Ballard, Northwood
These scarce 6-inch items have Northwood's basketweave on the reverse. The lettering reads "Ballard, Merced, Cal."

Bowl, ruffled

Amethyst, 350, 950 (both 2009),
   500 (2010), 850 (2013),
   325, 500 (both 2016), 375 (2017)

Plates, flat

Amethyst, 1,300 (2003), 1,100 (2007),
   750 (2009), 1,200 (2012), 525 (2015),
   800, 950 (both 2017), 1,500 (2018)

Updated 6/19/2018

Writing in the ICGA Pump December 2010, Don Chamberlain says: Little is known as to why this piece was made. My research has found that it may have been from an insurance and real estate business started by Simeon Marion Ballard (1865-1922) in Fresno, California. There were branch offices of his business started in small towns around Fresno. Merced was one of these branches. The Merced branch manager may have decided to promote his own branch without Mr. Ballard's knowledge.

From The Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass Lettered Pieces, by John Resnik, 1989.

"Researching this piece turned out to be much more of a problem than I had anticipated. Normally, the most difficult task has been to locate the origin of an item, and then simply research historical records in that locale. Here, however, I had but to read to know the origin and could still find no evidence that any such company or person ever existed. No telephone listing, no newspaper ads, no business association membership.

Then, months after having given up on this one, and while researching another California item, I happened upon a Fresno, Cal. telephone listing for Simeon M. Ballard Insurance and Real Estate. A little judicious digging revealed that old Simeon had been quite the entrepreneur, and had established branch offices in several small towns around Fresno; Merced among them. Apparently the Merced branch manager decided to promote his own little Kingom, and consequently ordered this item without mention of the parent organization. Hard work may have its own rewards; but I would rather be lucky."