Cambridge History from News Articles - Part V

by Charles Upton
Issue No. 158 - June 1986

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, November 27, 1901

The Commoner and Glass Worker says "the Cambridge, Ohio, plant of the National Glass Company expect to be ready to start February 1st." It may be they will, but if they get ready by two months later the work will have been rapidly pushed.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, December 11, 1901

A Pittsburgh item of recent date says the National Glass company has announced that it has abandoned its plants at Findlay, Ohio and Summitville, Indiana. Each plant employs 100 hands. The work is to be done at the company's new plant at Cambridge, Ohio, which will begin operation early in the new year. Employees as well as equipment at the abandoned plants will be transferred to Cambridge.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
Saturday, December 14, 1901

Mr. McMillen, representing a co-operative window glass company was here yesterday, looking for a site, and cheap fuel. Judge Campbell took him around and showed him our facilities, with which he was pleased, and then introduced him to the representatives of the Gas Company. They propose a thirty pot plant, employing one hundred and fifty hands, and Mr. McMillen went from here to Coshocton, where he will meet their board of trade tonight.

There are several propositions before the Improvement Company, but with attempts that are being made to deprive their stockholders of the benefit of the donations they make, so that they can even get their money back, but it must go into the pockets of a few private individuals, the company is slow to put up any more bonuses.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
January 1, 1902

The National Glass Co. has had fire on in its furnaces, drying them out, for some time. The full firing has been delayed because the second gas line is not yet laid. It is necessary to have two lines, to provide against the main line breaking or becoming useless from any cause. The reserve line is projected across the lands of Judge Campbell, Taylor estate and the Improvement Co. The right of way has been given over all but the Taylor estate, and the company is trying to get this now. As soon as this part of the right of way can be got the company will lay its line, and turn on full fire.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
January 24, 1902

Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Bennett and daughter, of Pittsburg, are in the city. Mr. Bennett is connected with the Cambridge works of the National Glass Co. He has leased the McCullough property on North 7th Street, and as soon as the glass plant is ready for operation he will move his family here.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, February 12, 1902

The Glass Worker and Commoner says a general mortgage for $25,000 given by the National Glass Company was filed at Cambridge, Ohio, last week, covering the plant of the company there and also the Robinson glass works property at Zanesville.

The big pressed glass factory is so near completion that the managers expect to begin the work of production within the next thirty days. From 400 to 500 employees will be at work from the start, and the force greatly increased during the coming year as further building progresses. The great need is of homes for the employees.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, March 19, 1902

The Cambridge Improvement Company to National Standard Glass Co. of Pittsburg, Pa., 5 acres, Cambridge township, $2,250.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
Saturday, May 3, 1902

The glass workers to be employed at the glass plant here have organized a union. Geo W. Simpson is president and H.C. Hoble, secretary. A meeting will be held this afternoon to elect delegates to the Guernsey Valley Trades and Labor Assembly.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, May 7, 1902

This comes from Marion, Indiana under date of May 4th: The Canton Glass Works, one of the largest in the gas belt, notified its employees today that the plant would be dismantled after the present fire. The plant will be removed to Cambridge, Ohio, where the company has another plant. The scarcity of gas is given as the reason for leaving Marion.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
Tuesday, May 13, 1902

Owing to the fact that so many people have applied for permission to inspect the Cambridge Glass Plant, President Bennett and manager McClure have decided to set apart two days to give all an opportunity that wish, to inspect the factory. These two days will be Wednesday and Thursday of this week when all visitors will be welcomed. The plant will be in operation these days.

"THE GLASS PLANT" The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
Tuesday, May 13, 1902


Everybody in Cambridge has heard in a vague sort of way of the immense glass plant erected and now being operated by the Cambridge Glass Co. which is an Ohio corporation but works in harmony with the National Glass Co. and is virtually one of their chain of plants, and perhaps a few have visited the plant, but the great majority has really no idea of what a big thing our latest industry is or the size of the plant, the number of people to be employed, the output of what a great addition and help it will be to Cambridge.

When the matter of securing and locating the plant here first came up, those who really understood what an immense plant was knocking at the city gates could hardly realize that it could be true but when they were convinced they started in earnest to land the prize and never relaxed their efforts until its location was assured. All are familiar with the early history of the work, how the different committees were busy day and night and their progress was reported in the papers from day to day. Notwithstanding the many obstacles to be overcome those at the head of the enterprise realized that the only way in which they could hope to succeed was to "keep everlastingly at it" and at last their efforts have been crowned with success. The plant was secured, buildings erected and now it is in, operation. The Improvement Co., deserve a great deal of credit for what it has done for the city and within a very short time the city at large will reap the benefits of their enterprise.

The Cambridge Glass Co. is owned and operated by a distinct company incorporated under the laws of Ohio. The plant while being one of the finest and most complete in the world will, in a short time, be enlarged by the moving of a large plant here from Marion, Md. and the company is now contemplating the building of what is known as a "continuous tank" which will more than double the capacity of the plant.

A Jeffersonian reporter accompanied by Health Officer T.C. Stanley had the pleasure yesterday, of inspecting the plant from top to bottom, under the guidance of President A. J. Bennett and Factory Manager H. L. McClure.

Operations began last Tuesday. At present only one stack is in operation and another will be started in three weeks. The present "fire" will end July 3d, when the plant will shut down for one month. This is done in plants all over the country and is in accordance with an agreement between the operators and workmen. During July the weather is too hot for the men to work. As soon as the plant resumes probably a month later the third stack will be in operation.

Each of these stacks is about one hundred feet high and in each are what is known as fourteen pots. At present on the one stack now in operation sixty-four people are at work of whom perhaps thirty are skilled workmen. This stack is not yet running to its full capacity because as it was so near the end of the "fire" it was thought best to make a small start. About one hundred people are now on the pay roll and when it is on in full the number employed will be five hundred.

The statement that these furnaces or stacks are first heated at 900 degrees is wrong. They are heated to 3000 degrees which is known as "Cherry Red" and this is a test of the stacks. Natural Gas is used and the amount of gas used in one furnace would make a citizen think of bankruptcy. Each furnace consumes from 250,000 to 300,000 feet of gas per day and the engine alone used 1500 feet per hour. The company owns its own gas wells and has plenty of land on which to sink other wells. Judging by the amount of gas used one would think it would soon give out but the company has no fear on this score and even if such a thing should happen the company has made provision to manufacture gas which they would use. They also control a large tract of coal land in the neighborhood of the plant.

The entire plant is thoroughly equipped with fire protection. The company has its own water works system. Near the plant is a tank fifty-three feet from the ground which holds 500 barrels of water. The water is pumped from Leatherwood creek. The plant also has an excellent sanitary system and in each of the large rooms are placed toilet closets.

It is built on an elevation which commands an excellent view of the surrounding country. The plant is really made up of six buildings, all joined together except one which is a two story building fitted up for the offices of the company. The offices are elegantly arranged combining convenience with usefulness and present a very busy scene. This building is surrounded on three sides with a very pretty park. Men are now at work grading and sodding the lawns, planting flowers, trees, etc. and laying the sidewalks.

After obtaining permission at the offices to inspect the plant one is conducted to the factory. First you enter the room where the three stacks or furnaces are. This large room is 240 x 84 feet. Here is where the glass is melted and moulded and trimmed. Each article is then taken to what is known as the lehr building where it is tempered. This room is 100 x 50 feet. Next are four rooms each 100 x 50 feet used respectively for sorting, packing, storing and sample rooms.

The basement is divided into rooms the same size as those on the first floor. These rooms are used as blacksmith shop and engine rooms, mould storage room, room for storing packing material, etc., and for the cooper shop and storage room. Each department is as complete as possible.

The main engine is what is known as a Miller engine, 100 horse power, of which there are very few in use. There are two 25 horse power, one 10 horse power, one 15 horse power and two 2½ horse power engines besides the main engine. The entire plant is lighted by electricity, the company having its own electric plant. There is also a 50 horse power motor and another one has been ordered.

Near the room where the furnaces are located are a number of lockers for the employees and in one end of the sorting room is a dining room for the girls employed by the plant. The company as soon as possible will erect a building near the factory in which will be a restaurant. It has also donated ground for a baseball park for the use of the employees. The company makes all their own moulds.

When the plant is on full the melting capacity will be 327,000 pounds of glass a week.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, May 21, 1902

Wednesday and Thursday were "open days" at the new glass works and a great many of our people took advantage of it to visit the extensive plant. It presented a busy place notwithstanding only one of the three furnaces are yet in opera- don, and the rapidity with which the different kinds of glassware were turned out gave indi- cations that when the works are on in full at the next fire the output will assume immense proportions. The plant is one of the best in the land being constructed along modern lines with every convenience desired.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio.
Saturday, May 24,.1902

The National Glass Co. has accepted the buildings erected by Messrs. Burt and Bodine for the Cambridge Glass Plant and has released the contractors. The contractors' bond of $10,000 has also been surrendered.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, June 11, 1902

Arrangements have been made for the annual closing down of the glass works on June 28th for a vacation of four weeks. Six weeks is the usual vacation, but on account of pressing orders the "lay off" will be two weeks this year. At the Byesville factory the fire will not be put out as it is difficult to get pots, and by keeping the fire up the old pots can be saved. - Byesville Enterprise.

The Cambridge Herald.
Wednesday, August 27, 1902

A writer in the Commoner and Glass Worker, the official journal of the trade, has the following to say of the Cambridge plant.

Beautifully situated in one of the suburbs of the city is the plant of the Cambridge Glass Company. It is not like an ordinary glass factory, but more like a residence or a college, with a rolling lawn 75 x 400 feet, stretched all along the front of the plant. No one could imagine a more beautiful spot for a glass plant. People passing on B. & 0. trains always have some remark to make about the beautiful plant, with its lawn and surround- ings. The old saying, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever," will certainly fit this enterprising glass manufacturing institution. Not only are the grounds of the best, but the entire plant is away beyond anything ever undertaken in the building of a glass factory.

The main building, or blowing room is 240 x 95 x 55 feet; the lehr room 60 x 150; selecting room, 100 x 70; decorating room 80 x 70; stock room 180 x 70. Although divided into different departments, this is one solid building, with a basement 12 feet high where the shipping is done. On top of each lehr is a floor where all the tools are kept in brackets, so that the blower, presser or finisher can in an instant go and pick out any set of tools that he may want to use.

In the mould room, which is a large one for an individual plant, are employed ten journeymen moulders and three apprentice. All of the latest machinery has been put in this mould shop. The company have their own cooper shop and carpenter shop, and everything for use about the plant will be made on the grounds.

The power for this plant is furnished by a 120 h.p. Miller gas engine, which runs a 75 kilometer motor, operating small motors placed in the most advantageous places, and by having a direct connected motor there is about 10 percent of power saved which would be lost in the old way of belting running all over the building.

In the blowing room are three 14 pot furnaces, with two sets of lehrs each. At present there is only two furnaces running making a general line of glass tableware, lamps, bar goods and novelties. The ware being turned out here is away above the average.

This entire plant sets on massive stone foundations, has steel frame and brick curtain walls and absolutely fireproof.

President Bennett has built a restaurant for the benefit of his employees. The plant is nearly a mile from town and the employees have had more or less trouble getting warm meals. By this plan they will be able to get just whatever they want without going out of the yard. The restaurant is 60 x 20 feet, and nicely furnished and has an experienced man at the head to see that things run right.

Mr. Bennett says he wants to have a plant in such shape that every man that is employed at present will want to stay. He has a very good set of men and from the way they all appear and the reports of some they will probably anchor for life to Cambridge.

This enterprising concern was incorporated according to the laws of the state of Ohio in October, 1901, with Arthur J. Bennett as president and W. A. Roif, secretary and treasurer. The plant was operated a very short time last season, and has just started in for the season with the brightest of prospects for a steady run.