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Overmyer's Threaded Glass Drawer Knobs
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Overmyer Drawer Knob · Patent No. 1,487,355 · Drawing

Consolidated Factories Ltd. Sta-Put Knobs (front)

Consolidated Factories Ltd. Sta-Put Knobs (back)

Technical Glass Co. box of Overmyer Knobs

Overmyer Drawer Knob

Overmyer Drawer Knob

Overmyer Drawer Knob

Overmyer Drawer Knob

In 1921, Indiana glass blower Charles G. Overmyer invented a new type of glass drawer knob, granted Patent No. 1,487,355 on March 18, 1924. The usual style, still being produced today, has a small hole all the way through its axis; a long screw passes through the knob and drawer front and a nut secures the knob in place. The Overmyer design does away with the knob hole and screw; instead, the knob has a threaded neck which is either screwed directly into a ½" hole in softwood, cutting its own threads, or for hardwood, is held in place from the back via a metal sleeve in a 5/8" hole.

Economical to Install · Satisfactory in Use · Beautiful in Appearance

By avoiding the through hole, Overmyer's design greatly improves the beauty of the knob, since now it can be made in solid glass with no voids or opaque hardware. No tools are needed to install it, and since the end of the neck is exposed, light may be introduced at that point to light up the knob. Overmyer's patent proposes a cavity in the neck which might be filled with white lead or mercury to reflect light entering the knob from the front, brightening its appearance. In practice, this feature was not used and the necks are solid.

Overmyer glass drawer knob sleeves

Overmyer's original sleeve is inserted from the back and the knob screws into it from the front and pulls tight against the drawer face. The flange is stamped "PATENTED / 1487355", and is punched several times to form sharp points on the inner surface so it will grip the wood and not spin when the knob is tightened. The sleeves come in several depths, 5/8" being the most common.

Overmyer glass drawer handle Overmyer glass drawer handle

The same threaded design can be used for pulls as well as knobs. But, since the pull can't just be screwed into the sleeve, a different type of sleeve is needed, one with a slot for a flat screwdriver so that the sleeve itself can be screwed onto the stationary pull. This is an iffier business, and the pulls are prone to breaking. However, if you can get them on, the finished, all-glass look is spectacular.

Overmyer "trident" drawer pull There is also a hybrid, trident-style pull (see left) with a single central threaded stem, but it is uncommon and I don't much like it!
Threaded "Sandwich Glass" drawer knobs

This was not the first appearance of solid threaded glass knobs. Overmyer's improvement was the threaded metal sleeve which held the knob in place (making installation much easier— basically foolproof), not the threading of the knob itself. An earlier, so-called "Sandwich Glass" type, in clear and opal, came first. There is no metal sleeve for these, they just screw directly into the wood. The stem of the largest knob in this group is a whopping 1¼" in diameter!

Overmyer knobs come in many colors and styles and were made by several companies, including Consolidated Factories, Ltd of Santa Ana ("STA-PUT"), and Technical Glass Co of Los Angeles and New York. They were often seen on 1920s kitchen cabinets generically called "Hoosiers" due to their Indiana build; makers were Hoosier Mfg Co, Sellers, Wilson, Napanee, Kitchen Maid, Diamond, Landau, Hopper and others. They are reproduced today (with new brass sleeves), usually in clear glass. I bought all my originals on eBay where they were not very popular, since they are not the usual sort and won't fit a cabinet unless it's altered by drilling large holes in it, something most people are loath to do.

Overmyer glass drawer knob & sleeve

Overmyer glass drawer knob sleeve (top)

Overmyer glass drawer knob sleeve (side)

Overmyer glass drawer knob sleeve (bottom)

Group of colored Overmyer glass drawer knobs

Group of black/white/clear Overmyer glass drawer knobs

Overmyer glass drawer knobs installed on cabinets