonymous in 2000 - “It seems to
me that eBay is only interested in their own wallet”.
From Paula in 2001 - “In my opinion,
eBay has invented and provided the world with a unique,
We include Classic and Contemporary Carnival.
Our members collect a wide range of Carnival: some only have
old, Classic Carnival while others prefer Contemporary Carnival.
And of course there’s the middle ground occupied by those who
like to have examples of both types. We discuss it all on the
Mailing List, and our members have provided an astonishing
wealth of information throughout the years.
We get instant Auction (and other) results.
Many auction results are posted on the daily Mailing List
immediately after the auction has ended (sometimes coming from
our famous “Auction Spy”). Members frequently also use the List
to ask about specific items they need to know about. Here are a
couple of random notes on prices:
In 2002 - #21 - AO Nippon PCE bowl - $21,000
In 2006 - #53 - Fenton 9" dark, marigold, Heart and Vine plate,
J.N. Ledford, Colleemme. Super rare. $20,000.
Although we’re interested in values, we’re not elitist.
Back in the early days (November, 1996) we had a discussion on
the concept of
elitism with regard to the classification of Carnival. Virtually
all comments submitted to the were along the lines of this one:
"Carnival Glass is of more value than monetary" - in other
words, its value is in the sheer beauty of the glass, the look
and feel of it, the pleasure it brings, and not in how many
dollars it might be worth. Sure, there's always going to be that
buzz that comes with knowing you have an expensive item (whether
paid the price or got it "for a song") but that's not the whole
This comment from one Mailing List contributor in 1996 summed
it up eloquently. "If I had ever thought
there was such a thing as "high end" or "low end" Carnival
collecting I would never have been interested in it. It's all
the good people involved that keep the collecting interesting
and that attitude that everything has its value to someone, that
I like. After all, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder."
And every now and again there’s an Ouch!
From the late Rog Gladson “A few years
ago on the way to the HOACGA convention we stopped at an antique
mall in Iowa and found (at that time) a Lustre Rose large 11
inch ruffled bowl. It looked like black amethyst and had great
iridescence. I asked permission to take it outside to hold it to
the sun to verify it was black amethyst. Wow!!! You couldn't see
a speck of amethyst. I grabbed it for $25 and we continued on to
the convention. Got to the motel and open the back door to
unload and out rolled my find of the year. Can you believe it
was white inside?
Yep, it sure was. It was ceramic, but
gorgeous until it hit the pavement”.
We have an excellent Repro database.
The sharing and exchange of information on this topic has
been exceptionally useful. Our excellent Club librarian, Elaine
Blair, has maintained a superb database of Carnival
reproductions based on members’ information (accessible on the
Members’ section of the website).
From Carl in 2000: “There are both old
and reproduction Lustre Rose pieces with the impressed Rose on
the underside of the base…….some of the repro pieces have a very
small "IG" trademark ….If it has no mark, it IS likely an old
And like every other community we share the difficult
Dear wwwcga Members:
In light of the horrible events of the
day, there will not be a carnival glass mailing list this
evening. Words can not describe the shock and horror of the
day's events with words, and we will not begin to try. In this
difficult time, we can take solace in the fact that we have each
The wwwcga Advisory Board
We also remember those in the Carnival Glass world who we
We lighten the dark times with some Off Beat stuff.
Believe it or not, among the unusual topics on the List over the
past ten years we’ve seen blackjack gum, teaberry gum, Beanie &
Cecil, treacle and blackstrap molasses. We’ve also written about
our fantasy seasonal dinner menus, such as this mouth watering
confection dreamed up by Steve - “Baked
Heavy Cut Ham with a Honeycomb and Clover glaze, with candied
Apple and Pears, garnished with Holly and Berries. Served with a
Chunky Fruit Salad and Cherry cobbler. Yum Yum.......”
Then of course, we also share some of the slightly crazy
things we do to get our Carnival!
From Cindy in 2006 - “About the only crazy
thing that I've done to get a piece of carnival glass is meet
someone in a dark parking lot an hour's drive away to make the
transaction after winning the piece on ebay instead of paying
And we have played some amazing games on the Mailing List.
Yes we play games on the Mailing List too: Time Travel, Back
in the Box, Virtual Convention, 12 Days of Christmas, What Song
best describes Carnival…… and so on. They’ve been fun as well as
The Daily Mailing List is more than just an informative
forum for Carnival Glass - it’s also a place where people from
all corners of the world, can meet on a daily basis and get to
know each other. I’d like to leave the final words to one of our
long standing members who “joined” back in 1996. His words
(written in 1999) hold true today and for the future.
Premo, September 3, 1999
There is more to this mail list than just
talking about carnival glass. We have laughed together, cried
together, prayed and even mourned the deaths of our fellow
members on this mail list. If all you hear is glass talk when
you meet one of these members, you won't know a thing about
their life. That's what brings us closer together. And if we
I hope you remember more about me other than my carnival glass.
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