Who Am I?


Born in Pittsburgh in 1859, I started working in a glass factory at age nine. I worked my way up from crimping boy to glass blower. When the machines moved in, I learned how to run them, too. I got a patent on a machine to crimp lamp chimneys. Because I helped fight the workers who went on strike because of the machines, I was put into management. I worked for Dithridge & Company in Pittsburgh about 10 years, until 1887, when I moved to Fostoria, Ohio to form my own glass company, making lantern globes, windowpanes and cathedral glass.

When that plant burned down two years later, I moved to Washington, Pennsylvania and started another glass plant making cathedral glass. Charles Brady and I became partners, and we made a lot of money together.

About 1892, I sold my interest to Brady. I moved to Redkey, Indiana and started yet another glass factory, which I named after my wife. I made chimneys, globes, tumblers and cathedral glass. I patented a glass machine that another glass factory in town, Redkey Glass, used to make its fruit jars. I bought an abandoned glass plant in Gas City and moved all the cathedral glass operations there.

I kept the other production in Redkey until the natural gas started to fail in 1902. Then, I moved my company to Indianapolis. I was still its president when I died in 1916 at age 56. I am buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis. Who am I?




Written by Richard H. Cole, Jr.

2002 Minnetrista Cultural Center

First Published in the January 2003 Glass Chatter