Ft. Pitt Figural InkwellBy

Ft. Pitt Figural Inkwell

A glass wholesale firm released a figural pressed glass piece from an old original Westmoreland Glass Company mold in the 1990s. It is in the shape of a five sided brick fort or blockhouse. The original piece is generally assumed to be an inkwell but its exact purpose has never been documented. Some say the piece originally held mustard or other condiments. This new version is made of clear pressed glass and is painted; the sides are painted a dull brick red and the roof and foundation are black.

This piece was originally made by Westmoreland in the early 1900s although the exact dates of production are not known. It commemorates a frontier blockhouse known as Fort Pitt which was built during the French and Indian Wars. The fort occupied a strategic piece of land located at the junction of the Allegheny and Monogahela Rivers which together form the Ohio River. The fort still stands today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Point State Park.

Old original pieces have the words "Fort Pitt Foundry" on the front section of the roof (Fig. 5). New pieces do not have this lettering; the entire roof is shingled. New pieces sold for $18 each wholesale. Old pieces are estimated to be worth around $100.

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Fig. 1

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Fig. 2 Embossing on base of old and new is the same. "Fort Pitt Block House, AD 1764, Coll-Bouquet, Pittsburgh, PA."

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Fig. 3 Close up of front of new piece. Note that the foremost section of roof has shingles. Old pieces have the words "Fort Pitt Foundry" embossed on the foremost section of roof.

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Fig. 4 The new roof is entirely covered in shingles. There are no embossed letters on the roof.

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Fig. 5 Top view of roof on old piece. Words "Fort Pitt Foundry" are embossed on the section of the roof above the door.