Monday, November 24, 2014

Authentic, American-Made Glass Fishing Floats

Many people aren't aware that glass fishing floats were produced in the United States back in the 1930's & 1940's.  This post will provide you with a little information about the manufacturers of these floats.

In the early 1930's, the "Made in Germany" floats were being used off the West Coast of the United States by American fishermen.  The Northwestern Glass Company of Seattle, WA, which was established in 1932,  saw a demand for these floats & began duplicating them in 1933.  They made them by hand, rather than with machinery.  After a short period of time, they discontinued this due to the small volume needed.  Below is an example of this type of float.  It is from my personal collection & one that I beachcombed on the Aleutians of Alaska several years ago.

In 1942, there was a rapid development of the shark fishing industry due to the demand for shark livers as a vitamin source.  {yum!}  The gillnets being used were submerged to considerable depths.  There was a need for a large quantity of floats that could be submerged & withstand high pressure.  The Northwestern Glass Company decided to try sealed beer bottles, but there was a lack of buoyancy & the seals weren't suitable.

Example of a sealed beer bottle from Northwestern Glass Co.

They developed an automatic manufacturing & sealing system for floats, which increased production.  These floats were made in 3 1/2", 4 1/2", 5" and 6" diameters.  They were made is shades of amber & flint colored glass.  Over 2 million of these floats were manufactured by NWG.  The are identified by their appearance, along with a NW on the bottom of the float.  Below are some examples from my personal collection, along with photos from the NWG plant taken from the book "Beachcombing for Japanese Glass Floats" by Amos Wood.

Northwestern Glass Co. 4 1/2" float with 1937 stenciled on it.

Bottom of the float above.  Notice the NW stamped in the center.

A 3 1/2" NWG float that I beachcombed in Alaska.
The bottom of the float above.  Notice how it resembles the bottom of a beer bottle.
5" Amber colored NWG float from my collection.  This float has darker swirls through the glass.

The bottom of the float above.

5" beer bottle brown NWG float.

The bottom of the float above.

Sometimes the seals of the NWG floats with have this mark, but it is very rare & only a few are known to exist.  Photo by Tom Rizzo.

During World War II, the Owens Illinois Glass Company of Oakland, CA began using bottle machines to manufacture 5" glass fishing floats.  At the time, supplies were cut off to Japan, Russia & Czechoslovakia because of hostilities.  Cork floats could not withstand the water pressure they were being subjected to & it was difficult to obtain Spanish/Portuguese cork then.  The Owens-Illinois floats are identified by the "Duraglas" near the bottom of the float, along with an "I" inside an "O" with a diamond that is stamped on the very bottom of the float.  The float bottoms also resemble the bottom of a beer bottle.  Below are examples from my collection.

5" Duraglas float from Owens-Illinois Glass Co.

In this same time period, the Crystallite Products Corporation of Glendale, CA were also making glass floats.  Below is an example of this type of float.

Crystallite Float.  Photo from Tom Rizzo.

Pittsburgh Corning developed a 6" float, which consists of 2 fused halves.  This was done by a machine & was 3 times more expensive than the more common American-made floats.  There were only a few hundred of these produced.  They were used for the soupfin shark fishery of World War II.  Below is an example from my collection.

Pittsburg-Corning float.

Northwestern Glass went on to produce another glass fishing float, which is very sought after & hard to find.  In 1949, they created the doughnut float.  It was experimental & machine made.  There were less than a dozen made.  The demand for floats began deteriorating, so the doughnut float never went in to production.  I know a few collectors with this particular float, but they command quite a bit of money.  Below is an example from Amos Woods' book.

Another American made float bears "Cincotta Bros" embossed on the top of the float.  The Cincotta Brothers floats were from Cincotta Brothers Hardware & Supplies in San Francisco.  These floats were machine-made, which leads me to the thought that they were made for Cincotta Brothers by Owens/Illinois Glass Co. of Oakland, Ca., which as you know, is right across the bridge from San Francisco.  These floats are not rare, but don't come around too often either.  They have eluded me for years!

Cincotta Bros float from the collection of D. Markley.

There were other American-made floats, but the information I was able to obtain about them is limited.  I am including photographs of these below.

American grooved roller from my collection.

These floats were machine made in the United States for Krabotrest, which was a crab fishing company in Vladivostok, USSR (at the time).  It is estimated that 690,000 of these floats were made by the Northwestern Glass Company in 1943.  They were lend-lease to the Russian company.  They were all delivered to a Russian ship docked in Seattle.  They are all 3 1/2" in diameter & are typically clear glass.  The examples below are from my collection.  The float on the left is a bit of an amber color & has the original net on it.  The float on the right is the more common example.

Krabotrest American-Made Floats.

There are a few additional American-made glass fishing floats.  I will add images & information once I have it.

Reference:  Beachcombing for Japanese Glass Floats by Amos Wood, 4th edition, 1985.

Thank you to Tom Rizzo for the photographs & additional information.


  1. I have read & re-read this very well-written article and just want to thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge of glass floats. Happy beachcombing!

  2. Appears to be incredible. Wonderful terms u have sheared with your post.

    Landscape Gardening Norwich & Landscape Gardening Suffolk

  3. This blog is very nice and have valuable information about innovative ceiling it’s very useful for me. Thanks a lot for posting this.
    Wine Green Glass Bottle
    Beer amber and flint glass bottle
    Cosmetic Glass Bottle
    Sauce Glass Bottle
    Medicine Pharma Glass Bottle
    Honey jar and bottle

  4. Definitely seems to be awesome. Great terms Tough out get sheared with your submit.

    artificial grass in Swindon

  5. Appreciate it regarding expressing this great submit i favor greatly.

    Bristol Artificial Lawns

  6. Just want to say your article is striking. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

    Whitefly Control services Marathon & Palm Tree Trimming Marathon

  7. Very good website. I liked it very much.

    South Wales Artificial Grass

  8. If you are eagerly taking interest in unique shot glasses drinks then make sure you get the best range of shot glasses that are all reasonably priced and can help you taste some of the best variants all around the world. For getting customized shot glasses the best of taste it is always important that you use the best of glasses available in most genuine and popular online links.

  9. Hi there.. I also have a glass float collection.. my DIL just gave me several her grandfather got in Guam. I just posted some photos on my blog if you'd like to see. What does the Japanese symbol for North mean on a float? Teresa :-)

  10. Hello,
    I have 5 floats, 3 have rope. And on these floats the glass is worn in the places that the rope did not cover. I found these in Alaska. But the bottoms ate plain no numbers or markings just a circle. Could you tell me about these?

  11. the packaging of goods on people's buying behavior has played crucial influence, many companies have put the focus of attention of the automatic sealing machine. Glass bottle Manufacturers

  12. گروه تولیدی بازرگانی ال ای دی پانل با دارا بودن سابقه درخشان در زمینه واردات از کشور های مختلف و نیز تولید انواع تابلو روان و تلویزیون شهریتبلیغاتی ، با به کاری گیری نیروی متعهد و متخصص با هدف ارائه خدمات بازرگانی و تولیدی فعالیت می نماید که واحد بازرگانی ال ای دی پانل با دارا بودن شرکای تجاری معتبر در کشورهای چین ، تایوان و کره جنوبی اقدام به واردات کالاهای الکترونیکی من جمله قطعات تابلو روان ، قطعات تلویزیون شهریو تجهیزات نور پردازی با بهترین کیفیت و مناسب ترین قیمت مینماید و نیز واحد تولید ال ای دی پانل فعالیت خود را در زمینه ساخت و تولید انواع تابلو روان و نمایشگر شهری LED با مشخصات مختلف و نیز تولید انواع قاب تابلو روان ، کابینت تابلو روان led و کابینت تلویزیون شهریمی نماید.

  13. شما به هر حرفه ای که مشغول باشید، حتما به این موضوع فکر کرده اید که چقدر خوب بود که اگرفن بیان خوبی داشتید، اینکار را ما به راحتی به شما آموزش میدهیم فن بیان در واقع میزان نفوذ سخن شما در افراد را شامل می شود. یعنی اینکه صحبتهای ما به چه میزان در افراد اثرگذار خواهد بود. هنگامی که از فن بیان خوبی برخوردار نباشیم مدام نادیده گرفته می شویم و همین امر موجب می شود که اعتماد به نفس خود را از دست داده و دچار اضطراب گردیم. برای بهبود فن بیان روش های گوناگونی وجود دارد که هریک از این روشها از جنبه های گوناگون مورد سنجش و بررسی قرار گرفته است. ارتباط چشمی ، لبخند زدن و اشتیاق برخی از این راهها می باشد.

  14. افرادی که تصور می‌کنند اعتماد به نفس پایینی دارنددر برخی از این موارد ضعیف هستند نه در تمام این موارد.بااین‌حال می‌خواهم خبر خوبی بدهم: اعتماد به نفسکاملاً اکتسابی است و می‌توان آن را با روش‌هایی دوباره احیا کرد و آن را تقویت کردیکی از بهترین راهکارها برای افزایش اعتماد به نفساین است که در محیطی باشید که بتوانید زمینه‌هایمختلف توانمندی‌های خود را کشف کنید.

  15. may be useful for all, helpful article once and pardon me permission to share also here

    Obat fatty liver
    Cara mengobati radang telinga
    Cara mengatasi susah bab

  16. Disini kami akan berbagi informasi tentang cara menggugurkan hamil dengan cepat dan akurat dengan menggunakan obat aborsi . Mungkin Anda adalah salah satu yang ingin mencari tahu obat penggugur kandungan yang aman dan terbukti ampuh , agar dapat membantu anda untuk melakukan proses cara mencegah kehamilan yang tidak Anda inginkan . Saat ini memang banyak sekali situs yang jual obat aborsi secara online . Namun anda harus lebih cermat dalam memilih . Misoprostol adalah obat menggugurkan kandungan terbaik untuk menginduksi rahim , dan ini bisa anda gunakan untuk memperlancar haid atau sebagai obat telat datang bulan untuk menggugurkan kandungan

  17. This article is very useful, thank you for sharing. And allow me to share articles too, it's about health and treatment. God willing it will be useful for us all. Thank you :)

    Obat Radang Gusi (Gingivitis)
    Obat Pereda Nyeri Dada Sebelah Kiri
    Obat Untuk Miss V Gatal dan Perih/Nyeri
    Cara Menghilangkan Abses Payudara

  18. Loan Opportunity Offered By Mr, Benjamin That Save My Family From Financial Bondage {}

    Hello Everyone, I am Putri Adiratnaa single mom from Jakarta, I would like to share this great testimony on how I got a loan from Mr, Benjamin, when we were driven out of our home when I couldn't pay my bills anymore, After being scammed by various companies online and denied a loan from my bank and some other credit union I visited. My children were taken by the foster care, I was all alone in the street. The day i shamefully walked into an old school mate who introduced me to Daisy Maureen. At first I told her that I am not ready to take any risk of requesting a loan online anymore, but she assured me that I will receive my loan from them. On a second thought, due to my homelessness I had to take a trial and applied for the loan, luckily for me I received a loan of $80,000.00 from Mr, Benjamin. I'm happy I took the risk and applied for the loan. My kids have been given back to me and now I own a home and a business of my own. All thanks and gratitude goes to Le_Meridian Funding Service and for the help of Mr, Benjamin for giving me a meaning to life when i had lost all hope. If you currently seeking for a loan assistance, you can contact them via: {} Or WhatsApp +1-989-394-3740

  19. Thank you for the good information and very helpful. That's very interesting. I like all the things you share and see your beautiful creations, greetings from Admin scan dokumen I hope you can visit and comment on my website :)

  20. I have this glass sphere, I did not know what it was for until today, thank you for your good information

  21. I also found this a well done article in both information provided and in presentation. A question:
    I have recently come across 5 what look to be modified clear glass floats from, I believe to be, the Northwestern Glass Co. of Seattle. They are embossed with the Spokane Washington Expo '84. They have a slot at the top of the connector that is wide enough for coins of a quarter or smaller. Do you have any information regarding this 1984 venture?

  22. Hi Admin, I hope are fine. I'm your one of the biggest fans, I like to read your blogs and I've also shared your blogs with my family members and friends. I hope in future you'll publish more blogs like your old ones. Please accept my thanks on my behalf of me and from my family and friends.

    1947 Housing Islamabad
    Capital Smart City
    Lahore Smart City
    New Metro City Gujar Khan
    Skip Hire Near Me