Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. > USA

Old Dugan Plunger

(1/2) > >>

Recently, Fenton re-issued a fabulous Dugan original - the Butterfly and Tulip bowl. It was made from a new mould and plunger - however Fenton do own the original Dugan plunger for the pattern (which dates from the early 1900s). Fenton expert, Howard Seufer, kindly took some superb photos of the old plunger for me and I have posted them on my website with some of our own photos of both the Dugan and Fenton pieces.

Those of you who are also interested in moulds and plungers may enjoy the opportunity to see a superb photo of a plunger - to help understand a little more how these items of glass were made, and also to appreciate the incredible skill of the mouldmakers.

The link to the article is the main feature slap bang in the middle of my home page.


LOL!  I've been sitting here, trying to visualise the process!

So...erm...the plunger is used after the glass has been press moulded?    While it's still in the mould?  I just can't seem to get my head round this at all!  I feel pretty dim!

The new Fenton design is pretty 'Wow! '.  I like the softer look of the Golden Ebony very much.

 :D  :D

I'll try and explain - but I'm not as good as Adam D  :roll:

The plunger was fitted onto the side lever press.

The glass was press moulded using a side lever press (usually hand operated). The (jointed) mould would be positioned so that a gob of molten glass could be dropped into it - then the plunger would be lowered into the mould, forcing the molten glass into the space between mould and plunger. A uniform thickness would be attained through the skill of the glassmakers (ie knowing exactly the right amount of glass to cut off and drop into the mould, plus the skill of the presser = experience).

Two further pieces of metal work would also usually be used - a base plate and a top ring. These two effectively stopped the glass coming out at the top and bottom of the mould/plunger.

The interior pattern is that which was cut onto the plunger. The exterior pattern is that which was cut onto the mould.

The plunger would be withdrawn upwards (the lever of the press would be operated to lower and raise the plunger) and the mould would then be opened up, and the glass removed. Mould seams can usually be seen on press moulded glass - indicating the joints of the mould.

Sorry if this isn't clear, but I'm doing my best!

I have operated a side lever press, and it's quite a challenge I can tell you.


Excellent, Glen.  I would only add that American for plunger is "plug" - in fact this is probably more widely used now than plunger although I often use the latter myself as it seems more descriptive.

Adam D

It's interesting you note that "plug" is used in the USA, Adam. I haven't heard that before - my main contact has been with Fenton and they all use the term plunger.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version