Muncie in 1888


What was it like in Muncie in 1888?Well, the gas boom had just hit, and the city had attracted lots of companies looking for cheap energy.Four new glass companies had started up.The state geologist published a year-end summary of factories using natural gas.The information in his report contains some tidbits:


q       Ball Glass Works, fruit jars, green and amber bottles; two furnaces, nine pots; value of daily product, $700; 125 employees; weekly payroll, $1,200; sand from Millington, Illinois; lime from Fostoria, Ohio, and soda ash from England.

q       Hemingray Glass Company, bottles; one furnace, fourteen pots; 100 employees; weekly payroll, $800.

q       C. H. Over, window glass; two furnaces, sixteen pots; weekly capacity, 1,400 boxes of glass; 84 employees; weekly payroll, $1,400.

q       Maring, Hart & Co., window glass; two furnaces, twenty pots; capacity of 7,680 50-feet boxes of glass monthly; 120 employees.


They didnít give the weekly payroll for Maring, Hart, but the others calculate out average weekly salaries of: Ball - $9.60, Hemingray - $8.00 and Over - $16.67.The three factories were located adjacent to each other on Macedonia Avenue.Were the workers at Over really making twice that of those next door at Hemingray?


Written by Richard Cole,

© 2002 Minnetrista Cultural Center

First published in December 2002 Glass Chatter.