There was a lot of unrest in the glassware industry in the 1890s-early 1900s. Competition was extreme; companies copied or stole patterns from others; and pricing issues were forcing some of the smaller companies to face destruction. All of this was amid the fires, floods, wage and labor issues and other problems common to the glass industry. To make bad matters worse, the consumer tastes were shifting from the ornate, heavy imitation cut glass patterns toward the lighter weight glassware and to colored glassware.
In an effort to save the industry, two large combines were formed where glass companies banded together to work on the pricing issues. Price control was the primary purpose. U.S. Glass Company was formed in 1891. Twenty companies joined this group. They were spread across Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Managing the group created chaos. Companies joining U.S. Glass included:
- Factory A – Adams & Co
- Factory B – Bryce Brothers
- Factory C – Challinor Taylor & Co.
- Factory D – George Duncan & Sons
- Factory E – Richards & Hartley
- Factory F – Ripley Glass
- Factory G – Gillinder
- Factory H – Hobbs Glass Co.
- Factory J – Columbia Glass
- Factory K – King Glass
- Factory L – O’Hara Glass
- Factory M – Bellaire Goblet Co.
- Factory N – Nickel Plate Glass
- Factory O – Central Glass
- Factory P – Doyle & Co.
- Factory R – A. J. Beatty & Sons (Tiffin OH)
- Factory S – A.J. Beatty & Sons (Steubenville OH)
- Factory T – Novelty Glass Company
- Factory U – Gas City, IN
Companies which were part of the U.S. Glass Company fared somewhat better than those in the National Group. However, many of the companies were closed, others were destroyed by fire and were never reopened and labor issues forced others to close. Many of the companies managed to survive until the 1930s but did not survive the Depression of the 1930s. Only Factory R, Tiffin, survived. In 1948 U.S. Glass transferred operations to Tiffin but still maintained the U.S. Glass name. U.S. Glass survived until 1962.
National Glass Company was formed in Bellaire OH in 1899 and by 1908 the company was bankrupt and dissolved. There were 18 companies which became a part of National Glass:
- Rochester Tumbler Company
- McKee & Brothers
- Northwood Company
- Greensburg Glass Company
- Model Flint Glass Company
- Keystone Tumbler Company
- Dalzell, Gilmore & Leighton
- Crystal Glass Company
- West Virginia Glass Company
- Cumberland Glass
- Fairmont Glass Company
- Central Glass Company
- Royal Glass Company
- Robinson Glass Company
- Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company
- Canton Glass Company
- Beatty-Brady Glass Company
- Riverside Glassworks
National began closing facilities immediately. By 1903 only 10 companies remained in the group. National was reorganized and built 3 new facilities: Cambridge Glass; Lancaster; and Jeannette Glass. By 1904, the remaining facilities were leased to others. National ceased to exist by 1908. Cambridge Glass, Lancaster, and Jeannette Glass survived.
SOURCES: Heacock & Bickenheuser, U.S. Glass A-Z; Shotwell, Glass A-Z, p. 372-373 “National Glass Company,”