Social History of the Cleveland Glass Industry


This blog features the Thomas F. Harrington essay The Glass Industry of Cleveland, New York: A Social History donated to the Cleveland Historical Society.  The original 1979 piece looks to have been a school paper submitted to instructor Dr. J. Wellman.  The institution is unknown.  As the original was typed with penciled in corrections, the piece has been re-keyed with corrections and a few minor spelling errors adjusted.  Additionally, four pencil drawn charts were included in the original piece.  Two have been recreated in Excel for this blog, but the remaining two, property holding charts similar to those found in Figure II, could not be differentiated between the glass workers and the sample data, thus they have been omitted.

Although some aspects of the Cleveland Glass History have been shared in previous posts, Harrison adds some information regarding other area glass companies and social data that is unique to this piece.

—- gmsc

Harrison Essay

Glassmaking in New York State was a vital and unique Industry. Glass products were produced in both rural and urban areas. The industry was subject to the bust and boom cycles of our capitalist economy, yet it maintained stability. The skilled labor of the seasoned craftsman was necessary even into the mechanized twentieth century. Any history of a glassmaking enterprise must be related to the events and trends in which it operated. The glassworks at Cleveland, New York are no exception.

Glassmaking furnaces burned intermittently in Dutch New Amsterdam and in British New York. Two glass houses were operated in New Amsterdam, but unfortunately we do not know what type of products were made.[1]  Window glass and bottles were being manufactured by the Glass House Company of New York by the middle of the eighteenth century. Bottles were made in Manhattan in a farm factory located at what today is 34th – 40th Streets between 11th and 17th Avenues.  The Company’s window glass house was in New Windsor, Ulster County though. Bottle and tableware production was to remain a downstate industry, while window glass production was to be relegated to upstate New York. Indeed this pattern was established before the turn of the nineteenth century. The glass house established in 1785 at Dowesborough, eight miles from Albany,[2] which produced “demijohns, snuff jars and pocket bottles,”[3] as well as window glass, was a failure. The Peterboro Glass House of Madison County was erected in 1783 and manufactured window glass only. This enterprise lasted several decades. There was not a great demand for bottles in the agricultural Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. Nevertheless, the forests of these regions provided excellent fuel for stoking the long, hot fires required to make glass. The cheapness of wood fuel justified the distance from commercial centers. Aside from this, pioneer farmers were settling in the river valleys creating a local market. The factories of Brooklyn and New Jersey could provide bottles for New York City’s industries—still, window glass was made “Upstate.”

The gradual growth of American industry was hastened by international strife, Napoleon’s Continental System and Britain’s Orders of Council wrecked American shipping, closed European markets for our raw materials, and bruised our patriotic pride. The impoundment of properties and the impressment of sailors stirred innate nationalism.  Americans suddenly developed a penchant for things American. State legislatures offered nascent enterprises tax exemptions. Idle capital of northeastern merchantmen turned from Atlantic shipping toward domestic manufactures.[4] The federal government also responded to European disregard of American commerce. The Embargo Act of 1807 “stopped the export of American goods and prohibited all ships from clearing American ports for foreign ports.”[5]  Despite its unpopularity and subsequent repeal, the Embargo Act provided sufficient stimuli for native industry. The Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 reopened American ports while continuing the embargo on Britain and France—the principle exporters of glass. It was under this official protective wing that glass houses were established at Utica, Vernon (in Oneida County), Geneva (Ontario County), and Woodstock (Ulster County). Like so many other industries, glassmaking in New York State took root in the tumultuous first decade of the nineteenth century.

The British blockade of the U.S. coast during the War of 1812 further aided domestic industry. The shooting war that ended with the Treaty of Ghent only hailed new conflict on the commercial fronts. Indeed, one Member of Parliament declared that Britain had “to stifle in the cradle, those rising manufactures in the United States, which war has forced into existence, contrary to the natural course of things.”[6] Pointedly, import of British black bottles increased from 11,529 to 28,269 in 1816.[7]  President Madison retorted by calling for a protective tariff that “is due to the enterprising citizens whose interests are now at stake.”[8]  Congressional response was inadequate. The tariff rates established for window glass were $2.50 per 100 square feet not above 8″ by 10″, $2.75 for not above 10″ by 12″, $3.20 if above 10″ by 12″, and 20% “ad valorem” on all other glass.[9]  These rates were lower than wartime tariffs when virtually no foreign wares reached our shores. The glass industry suffered. Over half the U.S. companies failed between 1815 and 1820.[10]  This was not the case in New York State though. The only reported closing was at the Utica Glassworks, and this facility was quickly occupied by the Oneida Glass Company. The flood of British goods on American markets prior to 1820 failed to “stifle” the glassmaking firms of New York.

The turnpikes and waterways had provided the state with superb transportation, but the opening of the Erie Canal made New York the unrivaled leader of conveyance. The canal was more than a linkage to the West, it was the “Main Street” of Upstate New York. Though not completed until 1825, the advantages this water route would provide were recognized by businessmen from its authorization in 1817. I have no doubts that farsighted entrepreneurs would have been willing to subsidize any floundering glass house along the canal’s projected route. Indeed, the opening of the canal caused freight rates to plummet from $100 per ton of merchandise to less than $8 per ton.[11]

Figure 1 - New Glass Companies (Harrington)
Figure 1 – New Glass Companies (Harrington)

Nevertheless, there was no explosion of new glass factories. Rather, this industry expanded gradually. [Figure 1] It seems that the coal fields of Pennsylvania were attracting more capital investment than the forests of New York. The seemingly endless supply of hardwood fuel was very quickly diminishing. In 1836, the Oneida Glass Factory closed and in 1844, the nearby Mt. Vernon Glass Company relocated to Saratoga. New sources of energy were essential.

Such a source was found in Oswego County. The forest surrounded the small village of Cleveland, New York on all sides but the shore of Lake Oneida.  The trees were hemlock—the ideal fuel for stoking glass furnaces. Anthony Landgraff; his sons, Francis, Harmon, Gustavus, and Charles; and his son-in-law George Cowarden established a glass factory in Cleveland in 1840. Previous studies of the Cleveland glass industry have emphasized George Cowarden’s role as an entrepreneur in the endeavor.[12]  The emphasis is anchored in Mr. Cowarden’s partnership in the firm of Monroe, Cowarden and Company of the Dumbarton Glass Works. This affiliation is dated to the mid-1870s – after the Landgraff’s had sold the Cleveland Glass Works. Cowarden’s income report from the 1850 census reveals his property value to be equivalent to his father-in-law’s and to his brother-in law, Francis’. I would conjecture that George Cowarden and Francis Landgraff, ages twenty-eight and twenty-nine respectively in 1840, assisted Anthony Landgraff, then 60, in locating and financing a new glass factory. Combined experience, capital, and talent brought glass manufacturing to Oswego County.

The ideal fuel source was supplemented by a serviceable water route to the Erie Canal, via Lake Oneida and a cut-off canal. The icing on the cake was made of sand. Sand is an essential ingredient for glass. During its first year of production, the Cleveland Glass Works obtained its sand from Verona, on the lake’s south shore.[13]  The most outstanding asset for glass output was discovered in 1841 on the property of the glass works. Sand, of quality far superior to that being boated in, was found. The unearthing of similar sand beds in the area attracted other glass companies. Citizens of Cleveland organized and eerected a factory in their own village during 1851. This was the Union Glass Company. The following year, the firm of Stevens, Crandall & Company established a glass works called the Empire Glass Company, about three miles west of Cleveland at Bernard’s Bay.

All three sites produced window glass by the cylinder method. I would like to describe the process, to remove the political and financial veneers, and tell of the glass men and their work.

The raw materials necessary to make glass are silicas and alkaline bases.  The silicas came from Cleveland’s own natural endowment of quality sand. The alkali employed was potash, which is potassium carbonate obtained in crude, impure form from wood ashes. As we have seen, an abundance of wood was Cleveland’s primary attraction.  Each glass house had its own unique recipe for these ingredients and careful preparations were made before mixing the “batch.” The sand was first “washed within an inch of its life”[14] in a wooden tank and sent to the drying house. Impurities in the potash were removed through evaporation. Upon drying, these ingredients were mixed very well and placed in a furnace for partial fusion. Any moisture present was evaporated and any remaining impurities could now be removed. This process was called ‘fritting’.  Stone-like pieces of frit were melted into the ‘metal’ from which glass is made.

The glass companies hired men to dig the sand, cut and dry the hemlock, stoke the fires, and to make the pots in which the ‘batch’ was melted. Francis Landgraff himself was a pot maker by trade.[15]  These pots were crucial to the melting, as a broken pot was a disaster costing in time and precious ‘metal.’[16]  Pots were made of the finest clay, carefully fired, and aged. It was considered unwise to use a vessel under a year old.[17]  In size, they were “a little larger than good sized water buckets. A good single blower could and did carry and place them in the tempering oven. Their capacity was about three hundred feet of glass …”[18]

Glass melts at 2,500°F, taking from thirty-six to forty hours. The men who worked in these sweltering conditions were the gatherers, blowers, flatteners, and cutters. Originally, we are told, a single blower performed all these tasks:

Each blower gathered, blew, flattened and sometimes cut his own glass, and the tending boys (now gatherers) were merely water boys and roller carriers.  In the interval between blowing, the blower had to cut his wooden block for blowing up the ball.[19]

This was before Union Glass and Empire Glass had been formed, and all Cleveland glass came from a single 6′ by 8′ furnace.[20]  The operation expanded and a clear division of labor evolved, but the process remained the same.

Long runners ran up to the ‘bocca’ or working hole of the furnace. Here the gathering boy, an apprentice blower, gathered a ball of molten glass on the end of a blow pipe. The pipe with gather was then turned over to the spinning boy, also an apprentice, who kept the gather spinning while blowing into it through the pipe, all the while transferring in and out of the furnace. When at last the master blower grasped the blowpipe, the gather was ready to be blown into a cylinder. This often entailed a balancing act down the runners between the ‘swing holes.’ He spun and blew and rolled the cylinder into shape then placed it on canvas belts known as cradles. A strip of hot ‘metal’ was wrapped around the cylinder’s ends with a tong, touched with a spittle finger, and the ends snapped free. Another cut was then made along the length of the cylinder. Sawdust buffered the glass from the heat of an iron as the workman ran it back and forth.  Again the spittle finger and the clean snap of incised glass.  The cylinder, called a ‘roller’ by the workmen, was transported to the flattening house. Bells rang and wheels turned in this room as the roller was heated and rolled out flat. A charred basswood block smoothed the sheet of ripples (the inside diameter being smaller than the outside), but it dulled the finish. However, a wash of hydrofluoric acid revived some luster.  Finally, the large sheets were fired for hardness and sent to the cutting room.[21]

The dexterity of the cutter was the determining factor in the actual output of the glass house. He would cut the sheets into specified sizes in order to fill boxes which would hold fifty to one hundred square feet of glass panes. The blowers, flatteners, and cutters worked in teams; their production determining their wages. An efficient and economically-minded cutter did much to increase his team’s incomes and overall factory production. Workers in Anthony Landgraff’s factory in the 1840’s and those in the Getman factory in the 1910’s were paid by output. Tradition was deeply rooted in the Cleveland glass industry.

Long hours and hard work facilitates companionship among workers. The workmen of the Cleveland works were no doubt the displaced workers from the defunct Vernon factory. Their new employers were themselves former workers of the Vernon enterprise. The relationship between Anthony Landgraff and his staff was one of a master to journeymen. The medieval craft guild was indeed a fitting analogy for this shop which employed eighteen, including the master, in 1850. The number of workers would multiply to seventy-seven in three factories by 1860 and the craft guild precedent would remain.  In fact, the organization of workers among themselves and their relationships with management would continue in the vein of the craft guild for several decades. Their trade would keep glass workers distinct, though not isolated from, the rest of the community.

The glass factories of Cleveland were not mechanized. Each phase of manufacture required some skill with hand manipulated tools. The necessary education in these skills came through an apprenticeship system. A young man who desired to be a glass blower, for instance, had first to find a master blower interested in taking him on. The young man’s pay and often his room and board came from the master. Apprentice blowers were young. The average age for apprentices in 1860 was seventeen, although some were as young as thirteen and as old as thirty. Among this group were young men from Pennsylvania and Germany with no relatives in Cleveland— they lived with the master. Another was the son of an Irish immigrant day laborer, while yet another’s father was wealthy. Mr. Fred Wise, of Cleveland, who worked in the glass houses as a young man, told me that you needed to know someone in the factories to get in as an apprentice. I suspect that such nepotism was more than blatant exclusion of undesirables, but also a means of keeping the large numbers of unskilled laborers characteristic of mass production out of this craft-oriented industry.

The power wielded by the general body of glass workers seems improbable in the Gilded Age of labor suppression. However, there is a story, almost legend, of the labor organization of Cleveland glass workers as being America’s first labor union. William Gallagher, son of James Gallagher, lawyer for the workers co-operative of 1901, related the story to Frances Eggleston in 1943 when he was the Oswego County Attorney. Miss Eggleston, in her history of Oswego County Glass tells how Frank Putney, a Civil War veteran and secretary of the Cleveland Glass Company “evolved the scheme of a secret organization of workers.”[22]   They would gather in a ravine, nearby the factory, where they could not be observed. Decisions on hiring, firing, and surprisingly enough, wages, were reached. Through the influence of Mr. Putney’s position in the company, these decisions were, however indirectly, heeded. The story unfolds to reveal a visit by a young cigar worker from New York City who came to learn Mr. Putney’s scheme. This was Samuel Gompers, who spent several days in Cleveland learning of the glass workers’ organizational methods. This visit purportedly occurred prior to Mr. Gomper’s organization of his first union—the Cigar Workers Union, in the early 1870’s. He was later to head the craft-oriented American Federation of Labor for many years.

It is this emphasis on craftsmanship that bonded the glass workers of Cleveland together into an extended industrial family. Certainly the presence of an apprentice cutter in a master’s home for the three years of his education would lead to an affinity between the two. Expand this and consider that it would not be unusual for the same cutter’s son to be apprenticed to the blower whose glass he cut.[23]  Nor was it out of the ordinary for several workers’ families to live together in a house provided by the company.[24]  This communal atmosphere can be attributed to several sources. Among them, a common occupation and long hours spent at the job. In the Bernards Bay establishment, workmen labored long and unusual hours together: Sunday from midnight to 11 A.M. Monday, Tuesday from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., Wednesday from 1 P.M. to midnight, Thursday from noon to 11 P.M., Friday from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., and Saturday from 7 A.M. until 6 P.M.[25] Fred Wise concurred that in the Getman Glass Factory, a worker was expected to work a week of midnight shifts every three weeks.

This was a world unknown to the rest of the community, who were predominately farmers.[26] Even the remaining community of lumbermen, housekeepers, and carpenters did not keep the hours a glass man was familiar with. The long hours of labor halted annually, however, at the inception of warm weather.

Bare chests and cool beer in sweltering workshops characterized the glass factories in the snowiest of Oswego County winters. To work in such conditions from May through August was entirely impractical. The industry shut down production and the workers lazed the summer away. A few worked, but it was not essential. While others took advantage of the good weather to conduct their businesses and trades, the glass men lounged, went fishing, and drank beer.

Figure II - Glass Worker Holdings (Harrington)
Figure II – Glass Worker Holdings (Harrington)

Wages for workmen in this industry were unusually high, which helped to facilitate the summer idle season. Fred Wise confirms that a glassman’s pay was higher than those of workers in other industries. Regardless of this, census reports indicate that glassworkers owned significantly less property, both personal and real estate, than the remaining community. [See Figure II] Indeed, in 1850, 65% of the glassworkers reported no property at all, while only 25% of a group of randomly sampled members of the community reported no property. Again in 1860 and 1870, 50% and 42% of the glass workers reported no property, while the random sampling indicated 27 12% and 14% reporting no property for the community in general.[27] This may seem surprising, as one might expect that the glass workers superior earnings would be reflected in property. Here we must return to the fact that these workers were employed seasonally. When they did work from September through April their wages were undoubtedly as high as reported. But since most did not work during the fallow season, their earnings were used up. These men must certainly have been secure in their jobs and within the community of glass workers—their guild.

The community of glass workers was further strengthened by ethnic solidarity. American glass manufacturers depended upon the constant flow of European immigrants to augment their labor force. From Italy and Holland came fashioners of table wares, from Scotland crown window glass artisan, and from the German states cylinder glass craftsmen. In Cleveland, the largest concentration of German-born and their decedents were employed in the glass factories. Pointedly, there were no German-born among the citizens of Cleveland sampled in 1850, however, about a quarter of the glass workers were Germans. The test-group from the 1870 census included one in fifty who was German-born, and he was a glass worker. A tannery worker and a mason of German birth appeared in the group sampled in 1860, compared to some 20% of the glass workers. The father-to-son tradition in this trade would indicate that many of the American-born workers were of German decent. Indeed, Anthony Landgraff, who emigrated from Germany in 1812 had great-grandchildren blowing glass in Cleveland in 1894. The vice-president of the glass workers’ cooperative factory of the 1910’s, John Kime, was the son of an immigrant blower from Germany.  The ethnic identity of the Cleveland community at large was more diversified. Many had migrated from the New England states and the ethnic infusion was Irish rather than German. The only residents of the village born in New Jersey were glass workers. The renowned Wistor and Stiegal glass companies of New Jersey had brought hundreds of German glassblowers to America in the eighteenth century.[28]

Mechanized production and government codes had not affected the craft organizations in the German-states. A strong craft identification came with these immigrants and perhaps some nascent socialism.[29]  Ethnic identification was an outgrowth of craft identification. The craft was well-respected in the village of Cleveland, as were the craftsmen, whether from Germany or ‘exotic’ New Jersey.

My sampling of every twentieth head of household in Cleveland and the surrounding area shows that age also set the glass workers apart from the community. This sample was taken for the censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870. Only in 1850 was the average age for glass workers was 33.2 years, while the test group average was 41.8 years. The growth of the glass industry involved the training of many apprentices whose youth drove the average age down to 29.2 in 1860. The community heads of households in Cleveland remained constant at 40.2. The effects of the Civil War is reflected in the rise of the average age to 36.9 among glass workers and 46.6 among the general population of Cleveland.      Conscription had no preference as to occupation or ethnic origin.  The question though is why a decade of difference in age was consistent between the groups over a twenty year period of time. The most common occupation among the citizens of the Cleveland area (Constantia Township) was farming. The land necessary to work a farm had to be purchased. This purchase was usually the result of many years of saving. Few farmers were younger than middle age.[30]  A glass worker, on the other hand, completed his apprentice-ship around age twenty. During the Cleveland glass industry’s largest expansion between 1850 and 1860, the number of workmen increased from eighteen to more than seventy-five. The skilled workmen employed were no doubt fellows who had recently completed their apprenticeships elsewhere—from New York to Germany. Certainly a young man would be more likely to move to the new factories in Cleveland than an older worker with a comfortable position in an established business.

The workmen of the Cleveland glass industry formed an extended industrial family that evolved around their trade. Similar ethnic backgrounds and proximity in age drew the workers closer to one another. The community in which they lived welcomed them and the prosperity their industry brought to the area. In 1894, almost half the village officers were glass workers and factory proprietors 31 were frequently village president.[31] Nonetheless, the workmen watched out for one another and would annually celebrate with a summer picnic “with enough beer to float the place away.”[32]

The fraternal atmosphere was not upset by the sale of the Cleveland Glass Company by the Landgraff family to William Sanders in 1861 or his sub-sequent sale of the company to Crawford Getman and J. Caswell in 1863. These two men were partners in a dry goods and grocery store,[33] and paid a percentage of their employees’ pay in ‘scrip’ or ‘shin plasters’ notes good for exchange at their store. Both men, especially Getman, were popular among the workers. The Union Glass Company had faired an unstable history until Getman purchased it also in 1877, securing many jobs. The workers’ co-operative was to be named for Getman.

Cooperation between the workers and management was characteristic of the entire window glass industry in the last two decades of the eighteenth century. In 1877 or ‘78, an association of gatherers in Pittsburgh joined the Knights of Labor as Local 300.[34] Before the end of 1880, organizations of gatherers, blowers, flatteners, and cutters had joined to form the Window Glass Workers of America. Almost simultaneously, the manufacturers formed an association with a constitution and by-laws to regulate production.[35] In co-operation with the labor union, it maintained effective control over production and prices until the business recession of 1893-’95. Fred Wise related that Cleveland workers did belong to an organization larger than their own storied local union. All but six or seven window glass manufacturers in the country belonged to the American Window Glass Manufacturers’ Association.[36]

I could find no evidence that the Cleveland industry did not belong. The Getman Glass Company was involved in a selling pool around 1910. This pool may have been based on the national entity of earlier years.

The trend towards large organizations swallowed the locally owned Cleveland Industry before the recession of the 1890’s. In 1889, Crawford Getman sold both the Cleveland and Union Glass Companies to the United States Glass Company of Pittsburgh. When the recession did come, the plants in Cleveland were shut down. The Bernard’s Bay enterprise underwent five changes in management from its inception until 1885.[37]  In that year, the firm of Potter and Harden bought the factory. The business declined and laborers left. It was last listed in the city directory in 1893.[38] The factory burned down on July 5, 1895. Whether or not it was in production that year is not known, but the plant never reopened.[39]  All three plants were then idle or defunct.

The United States Glass Company returned in 1897 to revive Cleveland’s glass industry. They installed the most up-to-date equipment, streamlining the old Landgraff factory.[40]  The new furnaces operated for two seasons. In the fall of 1899 the modernized plant was sold to the American Window Glass Company, a selling pool for eighty-five percent of the country’s window glass factories.[41]  In 1899 the company had assets of seventeen million dollars and represented seventy percent of the nation’s production of window glass.[42] American Window Glass closed the Cleveland factory after three months, it was not profitable. The Union factory was then in ruins.[43] The once vital glass industry of Cleveland succumbed to the monopolies and trusts of an advancing capitalist economy.

Despite the decisions of a far off corporate boardroom local entrepreneurs and industry watchers encouraged the unemployed workmen to form a cooperative factory. The workers were abandoned by their union, which accepted half of a million dollars from the American Window Glass Company to provide workers to its factories only.[44]   In this manner American attempted to control output and therefore prices by establishing limited output levels for workers. The scheme did not work. Idle union members broke from the national organization and with the aid of outside capital formed dozens of worker controlled co-operatives. In Cleveland it was the people of the village and the workmen as well as veteran investors. Crawford Getman, whom the new factory was named for, contributed the building site. The plans for the co-operative were drawn up by Mr. James Gallagher, a local lawyer. A meeting of workmen and citizens approved the plan and construction of a new glass plant began — the year, 1901.

Though the company was named for Crawford Getman it was owned and operated by the workers. Its officers: Eugene Morenus, John P. Kime, S. Frank Putney, Thomas F. Williams, and James L. Eddy were workmen, as were the directors and the executive board.[45] Each skilled workman owned one thousand dollars of stock, for this he paid two hundred dollars.[46]

The co-operative was a success despite increasing competition and rising coal prices (wood furnaces were no longer economical). The automatic mass producing Lubber’s Cylinder machine also presented a threat to the co-op, which employed hand methods. These machines blew cylinders many times the size of hand blown ones. Regardless, they were used in only forty percent of the window glass plants in 1916.[47]  Insidious development were of a different nature.

The co-op marketed its glass in combination with four or five other factories.[48] Tough enforcement of the Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890 by the Taft administration brought fear of fine or imprisonment to the officers of these North Country factories. Consequently the Cleveland plant was closed down, but large quantities of glass were reserved in storage. Meanwhile one of the co-op’s key supporters, Eugene Morenus, withdrew from the Getman Glass Company to establish a plant in Pennsylvania near cheaper fuel.[49]  When the case of Standard Oil vs. the United States decided against large combinations[50]  only the Cleveland co-operative was relieved of worries about anti-trust suits. But it was too late, Morenus had left and the reserve glass was sold. Bitter Cleveland workers and residents lost their investments, cursing the “Jews” who had bought up the stores cheaply.

The glass Industry was gone from Cleveland and this time it would not return. The workmen went to other glass towns in New York, but more likely to West Virginia or Pennsylvania where cheap fuel enlivened new enterprises. Some might have accepted invitations to work the new factories in the west who needed men. Fred Wise and his father turned down invitations to cut glass in Oklahoma. They stayed in Cleveland, but had to find something else.

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[1] George S. and Helen McKearin, American Glass (New York: Crown Publishers, 1941), p. 584.

[2] Ibid., p. 585.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p. 133.

[5] John M. Blum, et al., The National Experience (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanich, Inc., 1963), p. 169.

[6] Ibid., p. 184.

[7] George S. and Helen McKearin, Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass (New York: Crown Publishers, 1949), p. 59.

[8] Blum, National Experience, p. 184.

[9] McKearin, American Glass, p. 133.

[10] McKearin, Blown Glass, p. 58.

[11] McKearin, American Glass, p. 134.

[12]  Frances Eggleston, “Oswego County Glass,” Seventh Publication of the Oswego Historical Society (1943): 15.

[13]  Marvin D. Schwartz and Robert E. DiBartolomew, eds., American Glass, Vol. 1: Blown and Molded (New York: Weathervane Books, 1924) p. 139.

[14] McKearin, American Glass, p. 9.

[15] U.S. CenvSus of 1860, Township of Constantia, Oswego County, New York.

[16] McKearin, American Glass, p. 10.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Historical Souvenir of Cleveland’s Best Industry (Cleveland, N.Y.: Lakeside Press Print: 1903), p. 6.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Fred Wise, interview held at his home in Cleveland, New York, April, 1979.

[22] Eggleston, “Oswego Glass,”, p. 17.

[23] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Ninth Census of the United States, 1870.

[24] Fred Wise.

[25] Eggleston, “Oswego Glass,” pp. 16-17.

[26] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Censuses of the United States, 1850, 1860, and 1870.

[27] Ibid.

[28] McKearin, American Glass, p. 83.

[29] The German brewery workers of Milwaukee formed one of the strongest Socialist parties in the U.S. during the late 19th century.

[30] Census Reports.

[31] John C. Churchill, ed.. Landmarks of Oswego County, N.Y. (Syracuse: D. Mason and Company, 1895) pp. 507-508.

[32]  Fred Wise

[33] Cbristfield Johnson, History of Oswego County, N.Y. 1789-1877 Philadelphia: L.H. Evert and Company, 1877) p. 291.

[34] Warren C. Scoville, Revolution in Glassmaking (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1948), p. 218.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Eggleston, “Oswego Class,” p. 16.

[38] McKearin, American Glass, p. 809.

[39] Eggleston, “Oswego Glass,” p.16.

[40] Historical Souvenir, p. 7.

[41] Scoville, Revolution, p. 218.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Historical Souvenir, p.8.

[44] Scoville, Revolution, p.220.

[45] Historical Souvenir, p. 5.

[46] Ibid., p. 8.

[47] Scoville, Revolution, p. 194.

[48] Eggleston, “Oswego Glass”, p. 17.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Keith Ian Polakoff et al. Generatlons of Americans, Vol. 2(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976), p. 551.


Barnett, George E. Chapters on Machinery and Labor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.

Blum, John M.; Morgan, Edmund S.; Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr.; Stampp, Kenneth M.; and Woodward, Vann C. The National Experience. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanich, Inc., 1963.

Bucher, Mary. “The History of Glassmaking in Oswego County,” Twenty-Ninth Publication of the Oswego County Historical Society (1967-68).

Churchill, John C, ed. Landmarks of Oswego County, N.Y. Syracuse: D. Mason and Company, 1895.

Eggleston, Frances. “Oswego County Glass.” Seventh Publication of the Oswego County Historical Society. (1943)

French, J.H. Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State. Syracuse: R.P. Smith, 1860.

Historical Souvenir of Cleveland’s Best Industry. Cleveland, N.Y.: Lakeside Press Print, 1903.

Johnson, Christfield. History of Oswego County, N.Y., 1789-1877. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts and Company, 1877.

McKearin, George S. and Helen. American Glass. New York: Crown Publishers, 1941

McKearin, George S. and Helen. Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass. New York: Crown Publishers, 1949.

New York Census Report, 1865.

Polakoff, Keith Ian; Rosenberg, Norman; Bolton, Grania; Story, Roriand; and Schwartz, Jordan. Generations of Americans. 2 Vols. New York: St. Martin Press, 1976.

Schwartz, Marvin D. and DiBartolomeo, Robert E., eds. American Glass. 2 Vols. New York: Weathervane-Books, 1924.

Scoville, Warren C. Revolution in Glassmaking. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1948.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Constantia Township. Oswego County, New York.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860; Population. Constantia Township. Oswego County, New York.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Ninth Census of the United States, 1870; Population. Constantia Township. Oswego County, New York.

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