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Jack Hampton

Artisan Jack Hampton was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 18, 1947. Early on, he proved himself to be a good student in math and sciences, and after graduating from Englewood High School in 1964, Hampton enrolled in the Chicago Technical College, where he studied drafting and architectural sciences. He later transferred and earned his B.S. in architectural engineering and design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Hampton joined the United States Army in 1968, where he was a public information officer and an armorer. After his honorable discharge, he stayed in Europe and traveled for a short time before returning to his hometown of Chicago. After his return home, Hampton was hired by Sears Roebuck & Company as a salesman, where he remained until 1974. That year, he was named executive vice president of sales and marketing for Montgomery Wards, a position he kept for the next ten years.

While in Germany in 1970, Hampton worked briefly at Scholmyer Glass Company, and did work in Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom, as well. Hampton has continued with his stained glass creations, and in 1985 he put himself full-time into his artistic endeavors and his company, A to Z Stained Glass. To date, Hampton has created more than 10,000 original pieces, and has repaired countless more. His works can be seen in more than fifty churches throughout Europe and the United States, as well as in private collections.

Hampton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 21, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.102

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/21/2004

Last Name

Hampton

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Jesse Sherwood Elementary School

Englewood High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Jack

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAM01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

1/18/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Stained glass artist Jack Hampton (1947 - ) created more than 10,000 original pieces, and repaired countless more through his company, A-Z Stained Glass. His works can be seen in more than fifty churches throughout Europe and the United States, as well as in private collections.

Employment

Sears Roebuck & Company

Montgomery Ward

Scholmyer Glass Company

A to Z Stained Glass

Favorite Color

Onyx Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jack Hampton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton describes his father's salesmanship as an antique vendor in the City of Chicago's Maxwell Street Market

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton describes his mother's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jack Hampton describes his earliest memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jack Hampton describes living in the Altgeld Gardens Homes as a child during the 1950s

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jack Hampton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jack Hampton describes his experience at Jesse Sherwood Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jack Hampton describes working and exploring the city of Chicago, Illinois as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton remembers a childhood adventure in Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton talks about exploring downtown Chicago, Illinois as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton describes his father's contribution to the invention of Chicago's Maxwell Street polish stands, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton describes his father's contribution to the invention of Chicago's Maxwell Street Polish stands, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton describes his experience at Jesse Sherwood Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton describes Chicago, Illinois' Englewood community where he attended Englewood High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jack Hampton remembers taking his siblings to church on Sundays

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jack Hampton describes his experience in an architectural drafting class

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jack Hampton describes joining the Reserve Officers' Training Corps in 1962

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton talks about learning martial arts as a high school student

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton talks about his life after graduating from high school in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton, talks about working as a detective for the William J. Burns Detective Agency, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton talks about working as a detective for the William J. Burns Detective Agency, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton describes being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jack Hampton describes the U.S. military's response to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jack Hampton describes how he avoided the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jack Hampton describes how he avoided the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton describes his military experience in Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton describes learning to repair stained glass windows

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton describes working for Sears, Roebuck & Company after leaving the military, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton describes working for Sears, Roebuck & Company after leaving the military, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton describes leaving Sears, Roebuck & Company for Montgomery Ward

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton talks about his decision to leave the retail industry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jack Hampton describes the Maxwell Street market in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jack Hampton describes the beginning of his company, Tires Plus

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jack Hampton describes working on the Cook County Sheriff Riot Squad, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton describes working on the Cook County Sheriff Riot Squad, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton talks about earning a food sanitation license

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton describes working as a part-time deputy sheriff in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton talks about his wife, with whom he developed a rape prevention program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton describes his entry into the stained glass business, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton describes his entry into the stained glass business, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton describes his difficulty obtaining a business loan in the 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton talks about obtaining a business loan after an interview by the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton talks about the stained glass market in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton talks about his uncle who owned a stained glass shop in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton describes the process of making stained glass

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton describes advanced stained glass window techniques

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton talks about the history of stained glass craftsmanship and his favorite projects

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jack Hampton talks about his recent and prospective glasswork projects

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jack Hampton talks about his three children

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jack Hampton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jack Hampton considers what he would have done differently in his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jack Hampton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jack Hampton shares his advice for aspiring stained glass artists

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jack Hampton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jack Hampton narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jack Hampton narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$6

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Jack Hampton describes his difficulty obtaining a business loan in the 1980s
Jack Hampton describes advanced stained glass window techniques
Transcript
So, the president [of First National Bank of Blue Island, Blue Island, Illinois] said, "If you come to Blue Island [Illinois], move your operation to Blue Island, we'll make you a loan. How much money do you need?" "I don't need a whole lot of money. All I need is like $10,000 to grow my business." "Well, $10,000 you know we don't make loans for $10,000, you know. We make loans for a minimum of $80,000 and up." Eighty thousand, I don't need $80,000. I wouldn't know what to do with $80,000 at one shot. That was at that time. But, anyway the reason why he came to me was because he had heard that I was having trouble getting a loan via the [U.S.] Small Business Administration. This particular year, I can't remember the exact year, but it had to be in the '80s [1980s]. I applied for a small business loan, and they turned me down. And the reason they turned me down was because I didn't have a business plan, a marketing plan. Well I knew what that was because I was taught by Sears [Roebuck & Company, Chicago, Illinois] and Montgomery Ward's [Montgomery Ward, Chicago, Illinois] what a marketing plan was and a business plan was, so I said oh that's all I need, I'll put together a marketing plan, business plan, and I applied for the loan. Well I went and applied for the loan and they told me, "Oh no, no, no we can't loan you any money it's a marketing plan and a business plan, but you didn't go to school for this." You mean I gotta go back to school to learn how to do a market plan and a business plan. So, I said, "I don't think so." So anyway I went from bank to bank to bank to bank trying to get a loan, everybody turned me down. What do you have for collateral? I own a home. Well, we don't want to loan you money against your home because if you don't pay us back then we gotta take your home. That's the only collateral I have. I have a car. Well, your car is too old and raggedy for us to loan you any money. So, I started to play the political game. I went to a bank. I will not mention the name at this time, but it was a bank in the black community and I applied for a loan. I thought if I saw a black loan officer he would understand where I was coming from. He did not have the courtesy to interview me for a loan.$$A bank, this is, this is a bank that is still functioning?$$The bank is still functioning, yes. I think it's under another name now, but it's still functioning. He didn't have the courtesy to interview me. I then went to another bank downtown Chicago [Illinois], big bank, and I walked in and told them I would like to apply for a business loan and the lady had me fill out a little application and everything and so she said, "Okay we'll call you." I never heard anything about the loan. A week later I went back to inquire about the loan and the lady said, "Oh we can't loan you the money." "Why can't you loan me the money?" "You have no collateral." So, I said, "Well I'm in business." She said, "Oh you need a corporate loan then. I said, "Yeah I need a corporate loan." So, I'm kind of dressed casual like I am now and she said, "Well go up to the sixth floor." I go up to the sixth floor and when I got off the elevator the door opened up and I was immediately in an office, a hall, it was office all office, and before I could get two or three steps off the elevator a lady approached me, "Yes may I help you?" I said, "Well my name is Jack Hampton I'm here to get a loan." She grabbed me by the arm, turned me around and said, "Oh no we can't make you a loan," put me back on the elevator and sent me downstairs. My question was, down in the lobby, "Why can't you make me a loan?" You didn't, you know why won't anybody interview me or even entertain the thought of me getting a loan.$Another trick of the trade is a lot of people don't realize how important what we call re-bars are, reinforcement bars in the stained glass window, in the church you saw a window bowing out, the round window, and one of the reasons it bowed out was because there was no reinforcement bar to help it stay in place. A lot of people don't realize there different types of reinforcement bars. Those you can see, those that you can't see, that you put into the window and it makes a stronger window. A lot of people go for these cute new designs and they, and, and with large pieces of glass and after a while the windows fall apart. Well, the trick of the trade is the smaller the piece of glass, the more lead you have, the stronger the window. A few tricks of the trade on repairs and restorations. A lot of people don't realize another reason why windows bow out is because the wood around the windows, frames, the window frames, they get wet from moist- from the rain and the wood swells and, and the window bow out. The windows gotta go somewhere, and the wood when it swells it forces the window out. Well, a lot of people will go in there and they'll take an antique window and cut it apart to make it fit a frame. Trick of the trade is you take the window out, cut the wood frame, flatten the window. How do you flatten a window? I've seen people take torches and heat them (laughter). I've seen people step on them trying to flatten them out. Trick of the trade is you go in and you cut each joint, each joint and you then slowly flatten that window out okay, a little at a time. You don't want to break the glass, it's an antique glass. A lot of it has been hand painted by artists. We have no idea who they are. Another real trick of the trade, this is the trick of the trade. This, I'm gonna put it out here and you heard it first here--stain, the lead that you use in a stained glass window is in most cases not pure lead. During the war, lead was used to make bullets. Lead then became scarce for projects like stained glass, so people who made lead they started putting other products, mixing it with the lead, and I call it garbage lead because whatever they had they put in there. They put zinc. They put steel. They put whatever they could get in there they would put in, in there to extend the lead. And what happens is over the years this lead would, the, the steel would rust and the lead would deteriorate, fall apart causing the window to deteriorate and fall apart. Well, the problem has been how do you repair that window. Okay you have a church window ten feet tall, five feet wide. You can't solder upright. You have to take that window out lay it flat, then you can solder it. But, how do you solder because the solder that we use today would not adhere to that solder because it was garbage solder so to speak. So, I developed a technique with a tool that I don't think, I think I was the only one that ever used this tool called a Dremel tool. I think I made Dremel rich now (laughter). I discovered that I could take a Dremel tool use a basic little wheel go in and clean each joint like a dentist would clean the teeth. I could clean each joint that's broken where the lead is and I could go in with a high grade chemical and lean that. A nickel, the chemical that would give a nickel coat, coating over that rust and so on, making it easy to come back and re-solder and then hence you have a strong new basic window. But, the secret is the chemical nickel.