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Jeannette Glass Company
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Location:

  • Jeannette, Pennsylvania [Chambers Ave; close to Pennsylvania Railroad's main line]

History:

  • 1887 - Western Land and Improvement Company's application for charter approved by state of Pennsylvania. Company directors: James A. Chambers, H. Sellers McKee, J. Gardner Cassatt, Horace Magee, and B. Maurice Gaskill. Town named after McKee's wife.
  • 1888 - Jeannette Bottle Works (the "fizzle"; many ownership changes)
  • 1898 - Succeeded by Jeannette Glass Company, incorporated June 14; Original officers: Joseph W. Stoner (president) and W. A. Huff (secretary); S. R. Hall as plant manager. Took over Bottle Works' product line: bottles for drugs, soft drinks, liquors, and food containers, all made by hand.
  • 1899 - O'Neill semi-automatic bottle blowing machine introduced [variation on Owens' machine]
  • ···· - Jeannette turns to wide-mouth jars (pickles, olives, relishes, mayonnaise); S. R. Hall resigns and is replaced by A. W. Crownover.
  • ···· - Other products: automobile headlamp lenses, vault lights, glass building blocks, and numerous pressed wares. Also solicited private mold work.
  • 1904 - George M. Davis president; products include prescription bottles, bottles for drugs, sodas, mineral oil, wine, brandy, flasks, patent medicines, milks, and other jars for preserves, etc.
  • 1917 - American 3-Way Luxfer Prism Co. buys controlling interest to ensure prism glass supply; Isaac Ambler new plant manager; entire plant production turns to pressed ware.
  • 1920 - Plant improvements and additions; new packing facility.
  • 1924 - Isaac Ambler, R.I.P. New plant manager Carl T. Sloan; increases number of items made on automatic machines and develops new hand-made pressed tableware line. C. P. Mills and C. H. Paschall (owning controlling stock in American 3-Way Luxfer Prism Co.) take active management role.
  • 1926 - Mills and Paschall dispose of American 3-Way Luxfer Prism Co interests but retain control of Jeannette.
  • 1930 - Peak capacity, 5 continuous tanks.
  • 1933 - 4 continuous tanks.
  • 1935 - Reorganized as publicly owned corporation.
  • 1936 - Common stock listed on American Stock Exchange.
  • 1941 - 3 continuous tanks.
  • 1944 - Low capacity point, only 2 continuous tanks.
  • 1945 - Post-war capacity doubles, back to 5 tanks.
  • 1960 - Maurice L. Stonehill, new president and chairman of the board.
  • 1961 - Bought McKee Glass Division of Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Company; new technical glassware department.
  • 1963 - World's largest electric glass furnace for melting heat-resisting glass.
  • 1970 - Name change to Jeannette Corporation.
  • 1983 - Shut down.

Lazalite:

Product.
Sole manufacturers of LAZALITE GLASS for Sidewalk and Vault Light Construction.

Former Glass Unsatisfactory.
In former years, the glass used for sidewalk and vault light purposes was ordinary pressed glass differing very slightly, if at all, from that entering into the manufacture of inkstands, paper weights, etc. Consequently, the glass could not withstand the extreme heat and cold, and atmospheric changes. Not only did it chip off and shale, but it turned an iridescent purple tint, which daylight could not penetrate.

Steps Toward Improvement.
So unsatisfactory were the results, that the leading sidewalk and vault light companies concluded that a special sidewalk glass, made from a special mixture and specially annealed, would be necessary.
The JEANETTE GLASS COMPANY possessed special facilities for research along the lines suggested by the vault light companies. Its chemists and engineers were at once put to work making a special sidewalk glass which would have a specific hardness and a certain elasticity, and which would resist the pressure exerted against it by the cement in which it was embedded.

Old Method of Annealing.
In studying the coefficient of expansion of glass and its coefficient of thermal endurance, the JEANETTE GLASS COMPANY discovered that the all important secret lay in the thorough annealing of the glass during its stay in the annealing chamber, commonly known as a lehr, which is nothing more than a brick tunnel with openings at both ends, with heat applied at one end.
The glass companies making the glass formerly used for vault and sidewalk lights passed this glass along with tableware and bottle glass, through open end lehrs in which it was impossible to pass the sidewalk glass at a regulated speed. The influence of the outside temperature, which might be zero in winter and 80° in summer, made itself felt within the lehr through the open ends and thus occasioned a rising and falling temperature within the lehrs, frequently varying 200°.
Examination of glass annealed by this process, when tested under the polariscope, has shown that a majority, and more often all of it, contained stresses or strains, and was therefore not perfectly or thoroughly annealed.
In addition to irregular or uncompleted annealing, it was discovered that the mixture used in making the old glass contained manganese, and that the presence of this substance in the glass caused it not only to change color under the action of the sun's rays, but to disintegrate as well.
Over Five Years Experimenting.
The experts of the JEANETTE GLASS COMPANY spent over 5 years experimenting with new ingredients and new processes of heat treatment, with the object of overcoming these two fundamental defects of the old sidewalk glass.

Lazalite Glass Perfection.
Finally a new formula was discovered and a perfected method of heat treating adopted, which resulted in creating a sidewalk glass as nearly perfect as can be expected, and named Lazalite.

Manganese Eliminated.
The formula utilized in the making of Lazalite provides for the admixture of an increased proportion of lead, and dispenses entirely with the use of manganese. The result is a glass that will not turn pink or purple, and is absolutely free from stresses or strains.

Perfect Annealing.
The secret of perfect annealing has been solved by heat treating Lazalite glass in an entirely new type of oven, specially designed and constructed with the object of insuring uniform soaking heat with slow and gradual cooling.
It does not require much reflection to force the conclusion that glass thus carefully and methodically tempered must be infinitely superior to glass annealed by the old process.

Careful Inspection.
As an extra precaution every piece of Lazalite glass is passed through a polariscope an examined for defects before being packed for shipment. The word Lazalite, adopted as a trade-mark, is stamped in the glass, and each piece so marked carries the guarantee that it is made under these highly improved and scientific processes and is the last word in glass for this purpose.

Styles of Glass.
The different styles of glass are designed to scientifically diffuse or refract the light rays to various distances, and none of the styles are exactly alike or give the same results.

Extensive Use.
A number of the leading vault light companies of the United States have contracted with this company for Lazalite glass, and are using it extensively.
Sweet's Architectural Catalog File · 1918

Notes:

  • Known mostly for kitchenware and tableware, including depression glass patterns "Iris and Herringbone" and "Poinsettia".
  • Trademarks: J in square, J in triangle, J in bowl of goblet.
  • ''The Jeannette Glass Company began production in 1898. In its early days they made such items as "vault lights, prism tile, packers' ware, and novelties"'' —The Wayback Times - Crazy for Cornflower (Hughes Corn Flower)
  • "The Jeannette Bottle Works Company was founded in 1887 in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. At this time in their history they only produced handmade bottles. In 1899, Jeannette Bottle Works joined the machine age and became the Jeannette Glass Company. With the new machinery (O'Neil semi-automatic bottle blowing machine), Jeannette Glass was soon producing canning jars, relish jars and automobile headlight lenses. Jeannette Glass continued to expand and by 1904, they added medical supplies and household items to their production line. In the early 1920s, new machinery was added and Jeannette Glass began producing tableware items. This cheaply made and brightly colored tableware became known as Depression Glass and is highly collectible today. In 1961, the Jeannette Glass Company acquired the old McKee Glass factory which was also located in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Together they produced many beautiful glass patterns until 1983. Due to a failing American market, Jeannette Glass shut down in 1983." —HISTORY OF JEANNETTE GLASS COMPANY (Carnival Heaven)
  • Same source also says FYI "Popular Patterns: Adam, Cubist, Floral, Doric, Cherry Blossom, Windsor, Sierra, Swirl, Holiday, Iris and numerous Kitchenware lines including, Jennyware and full jadite lines."
  • "Briefly it may be said that Westmoreland county manufactures more window glass, the chief product of glass, than any other county in the United States. This is all manufactured in three places, viz.: Jeannette, Arnold, and Mt. Pleasant, and these factories are described in parts of this work which pertain to these boroughs. The factories at Jeannette and Arnold are the largest in the world. Our county has in the past twenty years wrested this supremacy from the world, and has taken from Pittsburgh all the glass factories it had. This is largely due to peculiar natural advantages, viz.: to an almost inexhaustible vein of coal near Jeannette which is better adapted to the manufacture of glass than any other known coal, and to the natural gas which is found in abundance in this locality. The glass blowing in these large factories is now done entirely by the most improved modern machinery." —History of Westmoreland County

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