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Nitsche & Son Glass Engraving Collection

Identifier: MS-0110

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the work of two generations of glass engravers in Bohemia and in Corning, New York. It contains documentation of Josef Nitsche's and Clement Nitsche's work histories, including Josef Nitsche's official employment record while working in Bohemia, a daybook documenting work completed by the Nitsche home cutting shop, receipts, design drawings by Clement Nitsche, and other materials. A family history with images may be found in "A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Nitsche & Son Glass Engraving Archive in the Rakow Research Library," (Box 1/Folder 1) written by Charles G. Nitsche, a great-grandson of Josef Nitsche.

Materials in the collection are organized alphabetically.


  • 1869-2018
  • Majority of material found within 1882-1938


Language of Materials

Materials are in English, German and Czech.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Josef (Joseph) Nitsche (1851-1923) was born in Nový Oldrichov, a town in the North Bohemian region of the present-day Czech Republic. He trained as a copper-wheel engraver and married Antonia Eicksch, with whom he had two sons: Clement F. J. (1880-1979) and Ernest B. (1881-1956). Around 1883, he and his family moved to Stourbridge, England so he could work for the Thomas Webb Glass Company. After hearing about engraving opportunities in Corning, NY, Josef then immigrated to America and by 1893 his family had joined him.

Josef’s first employer in Corning was J. Hoare and Company, and sometime before 1901 he also began working at T.G. Hawkes & Company. Additionally, he established his own engraving shop behind his house in Corning and began to train his sons in the business. Clement began an apprenticeship with his father as a teenager, and eventually became a partner in the Nitsche & Son Glass Engraving Establishment. Customers of the shop included large companies such as the Hunt Glass Company and Steuben Glass Works, as well as individuals. In 1904, Clement also joined H. P. Sinclaire and Co. as a designer and engraver, remaining at the company until it closed in 1928. During the late 1930s, Steuben Glass Works began a copper-wheel apprentice program and the company hired Clement as the teacher/mentor for this program. Clement retired from the engraving business in 1950 at the age of 70.


Farrar, E. S., & Spillman, J. S. _The Complete Cut and Engraved Glass of Corning_. New York: Crown Publishers, 1979.

Nitsche, C. G. "A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Nitsche & Son Glass Engraving Archive in the Rakow Research Library." 2013.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

0.0356 Megabytes

Custodial History

Received from Charles G. Nitsche, 2011-2019.

Nitsche & Son Glass Engraving Collection, 1869-2018
A Guide to the Collection
Sandra Glascock
November 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA