Who Am I?


I was born in 1849 in Wheeling, West Virginia.  As a young man, I worked for some of the glassmaking companies there, and was a bookkeeper for Hobbs, Brockunier & Co.  I moved up the river to Wellsburg to work for a glass company that was making tableware.  I got married, had children, got a couple of patents, and became president of the company.

We had a small operation making the white liners for zinc mason caps.  It wasn’t making much money, but I could see potential there.  I formed a new company with Charlie Tallman. We rented an old mill across the street, built two day tanks, and started making the liners on September 3, 1885.

The business grew so fast that I resigned as president of the old company to work full time at the new one.  We moved to Washington, Pennsylvania when the gas gave out in Wellsburg.  We soon started making milkglass jars and salve boxes, and eventually made all sorts of glass, including fruit jars.

I was involved in three other glass companies in Washington, was a director of a bank and was a member of the board of trustees for Washington and Jefferson College for 40 years.  I died in 1938, having made my company one of the biggest producers of fruit jars.  Who am I?




Written by Richard Cole,

© 2002 Minnetrista Cultural Center

This article first appeared in the November 2002 issue of the Glass Chatter.