In one of the articles I read about Oceanside Glass (the new owners of Specturm and Uroborus Glass) they mentioned that one of their first big breaks was getting to replicate the vintage tile for the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle. This interested me on several levels. One is that last year I saw the Roman Baths in Bath England. A fascinating place. Next was that in my mid 20s Patty Hearst was kidnapped. I was riveted to the story. Read the book and was totally on Patty’s side. Then the glass! How thrilling. The article compared this big break to Eric Lovel and Uroboros getting to recreate Tiffany glass for restoration. It also made me think of our early years in the glass business when we got the contract to make air control panels for a state funded program. A lot of good steady work. Certainly not as sexy as doing Tiffany or Hearst work but we were over the moon. I asked my husband how he was going to make this product that was specific in its requirements. “No idea. I never saw anything like it, I don’t think it exists, but it is a great idea”. So, he quizzed every sales person he could and found metal and a gasket that would work. The metal came from a place called Mason (still in business) and the metal number was E208. We named the air control panel an OPE208. The OP was from Oakes & Parkhurst Glass, the name of our business (also still in business). Many competitors tried to get in on that action but could never figure out where we were buying the ope208. Little did they know we were manufacturing them ourselves. They were inside panels, the gasket made them air tight. We could make them with acrylic when they were for older people who might not be able to lift them with glass. They were held on with clips that were hidden behind curtains. Easy on and easy off! We made thousands. Days, nights, weekends. One Thanksgiving afternoon our family helped so we would not miss a deadline since our employees (rightly so) wanted Thanksgiving off! But I digress! This is a picture of the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle. The tile patterns were inspired by mosaics found in the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. Some also represent the marine monster themes that are in the ancient Roman baths. The tiles are 1” square and go ceiling to floor. These glass tiles, called smalti, are either mostly colored blue or orange or are clear with fused gold inside.