The antiquarian







Central Glass Company

Wheeling, WV.

Central Glass Works 1877


The Central Glass Co. was formed in Wheeling, WV, in 1863 by a group of dissatisfied workers from the Barnes, Hobbs and Co (later known as Hobbs, Brockunier and Co.). They pooled together $5,000 to start their own glass works in an old pork packing plant and distillery.

Fire destroyed the factory in 1888, but it was immediately rebuilt. The factory developed into one of the largest producers of glass in the U.S., producing train car loads that were shipped worldwide. In 1891, Central Glass was approached by the U.S. Glass Co. combine, but did not join until about six months after the combine had started.

It became "Factory O"' when it finally joined. The plant closed from 1893 to 1895. In December, 1895, Nathan B. Scott, a former sales manager who assumed control of the company prior to the U.S. Glass Company merger, and others purchased the empty plant and reopened it as 'Central Glass Works' in January, 1896.

It took a considerable time to start producing, and no glass was made until 1898. In 1901, the factory was again destroyed by fire and was rebuilt a second time. Due to inadequate tariff protection against foreign competition and imports undercutting the market, the factory was shut down until 1904.

In 1919, Central Glass Works purchased the Chippendale pattern molds from Jefferson Glass Co. By 1926, Central was the only glass factory still operating in Wheeling. The plant closed briefly in 1932 due to the depression and prohibition. One of the main products of the factory were bar goods, and with no bars, there was no demand for their product. When prohibition was repealed, Central resumed operation. By 1939, foreign competition grew, and Central closed it's doors for good, selling their molds to Imperial Glass Company.


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