Gay Fad (GF) is the brain child of Fran Taylor. In 1938, with a $30.00 investment, Fran Taylor started her own company (Gay Fad Studios) which would go on to become one of the major forces in glass ware design during the 1940s and 1950s. Today, she has left a great legacy of hand-decorated glassware that collectors are rediscovering. She was one of only a few women entrepreneurs of the time and she was a tremendous success with such a modest beginning. Above information provided by
Mel and I were turned onto this stuff by a friend of ours and now we always have an eye out for it. GF had a lot of different designs and styles but Mel and I are into the really hip ones they turned out. There were a lot of copy cats out there so it is a good idea to be aware of a few things before you throw down your hard earned cash. If you are lucky the piece you are buying will be marked “GF” or “Gay Fad.” The name was either stenciled on the outside of the glass or has a sticker telling you it was made by GF. The bad thing is a lot of the time the sticker is missing from years of use. If that is the case then you have to fall back on your experience and research. The first set we acquired has a bunch of different faces and their professional status in society written on them. I really love the style of the drawings on each one. I have included some pictures of one of the sets we have and will post more soon! Click Images to Enlarge
Hi Shane & Mel,
Couldn’t resist commenting on your Gay Fad “faces” glasses. The design is named Rich Man Poor Man and it was first introduced in the 1951 Gay Fad catalog. Each glass in this set of 8 features the caricature and name of one of the 8 professions mentioned in the old nursery rhyme. RMPM is one of my favorite GF sets, too, and certainly shows Fran Taylor’s love of whimsy. It’s hard to believe that she could — and did — create absolutely stunning and elegant designs, too.
Your Beau Brummel bent stem cocktail glasses pictured on a different page of your site were also introduced in the 1951 Gay Fad catalog. It was one of GF’s most popular designs, probably second only to the many individual designs making up Gay Fad’s Gay Nineties line of barware. It’s neat that you have both the yellow-haired Beau Brummel and the orange-haired one. These cocktail glasses were sold with straight stems as well as the “bender” version.
You’re right that many (most?) Gay Fad pieces are neither signed nor carry the Gay Fad GF insignia, so there’s an awful lot of stuff “out there” being sold as GF pieces when they’re really not. “Buyer beware” was never more true than when collecting Gay Fad, especially considering that GF produced over 900 designs during its relatively short lifetime (1945-1962)! Talk about prolific!
Thank you for crediting our site (www.santafetradingpost.com) for the information at the top of your page. We really appreciate it. We have a whole section devoted to Gay Fad, including my new Gay Fad book and a blog where site visitors ask questions and share GF information. Lots of fun and lots of good info!
Thanks so much for the comment with the extra information. I’ll update the original post with anything I missed.
I am really just wanting to ask if you have ever seen a frosted glass with red orange pansies on them and black striping. I am thinking it is a Hazel Atlas glass designed by Gay Fad Co. My grandmother had some and I have lots of memories as a small girl drinking out them. I would love to have one or a set of them. Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Kathy-Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the pattern.
Anybody else familiar with the pattern Kathy is looking for?
Re Gay Fad Studios: “Tribute to Fran Taylor” (written and submitted by her daughter), National Women’s History Museum (NWHM),
Thanks. I cited http://www.nwhm.org in the original post. I updated the post with the link you provided.
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