Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flesland Glass F1-F8

Why all the numbers? Have you ever wondered why the Flesland Glass floats numbered F1 through F8 have those numbers? I have.

Since first getting an F1, then an F3, then an F2 until finally having all of the numbered floats to F8, the reason for some being so hard to find, while others were common, stayed a question in my mind. It was apparent that the F1 and F3 were somewhat easy to find, but the F4, F6 and F7 for me, were much harder to come by. The F2 and F5 and F8 were just slightly easier to find on the Ebay auctions. It took about three years to finally have an example of all the numbered floats. Those were pre-Pereinar123 years.

Once Per started finding and selling European floats, especially Norwegian floats found and offered for sale on Ebay float auctions (almost weekly), it did not take very long before Per offered collectors all of the F-numbered floats in quick succession.

Then, thanks again to Per, I became acquainted with the larger 8" diameter F1, then an F5, and missed getting his large F2. Between the times of those larger Fleslands appearing, Per also acquainted me with the very small 2.5" diameter F1 through F3 Herring floats.

Following an article about glass fishing floats, written for Angela Bowey's "Glass Museum website," which was followed by an excellent observation by Nic-who calls himself, "Pinkspoons," the question of the meaning of the numbers which had taken a back seat in my musings, was revisited. The posts are as follows:

"Just a thought, but might the 'F' numbers on the Flesland floats refer to the glass plant/furnace they were made in? I know Holmegaard used to refer to theirs as such (Kastrup og Holmegaards Glasværker 1825-1975 refers to the F5 plant opening at the factory in 1972), so possibly it was common in Scandinavia."

Followed by my response:
"Pinkspoons that was a very interesting question that you've posed, and is an angle which had never crossed my mind concerning markings. Thank you for that insight. Who knows where it might lead in the search for the meanings of glass bottle, float, etc. markings?A bit of extra information that I have encountered about those Norwegian F-numbered floats. The F1 through F3 have been the most common marked floats to appear on the auctions and in collections. I have examples of 2.5", 4.5", 5.0" and 8" diameter floats with the F-numbered markings. The larger 8" floats have been the hardest to come by, and the numbers F4-F8 are harder to come by in any size. I have yet to see those numbers on the smallest diameter floats."
Followed by Nic's last post:

"That might tie in with the furnace theory - if furnaces 4 through 8 were added as the factory expanded they would have produced less glass than the others before the factory closed. Also, I assume, different furnaces would have had different tasks, so the lower, older furnaces might have been assigned only the smaller floats after the construction of the newer ones.At Kastrup and Holmegaard, whenever new plants and factories were built or acquired a reorganisiation of what was produced, and where, always followed.In relation to Flesland it's all pure conjecture, obviously, and based only on my knowledge of Danish factory glass - the same logic might not transfer to other factories."

I have taken Nic's theory to heart, and feel that it is highly worthy, and needs to be added to the mix of ideas that we collectors of glass fishing floats continually theorize on, and try to prove.

Thanks Nic.