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History of Gabbert Cullet

While reading Ed Schmid's wonderful new book The Glassworker's Bathroom Reader whose purpose is to "Document, Entertain, and Forewarn You - The Reader, about the Wide Wonderful World of Glassworking." right there on pages 64 and 65 of Ed's book is the story "A Brief History of Blowable Cullet and Those Responsible for its Discovery" by Henry Halem which includes this important section:

I placed a call to O.J. "Jiggs" Gabbert and found him very amiable and willing to help us. Little did I know that our needs were a drop in the bucket compared to the orders he was filling for marble and other types of glass factories around the country. He was even filling large cullet orders for a factory in Mexico. The first glass we bought from him was Fenton Cullet: soft, bright, and most important of all, consistent from order to order.

So, in 1974, Joel Myers, Fritz Dreisbach, and I placed the first orders with O.J. "Jiggs" Gabbert for cullet at 3 cents a pound. We were unsure if we should share our source with others, because we had no idea what quantities were available. Jiggs assured us that there was more than enough to go around. The rest is history.

All the schools started using this reasonably priced source of high quality cullet and, because Gabbert understood our needs and made the glass accessible, our programs were able to flourish.

The Gabbert Cullet Co. is still in business having been purchased by Frank Lane in September of 1989, and still supplying some schools with cullet but I'm sure business has waned as new sources of good, clean, soft cullet have been made available.

Jiggs Gabbert passed away on April 19th 1992. Upon reflection I believe O.J. "Jiggs" Gabbert was one of the major cogs in our wheel and the studio glass movement may not have flourished at the rate that it did if it wasn't for the Gabbert Cullet Co.

On my recommendation, in 1987 Jiggs was awarded an honorary life membership in the Glass Art Society for recognition of his contributions to the studio glass movement.