Needless to say, we were in "McLaughlin Land" and the display by Fred and Sue Padgett, Livermore, California, was nothing short of the most historical and comprehensive specialty display ever brought to a national convention. It was deserving of the front cover of this issue. Because of its enormity, it was very difficult to capture the entire breadth of the display, so a collage will have to suffice.
"99 years ago a 13 year old child named William McLaughlin made his first insulator at Bob Good's glass factory in Valverde, Colorado and began to dream of the day he would own his own glass factory. Through hard work and perseverance, young William McLaughlin fashioned reality from his dreams."
With this introduction, one began a historic trip through the time line of glass production by the McLaughlin Glass Company. On display in the central lighted shelves were nearly 400 different variations of McLaughlin glass pintype insulators and a dozen of the variegated 1972 commemorative insulators and original mold used by William McLaughlin in his garage to create these historic keepsakes.
Flanking the insulator display was a variety of early photographs and paper from the McLaughlin years. Included were historic photographs of plant locations, production of five gallon water bottles, advertising, patents, photo of "on location" movie made by First National Pictures at an early McLaughlin plant, a 1927 citrus packing crate label of Mutual Orange Distributor's Pure Gold Oranges for which McLaughlin produced glass juice reamers; and bill of sale in 1956 to Arrowhead Puirtas Water Company.
The rest of the display was comprised of representatives of items manufactured by McLaughlin including water, champagne, wine and beer bottles; juice reamers; gas pump cylinders; lamp parts; cookie jars; glass theatre marquee letters; jelly jars; beverage coolers; aquariums and straw dispensers.
Fred was busy autographing copies of his recently published book, Dreams of Glass, The Story of William McLaughlin and His Glass Company, during most of the show. However, he took time out to pose with two of William McLaughlin sons, Donald and Robert, who attended the show on Saturday and Sunday.