Central Glass Company
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 When prohibition was repealed, Central resumed operation.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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