The antiquarian







H. C. Fry Glass company

1901 - 1933

 Rochester, Pa.

H. C. Fry Glassworks


Henry C. Fry, the founder of the company and a sharp businessman, was involved in the glassware industry from the age of sixteen, when he was a shipping clerk for the William Phillips Glass Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. His father, Thomas, was linked with the Curling, Robinson and Co. Glass House of Pittsburgh, Pa.

In 1862 Henry left the Phillips Co. to enlist as a private in the Penna. Cavalry, 15th Regiment.  In 1864 he left the cavalry and became part of the management of the Lippencott, Fry, and Co. glass house.4. In the Spring of 1872 Mr. Fry left the Lippencott Co. in order to manage a new glasshouse, The Rochester Tumbler Co.

On February 12, 1901, the world renowned Rochester Tumbler Co. was destroyed by fire.  Mr. Fry had earlier seen his company plagued by floods because of its proximity to the river and so decided to rebuild on a high spot. He purchased twelve acres of land in North Rochester and began construction of the Fry Glass Company.

He formed a new company the H. C. Fry Glass Company  in 1901, obtained needed capital and on June 28,1902 they were in glass production.

The Fry Co. had skilled craftsmen, willing laborers, envied recipes, good furnaces, facilities for making shipping containers, ownership of a natural gas company (The Beaver, Butler Gas Co.) a water refining plant on company property, membership in the National Glass Co. cartel (Henry Fry was a founder and President)

The first receivership occurred in 1926 for reasons of bankruptcy. It had its problems during the "crash" of 1929. In 1931, Mr. Henry Fry died and his eldest son took over, but was unable to maintain the company's profits. In 1933, the company went into receivership for the second time and the Libbey Company acquired the buildings.  They maintained production for approximately three years and then folded. The Beaver Valley works was sold to a private concern.

Many of the Fry molds were sold to the Phoenix Glass Co. in Monaca, while others were destroyed.

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