Cambridge History from News Articles

by Charles Upton
Issue No. 154 - February, 1986

EDITOR'S NOTE: We are pleased to present the first in a series of historical articles concerning the Cambridge Glass Company. This series is the direct result of many months of research on the part of Charles Upton, Cambridge, Ohio. Charles is not only a knowledgeable Cambridge glass collector, but he is also co-founder and first President of National Cambridge Collectors.

This series consists primarily of articles taken directly from the Cambridge, Ohio newspaper: The Daily Jeffersonian (reprinted here with their permission). An exception to this being the lead article which comes from the National Glass Budget of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Some of these articles will be long and others very short, but all contain information concerning the history of the Cambridge Glass Company, and will be presented in chronological order.

Charles has spent endless hours pouring over copies of old newspapers on a very poor microfilm viewer (with no adjustments except for the "on & off" switch) in the offices of The Jeffersonian. According to Charlie's account of the conditions, "you had to roll the film by hand, hold up on the glass that the film goes through in order to focus the print, and then write everything down longhand ... as there is no way to get a copy from the machine! The early layout of newspapers leaves a lot to be desired. They printed all of the information in continuing paragraphs with no heading at all. You might be reading about an important function and the next paragraph will be an advertisement for some patent medicine. Very hard to find what you are looking for unless you read it all."

"Read it all," is exactly what we are hoping each of our members will take the time to do. As we continue to bring this series of articles to you, we plan to hold them to four pages per month, and we will back the pages so they may be removed and added to your research material if you wish.

The research for these articles is not yet complete. Charles is still spending many hours at The Daily Jeffersonian. If any of our members in the Cambridge area would be interested in helping to finish this project, the assistance would be appreciated.

National Glass Budget, Pittsburgh, Penna.
Saturday, November 4, 1899

The final touches were put on the National Glass Co., (the flint and tableware manufacturers' combine), during the past week, the purchase money of the various plants having been paid over Wednesday. The only firms outside of the combination are the United States Glass Co., of Pittsburgh; Bryce, Higbee & Co., Pittsburgh; A. H. Heisey & Co., Newark, 0.; The Co-operative Flint Glass Co., Tarentum, Pa.; George Duncan's Sons & Co., Washington, Pa.; Bonita Glass Co., Moundsville, W.Va.; and the Central Glass Co., Wheeling, W.Va.

The combination embraces nineteen firms with a total capacity of 678 pots, which show an earning during the past year, by sworn statement, that will pay the interest on the new combination's bonded indebtedness and 10 per cent on the stock issued. There is not a particle of water in the stock, the factories having been taken in at their appraised value, which amounts to $4,000,000. The deal was financed by Whitney & Stephenson, assisted by the Union Trust Co., and T. Mellon & Sons, bankers, of this city.

There is a strong probability that two or three of the firms now outside will be taken in before many months, and it is to be hoped that all will co-operate in maintaining prices, and in other matters pertaining to the welfare of the trade. Bryce Bros. could not see their way clear to entering owing to the fact that they make special lines of fine blown glassware, have a certain family pride in maintaining their independence, and their former experience when identified with the United States Glass Co. was sufficiently distasteful to make them rather cautious about joining the new combine. Bryce, Higbee & Co. own a plant and valuable ground and wharfage at Homestead, Pa., from which, in the very near future, they expect to realize more in purchase money from the Carnegie Steel Co. who need the site to make continuous connection between separated departments, than the combine would be willing or could possibly pay; Geo. Duncan's Sons & Co., desire to remain independent for private reasons which it would at present be injudicious to publicly specify, A. H. Heisey & Co., are so wrapped up with real estate deals, whose future and speculative values are higher than present business estimates, that it was deemed unwise to pay cash for their plant and holdings, and cash payment was insisted on and refused. The Co-operative Glass Co. is controlled by stockholders, the majority of whom are workmen and have local property interests which they do not wish to jeopardize, but at last accounts the only question of difference was as to whether a certain $25,000 of the purchase money should be paid in cash or in stock certificates.

Following is a list of the factories included in the new combination:

  • Canton Glass Co., Marion, Md ...............30
  • Central Glass Co., Summitville, Md..........17
  • Crystal Glass Co., Bridgeport, 0............49
  • Cumberland Glass Co., Cumberland, Md........14
  • Greensburg Glass Co., Greensburg, Pa........23
  • Ind. Tumbler & Goblet Co., Greentown, Ind..38
  • Model Glass Co., Albany, Md.................29
  • McKee & Bros., Jeannette, Pa...............117
  • Northwood Glass Co., Indiana, Pa............20
  • Riverside Glass Co., Wellsburg, W.Va........16
  • Robinson Glass Co., Zanesville, 0..................15
  • Royal Glass Co., Marietta, 0.......................20
  • W.Va. Glass Co., Martin's Ferry, 0..........24
  • Rochester Tumbler Co., Rochester, Pa........95
  • Keystone Tumbler Co., Rochester, Pa.........42
  • Dalzell, Gilmore & Leighton, Findlay, 0.....35
  • Beatty-Brady Glass Co., Dunkirk, Md.........54
  • Fairmount Glass Co., Fairmount, W.Va........12
  • Ohio Flint Glass Co., Lancaster, 0...............28
  • Total................................678

Following is a list of factories outside, giving live pot capacity:

  • United States Glass Co., Pittsburgh.........150
  • Tarentum Glass Co., Tarentum, Pa............14
  • Geo. Duncan's Sons & Co., Washington, Pa...16
  • A. H. Heisey & Co., Newark, 0...............14
  • Bryce, Higbee & Co., Homestead, Pa.........24
  • Bryce Bros., Mt. Pleasant, Pa...............24
  • Central Glass Co., Wheeling, W.Va...........12
  • Fostoria Glass Co., Moundsville, W.Va...........20
  • Co-operative Flint Glass Co., Beaver Falls, Pa.30
  • Bonita Glass Co., Cicero, Md....................26
  • Total.....................................330

Settlement for all shipments of ware prior to November 1st, 1899, will be made with the old, or individual firms, to whom all correspondence should be addressed. On all shipments after that date settlement will be made with the National Glass Co. Notices have been sent to all factories to close down today (Saturday) for stock taking which will be done as rapidly as possible, since all are filled up with orders, and a resumption will take place at the earliest possible moment. They will all be in operation again by the end of next week.

Factories which have been running non-union will continue to operate on an independent basis just the same as if no combination had been formed, and there will be no let up on the pushing of the company's product through the channels of the traveling salesman. Buyers who may have a preference for ware produced at particular factories will also have their orders filled from the factory of their choice. The price question has not as yet been taken up.

The plants taken into the combine are all operating at present excepting the Robinson at Zanesville, Ohio, and the factory of the Greensburg Glass Co., at Greensburg, Pa., both of which will be started as soon as repairs are made.

It is the company's purpose to curtail operating expenses to the lowest possible notch by the introduction of machinery and along other lines and a determined effort will be made to increase their export trade. An office is to be established at once in London, with Harry Northwood in charge, and later on sample rooms will be opened in other important foreign cities. The main office will be located in this city and it will be opened as soon as a suitable location can be secured.

The officers are: President, H. C. Fry; Vice President, C. J. Bockius; Secretary, Addison Thompson. The board of directors consists of the above named gentlemen, in connection with D. C. Jenkins, A. Hart McKee, W. J. Alford, L. A. Fletcher and A. L. Strausberger. A. Hart McKee, D. E. Jenkins, L. A. Fletcher, W. J. Alford and Addison Thompson are the executive committee.

The Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
October 18, 1900

... At a preliminary meeting of thirty of our citizens in the Hutchison block last night every man present pledged himself to do all he could to secure the glass plant. And then every one present, with out an exception signed a paper agreeing to pay his share of the expenses of getting a charter for the Cambridge Improvement Co., which is to be organized with a capital of $100,000 for the purpose of securing land for factory and building sites, switches, etc., and for the purpose of looking after the location of manufacturing industries, considering applications, deciding what are meritorious, and how they should be aided, whether by gift of a site, a bonus, or otherwise. R. V. Orme was elected chairman and T. M. McFarland secretary.

Fred L. Rosemond, R. R. Scott, C. C. Cosgrove, R. D. Hood and P. C. Patterson were appointed to draft a plan, secure a charter, etc., and a special messenger was sent to Columbus to get the charter, and deposit the fee of $100 required by law. They will be back tonight.

E. R. McCollum, Dr. C. L. Casey and R. D. Hood were appointed a committee to make a poll of the citizens who are to be solicited, and divide the city into districts for that purpose.

Every man and woman is to be seen, and is expected by wise management, we can make the glass factory not only pay its own bonus by enhancing the value of the land about it, but also a large profit with which houses can be built, and other factories located. In this way no one would be out a dollar in the end, and if the profit is not used for other factories, could share in a profit.

The plan reported provides that those who make small subscriptions shall have their subscriptions allotted in full, and in case of an over subscription, to scale down the larger. The idea of the committees being to make the matter as widely popular as possible. The plan of the committee was adopted unanimously.

W. B. Cosgrove was down from Zanesville yesterday. He told R. V. Orme that our plan for organizing the Cambridge Improvement Co. to locate factories was a good one, and that if we could land the glass plant we talked about as a starter, he would take a good block of the stock.

It is said by those who have done some figuring, that the land in that section of Cambridge most affected by the Cambridge Iron and Steel Co., has advanced in value since that mill was located over $200,000. If that had been owned by The Cambridge Improvement Co., it could have paid the bonus to the mill, and had enough profit to locate six more like it.

We have been on the wrong track but are getting right now. If we had taken the right course, the Cambridge Iron and Steel Co. would have paid its own bonus, by enhancing the value of the land near it. As it was, the town paid the bonus, and the lucky citizens who owned the adjacent property reaped the profit, the direct profit. Even at that, it has well paid the town. Mill men are the best customers for our merchants. Ask any store or grocery.

The Cambridge Iron and Steel Co. helped us double our population, helped us through the panic, has helped our merchants, doctors, lawyers, newspapers, insurance men, churches, everybody. The suggestions of Greater Cambridge is a good one. Let us connect Byesville not only by an electric railroad, but by manufacturing establishments, and extend the corporation line.

There will, be a meeting of the citizens in the court room Friday night at 7:30 to consider the question of trying to secure the immense glass plant which is offered. Let everybody attend. Close for one night, and devote your time to making a Greater Cambridge. Ladies are especially invited.

Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
October 22, 1900

SUCCESS of the Glass Plant Depends Entirely upon the Subscription of the Stock of the Cambridge Improvement Co.

All the conditions of the Glass company have been met except the cash bonus. This is to be raised by the Cambridge Improvement Co. and by its plan a large tract of ground will be purchased, on which the plant will be erected, the houses built and many of the people located so that the stockholders will reap the benefits of the location. In this way the glass factory will eventually pay the bonus itself.

There is scarcely a business man who could not take from ten to twenty shares, if the stock is subscribed, not more than one third will be called this fall, and probably another third during the spring and summer, and this is probably all that will ever be called, the sale of lots and houses will no doubt meet the subsequent requirements.

Thus we may safely say, twenty per cent will be called within ten days and ten per cent within twenty days thereafter, possibly longer, and nothing more until spring, or late in the winter, when not more than ten per cent more will be called. Thus on one share of stock the payments would be, within ten days $20, within twenty days thereafter, $10, after Jan 1901 $10, and in the spring probably $20 more which ought to be the last installment. Opportunity will no doubt be given to subscribers to pay in full.

It is now up to our people, and final success or failure depends entirely with them. There is absolutely no contingency on which this cash bonus can be provided except by subscribing to this stock. Mass meeting tonight in court room to hear report of canvasses. We have no time within which to do this. A day may be too late.

Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
October 24, 1900


The citizens again met in the court room Tuesday evening to further consider the interests of the Improvement Committee, hear reports from the solicitors and give them substantial encouragement. Further explanations and short addresses were made by Judge Campbell, Rev. Dr. McFarland, John C. Beckett, John L. Locke, Fred L. Rosemond and others. The Solicitors reported 350 shares subscribed and the report was not nearly complete. It is hoped that every citizen who possibly can do so will be very prompt in sub- scribing and make up the sum without delay. A temporary organization on the part of the stockholders was affected with R. V. Orme, president; T. M. McFarland, Secretary and C. C. Cosgrove, Treasurer. A permanent organization will be made Thursday evening.

Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
October 24, 1900


A meeting was held in the court room last evening, a few, short, earnest addresses made and committees appointed to begin at once a thorough canvass of the city for subscribers to the stock of The Cambridge Improvement Company, by means of which the enormous glass plant will be brought to Cambridge.

These committees will actively canvass and make report at the earliest possible time, for what is done must be done promptly, the proposition will, not wait. Thirty thousand dollars must be raised at once, or it fails. But in order to raise this sum it is not necessary for subscribers to pay all cash. It will be paid in easy installments. If the pledges are sufficient the cash needed can be secured.

There is great earnestness on the part of the progressive citizens and every citizen should be progressive in this emergency.

Following are the Committeemen who are making the canvass, it is sincerely hoped successfully:

No. Wheeling and West Third: to meet at O. E. Steel's grocery - James E. LePage, Chairman, John N. McCartney, Hutch Wiley, John Nelson, M. Sigler.

No. Wheeling and West Fifth: to meet at W. K. Booth's grocery - P. J. Hannon, Chairman, Wood Booth, N. Uhiman, John Davis, Martin Varley, M. Turner.

Editor's Note: The list of blocks and persons to do the canvassing goes on and on. Therefore, we have truncated the article at this point.