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The Rodefer Glass Company

National Glass Works shield

Rodefer Glass Company Monogram
The names National Glass Works and Rodefer are virtually synonymous. The original National Glass Works plant was established in 1869 in Bellaire, Ohio, at the junction of 22nd and Union streets. It failed in 1877 and was purchased and run by the Rodefer brothers, Albert, John, and Thornton, until 1898 when two of the brothers sold out and left Thornton the sole owner and operator.

On his death in 1910, his son C. M. Rodefer assumed ownership. The company thrived, expanding in the 20s with the addition of a second plant near the corner of South Union and 22nd. C. M.'s son Howard joined as Secretary in the 30s, and eventually became president. In 1953, Rodefer merged with Gleason forming the Rodefer-Gleason Glass Co, which operated until 1982 when the plant was sold at auction. This works operated for 105 years on the same site! Cut of National Glass Works factory

This cut of the idealized works appears on most Rodefer paper. It's a busy scene with horse and carriage, a motor car, a train, more rolling stock entering the factory grounds on a spur, and two paddle-wheelers, one heading for the plant, another pushing barges upriver.

Rodefer mainly produced hand-blown and hand-pressed items for other companies ("blown and pressed specialties in private moulds"), but also prismatic sidewalk, floor, sash and skylights, battery jars, opal ware blanks, and lantern globes and lamp chimneys in lime and lead glass. Up to 1910, opal glass blanks were to send to Meriden, Connecticut, to be decorated at C. F. Monroe's factory. The final product: Wavecrest, Nakura and Kelva vases, plaques and boxes. In the automobile years, large flat headlamp covers were made for Bausch and Lomb in Rochester, New York, and fancy round gearshift knobs for Ford in Michigan. After the merger with Gleason, their products became lighting-oriented: large glass globes for street and airport lighting, made for G.E., Westinghouse and Emerson.