History of New Martinsville Glass Company 1900 - 1944
New Martinsville Glass Co. was formed in 1900 by Mr. Mark Douglas and George Matheny. They had previously been associated with the Specialty Glass Co. of East Liverpool. Plant construction was started in 1900 the first glass production was in June 21, 1901.
From 1901 1907, New Martinsville Glass Co. survived on profits produced on press glass production. In 1902 a design patent was applied for by James Collins for the Rock Crystal line collectors know this line as Floral Panel. In 1905 Mr. Collins resigned from the company and went into businesses for himself.
The next major innovation at New Martinsville Glass Co. was the introduction of the Muranese Line in 1901. Joseph Webb was the creator of this line. Muranese Line was manufactured from 1902 through March 1907 in various forms and color effects.
Joseph Webb career is historically important to the glass industry of that time. Joseph Webb, b. March 5, 1852, d. December 29, 1905 was an Englishman who migrated to the USA about 1883. His brother was Hugh Fitzroy Webb their father was Joseph Webb (1813 - 1869) cousin of Thomas Webb the owner of Thomas Webb & Sons Glassworks Stourbridge, England.
Below is the working chronology of Joseph Webb as per trade publication or his obituary.
1883 - 1893 Phoenix, Metal Maker (Glass Formulator)
1893 - 1894 Libby Glass Co.
1894 - 1899 Fort Pit Glass Works
1899 1900 - Tarentum Glass Co.
1900 1901 Webb Decorative Glass Co., Coudersport, PA
1901 1904 New Martinsville Glass, Superintendent
1904 1905 Haskins Glass Co., General Manager
In the 1904 New Martinsville catalogue, listed the Muranese ware as No. 900 it was being made in the colors of pink, salmon and opal. There is also some evidence that it was also made in blue and turquoise.
In March 1907 the New Martinsville plant was destroyed by flood and fire. By October 1907 the plant was rebuilt and was back in operation. However, the Muranese ware production was discontinued.
From 1908 1916 the New Martinsville works General Manger was David I. Fisher. He assumed his post after the former General Manager, David Baird resigned. The company maintained its prominences in the glass tableware industry during this period.
From 1916 until 1919 New Martinsville leadership was changing frequently and the company suffered for it.
From 1919 to 1926 New Martinsville Glass Co. was managed by Ira M. Clark stabilized the company.
From 1926 Robert E. McEldowney served as General Manager until Ira M. Clark return in 1932 at the stockholder request. Mr. Clark worked out terms with creditors. Several new glass lines were introduced helping the company. Ira Clark died between 1936 to 1938. In 1938 the plant was sold to interests from New England, the principles included Mr. R. M. Rice and Carl Schultz. Harry Barth was made General Manager. He was also a partner in the firm. Harry Barth left the firm in 1940. Walter Clulo replaced Mr. Barth.
In mid 1944 the firm changed its name to Viking Glass Company. They operated the plant until 1986.
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