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Scarce SUCCESS lamp, "blown out" winged serpent.

Decorated SUCCESS lamp with wildlife scenes.
    a brief historical profile of     
The Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass Company
Nicholas Kopp founded the original Kopp Glass in 1900. Kopp was a renowned chemist, he built the company upon his knowledge and ability to hand mold beautiful lamps and tableware in many colors. In 1901, Kopp took on new partners and renamed the company Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass and Glass Company, again specializing in lamps and lighting in an array of colors and decorations. "Pilabrasgo," as it was called, produced some of the finest crystal etched and cardinal red satin glass lamps in the world.

Embossed SUCCESS filler cap - P.L. & B. Co. PITTSBURGH

Nicholas Kopp developed Selenium Red Glass in the 1890's. The vibrant red coloring met the railroad's standards for signaling lights, so the company began making "selenium red" railroad lights. As the railroad industry grew, and the industrial revolution progressed, so did Pilabrasgo.

In 1903, Dithridge & Company (1863-1903) was absorbed by Pilabrasgo. At the height of their business, Pilabrasgo was comprised of three factories, located in Pittsburgh, Swissvale and Jeannette, Pennsylvania. They maintained showrooms in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis and Kansas City. They also maintained a sales office in London, Ontario, Canada.

The prosperity didn't last forever. In 1926 Pilabrasgo went bankrupt and Nicholas Kopp reorganized and renamed the company Kopp Glass, Inc. Signal lenses, light fixtures, lamps and vases were the core of Kopp's business.

Early SUCCESS Fount
Two styles of SUCCESS founts are shown here. The fount on the left is an early version and is scarcely seen. The version on the right is quite common, and to most collectors, is the style most readily identifyable as a SUCCESS fount. The burner galleries are similar. The main differences are in the air intake perforations at the base of the burner - the earlier having fancy holes, the latter are plain. The wick knob on the latter fount is embossed SUCCESS, the early fount is not marked as such.
Later SUCCESS Fount
Later SUCCESS Fount

Through the years, Kopp Glass, Inc. has made and continues to make, important contributions in the industrial, transportation, scientific, medical, aerospace, and theatrical fields. Kopp produces traffic signal and railroad lenses, glass filters, airport and aircraft lighting, architectural and stage lighting and automotive parts. In the 1980's and '90's Kopp engineers developed night vision compatible filters used in many of the world's military aircraft. These filters allow a pilot to use night vision goggles without being blinded by the instrument panel lights. 1

Pilabrasgo Billhead
Billhead from the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass Company, November 8, 1910.
Successors to Dithridge & Co., Fort Pitt Glass Co., Kopp Lamp & Glass Co.,
Pittsburgh Lamp & Brass Co. -- Enlarge image [+]

The Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass Company was assigned at least five lighting-related patents between August 28, 1900 and March 21, 1916. See the patent table below for details. Two of these patents, numbers 656891 and 774602, clearly depict the SUCCESS burner in their accompanying patent drawing. The SUCCESS burner was Pilabrasgo's "claim to fame."

From the catalog:

	The wide popularity of these lamps is owing 
	to the wonderful efficiency of the patent 
	SUCCESS CENTRE DRAFT BURNER, which is a feature
	of all Pilabrasgo lamps.  The prices are 
	extraordinarily low.  What the incandescent 
	mantle is to gas lighting and the tungsten 
	filament to electric, the Success Centre Draft 
	Burner is to oil lighting.

Pilabrasgo CatalogThis is a reprint of the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass Company Catalogue No. 13, circa 1905. It is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in turn-of-the-century kerosene lighting. This 48 page catalog depicts the Pilabrasgo line of SUCCESS lamps, decorated vases, glass stand lamps, and a wide variety of parlor (Gone-With-The-Wind) lamps, hanging library lamps and pull-down hall lamps.

Check The Book Nook for available copies of this catalog!

MagnifySearch PILABRASGO's Patents

Patents assigned to Pilabrasgo between Aug. 28, 1900 - Mar. 21, 1916
656891 728663 774602 1061277 1176509
[ more? ]
bold patent number depicts a version of the SUCCESS Burner

To view any of the above patents, enter the number in the box below and select Query USPTO Database. This will take you to the specific patent images on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Database. Learn more about the USPTO here.

Enter Patent Number ?/B> 


End Notes
  • 1Kopp Glass, Inc. Celebrates 75 Years of Glass Making, <> (December 20, 2002)
  • Kopp Glass, Inc. Celebrates 75 Years of Glass Making, <> (December 20, 2002)
  • Company in the Spotlight: Kopp Glass, Inc., January 3, 2003 <>

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