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History of Albany glass – Model Flint Glass Co.

Model Flint Glass Company, Findlay, OH: 1888 - 1893

Model Flint Glass Company, Albany, IN: 1893 - 1899

National Glass Company, Albany, IN.: 1899 – 1902

 Model Flint Glass Company's plant in Albany, In 1898

     Model Flint Glass Company was founded in Findlay, Ohio in 1888 by Anderson Cartwright Heck, Abraham L. Strasburger, Andrew L. Stephenson, William Parson, J. W. Davidson, William Stephenson, Elmer Stephenson and J. T. Leahy.  The first factory manager was W. C. Walters, who was succeeded by William Russell.  The Model Flint glass company’s Findlay, OH plant was in full glass production by August 1889.

Between the years of 1870 to 1890, the number of glass plants located in Ohio increased from 9 to 67, with an excess of a dozen located around Findlay. Natural gas was discovered in Findlay during the 1880s.  With the offers of free gas, inexpensive and plentiful land provided a strong motivator to the glass industry to locate in the Findlay, Ohio area.  In 1890, the city of Findlay started charging all consumers of natural gas a monthly rate.  In 1892, Findlay experienced a natural gas shortage.  Everyone thought that Findlay’s natural gas supply would last for several centuries, but by the 1890s, the natural gas supply had already been depleted by private companies.  The Model Flint Glass Co. was forced to install an oil-burning system as a backup for the declining natural gas supply. 

Model Flint’s colored glass production while in Findlay included:  crystal, amber, blue and a rare black glass.  There is no mention of frosted, stained, flashed or hand painted glass production prior to the move to Albany, IN.  Patterns known to have been made at Findlay, OH included:  Monongahela, #849 (Waffle), #850 (Square and Hobnail) also referred to as (Diagonal Bead & Bands)(Please note none of these patterns are rose bowl patterns.)

By mid 1893, the Model Flint Glass Co decided to move to Albany, IN.  The move was complete by October 25, 1893.   The Model Flint Co. was newly built in Albany, IN with a 15-pot furnace, which gave the company a 25% increase in glass production over the old Findlay, Ohio facility.  The new plant employed 150 people when it opened and grew to 250 employees with two furnaces holding 29 melting pots.  They also had their own gas well, thus they were no longer dependent upon a gas company.  Model Flint was under the impression they had a long term natural gas supply. 

In the 1890s, Indiana was the top-ranking state in the U.S. for total glass production.  It was reported that Indiana had 110 glass factories producing the entire range of glass products.  The town of Albany grew from 571 residents in 1890 to a population of 2,116 by 1900.  It is estimated that the town housed 3,000 people before the natural gas supply faded.  Once again, free gas and cheap and plentiful land fed the industrial growth that in turn fed the commercial growth. Albany continued to grow until the natural gas supply ran out. 

On October 26, 1899, Model Flint sold the facility to the National Glass Company.  Model Flint was one of 19 plants purchased by the National Glass Co.  By January of 1902, National decided to close some of its 19 plants.   Later that year the Model Flint Glass Works was closed, never to be reopened.  In retrospect, many glass companies during this time period made money until their free or cheap supply of natural gas ran out.  Afterwards, it was difficult to continue operations.

For additional listing of rose bowl produced at both Findlay, OH and Albany, IN by Model Flint glass Co. please see our Glass Patterns listing under Albany Glass / Model Flint.       

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