Capstan Glass Fruit Jar Claim


In a previous article, Fruit Jar Controversy in the 1930ís, a letter written by F. C. Ball in 1936 to Hartford-Empire inquiring about the licenses held by other companies to manufacture fruit jars using Hartford-Empire feeder equipment was reproduced.Several years later, the controversy still raged.An officer of the glass machine company sent Ball Brothers a Statement of Facts in 1939 to try to clarify the situation.Portions of this document, copies of which are in the Minnetrista files, are presented as it contains some interesting facts.

As often is the case, the intertwining of companies, subsidiaries and affiliates makes understanding the precise relationships difficult.I donít know if this will help to any extent, but if you can dig your way through this and understand it, more power to you.


September 8, 1939






Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. of Pennsylvania is the successor, by change of name in March, 1938 as we understand, of Capstan Glass Company of Connelsville, Pennsylvania.It is owned by Anchor Hocking Glass Corp., which was organized in 1937 to take over the businesses of Anchor Cap & Closure Co., Hocking Glass Co., General Glass Corp., Salem Glass Works, Lancaster Glass Co. and Capstan Glass Co.It is understood that Anchor Hocking of Pa. is still maintained as a separate corporation.

Capstan Glass Company was organized about 1917 by Mr. Isaac R. Stewart, President of the Anchor Cap & Closure Company of Long Island City, New York, and was closely affiliated with Anchor Cap & Closure.The business of the Capstan Company was the manufacture of glass tumblers, bottles and jars, mainly for packerís use.It made no fruit jars for domestic (household) use, although at various times it claimed to have the right under its glass feeder licenses to make domestic fruit jars.

After the Capstan Glass Co. was acquired by the Anchor Hocking group, the plant was shut down.In the spring of 1939, the Anchor group applied to the Hartford-Empire Company for permission to sub-lease to Anchor Hocking of Pa. (formerly Capstan) some of the Hartford equipment held under license at Lancaster, Ohio by the Hocking division of Anchor Hocking.It was stated that this request was made in order to save taxes, by giving Anchor Hocking of Pa. some manufacturing profits against which it could charge its losses resulting from shutting down of the old Capstan plant at Connelsville. This arrangement was agreed to May 1, 1939.

Later, Anchor Hocking of Pa. reported to Hartford-Empire the manufacture, during July, 1939, of 3222 gross* of domestic fruit jars for which it computed the royalty due Hartford at the rate of 12Ę per gross.Hartford-Empire declined to receive payment of such royalties and notified Anchor Hocking of Pa. that the manufacture of domestic fruit jars was outside of its Hartford license.

Representatives of the Anchor Hocking group have stated that the fruit jars in question were made deliberately for the purpose of raising the issue as to whether Anchor Hocking of Pennsylvania, as successor of Capstan Glass Company, has the right to make domestic fruit jars.If so, it is desired to manufacture such jars extensively for the canning season of 1940.


*For August 1939, 1586 gross were reported, making a total of 4808 gross.


R. D. Brown

Vice President

Hartford-Empire Company


The asterisked portion was added to the document later.

Whether you can figure out how the companies are related or not, there still is some nice information available about the workings of the fruit jar industry in the years just before World War II.I have not been able to determine the exact resolution of the matter, but I suspect that the onset of the war made it a moot point.


Written by Richard H. Cole, Jr.

© 2003 Minnetrista

First Published in September 2003 Glass Chatter