Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 13, 2013

'This factory should live forever'

Kokomo Opalescent Glass celebrates 125 years in business

(Continued)

A German man flew to the Kokomo plant and waited four days once to have glass special made for him. The company didn’t have the color combination he wanted, so he had the color custom made, Riggs said.

Costa Ricans Sylvia and Enrique Laks said they were already making plans to have Kokomo Opalescent Glass products shipped directly to their studio in the mountains of San Rafael de Heredia.

It was the couple’s first time in Kokomo Wednesday. The pair came with the Stained Glass Association of America. Enrique said his wife’s studio was the first international studio to join the American association.

After they saw the glass manufacturing process during their tour, Enrique said his wife has “much respect” for the people who do that work. They are true artists, she said through her husband.

The Lakses said they are more apt to support Kokomo Opalescent Glass because of its rich history.

O’Donnell said it does, indeed, have a vibrant past.

He walked deep into the plant Wednesday to the warehouses that are some of the oldest parts of the building. Scrawled on the walls are hundreds of signatures – the oldest one dating back to 1898.

Almost all of the employees in the company’s 125-year history have signed those walls at some point. It’s a tradition that continues today.

Sylvia Laks got emotional just seeing the men work and hearing about that history. People from all over should support the business because of that, she told Enrique.

“After all these years, it has life by itself, its own soul,” she said through her husband. “This factory should live forever. We need it to continue living.”

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com

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