Greensburg Glass Co.
1888? - 1900?
Initial research indicates that Greensburg Glass Company was founded in Greenburg, PA by a group unknown business men at this point, prior to 1888.
William Gillinder purchased the Franklin Flint Glass Works, Philadelphia, PA. in 1861.He was joined in his business by Edwin Bennett and the company changed its name to Gilllinder and Bennett in 1863.
Gillinger two sons, James and Fredrick in 1867 purchased Edwin Bennett interests in Franklin Glass Works in Philadelphia and the company was renamed Gillinder and Sons. William Gillinder died in 1871 at the age of 48 or 49, leaving behind his wife and nine children. James 27 and Fredrick 26 his sons were much older than the other children and carried on running the company. William Gillinder's youngest son was only 7 years old. All of the children were stockholder in the company of Gillinder and Sons.
Greensburg, PA History:
The question to be answered is did Gillinder and Sons move into an existing operation? The most likely answer is yes. We see no mention of Gillinder and Sons building a new glassworks in Greensburg, PA. that we have read. Did Gillinder and Sons acquire a failed business or did a group of business men build a new factory to attract Gillinder. We simply do not know at this point.
Gillinder and Sons moved their entire glass pressing operation to Greensburg PA in 1889 to capitalize on cheap fuel, Natural gas. One would also assume that operational costs would have been much lower in a rural town, as compared to Philadelphia. The factory in Greensburg was supposed to have had a model operation which employed between 250 to 300 men. Several existing employees from the Philadelphia operation, such as John Putnam the mold foreman relocated to Greensburg, PA.
The Gillinder and Sons, Greensburg PA plant joined the United States Glass company in 1891. It was renamed U.S. Glass Company, "Factory G" between 1893 and 1894. It operated as a U.S.G.Co. plant from 1891–1900. Gillinder and Sons sold out its interested in U.S.G.Co. combine. Their company's molds were latter dispersed to other U.S.G.Co. member factories. There was what we would today call, a "non-compete clause" that Gillinder and Sons not produce pressed tableware for 20 years.
Today there is a Gillinder Glass located in Port Jervis, NY. Their website states, "In 1912, three Gillinder brothers, grandsons of William T., purchased a glass plant in Port Jervis, formerly known as the Orange County Flint Glass Works. The plant opened as Gillinder Brothers in January 1913 and continues (now with its gift store-The Gillinder Glass Store) on this same site 102 years later." The timeline makes sense from the sale of the Greensburg, PA company.
There is a conflicting history which states "the Greensburg Glass Co. operated in East Greensburg, PA from 1890 to 1892 when it reorganized. It emerged with new management as the Greensburg Glass Company, Ltd. and in 1899 it joined the National Glass Co. combine and became Factory #8 aka Greensburg Glass Works. In 1900 the factory was sold to Standard Glass Co for a bottle works."
We have been unable to find any support for this statement. National Glass Company's historical records are weak but there is no record of a Greenburg Glass works within the organization that we have found so far. There was suppose to be 19 plants within there combine and we have found records for only 9 so far. Several of the plants they leased to other companies such Cambridge Glass which operated them with full autonomy as individual companies..
On the other hand the U.S.G.Co. records are quite good and well published. We know for a fact Gillinder and Sons was definitely operating in Greensburg, PA from 1889 to 1891. The plant operated under U.S.G.Co. from 1891 to 1900. U.S.G.Co. operated into 1963, they would most likely have either sold or leased a non operations glassworks which is what Gillinder and Sons, Greenburg, PA site would have been, from 1900 on. It is quite possible that the former Gillinder and Sons facility was sold to Standard Glass Co for a bottle works.
We are working with the Westmoreland County Historical Society, located in Greensburg, PA. determine the facts. Hopefully there will be more latter.
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