Saturday, January 24, 2009


I keep files of emails, research, cut-out addresses written on boxes that floats have come in-with the date, and type of float on the back, photos, etc. Once in a while I spend some time going through the files. Since the start of this blog, many evenings will find me face-down in those files, then grabbing a handful of paperwork looking to see what might be found that would add substance to a thread for a new post.
Recently, the following was found:

Fischnetzglaskugeln (Glass Fishing Floats)
by Werner D. Godehart

Many decennia glass floats were made in the "Wilhelmshutte" glass factory. They were used to work in the nets of sea fishermen and had as a function to float the upper side of these nets.

This floats have been made in eight different sizes:

3" 150gr.
4" 300gr.
5" 435gr.
6" 675gr.
7" 900gr.
8" 1225gr.
10" 2000gr.

Next to these floats a oval float was made of 31 volumes, with neck applies seal. Plus or minus 7", weight 1100gr.

The floats were mouth blown with a glass makers blow pipe. In the closed entry, the seal showing the huts mark was impressed.

The transport of the floats was normally in standard train containers, but for the export overseas the floats were stitched into straw filled sacks. They were send all over the world but the main customers were from Denmark and Portugal.

Today you only can buy them in antique shops, but you also can still find them in the rose gardens of former fishermen of steam fishing ships.

Till WWII herring fishermen used to catch the break drifted floats from the sea level to bring them with them for their wives. The women used to decorate their front gardens with the floats. When the sun felt into the glass it gave the garden an extra beauty. But also they showed in this way to be proud to their husbands being a member of a logger crew.

(written information dated 8 Jan 1991 from the "Heimat-und Herinsfangermuseum"= the "Homeland and Herring Catchers Museum)".

The Wilhelmshutte Glass Factory was first established in 1891, and continued until 1991. Large tracts of deep forest were located along the river Weser, and because of that excellent source of fuel to keep the furnaces going, the glass works was built there. It was officially located in Nienburg on the river Weser.

When I looked at the word "Wilhelmshutte," the thought to separate the word revealed two words: Wilhelms hutte. If you care to Google or use another search engine, you will find the works listed as: Wilhelm Hut, together with the larger company Himly, Holscher & Co.

From the description provided by Mr. Godehart, together with the statement from my friend Olaf, the W in the House mark is from Wilhelmshutte Glass Factory. The time period of it's existence puts the company in operation through the most intense time of glass float usage.

Certainly hope that one day I can find the 3", 4" and 10" examples of the Wilhelmshutte glass floats! The photos above show a Wilhelmshutte Dog Float with the Hutte mark. David, a collector who lives in Sweden, has found at least two of these in Sweden, and has allowed me to post photos of his terrific Swedish finds.

The amber 8" Hutte marked float was from the collection of my friend Olaf, who, knowing my love for Euros, gave me the opportunity to add it to the collection. The glass is unlike other Hutte marked floats, in that it is full of whittle marks, bubbles and swirls of darker amber in the glass.
The rich green colored float is typical of the Hutte floats, and the mark is almost always a good strong strike that was done with care.

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