Heisey News January 2013

Originally appeared Heisey News March 1985

The following article originally appeared in the March 1985 issue of Heisey News. It chronicles the amazing story of how the members of HCA mobilized to obtain the Heisey moulds after Imperial Glass Corporation went into bankruptcy and was sold. With Imperial’s closing, the members of HCA realized that the moulds and related materials, including etching plates and production records, constituted a priceless heritage that needed to be preserved to enrich our knowledge of Heisey glass and prevent deceptive reproductions from harming the Heisey collecting experience. Few collecting communities have demonstrated the dedication and determination to accomplish such remarkable tasks. March through May, 1984 Through continued contacts with Imperial Glass Corporation and specifically, Mike Nocera, HCA indicated their interest in purchasing the Heisey moulds should they become available. This resulted in a call from Mike Nocera in May, 1984 offering to sell HCA the animal moulds for $500,000. Mr. Nocera was advised that the HCA considered this to be too much for only the animal moulds. May 23, 1984 Eastern Ohio District, Federal Bankruptcy Court in Columbus, Ohio, declared that the bankruptcy of Imperial Glass Corporation was to be changed from Chapter 11 (for reconstruction) to Chapter 7 (for liquidation). June 13, 1984 A special informational meeting of the Board of Directors of HCA was called by President, Tom Bredehoft to advise members of the status of Imperial Glass. Board members discussed the options of HCA and were asked to individually contact as many club members during the convention as possible to get their feelings on what course HCA should follow. Saturday, June 16, 1984 At the regular quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of HCA, options are discussed regarding purchase of the Heisey moulds. A motion was made by Frank Husted and seconded by Dick Spencer to authorize the Executive Committee to purchase as many of the Heisey moulds as possible. A following motion made by Jim Kennon and seconded by Dick Spencer set the upper limit of money to be spent at $301,000 unless more was raised. Both motions were passed. Members were asked not to publicize the amounts of money discussed in order to not jeopardize the bargaining position of HCA in the future. Sunday, June 17, 1984 After the close of the annual meeting, Tom Bredehoft asked that members stay on to discuss an important topic. The membership was told that the Board had made a decision to try to purchase moulds as they became available. Questions and answers followed. The membership present was asked to begin donations to establish a Mould Fund. During this period, approximately $16,000 was given and pledges were also made. Eventually this fund built up to about $44,000, in cash and $11,000 in pledges. Monday, June 18, 1984 Bob McClain and Norm Thran approached the Thomas J. Evans Foundation asking for their help. The Foundation advised that they might be interested in donating money after HCA had a firm position from which they could discuss the amount needed. Summer and Fall, 1984 The HCA Executive Committee maintained constant contact with Imperial Glass, the Save Imperial Committee of Bellaire, the Cambridge Collectors Club and others who had an interest in the dispersal of the glass moulds owned by Imperial. The Executive Committee maintained a constant awareness of the changing situations. Rumors were rampant but nothing substantial was known. Early November, 1984 The HCA, through Louise Ream, was contacted by Consolidated International, a liquidating concern, and also by the trustee of the court in an attempt to fix a realistic value on the moulds. Consolidated indicated that they were working with the court. November 20, 1984 At a meeting of the Federal Court in Columbus, Ohio, Consolidated-Colony was awarded all assets of Imperial Glass following a bid by them of $600,000. No other bids were made. Interested parties attended the hearing including representatives of other glass companies. Tom Bredehoft, Louise Ream and Ray Ziegler attended the hearing to represent HCA. December 20, 1984 The Executive Committee of HCA (Tom Bredehoft, Bob McClain, George Schamel, Ray Ziegler and Louise Ream) met with Everett Sklarz, Consolidated-Colony’s project manager. Mr. Sklarz explained the position of his company and HCA advised him of their position. Mr. Sklarz said that the animal moulds were being considered as one lot and that they did not intend to split them up. He also explained that there were at least three glass companies interested in Old Williamsburg and that figures in excess of $75,000 were being discussed for this line alone. He also stated that several glass companies, including a West German firm, were interested in some of the Heisey moulds. Lancaster Colony had asked that all the Heisey candlesticks be reserved in a lot so they could bid on them. An appointment was set up for January 4 for representatives of HCA to inspect the Heisey moulds. January 4, 1985 Tom Bredehoft, Bob McClain, Louise Ream and Norm Thran went to Imperial Glass and examined their mould inventory books. They also examined some moulds to verify their existence and condition. George Schamel was unable to attend due to bad weather and Ray Ziegler because of other unavoidable circumstances. At this time Mr. Sklarz stated several facts:
    1. He promised that HCA would have last refusal on any bids submitted on any Heisey moulds.
    2. The moulds were to be sold in lots.
    3. He believed that there were approximately 300-400 Heisey moulds other than the animal moulds. (The committee KNEW there were more.)
    4. The West German firm had left bids for about 250 assorted moulds—some of them Heisey moulds. They had been at Imperial for three days. They were interested in Zodiac, the animals, large florals and grapes among others.
    5. Lancaster-Colony was interested in all the Heisey candlesticks and several companies were interested in Old Williamsburg.
The committee learned that moulds had already been sold (not Heisey moulds) and that moulds were being sold that day. Two particularly desirable Cambridge moulds had been sold by a telephone auction for $2800 each. The same person buying these was interested in buying some of the Heisey animal moulds. The Imperial parlor pups and the woodchuck had been sold to another individual. After hearing this, the Committee was resolved that we should avoid an “auction” such as had occurred if at all possible. January 5, 1985 Norm Thran volunteered to call as many Board members and other interested members as could be reached and notified them of an open meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss possible bids. Over 20 people attended the meeting. Three offers were proposed by the persons attending the meeting:
    1. All the animal moulds – $26,000
    2. A select list of 113 moulds – $22,000
    3. Item 2 and all other moulds, exclusive of Old Williamsburg and the animals – $45,000.
Bids were intentionally made low. January 8, 1985 The above offer was sent to Consolidated-Colony. January 9, 1985 Mr. Sklarz called to clarify our bids. Mr. Sklarz called again and made a counter offer:
    1. 59 animal moulds at $1500 each – $88,500
    2. 113 listed moulds at $500 each – $56,500
    3. Approximately 2500 moulds at $40 each – $100,000
    4. Total package – $229,150
Other considerations were that the animals and the 113 special moulds were available at the prices specified less 10%. $10,000 as an earnest payment was due on Friday with the balance due in two weeks. Discussion continued with HCA asking that they not lose their down payment with this option to buy in case they could not raise all the money. Mr. Sklarz accepted this term. Later he called back to say that this was unacceptable to his company. Thus HCA gained time over the weekend to formulate another plan. January 12, 1985 The Executive Committee met (Tom Bredehoft, Bob McClain, Dick Marsh and George Schamel) and empowered Tom to offer $175,000 with a counter offer of $200,000. If this failed, he was empowered to accept the $229,150 offer providing that HCA did not lose the earnest money or any payments made in case HCA could not honor the contract. If HCA could not raise the money, the Executive Committee indicated that the money already paid be applied to purchase of individual moulds as they were available. January 14, 1985 The offer was made to Consolidated. Mr. Sklarz consulted with Consolidated-Colony. Bob McClain wrote a letter to study clubs giving them the status on the buying of the moulds and asking them for donations and support. January 15, 1985 Bob McClain and Norm Thran met with Gilbert Reese, representative of the Evans Foundation, asking for a donation. Mr. Reese indicated that the Foundation was interested in helping HCA but he needed time to contact his other members who were out of town and would be unavailable until Thursday evening or Friday morning. Consolidated was asked if a delay could be effected until Friday. This was acceptable to Consolidated since this was a definite offer to buy rather than simply an option to buy. January 15, 16, 17, 1985 A telephone survey of voting members selected more or less at random from a list prepared by Louise Ream, Bob McClain and Norm Thran was done. The telephone committee consisted of Bob McClain, Norm Thran, Louise Ream, Liz Stickle, Liz King, Mary McWilliams, Ginny Marsh, Dick Marsh, Dick Smith, Alvena Rajchel, Bill Clifford and Betty Barnard. A total of 127 people from all over the country were contacted. An overwhelming percentage (89%) supported purchasing the entire lot of Heisey moulds and not splitting up the moulds. They indicated that the purchase would be supported by them at whatever the cost to HCA. In 48 hours, this committee was able to gain an additional $24,000 in pledges from these people. The Board of Directors was contacted by telephone and advised of the membership support. January 18, 1985 Bob McClain was in contact again with the Evans Foundation who indicated they needed further information about HCA than what was provided. Tom Bredehoft called Mr. Sklarz and advised him that HCA would agree to pay $229,150 for all the existing Heisey moulds, excluding Old Williamsburg. Mr. Sklarz indicated that the terms would be: $29,150 down and payments of $50,000 each week for 4 weeks. He also indicated that he would begin shipping moulds as soon as the first $50,000 payment had been made. Mr. Sklarz later phoned to indicate that contracts would be drawn up and signed Monday, January 21, at Consolidated’s attorney’s office in Columbus. Letters to all members from Louise Ream and Tom Bredehoft were sent. The letters were taken to the printer at 4 P.M. and were back at 5:15. Several people stuffed envelopes, including Norm and Janice Thran, Liz, Julia and Walt Stickle, Bob and Phyllis McClain, Betty and Bill Barnard, Alvena, Teresa and Ferdinand Rajchel , Dick and Marilyn Smith and daughter, Jenny. Letters were prepared for 2600+ families and were done in 2 1/2 hours and taken to the post office at 8 AM, January 19. January 19, 1985 Norm Thran began establishing a steering committee and other committees for the acquisition of the moulds. January 21, 1985 Tom Bredehoft, Bob McClain, Norm Thran and Martin Altmaier (attorney for HCA) went to the offices of Baker & Hostettler, Columbus attorneys for Consolidated-Colony. The purpose was to finalize the contract for the purchase of all Heisey moulds by HCA. The meeting began at 9:30 am and concluded at 5:30 pm. The meeting was with Henry P. Montgomery, IV, attorney for Consolidated, Charles H. Shenk, president of Consolidated, and Everett Sklarz, the project manager for Consolidated. Consolidated’s original position was: $229,150 with 10% down and 4 equal payments at one per week. Contrary to Mr. Sklarz’s original intent, Consolidated indicated that they insisted on physical possession of the moulds until the last payment was made. By all-day negotiation, the HCA committee was able to achieve the following:
    1. HCA would purchase all Heisey moulds except Old Williamsburg for $229,150.
    2. Old Williamsburg would be defined in the contract as the items shown as #341 in Imperial sales literature—approximately 60 moulds.
    3. HCA would obtain all existing Heisey etching plates.
    4. HCA would obtain all production records pertaining to Heisey: a. 6 mould inventory books b. permission to copy any Imperial records pertaining to Heisey c. any paper records, catalogs, etc., originally Heisey
    5. All models or wooden patterns relating to Heisey if Imperial had these in their possession.
    6. Payments would be made over a period of 6 weeks, 4 installments of $50,000 each with no interest penalty. If the last payment was not made on time, HCA would be charged 14% interest until it was paid in full.
    7. HCA would participate in identification of all moulds.
    8. Consolidated would cover insurance on the moulds until they leave Imperial in trucks.
    9. Consolidated would provide security at night while the moulds were at Imperial.
    10. Consolidated would pay for palletizing and moving the moulds until they are loaded on trucks.
    11. Delivery of moulds onto HCA’s trucks would begin after the last payment and would be completed in six weeks.
    12. HCA would immediately receive 30 moulds for publicity purposes – to specifically include the Diamond H and the Cabochon advertising signs plus 28 more of Consolidated’s choice.
At the end of this exhausting negotiation, it was found that no one present had authorization to sign the contract for Consolidated so this was deferred until the next day. Liz Stickle and Janice Thran began working full time (as volunteers) at the Museum collecting donations and pledges. A second phone line was installed at the Museum to handle increased number of calls. January 22, 1985 Tom Bredehoft and Martin Altmaier return to Columbus to sign the contract with Consolidated-Colony. They made the down payment of $29,150. The four remaining payments of $50,000 each are due on January 29, February 5, February 15 and March 5. UPON THE SIGNING OF THE CONTRACT AND THE PAYMENT, THE HCA BECAME THE LEGAL OWNER OF ALL THE HEISEY MOULDS AND OTHER NEGOTIATED ASSETS. January 22, 26, 1985 Tom Bredehoft, Bill Barnard and George Schamel met in Bellaire to begin identifying Heisey moulds. In two days, they identified about 1000 moulds and marked over 1000 more as belonging to HCA. It was later found that of the first 1000 moulds examined, about 1 to 2% were unknown moulds. January 26, 1985, evening An organizational meeting was called by Norm Thran, to discuss duties and responsibilities of various committees for obtaining the Heisey moulds. The meeting was led by Doug Barno, a non-HCA member who is experienced in fundraising and marketing. Mr. Barno helped us clarify our thinking as to publicity, goals, ways to raise money, whom to contact and with what messages. After Mr. Barno left, discussion continued with the decision that the industry campaign committee begin by mailing out an informational letter as soon as possible. Plans were made to contact the Chamber of Commerce of Newark to see if we could use their mailing list. We determined to contact all glass clubs and museums with an interest in glass. The following committees were represented with members present:
    1. Mould Fund Steering Committee: Tom Bredehoft, Bob McClain and Norm Thran
    2. PR News Releases: Betty Barnard, Bob McClain, Norm Thran, Jack Metcalf and Louise Ream, Chm.
    3. Fund Raising Ideas and Long Range Ideas: George Schamel, Chm., Betty Whaley and Burl Whaley.
    4. Industry Campaign: Betty Barnard, Chm., Bill Barnard, Loren Giblin, Norm Thran and Bob McClain.
    5. Mould Transportation and Relocation: Dick Marsh, Chm., Ray Ziegler, Frank Frye, Dick Smith and Burl Whaley.
    6. 6. Donations and Pledges: Jan Thran and Liz Stickle.
    7. 7. Mould Identification at Imperial: Tom Bredehoft, George Schamel and Bill Barnard.
    8. 8. Mould Identification and Disposition: Ray Ziegler, Chm., Ray Lukasko, Norm Thran, Tom Bredehoft and Neila Bredehoft.
Bob McClain sent a second letter to the presidents of the study clubs advising them of continuing events. January 29, 1985 The first $50,000 check was sent to Consolidated-Colony. A press conference was arranged with the mayor of Newark, Bill Moore, for Thursday morning. The Mayor’s office contacted the media. January 30, 1985 The press release was prepared, written by Tom McCollough, and revision made by Louise Ream, Neila Bredehoft and Betty Barnard. The press release was sent to the Advocate and all study clubs. The Advocate printed the news story the same evening. At this point, the money from the campaign had been raised from 19% of the goal to 34% and cash was $77,800 with an additional $18,600 pledged. January 31, 1985 At 9 am, a press conference in the lower level of the Museum was held with the Mayor, Bill Moore. Tom Bredehoft and Norm Thran answered questions from the press. Everett Sklarz from Consolidated was on hand and lent his support. Moulds were on display and the fact that these were important to Newark historically was stressed. The media were told that the HCA was actively seeking support from the local community. Reporters from the Newark Advocate, the Columbus Citizen Journal, the Columbus Dispatch and the Licking Countian attended. There were also representatives from the two Newark radio stations. Later in the day, two other radio stations from Bellaire, OH and Wheeling, WV called requesting information. The Associated Press also called for further information. The Newark Chamber of Commerce and the Convention Bureau also sent representatives to the press conference. During the press conference, Mr. Sklarz stated that there had been much interest in several of the Heisey moulds and that he had received numerous bids on specific moulds or specific lines, both from US glass companies and companies from abroad. He also stated that after it became public knowledge that the HCA had purchased all the Heisey moulds he had received several calls from other glass companies expressing their pleasure that this had occurred. After the press conference, other publicity was mailed. Louise wrote a letter to past HCA members. Mary McWilliams and Phyllis McClain addressed and stuffed envelopes for 600 – 700 past members. The mailing list from the Newark Chamber of Commerce was obtained. The letter to be sent to local industry was finalized. A member sent to the Museum 300 shares of Bob Evans stock to be sold and the profits added to the mould fund. He indicated that he would be pleased if it was necessary to sell his other shares for this purpose. Tom Bredehoft immediately took the shares to a local bank and started proceedings for their sale. In the afternoon, Betty and Bill Barnard and Neila Bredehoft met George Schamel at Imperial Glass. George had been sorting etching plates all morning. Sorting continued most of the afternoon and it became evident that most of Heisey’s etching plates were intact in Imperial’s cellars. Many unknown etchings were seen and etching plates which were used very early in Heisey’s history were seen. About 12 plates were brought back to Newark, most showing previously unknown etchings. Tom Bredehoft, Dick Marsh and Bob McClain went to Central Trust to begin arrangements for a bank loan of up to $150,000 to cover our remaining payments. February 1, 1985 Mailing was sent to past members. The Evans Foundation stated that they were giving $25,000 to HCA. Some of the reasons included the fact that our project had such good member support and was so well organized. Money continued to come in well. At this time, we had $130,000 including pledges. The bank was advised that we now needed only $110,000 and possibly less, and that we did not need it to make payment the following Monday. February 2, 1985 The Executive Committee met and approved the making of approximately 1000 of the Diamond H advertising signs in color with proceeds to be used for the mould fund. Hopefully, these will be available for the March auction. Tom Bredehoft announced to the audience at Sam Schnaidt’s Heisey auction that HCA had purchased the moulds and needed contributions. At that time, several donated pieces of Heisey were auctioned and the proceeds ($162.50) were added to the mould fund. February 4, 1985 Envelopes were addressed, stuffed and mailed to local industry and businesses. The second $50,000 payment sent to Consolidated-Colony. Tom Bredehoft received a certified letter from a member offering a loan to HCA if necessary and enclosing a check for $100,000. At this time, it was apparent that we had the money even if bank financing did not come through. February 5, 1985 The history of the acquiring the moulds was begun. Letters were sent to museums, glass clubs and glass companies. Louise sent press releases to all antique publications and many other newspapers. February 14, 1985 The third payment of $50,000 was sent to Consolidated- Colony. The final payment is due on March 5. As this is being typed, the sum raised to date is $129,700 + $15,400 in pledges. The Heisey moulds are now being moved out of storage to the shipping room and can be moved to Newark shortly after March 5. Prepared by Neila Bredehoft