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Old 01-17-2020, 02:59 PM
Ezra Yant Ezra Yant is offline
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Dominick Labino's Furnace

Hello all,
About 18 months ago I had been gifted one of Labino's furnaces from the sixties, retired well before '73 when Baker O'Brien met Labino. Baker had gifted me the furnace, and I had transported it from Ohio to southwest Georgia August 4th of 2018.

The current state it's in is pretty reasonable for being 50+ years old, but it does need some restorative work done. Most notably, the arch IFB crown has sunk considerably among other things. Anyone have advice on its integrity to withstand minor repairs? What about the potential of it withstanding one final lighting? There's still at least 30 pounds of glass left over from the last lighting decades ago. I have attached an image of the furnace as it is in Georgia.

Would love to have some feedback from the community.
All the best,
Ezra Yant.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:31 PM
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Corning or Toledo needs this....
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:10 AM
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That thing is past its glass melting days. I would take Corning's pulse on their interest in preserving the furnace. It has cultural value beyond its original purpose now. Glad to see the picture, thanks for sharing Ezra!
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:52 AM
Brian Bradshaw Brian Bradshaw is offline
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If I remember right, Dominic fired these thru the top with a 1 or 1 1/2"pipe and no burner tip, not even a Sticktite. The door bricks were JM IFB 3000ís. The liner is probably Crystalite Aís. If I were going to try firing it up to at least clean out the glass, I would make sure to label the old door bricks 1 & 2, carefully remove them & save, replace them with new IFBís. The arch is a different egg in that I think that Dominic had minimal mortar holding them in place, mainly using the tension of the upper connecting rods as the furnace heated up. Measure the size of the hole in the arch as it will tell you what kind of set-up you can get away with. I donít think you should modify or repair it too much as it represents a very important moment in US glass history. That double action door is classic, and I remember using a few furnaces that had them. I think that there will probably be some drilling of glass into the liner, these furnaces didnít last too long before requiring a rebuild. I know that Dudley had a picture or two of the construction in his book if you have it. Good luck, and post up what you decide to do. Just my 2cÖ..
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:44 AM
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Brian has it pegged perfectly. My first furnaces were clones of this one and our model was from the workshops in Ames Iowa with Tom McGlauchlin. Crystalites were in fact crematorium bricks and they lasted about a year before throwing stones. It was a top fired 1.5 inch stainless pipe with no head. Quite exciting to light in the first hour.

It is a museum piece and I hope you don't try to restore it. Any of the major glass museums would be pleased to have it.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:29 AM
Ezra Yant Ezra Yant is offline
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Thank you, sincerely, for the feedback. The only absolutely necessary repairs are with the crown which was only ever held by tension. My biggest concern is that if it needs to be transported again to a museum, for instance, I'd hate for them to have to deal with a crown in pieces. Granted I'd hate to devalue the piece because the of poor handling. Definitely a fine line..

I've had some conversations with Toledo and Corning but no message of "yes, we'd like to have this in our collection." Mostly, I have received similar feedback regarding its importance as a culturally historical object. Unless I'm missing how to promote its availability for preservation, it didn't seem like either institution was able to make certain remarks about obtaining it. Any thoughts on this..?
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:26 AM
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I don't have connections at Corning although perhaps Tina Oldknow in curations could be helpful. She would appreciate what you've got. Given Nick's home turf, Toledo makes more sense.

I think the crown is more likely in compression than tension. It's combination of both really. The early ones used arch brick for the crowns although yours show two crystalites in compression bridging the door opening. We eventually technically improved on that by getting some 13.5 inch bricks. Progress on the march!
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:17 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Yeah. That needs to be @corning. That is like finding one of the write brothersí first flying machines in a barn.

To transport it, an inflatable air bladder should be put inside. Something like a yoga ball that can help support the weight.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:19 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Also.... in the picture is a stump block. Was that Dominicks as well?
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:29 PM
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Please hold on to it, and leave it as intact as possible.

Going off of what Pete says, keep working on making a connection with the institutions mentioned. It's important to remember that an entity such as Corning is receiving emails and phones calls from all over the world with people saying "I have an original Tiffany blah, blah, blah," or "I have an original Portland Vase," etc. You may have just contacted some wonk that screens this stuff for the higher-ups.

I'm gonna wager if your find reaches the right person's ear on the right day they will be interested; at the very least.

We're all excited about this stuff because we know the history. That is our lineage and shared history right there.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
Also.... in the picture is a stump block. Was that Dominicks as well?
****
Stump blocks were very common in that time period. We had one. So were tin snips.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:17 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Maybe someone should contact Bill Gudenrath about this????
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:52 PM
Ezra Yant Ezra Yant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
Also.... in the picture is a stump block. Was that Dominicks as well?
No...That's a forging stump that has been a part of the university's sculpture studio for decades. Probably one of the handiest tools we have.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:53 PM
Ezra Yant Ezra Yant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben Horton View Post
Yeah. That needs to be @corning. That is like finding one of the write brothersí first flying machines in a barn.

To transport it, an inflatable air bladder should be put inside. Something like a yoga ball that can help support the weight.
That is definitely something that hasn't been mentioned before. Thank you, Eben.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:17 PM
Ezra Yant Ezra Yant is offline
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Well, looks like I have quite a few more conversations to have. Thank you for the consensus. I'll make sure to keep updating as I move down this path.
Cheers!
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:54 PM
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If not a bladder. Build a 4 legged wooden arch structure that is wedged in place and padding where needed.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:22 PM
Brian Bradshaw Brian Bradshaw is offline
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Also, don't forget Wheaton Arts (formerly Wheaton Village). They are expanding their mission to include modern glass. Just my 2c...
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