What is commonly known as "The McKee Glass Company" by collectors was once called McKee-Jeanette among other names (read on). They produced a line of glassware that was made to simulate the popular cut glass of the American Brilliant Cut Glass Period.
These "Tec" patterns carry many of the motifs that you'd commonly see on cut glass; such as, diamonds, fans, cross-hatching, hobnails and cross-cut rims and fanned borders, etc. Many times, it can be very difficult to distinguish the diffference between these pieces and actual cut glass. I've seen many Tec pieces on Ebay actually listed as cut glass especially the pieces that are not marked.
Three of the most common methods of distinguishing between brilliant cut glass and prescut (yet not foolproof) is one, to look for seam lines; two, to check if the piece has a waxy feel to it and three, to check for the distinguishing high pitch ping associated with cut glass. If your piece doesn't have the ping, it's probably not cut glass yet this wouldn't apply for brilliant cut glass pieces that are all-over cut or smaller or chunkier pieces. BTW, be careful when you ping cut glass. Some collectors are totally against it since you run the risk of shattering your glass which could be brittle.
McKee's Pres-Cut Line consisted of 27 Patterns, all pressed by hand (not by machine) with all patterns designed from 1904-1915 except Aztec, Nortec & Toltec which were from the National Glass Molds designed earlier.
The following are all Aztec patterns. We're building a glass database through Yahoo's Glass_Lovers_Glass_Database where you will be able to see images and more info on each of these patterns.
Liberty Colonial #99
The most commonly known “Tec” patterns are a line of 18 McKee-Jeanette Glass Company patterns all with the suffix tec but there are actually a total of 27 patterns in the line.
In 1904 McKee was granted a patent for the Pres-Cut trademark. The "Tec" pattern was hand pressed glass made to look like the popular cut glass of the time but at a price that the average man could afford.
In the beginning, McKee leased from National Glass. In 1904, using their Aztec & Toltec molds, they released the first of the "Tec" lines with the patented PresCut mark. In 1905, they added National's Nortec. Any of these patterns from early National productions would not carry the PresCut mark.
Next was the first McKee design, Fentec which turned out to be the most popular and longest running pattern. It was deeply cut & a very good simulation of cut glass. A popular pattern running as long as 1942.
In 1906, McKee added Sextec & Bontec.
In 1908 through 1912 there was a slow down in production because of reorganization and in 1908 McKee-Jeanette Glass became McKee Glass Company. Somewhere within this time, Yutec was designed. Then, from 1913 to 1915, eleven more patterns were added to the Tec line including: Bontec, Glentec, Carltec, Doltec, Plytec, Plutec, Quintec, Rotec, Startec, Valtec, and Wiltec.
Some authors give 1894 as the date for some of the “Tec” patterns. It may be that some of these patterns were made at that time, however, documentation is conflicting. What is known is that these patterns were called by their “Tec” names and added to the Pres-Cut line after 1904. Other facts:
-Many but not all of the “Tec” patterns are found with a Pres-Cut trademark &
reproductions do not carry the Pres-Cut logo.
-Reproductions of many of these items were made in milk glass and colors by Kemple and by Wheaton.
-Some clear glass punch bowl sets, esp. Aztec and Fentec, were also made by L. E. Smith and others.
-Rock Crystal, Puritan & Fentec produced after 1920 may not be marked.
In 1945, Kemple Glass Works purchased many of the former McKee molds and made reproductions in clear, milk glass, and colors until 1970. If you have a “Tec” piece in color or milk glass, it is likely a Kemple piece. Kemple produced glassware in the following patterns: Aztec, Bontec, Carltec, Martec, Plutec, Plytec, Quintec, Rotec, Sextec, Toltec, Valtec, Wiltec, and Yutec.
After the closing of the Kemple factory in 1970, Wheaton purchased a number of Kemple molds and at least one mold in every "Tec" pattern except Quintec and Valtec until 1979. The Aztec punch bowl and cups were heavily reproduced and are among the most common “Tec” items found.
Estate Sale Store's Glass Lovers Glass Database
by Ebay's sricci01
GPSA (Glass & Pottery Sellers Association Site)
by Ebay's wgpaul
About McKee Tec Pres Cut Glass Patterns
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December 1, 2008
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