Saturday, December 3, 2016

My Country, 'Tis of Tea — West Virginia

West Virginia is known as coal country, but could it also be known as tea country? Hmm…

• West Virginia was home to a number of glass companies during the glass boom of 1900-1940, including the West Virginia Glass Specialty Company, maker of this tea pitcher and glass set with an iridescent rose design. Most of us own a tea pitcher or two, and if you're interested in looking up some info on the great glass makers of yesteryear, a good site to visit is here, the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia.

• Yes, you can grow camellia sinensis in West Virginia. I learned that from this 2013 article in the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail. I was happy to read that, like me, the author doesn't baby his plant at all, and it has proved quite hardy.

• In 1920, a West Virginia man became the new general manager of Thomas J. Lipton, Inc.  in the US. According to the book "Coffee and Tea Industries and the Flavor Field, Volume 43," Frederick W. Nash, who became the general manager on Sept. 1, was a man who, "becoming self-supporting at 17 … paid his own way through Wesleyan College, West Virginia, by teaching and secretarial work in school terms, and by selling subscription books and life insurance during vacations. Going to New York, soon after leaving school in 1897, he got his first position with B. Fischer & Co. as salesman of coffee, tea and spices to the grocery trade of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia." Nash had also served in the Philippines with the Fourth U.S. Cavalry and helped organize the American public school system there.


  1. The tea facts you discover about each state are always interesting!

  2. Oh, how interesting!

    Wonder why he sold teas and coffees to west PA and WV but didn't get the east Ohio territories? : - )

    Thanks for making us smarter yet again.

  3. Another interesting tea state.

  4. What a beautiful glass pitcher and glass. Good to hear there is tea grown there too.


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