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LUXFER PRISM GLASS
   
  AMERICAN LUXFER PRISM    PATENTS 1897    1898    LUXFER GLASS TILES 1898    EXPLAINED    1957    LUXFER 2013 
   
   
AMERICAN LUXFER PRISM GLASS
   

Luxfer Prism Glass Company. The concept was simple, refraction of light to the back of the room. Electrical lights were in their infancy. Thomas Edison did not even invented the incandescent electric light until 1879.
       There is some confusion as to when Frank Lloyd Wright worked with the Luxfer Prism Company. Years later, when Wright dated the Luxfer Building drawing, he dated it "1894-5." Luxfer did not come into existence until 1897. In footnote 14, Neumann writes: John M. Ewen Henry M. Bacon, Thomas W. Horn, and James Pennycuick founded the Radiating Light Company in Chicago in October 1896, they changing the name two months later to Semi-prism Glass Company and finally, in March 1897, to Luxfer Prism Company. Statement of Incorporation of the Radiating Light Company (7 October 1896); Report of Commissioners of the Radiating Light Company (19 October 1896); Certificate for Change of Name from Radiating Light Company to Semi-Prism Glass Company (1 December 1896); Certificate for Change of Name from Semi-Prism Glass Company to Luxfer Prism Company (20 March 1897), in the archives of the State of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois. In order to process the firm's patent applications and deal with patent infringements, Ewen and Horn founded the Luxfer Prism Patent Company in Charleston, West Virginia together with William H. and Francis A. Winslow and William W. Sturges from Chicago in February 1897. They represented a board of directors and were all major shareholders. Luxfer Prism Patents Company Agreement, 6 February 1897 in the archive of the State of West Virginia in Charleston, West Virginia, corporation division. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Neumann, March 1995, p.48-49.
       With the financial power of six major investors, the company became a major success. Two were Wright friends and clients,
William Winslow and Edward Waller. Other investor’s included Cyrus H. McCormick, George A. Fuller (Skyscraper), Charles H. Wacker (Wacker Drive), and Levi Z. Leiter (Marshall Field & Co.). John M. Ewen was the company’s first President. Wright, Winslow and Luxfer all had offices in the Rookery Building. Wright remodeled the Rookery Lobby in 1905.
       An extensive article was published in The Inland Architect and News Record: "To characterize this new prism as one of the most remarkable improvements of the century in its bearing on practical architecture is to speak but mildly. In the opinion of some of the foremost architects of this country the Luxfer prism is

  destined to work an entire revolution in planning, and to necessitate very extensive changes in construction." March 1897, p.18.
       On December 7, 1897, John Ewen was issued 21 patents related to Luxfer Prisms. Of note is Patent No. 595,264. At first glance, it appears to be the same design as Patent No. 27,977, issued on December 7, 1897, to Frank Lloyd Wright. Ewen’s was a patent for the overall design of the glass, Wright’s was for the design on the face of the glass. Even though Ewen patented face designs, he chose to use Wright’s design, which tends to add confusion to Wright’s patent. Frank Lloyd Wright was issued a total of 41 patents, all but one for the design on the face of the glass. His 41st was for a Prism-Canopy. William Winslow was issued fifteen patents and Edward Waller was issued two patents. Another Wright client, William MacHarg was issue four patents.
       Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs.

       In the March, 1898, Inland Architect and News Record, p.63-64, Luxfer announced a competition to design: "...new possibilities in the use of Luxfer prisms as a building material, considered from the standpoint of the owner’s interest, as well as that of good modern architecture." Two illustrations were published that coincided with the competition. "Study For Luxfer Prism Building Design No. 1. Study For Luxfer Prism Building Design No. 2. See description of Luxfer Prism Corporation on page 63 of this number." It does not list the architect, but Wright is the architect for Design No. 1, and possibly for both.
       Wright published the illustration of Design 1 in the January 1938 issue of Architectural Forum, p.54, in the section on St. Marks. Caption: An early design for a Prism-Glass Office Building Chicago... 1896 ... Notwithstanding the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893... A Front only." In 1957, Wright revised Design 1 and published it in A Testament, p.30.
       A study for the front elevation was published in Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph 1887-1901, Pfeiffer, 1986 (1991), p.84, and again in Frank Lloyd Wright, Complete Works 1885-1916, Pfeiffer, 2011, p.79.
   
   
   
Date: 1897

Title: Inland Architect & News Record - March, 1897, V. XXIX #2 (Digital Edition) (Published monthly by The Inland Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill.)

Author: Anonymous

Description: Architectural Possibilities of the Luxfer Prism. That the architectural methods of today will not he in vogue in future is as clear to the thinking mind as that the methods of a generation ago have been displaced by those of the present age. The world moves, and despite our boasted advancement we shall be left far behind in a few years if we do not keep pace with the procession. No one who now visits New York City, for instance, after an absence of five or six years, can fail to notice the vast improvement in the planning of the downtown district. Steel and terra cotta and glass have fairly revolutionized the old methods of stone and brick and darkness. The high building is as truly a result of evolution from former ideas as is the lightning express or the ocean steamer... To characterize this new prism as one of the most remarkable improvements of the century in its bearing on practical architecture is to speak but mildly. In the opinion of some of the foremost architects of this country the Luxfer prism is destined to work an entire revolution in planning, and to necessitate very extensive changes in construction. In view of the practical unanimity of the highest authorities on this point, a careful consideration of some of the reasons for their belief will be of interest... This will no longer be necessary, since the Luxfer prism gathers up the precious rays and deposits them in the remotest corner, wherever they may be wanted. And while its use may diminish the electric light and gas bills, the benefit to health and comfort will be incalculable.

Size: 11 x 15.5

Pages: Pp 18

S#:
0026.01.0720
   
Date: 1897

Title: Luxfer Prism Company Corporate Office Building Circa 1897 (Project) (FLLW #9509.001).

Description: Study for the front elevation of the proposed Luxfer Prism Corporate Office Building. In 1896 James Pennycuick formed the Radiating Light Company. In 1897, with the help of five major investors, the name was changed to the American Luxfer Prism Company. Two were Wright friends and clients, William Winslow and Edward Waller. Other investor’s included Cyrus H. McCormick, George A. Fuller (Skyscraper), Charles H. Wacker (Wacker Drive), and Levi Z. Leiter (Marshall Field & Co.). John M. Ewen was the company’s first President. Wright, Winslow and Luxfer all had offices in the Rookery Building. Wright remodeled the Rookery Lobby in 1905. "The company hired the young Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a product designer, whose office at that time was on the same floor of the Rookery Building in Chicago as that of the Luxfer Prism Company." v, March 1995. Text bottom left: "9509.01." Bottom Right: "Study for Office Building Facade, employing Luxfer prism - lighting. 1894-5." Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Size: 7 x 10.5 Color photograph.

S#:
0026.04.0720
   
PATENTS 1897
   
Date: 1897

Title: Luxfer Prism Glass Company, John Ewen Patent.

Description: In 1896 James Pennycuick formed the Radiating Light Company. In 1897, with the help of five major investors, the name was changed to the American Luxfer Prism Company. Two were Wright friends and clients, William Winslow and Edward Waller. Other investor’s included Cyrus H. McCormick, George A. Fuller (Skyscraper), Charles H. Wacker (Wacker Drive), and Levi Z. Leiter (Marshall Field & Co.). John M. Ewen was the company’s first President. Wright, Winslow and Luxfer all had offices in the Rookery Building. Wright remodeled the Rookery Lobby in 1905. On December 7, 1897, John Ewen was issued 21 patents related to Luxfer Prisms. Of note is Patent No. 595,264. At first glance, it appears to be the same design as Patent No. 27,977, issued on December 7, 1897, to Frank Lloyd Wright. Ewen’s was a patent for the overall design of the glass, Wright’s was for the design on the face of the glass. Even though Ewen patented face designs, he chose to use Wright’s design, which tends to add confusion to Frank Lloyd Wright’s patent. 

Size: B&W photograph.

S#:
0026.02.0620
   
Date: 1897

Title: 1) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,977. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#:
0026.03.0620-1
   
Date: 1897

Title: 2) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,978. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights having prisms on one side and ornamental designs on the other. The essential feature of my design as applied to the back of a prism-light is the form of a series of groups, each group composed of a series of lesser designs or figures, the whole appearing, when seen, both as a series of groups and as series of lesser designs within the groups." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-2
   
Date: 1897

Title: 3) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: Fashioned after the design of a window from the Chauncey Williams House (1895 - S.033). "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,979. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to prism-lights consisting of a flat body with a series of prisms on one side and an ornamental design on the other side. The essential feature of my design is that a large portion of the surface of the prism-light shall be covered by a series of relatively small separate systematically-arranged designs or figures, uniform in appearance and adapted, when presented to the eye, to be seen as separate, distinct, and complete figures or designs, as distinguished from groups of figures or designs." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-3
   
Date: 1897

Title: 4) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: Fashioned after the design of a window from the Chauncey Williams House (1895 - S.033). "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,980. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and concentrically-arranged non-interlacing ornamental figures on the other side." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-4
   
Date: 1897

Title: 5) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,981. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights where they consist substantially of a flat body with prisms on one side and an ornamental design on the other. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light having an ornamental border on the back of the body provided with prisms on the other side." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-5
   
Date: 1897

Title: 6) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,982. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to a new and original design for prism-lights and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The essential feature of my design is a prism-light provided on one side with prisms and on the other side with a pattern or ornamental figure surrounded by a plain border." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-6
   
Date: 1897

Title: 7) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,983. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a substantially flat and thin body with prisms on one side and on the other an ornamental pattern produced on the body of the prism-light and formed in a rectangular figure intermediate between the center and the outer edge of the surface." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-7
   
Date: 1897

Title: 8) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,984. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a substantially flat and comparatively thin body with prisms on one side and on the other an ornamental pattern produced on the body of the prism-light and formed in a ring-like or annular figure intermediate between the center and the outer edge of the surface." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-8
   
Date: 1897

Title: 9) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,985. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a substantially flat and relatively thin prism-plate provided with a series of prisms arranged parallel to each other and covering substantially the whole of one side and with an ornamental pattern on the other side, said pattern composed of lines or ridges produced on the surface and forming a single figure as distinct from a complex pattern or series of figures." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-9
   
Date: 1897

Title: 10) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,986. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a body with prisms on one side and a series of lines of separation on the other which divide it into a series of substantially uniform surface areas, the outer areas ornamented to produce the effect of a border and the inner areas ornamented in a uniform manner so as to give the effect of an inner mosaic-like field." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-10
   
Date: 1897

Title: 11) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,987. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation which divide the surface into substantially uniform surface areas, a series of lines of ornamentation which produce a distinct ornamented hollow square between the center and the outer edge of the surface, and a series of separate designs, one on each of the remaining surface areas, so as to give the effect of a mosaic field within and without the hollow square." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-11
   
Date: 1897

Title: 12) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,988. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to a design for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light having a substantially flat body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of broken, interrupted, or fragmentary lines or forms arranged so as to produce a unitary pattern." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-12
   
Date: 1897

Title: 13) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Light.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Light. No. 27,989. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a substantially flat body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of surfaces of various elevations and bounded by lines which form an overlapping pattern or figure." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-13
   
Date: 1897

Title: 14) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,990. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates, and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a substantially flat prism-plate with the circular part B." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-14
   
Date: 1897

Title: 15) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,991. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates, and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The essential features of my design may be found in a prism-plate consisting of a substantially flat body with prisms on one side and the two parts B B bounded by curved lines." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-15
   
Date: 1897

Title: 16) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,992. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to a designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a substantially flat body having prisms on one side, lines of separation on the other, which divide the prism-plate into separate areas or surfaces, and ornamental figures which are carried from one separate area to the other across the lines of separation, thus producing the appearance of a complete design only when the lines on adjacent areas are considered together." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-16
   
Date: 1897

Title: 17) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,993. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to a new and original design for prism-plates, and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate having prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation which divide the surface of the plate into a series of uniform areas, and a series of complete, distinct, and separate ornamental patterns, one on each such surface area." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-17
   
Date: 1897

Title: 18) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,994. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising an extended comparatively thin body with prisms on one side and lines of separation which divide the other surface into a series of surface areas, distinct ornamentation across a series of upper surface areas, and ornamental lines of connection from the upper to the lower ornamented surface areas." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-18
   
Date: 1897

Title: 19) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,995. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat and extended body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation which divide such surface into a series of substantially uniform surface areas, the field being formed by substantially uniform designs on each field-surface area and the center surface areas having formed upon them a distinct and separate pattern." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-19
   
Date: 1897

Title: 20) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,996. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side and lines of separation on the other which divide such surface areas and a pattern produced upon a group of such surface areas near the center of the plate, so as to give the appearance of an ornamented center with a surrounding field." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-20
   
Date: 1897

Title: 21) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,997. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate consisting of a substantially flat body with a series of prisms on one side and lines of separation on the other which divide such surface into a series of substantially uniform surface areas and a hollow square formed on the surface intermediate between the center and the outer edge by means of lines of ornamentation." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-21
   
Date: 1897

Title: 22) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,998. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate consisting of a substantially flat body with a series of prisms on one side and lines of separation on the other, which divide the surface into a series of substantially uniform surface areas, and an annulus formed on the surface intermediate between the center and the outer edge by means of lines of ornamentation." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-22
   
Date: 1897

Title: 23) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 27,999. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side, the prisms having different angles, those of one angle forming a hollow square and those of another angle forming a field within and without the square." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-23
   
Date: 1897

Title: 24) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,000. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side, the prisms having different angles, those of one angle forming an inner field." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-24
   
Date: 1897

Title: 25) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,001. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side, the prisms having different angles, those of one angle forming a central field and those of another forming an outer field." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-25
   
Date: 1897

Title: 26) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,002. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My design relates to prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation forming a series of substantially uniform surface areas and lines of ornamentation produced on a number of such surface areas about the edge, so as to form an ornamental border for the plate." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-26
   
Date: 1897

Title: 27) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,003. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential feature of my invention is found in a prism-plate comprising an extended body with prisms on one side, lines of separation which divide the other surface into a series of areas, and a band of such areas distinctly ornamented across the top and another across the bottom, with a field of surface areas uniformly ornamented and distinguished from the band." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-27
   
Date: 1897

Title: 28) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,004. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising an extended body with prisms on one side and lines of separation on the other, and an ornamented band of surfaces across the upper part and an ornamented band of surfaces across the lower part." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-28
   
Date: 1897

Title: 29) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,005. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation which divide the surface areas, a series of lines of ornamentation which produce a distinct ornamented annulus between the center and the outer edge of the surface, and a series of separate designs, one on each of the remaining surface areas, so as to give the effect of a mosaic field within and without the annulus." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-29
   
Date: 1897

Title: 30) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,006. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat and extended body with surface areas formed by lines of separation on one side and on the other side prisms of a certain angle to form the field and prisms of a different angle to form two bands across the field, one near the top and one near the bottom." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-30
   
Date: 1897

Title: 31) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,007. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat and extended body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other side lines of separation which divide such surface into a series of substantially uniform surface areas and ornaments or patterns produced on such surface by broken, interrupted, or fragmentary lines or forms, as shown." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-31
   
Date: 1897

Title: 32) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,008. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate substantially flat and extended, divided on one side into a series of surface areas by lines of separation and provided on the other side with a prism surface or field formed of prisms of a certain angle with a number of prism-surfaces scattered about through the field formed of prisms of a different angle." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-32
   
Date: 1897

Title: 3) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,009. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with prisms on one side, lines of separation on the other side, which divide the surfaces into a series of substantially uniform surface areas, and prisms on such surface areas about or near the edge, so as to form a sort of border." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-33
   
Date: 1897

Title: 34) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,010. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate, comprising a substantially flat extended body with a series of lines of separation on the other side to divide the surface into a series of substantially uniform surface areas, a series of prisms on the other side, and prisms on certain of the surface areas arranged in a sort of hollow square intermediate between the center and edge." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-34
   
Date: 1897

Title: 35) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,011. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with surface areas on one side formed by means of lines of separation, prisms on the other side, and prisms in a body of such surface areas gathered about the center." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-35
   
Date: 1897

Title: 36) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,012. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of lines of separation which divide the surface into a number of surface areas, and prisms on various of such surface areas." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-36
   
Date: 1897

Title: 37) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,013. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat and extended body with a series of prisms on one side and on the other a series of surface areas formed by lines of separation, and prisms in such surface areas in bands across the surface near the top and bottom." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-37
   
Date: 1897

Title: 38) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,014. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my invention are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body having prisms on one side and on the other a series of surface areas formed by means of lines of separation, a band of surface areas along the top and another along the bottom having certain prisms thereon, and the intermediate surface areas having other prisms thereon to form an apparent connection from the upper to the lower prisms." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-38
   
Date: 1897

Title: 39) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate. "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate. No. 28,015. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate comprising a substantially flat extended body with a series of prisms on one side thereof and a series of surface areas on the other side, formed by lines of separation, and prisms on such surface areas." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Description:

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-39
   
Date: 1897

Title: 40) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Plate and Border.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Plate and Border. No. 28,017. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-plates and borders. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-plate with a surrounding border lying in substantially the same plane as the body of the prism-plate." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-40
   
Date: 1897

Title: 41) Luxfer Prism Glass Company Design for a Prism Canopy.

Description: "Design. F. L. Wright. Prism Canopy. No. 28,020. Patented Dec. 7, 1897. Inventor: Frank L,. Wright." Specification: "My invention relates to a design for prism canopies and borders. A design for a prism canopy and border, substantially as shown and described." United States Patent Office. Published in The Official Gazette of The United States Patent Office, December 7, 1897.

Size: B&W photograph.

S#: 0026.03.0620-41
   
1898
   
Date: 1898

Title: Inland Architect & News Record - March, 1898, V. XXX #6 (Digital Edition) (Published monthly by The Inland Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill.)

Author: Anonymous

Description: An Interesting Competition. The American Luxfer Prism Company have organized a competition among architects and draftsmen that presents many interesting features. The remarkable lighting effects obtained by their method of prismatic radiation has established an innovation similar to the advent of the elevator in changing the designs of buildings and in increasing their available space. Now architects are called upon to show in a competition in which liberal premiums are paid, how the prismatic light can be further utilized, and also united with architectural effects... Includes Wright's illustration for the Luxfer Building. (Sweeney 30)

Size: 11 x 15.5

Pages: Pp 63-64, Plate 11 A&B

S#:
0030.00.0720
   
Date: 1898

Title: Inland Architect & News Record - March, 1898, V. XXX #6 - Plate 11 A&B (Published monthly by The Inland Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill.)

Author: Anonymous

Description: Two Studies for the Luxfer Prism Building. Dietrich Neumann wrote: No architect's name was given for either design, but "design no. 1" was later republished by Wright as his own. "Design no. 2," similar in character and overall layout, was drawn by the same draftsman. This design, too, was in all probability created by Wright." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, March 1995, p.30. Wright later published Design 1 in the Architectural Forum, January 1938, and in A Testament, 1957. Text on plate: "Study for Luxfer Prism Building Design No. 1. Study for Luxfer Prism Design No. 2. See description of Luxfer Prism Corporation on page 63 of this number." (Sweeney 30)


Size: Double Plate: 22 x 15.5. 10.5 x 7.5 Color photograph.

Pages: Plate 11 A&B

ST#:
0030.01.0720
   


Inland Architect & News Record - March, 1898, Plate 11A, Description: Study for Luxfer Prism Building—Design No. 1. This suggestion is based upon a story height of eleven feet, and a divisional unit of eleven feet in plan. No attempt at structural elaboration has been made, but the steel frame quietly and consistently covered with terra cotta. The openings are simply covered with rich screens of Luxfer iridian prisms set in slightly projecting frames of ornamental iron. In general surface and effect these are similar to the forilux installed in the second story of the Home Insurance building, of Chicago, the offices of Armour & Co., and the Union National Bank. Openings with movable iron frames for ventilation and filled with plate glass are introduced in the middle of this richly bordered surface of prisms. The wall surfaces are preserved and enriched by this treatment, as the Luxfer iridian plates are as solid and substantial in appearance as the wall itself. The openings in the center of the plate which are here shown, about four feet square, are protected by a light canopy filled with prisms which permits a view of the street, and further increases the light. The structural members in the first and second stories are screened by the prism surfaces which are carried in front of them. The plate glass is retained in the lower part of the first story for show window purposes, and for the same reason a plate glass center is inserted in the second story forilux, also covered by a canopy.

   

Inland Architect & News Record - March, 1898, Plate 11B, Description:
Study for Luxfer Prism Building— Design No. 2. This suggestion is in the nature of an emphasis of the vertical members of the steel frame, knit together at the top and at the bottom. The usual attempt at florid " topping out " has been dispensed with, and a simple rich frame of terra cotta completes the structure within itself. The upper portion of each bay is filled with a surface of Luxfer iridian prisms. The lower portion, which is shaded dark, is filled with plate glass. This treatment provides a continuous frieze of Luxfer prisms in the upper part of each story. The first and second stories are provided with canopies swung from the top of ornate posts or columns beginning at the second floor level. These columns also carry electric lights. The entire surface of the first and second story fronts, underneath the canopies, is of plate glass, showing the structural members behind.
   
Date: 1898

Title: Luxfer Prism Company Corporate Office Building Circa 1897 (Project) (FLLW #9509.001).

Description: Study for the front elevation of the proposed Luxfer Prism Corporate Office Building, published in the Architectural Forum, January 1938, p.54. Caption: "An early design for a prism-glass office building, Chicago... 1896... Notwithstandiong the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893... A Front only." Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Size: 5 x 9.5 B&W copy photograph.

S#:
0026.05.0720
   
LUXFER PRISM GLASS TILES 1898
   
Luxfer Prisms were manufactured by the American Luxfer Prism Company. In December 1897 Frank Lloyd Wright designed and patented 41 different designs. Production would have begun in 1898. Here are four different versions of the same design. Of the 41 designs, this was the only pattern that was produced. Prism glass tiles were typically used in storefront transoms to light the interior rooms. In the 1890s, electric lighting was not well developed, and prism glass tiles were designed to reflect light toward the interior of the storefronts.
   
Date: 1898

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Luxfer Prism. Large "V" (Purple Tint)

Description: Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs. Patent specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance."

Size: 4" X 4"

S#: 1897.01.0399

   
Date: 1898

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Luxfer Prism. Small "V" (Clear)

Description: Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs. Patent specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance."

Size: 4" X 4"

S#: 1897.02.0600

   
Date: 1898

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Luxfer Prism. No "V" (Black)

Description: Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs. Patent specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance."

Size: 4" X 4"

S#: 1897.03.1000

   
Date: 1898

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Luxfer Prism. Medium "V" (Purple Tint)

Description: Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs. Patent specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance."

Size: 4" X 4"

S#: 1897.04.0101

   
Date: 1898

Title: Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Luxfer Prism. With Leaded Band, Medium "V" (Purple Tint)

Description: Of the 41 Wright designs for the Luxfer Prism Company, it appears that only the first (No. 27,977) was produced. The patent describes it as having "lines of ornamentation produced upon the prism-light by variations in the surface-levels. These ornamental lines take the form of circles, arcs of circles, squares, and the like, arranged concentrically about the center C and interlacing or overlapping each other. The whole forms a grid-like sort of ornament." It become one of Luxfer’s dominate tile designs. Patent specification: "My invention relates to designs for prism-lights. The essential features of my design are found in a prism-light comprising a body with prisms on one side and on the other a series of concentrically-arranged ornamental lines which interlace or overlap each other, so as to produce a grid-like appearance."

Size: 4" X 4"

S#: 1897.05.0101

   
   
   
LUXFER PRISM GLASS TILES EXPLAINED
   
Advertisement in the March 1904 issue of Worlds Work Magazine.
   
Date: 1898

Title: Pocket Hand-Book of Electro-Glazed Luxfer Prisms (Digital Edition) (Published by the Luxfer Prism Companies, Chicago)

Author: Crew, Henry; Basquin, Olin H.

Description: Preface: The features of the present edition of the Luxfer Prism Hand Book are: A series of suggestions, illustrations and diagrams, calculated to show how Luxfer Prisms may be applied, and to add those intending to use them in making such applications. A series of tables, which compromise the information or data sufficient to enable anyone to determine the kind of quality of Luxfer Prisms to be used under the conditions of any given case. Reviews and testimonials showing to what extent, and with what degree of satisfaction, the Luxfer Prisms have been used.

Size: 5 x 7.75

Pages: Pp 287

S#:
0032.18.0720
   
LUXFER PRISM BUILDING 1957
   
Date: 1957

Title: Luxfer Prism Company Corporate Office Building Revised 1957 (Project) (FLLW #9509).

Description: Study for the front elevation of the Luxfer Prism Corporate Office Building, published in Frank Lloyd Wright A Testament, Wright,1957, p.30. Caption: "1897. This Luxfer Prism Facade in glass and concrete was designed for a Chicago office building. It has since appeared in many guises in any countries. A type of facade now fashionable." According to Dietrich Neumann, "Grant Carpenter Manson, one of Wright's collaborators, described how in 1957 he had to stop Wright from altering his 1897 drawing with eraser and pencil before it was photographed by Manson for his book, Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, March 1995, p.32. When comparing the original drawing to this revised drawing, Wright lowered the roof like and removed the two towers, and added a border to the side elevation, front and top sides. Barely visible are the lines Wright erased to revise the illustration. Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Size: 7.5 x 10.5 B&W copy photograph.

S#:
1149.03.0720
   
Date: 1995

Title: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians - March 1995 (Published quarterly by the Society of Architectural Historians, Philadelphia)

Author:
Neumann, Dietrich

Description:
"The Century's Triumph in Lighting": The Luxfer Prism Companies and their Contribution to Early Modem Architect. "To characterize this new prism as one of the most remarkable improvements of the century in its bearing on practical architecture, is to speak but mildly. In the opinion of some of the foremost architects of this country the Luxfer prism is destined to work an entire revolution in planning and to necessitate very extensive changes in construction." The building material that was so enthusiastically praised by the Inland Architect in 1897, and shortly after was even proclaimed to be the "century's triumph in lighting," was indeed about to have a considerable impact on the commercial architecture of America's urban centers... The company hired the young Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a product designer, whose office at that time was on the same floor of the Rookery Building in Chicago as that of the Luxfer Prism Company... At least one of Wright's patented designs was mass-produced and can still be found on storefronts throughout the United States... Frank Lloyd Wright is mentioned extensively throughout the article. Includes 30 photographs and illustrations.

Size: 8.5 x 11

Pages: Pp Cover, 24-53

ST#:
1995.98.0620
   
   
   
LUXFER PRISM GLASS TILES BOZEMAN, MONTANA 2013
 
On a recent trip to the Yellowstone area we decided to visit the city of Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman was incorporated in 1883. As we were walking the streets of the historic district, an old storefront caught my eye. Upon further investigation we discovered Frank Lloyd Wright designed Luxfer Prism Glass Tiles in the storefront transom of the Saunders Building, 126 Main Street. May, 2013.
 
1) Saunders Building, 126 Main Street.
 
2) The Saunders Building transoms consist of four sections of Luxfer Prism tiles. The left and right sections are 12.5 tiles wide by 9 high. The two center sections are 13 tiles wide by 9 high.
 
3) The Saunders Building transoms consist of four sections of Luxfer Prism tiles. The left and right sections are 12.5 tiles wide by 9 high. The two center sections are 13 tiles wide by 9 high. The left and right sections have a single horizontal and vertical row of Wright tiles, one row in from the outside edge, forming a rectangle. The two center panels have two horizontal rows, the second row from the top and bottom.
 
4) The left and right sections have a single horizontal and vertical row of Wright tiles, one row in from the outside edge, forming a rectangle. The two center panels have two horizontal rows, the second row from the top and bottom.
 
5) The left and right sections have a single horizontal and vertical row of Wright tiles, one row in from the outside edge, forming a rectangle. The two center panels have two horizontal rows, the second row from the top and bottom.
 
6) Detail of the Wright designed tiles. The left and right sections have a single horizontal and vertical row of Wright tiles, one row in from the outside edge, forming a rectangle.
 
7) Detail of the Wright designed tiles held in place with lead cames.
   
   
   
   
 
   
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