Figthing Back

GOOD for the Homer Laughlin China Co., which has filed a suit against two companies that it says are selling counterfeit Fiesta dinnerware.

The china company, located in Newell, W.Va., claims it is suffering “irreparable injury” because of the Chinese knockoffs.

This appears to be just another example of how Chinese products undercut our nation’s industries.

DINNERWARE isn’t the only product associated with the Ohio Valley where glassmaking once was important. Now, few glassmaking companies exist, and knockoffs are one of the reasons.

And, to think, glassmaking is our nation’s first industry. The late Lucile Kennedy, who earned the nickname of being “the queen of Imperial Glass,” was proud that a glasshouse was part of Jamestown, Va., the first permanent English settlement in this country. A glasshouse built in recent years is part of that historic spot.

Several glassmaking companies once were in Bellaire, which was called “The Glass City.”

Sadly, Bellaire’s glassmaking era ended when Imperial Glass closed in 1984. A reminder of the glory days of glassmaking is the National Imperial Glass Museum.

ONE of the few remaining glassmakers is Blenko Glass of Milton, W.Va. It’s encouraging that Blenko Glass has been selected to produce limited-edition vases to commemorate West Virginia’s 150th birthday.

An aside, which has nothing to do with vases, illustrates the camaraderie of competing glassmakers and was among Kennedy’s memories. She said at glassmaking gatherings when Bill Blenko arrived, the others used to sing, “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Blenko, Won’t You Come Home,” substituting his name for Bill Bailey.

IT WOULD be too bad if the dinnerware company suffered the same fate as most glassmakers.

The Homer Laughlin company’s suit is a creditable effort to knock off some knockoffs.