is Sparkle Plenty?
1931, a cartoonist named Chester Gould created the Dick Tracy comic
The detective's appeal was instant and the strip's popularity
steadily. It was a welcome distraction to the Great
One of the strip's highlights was the birth in 1947 of a beautiful
to the characters B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie, whom they named
Merchandisers caught the wave of public approval with the introduction
of Sparkle Plenty dolls.
same time, American
glass companies were developing inexpensive machine-made glassware in a
variety of colors. For the first time, anyone could afford to own
beautiful dinnerware, luncheon and kitchenware. The repeal of
saw a market flooded with barware as well. Cordial Sets,
ice tubs, cocktail shakers, stemware, and tumblers of every imaginable
size and shape were promoted by hundreds of glass companies.
Depression-Era glassware has surpassed stamps and sports cards as the
of any collectible field.
began in the Fall of 1986 through the efforts of Susie Thompson and her
husband, Rick Hirte. Susie is a registered nurse at Bar Harbor's
Mt. Desert Island Hospital, and a long-time collector of
Glass. Rick, a former school teacher, and lifelong Collector of
quickly caught the Glass Fever -- After more than a dozen years,
the company's glass inventory is over 5000 pieces.
first few years,
Sparkle Plenty's selling efforts were made in local antique
However, Maine's largely seasonal antiques industry came to a near
every Winter. While waiting for the return of the summer tourists
a few exploratory ads were placed in the Depression Glass Daze, a glass
collector's trade paper. Sales began to pick up. For
years afterward, Daze ads were the sole conduit for Sparkle Plenty
sales. Then, in 1996, everything changed.
World-Wide Web --
at that time still unknown to 90% of the American public -- was showing
tremendous potential for growth as a sales medium and appeared to be
suited to our business. Under the tutelage of Rick's older
Bob, the web site you see today had its beginnings. From a
of small web pages, the website has grown to over seventy pages --some
of them very large -- with over three thousand photos and a wealth of
a great new site
has been added for collectors and dealers of Fire-King glassware.
Be sure to visit The Fire-King.Net
Rick and Susie