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Identifier Mon DD Year Inventor(s) Patent Title
US 352,886 Nov 16 1886 Popper, Leo Button


  • The National Button Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 5, "Story of the Leo Popper & Sons Glass Button Business — 1870 – 1917" (1966)
  • Just Buttons, Vol. XXIX, No. 10, "Leo Popper & Sons, Inc." (1971)
  • A Glass Menagerie: Leo Popper & Sons, Paul Hollister, The Glass Club Bulletin of the National Early American Glass Club, No. 145 (NEAGC 1985; Back issues in stock as of 2005)

New Yorker interview:

Talk. Interview with Emil L. Popper, 81, proprietor of the firm of Leo Popper & Sons, dealers in fancy & colored glass. Received reported [sic] in his office on Franklin St., in a dimly lit, weakly heated room. He said that his father, Leo, brought here from Prague as a boy, founded the business in 1880. Firm handles imported & domestic glass which it sells largely to firms that install stained-glass windows in churches. Its glass is also used in lighting fixtures, signs, fish lures, eyes for stuffed animals & push buttons for elevators. Mr. Popper is more interested insoluble geometry than in the business. He showed a letter Albert Einstein wrote him in '44, in answer to one from him. Met Popper's son, Edwin L., who is forty. He said the business is inefficient in every way but they like it. [...] --Geoffrey T. Hellman, "Down Memory Lane," The New Yorker, February 3, 1951, p. 25


Edwin L. Age 93, died at home on December 12, 2003. He had lived with Alzheimer's disease for many years. He was married to Eleanor D. Popper for 59 years, and is survived by three cousins, James, Will, and Charles Hochman. Ed was the last president of Leo Popper and Sons Glass, a firm which imported sheet glass and other glass items from Europe. Among the firm's customers, since the early twentieth century, were many studios of The Stained Glass Association of America. He was a graduate of Harvard University, class of 1931, receiving a Master's degree there, and after a year's study abroad on a fellowship he returned to Cambridge and became an instructor at Radcliffe College. He also served as a tutor at Harvard's Winthrop House. During World War II he served as a naval officer in harbor entrance control at Portland, ME, and later at Pearl Harbor. He will be remembered for his delight in people, his elfish sense of humor, and for an erudition which never diminished another person. His joy in life was radiant. Ed would be happy to know that contributions in his memory would go to Harvard University to benefit the Widener Library where he spent many happy and stimulating hours. A memorial service will be held at Frank E. Campbell, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81 St., Tuesday, December 16, at 11:30 A.M. --The New York Times, December 16, 2003


  • This Kokomo Opalescent Glass An Early History by Paul Crist mentions Popper:
    • Popper made and supplied glass for Tiffany until this trouble: "Mr. Mitchell sent for me a few days ago and told me that the firm of Tiffany Co. will hereafter stop dealing with Leo Popper, the reason being that L. Popper was time and time again bribing the buyer and selector of jewels, by giving him 5% on all purchases of jewels, and finally Mr. Mitchell discovered this affair, and had the buyer and selector make a full confession in black and white; so now Mr. Mitchell is going to return the 200 cases of glass recently bought from Popper"
    • Marion Opalescent Glass Co. secured Popper as their exclusive [East Coast?] agent; Paul Crist: Popper's "an established glass distributor in New York".
  • "Many twentieth-century glassblowers, including those that made paperweight buttons, bought European-made glass rods from the Poppers".
  • Geiringer Family Genealogy