Building the Cambridge Factory

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 203 - March 1990

During my visit to the Rakow Library at the Corning Glass Museum last fall, I began the monumental task of going through all the issues of Crockery & Glass Journal that might contain information concerning the Cambridge Glass Company. It is a slow, tedious, process that requires careful reading in order not to miss any possible news regarding Cambridge. This article is based on that research and covers the building and opening of the Cambridge Glass Company factory as told in Crockery & Glass Journal.

7/04/01 "The new plants commencing and undergoing construction in the glassware field are reported to be going forward satisfactorily. The National's new Cambridge works have the foundation in and work on the three stacks will commence this week."

7/11/01 "Their (National Glass Co.) Cambridge and Rochester building operations are progressing quite satisfactorily."

7/18/01 "The National Glass Co. brought in their second gas well at Cambridge this past week . . . . Their construction work at Cambridge is going on favorably. The foundations are all in, and Nichols & Matthews are putting in their furnaces and doing their glasshouse work. They will have three fourteen-pot furnaces."

7/25/01 "The construction of the National Glass Co.'s Cambridge plant is progressing finely, and they are now ready for and awaiting some structural iron or steel. If they are not delayed on this material their plant will be completed by the first of October."

8/15/01 "The National Glass Co.'s building projects at Cambridge, O., and Rochester, Pa., are moving along rather slowly just now, owing to a delay in delivery of structural steel."

9/05/01 " . . . Fairly good progress is reported at their new Cambridge, O., plant."

9/19/01 "The National Glass Co. have topped out their three furnaces at Cambridge, and, their structural iron having arrived, they are rapidly pushing the construction of this important plant . . . "

10/03/01 "The National Glass Co. during the past year have been reconstructing works destroyed by fire and building a large plant at Cambridge, Ohio. All will be completed by Jan. 1 and they will then have a much larger producing capacity . . . "

10/17/01 "The National Glass Co. are now dismantling and removing the Central Glass Co.'s works at Summitville, Ind. The valuable machinery goes to Cambridge, O."

10/31/01 "Everything is reported to be moving smoothly at the National Glass Co. and . . .
They incorporated their new plant as the Cambridge Glass Co., with a capital of $500,000,
presumably on the plan of having a distinct works with a capitalization covering its value. They also incorporated their gas and oil territory under the name of Guernsey Gas and Oil Co. with a capital of $300,000. Secretary Addison Thompson, Treasurer M. L. Case, Andrew Herron, (chairman of the executive committee), H. Morris and F. L. Raymond are the incorporators. The construction of the Cambridge Plant is moving along vigorously, also the brick work of the Rochester is now going up. Both will be ready for operation by January 1."

11/07/01 "The National Glass Co. retired $200,000 of their old . . . They expect to have their Cambridge and Rochester plants completed and ready for operations the first of the year . . ."

11/14.01 "The National Glass Co. reported business good at the numerous plants, and manufacturing moving along smoothly and efficiently. Building at Cambridge and Rochester is going along rather slowly, owing to failure in delivery of materials, and it is questionable whether they will have these plants fully ready to operate before late in January . . ."

12/12/01 "Arthur J. Bennett, who for many years has been prominent in connection with B. F. Hunt & Sons, has resigned to accept the presidency of the Cambridge Glass Co., Cambridge, O., to which office he was elected last month. Mr. Bennett will make his home in Cambridge after January 1."

12/12/01 "The Dalzell Gilmore plant at Findlay, O., was permanently shut down the past week. The valuable machinery will be moved to Cambridge, O., where the National is completing a large new plant. This is the second factory shut down to be removed to Cambridge . . . The Central at Summitville, Ind., have been previously closed."

12/19/01 "The National Glass Co. . . . With the completion of the Rochester Tumbler and their new Cambridge Works they will have the largest tumbler capacity in the world, and plants equipped with every possible modern appliance."

02/13/02 "Business conditions at the National Glass Co. . . . Their Cambridge plant will be in operation some time during the next month."

02/20/02 "Business conditions at the National Glass Co. is reported to be fairly normal for the season . . . The extreme cold has been unfavorable to the completion of their Rochester and Cambridge plants, but all the material is now on the ground, and it is to be hoped that no further delays will be experienced."

02/27/02 "The National Glass Co.'s two important plants under construction were expected to be in operation this month sure. The Rochester works have the foundation and the steel girders for the first floor in place, with a small portion of the frame for the second story erected. The Cambridge plant has the building erected and the majority of the machinery installed. These two plants will add eight large furnaces to the National's capacity. They are being constructed in the most approved manner and will have the best equipment extant."

03/20/02 "Arthur J. Bennett, who left New York to take the presidency of the Cambridge Glass Co., Cambridge, O., says that there is every prospect that the factory will be making glass early next month. Severe weather and the difficulty in obtaining building material retarded progress, but now everything seems to be going ahead. He says the factory is about as near perfect as can be, and with natural gas and good shipping facilities they will be able to hold their own with any of the other factories."

03/20/02 "The National glass Co. are pushing along energetically the work on their two plants at Cambridge and Rochester."

04/10/02 "The Cambridge plant of the National Glass Co., it is now announced by the managers, will be completed and making glass on May 1. It will make general lines of glassware, tumblers, tableware, etc. It is a three furnace plant and one of the most complete extant."

04/27/02 "Thos. G. Edge, who will handle in this market the product of the Cambridge Glass Co., has just received their catalogue. It contains 140 pages of cuts, which include about everything that is made in table glass. It is expected that in another week the factory will be turning out glass."

05/08/02 "The Cambridge Glass Works, a model three furnace plant with every modern improvement, commenced making glass this week.

05/22/02 "Thos. G. Edge has received his first lot of samples from the Cambridge (Ohio) Glass Co. The ware is very good, and for a first output from a new factory is far above the average of glass from a new factory. When everything is in smooth working order they will hold their own with any of the factories."

09/04/02 "A new Canton Glass Co. has been organized and will build a plant at Marion, Ind., with a capital of $75,000. The old Canton Glass Works, of the National, was abandoned and its valuable machinery removed to the Cambridge (O.) glass factory . . ."

09/11/02 "Thos. G. Edge has just received an entire new line of glass from the Cambridge Glass Co. in both crystal and decorated. It is a good line at a medium price. He has also a cheap line in a double diamond pattern which is very effective. It is a double pattern by reason of the outside or large diamond being made up of small diamond figures. There is a new line of all glass lamps, decorated, and many pieces of table and bar glass, the latter making the bar line now complete."

10/09/02 " . . . The Cambridge has three fifteen-pot furnaces and is operated on druggists' glassware, lines formerly made by the dismantled Canton Glass Works -- and in addition pressed and blown tableware and specialities . . ."

Next: The First Years of Production.