Artifact photo

OSKALOOSA — This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm is a carnival glass creamer.

Some people made a guess as to the identity of the artifact.

Alicia Van Der Veer wrote via Facebook: "Carnival glass."

Owen McKee wrote via email: "This is a carnival glass pitcher. They were given as prizes at various fairs and circuses in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today they are very collectible with some colors and designs worth hundreds of dollars. Owen McKee, McKee Coins."

Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator Kelly Halbert did some research on the artifact. She wrote: "Carnival Glass Creamer

Carnival glass is moulded or pressed glass, always with a pattern and always with a shiny, metallic, 'iridescent' surface shimmer. This style was very popular in the 1920s because it was colorful and inexpensive and was given as prizes at local carnivals and fairs.

Carnival glass originated as a glass called 'Iridill', produced beginning in 1908 by the Fenton Art Glass Company (founded in 1905). Iridill was inspired by the fine blown art glass of such makers as Tiffany and Steuben, but when it didn’t sell as the finer glass had, it became the decorative glass for everyman.

Iridill became popular and very profitable for Fenton, which produced many different types of items in this finish. Carnival glass was produced in over 150 patterns and many colors. Most U.S. carnival glass was made before 1925, with production in clear decline after 1931. Some significant production continued outside the US through the depression years of the early 1930s, tapering off to very little by the 1940s. It began to be referred to as Carnival Glass when the iridescent glass became popular as a collectible item in the 1950s."

The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.

The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.

The Herald will take a picture of an artifact and publish it in the Herald section of the Oskaloosa Shopper, The Oskaloosa Herald an the Herald's Web site, People can make a guess on what they think the object could be.

People can either email their guess to or mail their guess to The Oskaloosa Herald, P.O. Box 530, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can vote from Wednesday through Saturday.

The identity of the artifact and the vote breakdown will be announced in each Wednesday's Herald Shopper along with the week's new artifact.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at