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This numbered copy 1280 of 

is presented to 

M Professor C A Chant 

with the compUments of 

Macbeth-Evans Glass Company 


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President 1899-1916 



Vice President 





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H I S T O R I #=^c=L 

LASS has been traced by history and tradi- 
tion to remote ages of the world. The time 
and place of its discovery will probably be 
never more than mere conjecture. Some 
writers would have us believe that "Tubal 
Cain," mentioned in Genesis 4:22 as "an instructor of 
every' artificer in brass and iron," was the inventor. 
Doubtless this opinion finds its chief basis in the theory 
that glass, the offspring of fire, was discovered shortly 
after its progenitor. 

Pliny, the Roman historian (23 A. D.— 79 A. D.), 
wrote a somewhat different version 
of the discovery of glass. This 
ancient writer, in his story, declares 
that the discovery was accidental. 
"It is said," wrote Pliny, "that 
some Phoenician merchants, hav- 
ing landed on the coast of Palestine, 
near the mouth of the river Belus, 
were preparing for their repast, and , 
not finding any stones on which to 
place their pots, took some cakes of nitre (bicarbonate of 
soda) from their cargo for that purpose. The nitre being 
thus submitted to the action of fire with the sand on 
the shore, they together produced transparent streams 
of an unknown fluid, and such was the origin of glass." 
There are many who have taken exception to Pliny's 
account of the discovery of glass, declaring it impossible 
to produce glass in the open air and under the conditions 
described. However vague and indefinite the early 
history of glass may be, it is undoubtedly true that its 

KiRure 1 

>r-3 • 


ancient discoverer, unknown and unheralded, gave the 
world one of its most important inventions. Destr oy all 
glass, forget the methods of manufacture, and by that 
action you will sever the jugular vein of science, cripple 
the great industries and transforju homes into dark, 
poorly lighted, unsanitary shelters reminiscent of the 
middle ages. The microscope, marvelous because of glass, 
would be valueless without it. The minute organisms, 
isolated under the skillful direction of the scientist, would 
continue to exist unseen. The telescope without its won- 
derful lenses would not reveal the universe filled with 
uncounted heavenly bodies, the knowledge of whose 
movements and characteristics enables the astronomer 
to forecast with uncanny precision natural phenomena. 

The constantly increasing use of glass has made it in- 
dispensable in our domestic, scientific and industrial lives. 
In this book we shall attempt to trace briefly its develop- 
ment from known antiquity to present-day modern 
practice. The last fifty years have seen the greatest 
development in glass manufacture since its discovery. 
Processes have been marvelously improved. Intricate 
machinery has supplanted the slower, less accurate hand 
methods. Laboratories have eliminated to a great extent 
the element of chance, which, in earlier days, and even in 
this more enlightened period, has worked much havoc. 

There are innumerable examples of glass, both in 
public and private collections, which are unquestionably 
of ancient origin, yet because of the lack of proper 
inscriptions it is impossible to classify them in chrono- 
logical order. 

The paintings of the Theban 
glassmakers reproduced herein 
were discovered on the tombs of 
Beni Hassan. These tombs, accord- 
ing to authentic records, were Figure 2 


Figure 3 

erected about 2000 B. C, but it is claimed that the 
paintings were executed during the Reign of Onsertasen 
I (3500 B. C.)J Figure 1 represents an ancient Theban 
taking molten glass from the foot of a furnace. Figure 2 
shows two others seated on the ground, holding pipes 
similar to those used at the present time. The glass 
on the end of the pipes, which are pointed toward the 
fire, is ready to be blown. Figure 3 illustrates the 
blowing of a large glass vase by two men. 

The glass bead (Figure 4) found by Cap- 
tain Hervey, of the Royal English Marines 
at Thebes, has inscribed on it in hiero- 
glyphics the name of Queen Ramaka, for 
Figure 4 whom it was made. She was the wife of 
Thoutmes III of the eighteenth dynasty (1500 B. C). 
We find it definitely established, therefore, that glass 
was being manufactured at Thebes at this early date, 
and it is quite evident that the industry was in more 
or less an advanced stage at that time. 

When the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, con- 
quered Egypt (26 B. C.) he quickly recognized the 
commercial value of glass and ordered that it should 
form part of the tribute which he imposed upon the 
conquered country. This had the extraordinary and 
paradoxical effect of stimulating the Egyptian glass 
industry. The Romans, eager for novelty, bought 


freely of the product of the Egyptian glassmakers, 
with the result that this industry flourished until 
the Reign of Tiberius (14 A. D.), when, according 
to Pliny, the Romans began the manufacture of glass 
in their own country'. With characteristic intelligence 
and industry, they assimilated the knowledge of the 
Egyptians, and within a comparatively short time 
Roman glass rivaled that of Egyptian origin. Recog- 
nizing that the perpetuity of the 
industry depended upon wide- 
spread demand, glass was made 
into many dissimilar articles hav- 
ing broad application. Bottles, 
drinking glasses, vases and toilet 
articles, many of which bear a 
striking resemblance to those of 
the present day, were produced by 
these early Roman glassmakers. \ 

When ancient Gaul fell under 
the yoke of the conquering Roman 
it was most natural that the art of 
glass making should be introduced into the new prov- 
inces. That the Gauls were adept students and later be- 
came in some respects superior to their Roman masters is 
evidenced by the works of art which have been unearthed 
in the ancient provinces of France. Probably the best 
example of the skill of these ancient Gallic glassmakers 
is the Strassbourg vase found in a coffin excavated by 
chance near the glacis of Strassbourg. It bears the name 
of Maximianu Herculius, a Roman emperor (250 A. D. 
— 310 A. D.). The difficulties overcome in the man- 
ufacture of this vase clearly indicate that glass making 
was highly developed at this period. 

When Rome and many of her provinces were overrun 
by the barbarous Huns, they ruthlessly devastated 

Strassbourg \'ase 


and destroyed the industries of the conquered country, 
with the result that we find that glass making became 
a lost art in the West for several centuries. 
^Constantine the Great (274 A. D.— 337 A. D.), when 
the glass industry died in the West, hastened to offer 
alluring inducements to the skilled workmen in that 
part of the world to come to Byzantium (Constanti- 
nople), the seat of his Empire. With the encouragement 
of Constantine, and also of Theodosius III, who reigned 
from 408 A. D. to 450 A. D., the manufacture of glass 
became an important industry^. This monopoly of the 
East was not overcome by the West until the fourteenth 
century, when Venice became a factor. For several 
centuries the Venetian Republic maintained its leader- 
ship as the principal producer of glass. In order to 
more closely supervise the industry, to guard its 
secrets and to break the contact of the workmen with 
foreign countries, all the glass workers were confined 
to the Island of Murano, which is separated from 
Venice by a narrow strip of wateii Marco Polo, in his 
travels in the Far East, discovered the rich markets of 
Tartary, India and China, where the 
natives were fond of false pearls and 
imitation gems. Wnice quickly took 
advantage of these new markets, with 
the result that the city became wealthy 
because of its glass trade. iThe Ger- 
mans, in spite of the attempted mon- 
opoly of the Wnetians, began at this 
period to manufacture glass in their 
own country. Their product was heavy 
and ungraceful — in contrast withX'ene- 
tian glass, which was noted for its fine 
and light filigree work and for its color] 
The German decorations were put (..rmmCiMi 


\'enetian Glass 

on with enamel and were, for the 
most part, reproductions of coats 
of arms. The German glass- 
makers of this time were re- 
sponsible for many valuable 
formulas, among which was the 
one for making a beautiful ruby 
*-ed, discovered in the early part 
of the seventeenth century. 

Bohemia followed Germany 
closely in the establishment of 
her own glass works. It was not 
long, however, before the Bohe- 
mian manufacturers were mak- 
ing glass of a ^earness superior to any previously 
manufactured. About 1609 Gaspar Lehmann, a Bohe- 
mian, invented a new method of decoration — that of 
engraving on glass. This new decoration revolutionized 
the industry, and while the Bohemian glass of this time 
was clear and light in weight, it unfortunately lacked 
brilliancyl It did, however, possess an originality 
which was not always. in good taste 
but for which there was a demand be- 
cause of its peculiar individuality. 

England neglected the glass indus- 
try during the middle ages, and it was 
not until the Reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth that glass was made in that 
country. This famous queen invited 
Cornelius de Lannoy to London for 
the purpose of establishing a glass 
works, and he was responsible for the 
first glass made in the British Isles. 

Bohemian Gla 



Harper's Encyclopedia of 

United States History 

Copyright, 1901, by Harper 

& Brothers. All rights reserved . 





LASS making enjoys the distinction of being 
one of the earliest industries introduced in 
the new world. 

In 1607 the first glass furnace was erected 
about a mile distant from Jamestown, 
\'a. The product was confined to bottles. The second 
plant was erected in 1620 to manufacture glass beads, 
which were used extensively at that time in trading 
with the Indians. Both works were destroyed in the 
great massacre of 1622. 

The next attempt to make glass in America was at 
Salem, Mass., where a plant was built in 1639 to 
produce bottles and other articles. 
In Pennsylvania the first mention 
of glass making was found in a 
letter written by William Penn in 
August, 1683, to the Free Society of 
Traders. The location of the works 
and the product unfortunately were 
not disclosed. 

Two glass factories were in operation in New York 

Glass Beads Made at 
Jamestown, Va.. 1621-1625 


City in 1732. Seven years later the first glass works 
in New Jersey was built by Caspar Wistar about one 
mile east of Allowaystown, Salem County. In 1775 the 
failure of this enterprise resulted in the workmen mov- 
ing to Glassboro, N. J., and establishing a new factory. 
The glass works now in operation in that city is a 
development from the factory built in 1775 and is one 
of the oldest continuously operated glass plants in 

In the beginning of the nineteenth century, a number 
of glass factories had been erected throughout what is 
now the eastern part of the United States. 

It was not long before the early American glass 
manufacturers discovered that it was important in the 
economic production of glass to locate in a section of 
the country which could, from its natural resources, 
furnish proper fuel. It was for this reason that Western 
Pennsylvania, and particularly the Pittsburgh district, 
showed such phenomenal growth as a glass center 
during the 19th century. 

The celebrated American statesman, Albert Gallatin, 
has the distinction of establishing the first glass works 

in Western Pennsylvania. His 
plant was located about sixty miles 
above Pittsburgh on the Monon- 
gahela River and began in 1787 to 
manufacture window glass. In 1795 
the first glass works was built in 
Pittsburgh and was known as 
"Scott's" — located on the south 
side of the Monongahela River. 
The product of this factory was 
chiefly window glass. 

In 1797 General O'Hara and 
stirKiU i... abler Major Craig erected a plant near 


Molded Bottle 
Elarly Nineteenth Century 

"Scott's." These men have been gen- 
erally recognized as the pioneers in 
the glass industry in Pittsburgh. The 
success of O'Hara and Craig quickly 
attracted others, with the result that 
we find the glass industry in the Pitts- 
burgh district in the first half of the 
nineteenth century showing a devel- 
opment clearly indicative of the ul- 
timate dominating position of Pitts- 
burgh as a glass center. 

In the period dating from the re- 
construction days of the Civil War 
down to the present time the glass industry has 
undergone many revolutionary changes. No similar 
space of time in the history of glass making records the 
same number of epoch-making improvements in machin- 
ery and methods. 

As in every great industry there are certain dominat- 
ing influences which have contributed most to its 
advancement. Because of this fact, the history of the 
Macbeth-Evans Glass Company is interesting to the 
reader who knows in a general way that this company 
has been an important contributor to the advancement 
of the art of glass making during the time of its greatest 
development. It was with this fact in mind that the 
history of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company has been 



X 1869, at the foot of Gist Street, in that 
part of Pittsburgh known as the Bluff, Thos. 
Evans estabHshed a glass works which 
marked the beginning of the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company. The plant was 
operated under the name of Reddick & Company. 

In 1872, three years later, Geo. A. Macbeth, with 
several associates, purchased the Keystone Flint Glass 
Works, Second and Try Streets, Pittsburgh, known as 
the "Dolly X'^arden." The company operating the 
plant was called Muzzy & Company. 

The melting equipment of the plant of Thos. Evans 
consisted of one ten-pot furnace, and the output was 
confined to handmade chimneys. A ten-pot furnace also 
completed the melting equipment of Geo. A. Macbeth's 
first glass works. The product, however, consisted 
of handmade chimneys, reflectors and lantern globes. 
Thus we find the beginnings of a great glass company 
like that of many of the world's greatest industrial 
institutions of today — modest, and for the most part 
financed by perseverance and courage. 

Before tracing the development of each of these 
companies to the time when they were merged in 1899, 
forming the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company, it will be 
interesting to know something of the early careers of 
the founders. 


George Alexander Macbeth 

EO. A. MACBETH was born in Urbana, 
Ohio, October 29, 1845, the son of James 
Reed and Frances Ann Macbeth. Edu- 
cated in the pubHc schoolsof his native city, 
he moved at an early age to Springfield, 
Ohio. Here he secured employment in a retail drug 
store and it was while compounding prescriptions that 
he gained his first knowledge of chemistry, the study of 
which he continued unceasingly throughout his long and 
successful career. 

Recognizing the limitations of the work in which he 
was engaged, Mr. Macbeth began to look for an opening 
which would give him an opportunity for greater 
development and ultimately more remuneration. It 
was not long after he had made up his mind to leave 
Springfield that fate opened the way for him to go 
either to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh, selling opjX)rtunities 
being offered him in these cities. In deciding to go to 
Pittsburgh, Geo. A. Macbeth disclosed some of the 
uncanny foresight which stood him in good stead in 
later years. 

After coming to Pittsburgh he sold the products of 
B. F. Fahnestock Company, wholesale druggists; 
Armstrong Cork Company, manufacturers of cork 
products; W. H. Hamilton, bottle maker, and the 
Keystone Flint Glass Works, whose product was lead 
lamp chimneys. About 1872 the last named company 
became financially involved. With several associates 
Mr. Macbeth bought their plant, which was located at 
Second and Try Streets, and began the operation of this 
factory in 1872 under the name of Muzzy & Company. 


This marked the beginning of the career of George 
Alexander Macbeth as a glass manufacturer. How 
successful he was is very fitly expressed in the following 
extract from the Proceedings of the Engineers Society of 
Western Pennsylvania, published after Mr. Macbeth's 
death on February 11, 1916: 

"Geo. A. Macbeth had a good schooling experience at various 
institutions prior to his arrival in Pittsburgh in 1862 to engage 
in business. What difficulties he overcame and how, after 1862, 
he labored to perfect himself in his chosen field of glass making, 
we are not told, but we may be sure that it required an inflexible 
purpose and diligent effort on his part to emerge, as he did in 
1872, as a glass manufacturer. 

"Almost from the start he commenced those improvements 
in the composition and manipulation of glassware used for 
lighting purposes, which at once attracted attention and brought 
to his name a fame which spread all over the country and even- 
tually reached all regions of the globe where American refined 
oils were used. 

"When one thinks of this illimitable field of enterprise — true 
not monopolized by any one firm, but having regard to the 
commercial value of a name — there was here offered to Mr. 
Macbeth an opportunity for becoming the head of a legitimate 
trust of vast capitalization. With him, however, the advance- 
ment of personal wealth was secondary to his desire to explore 
ways for advancing knowledge in his chosen sphere. The 
inauguration of the Carnegie Institute in this city with its 
department of Science, Art and Literature brought together 
a group of the best equipped minds and the most noted scientific 
workers of western Pennsylvania. Mr. Macbeth was intimately 
associated with the men of this group and enjoyed their esteem, 
as he did also that of Mr. Carnegie, to the fullest extent. Besides 
Mr. Macbeth's interest in applied science, he was an authority 
and critic of no mean rank on etchings and engravings. He was 
ver>' active in bringing about the vast extension of the great 
building and especially the enlargement of the library and the 
establishment of its branches throughout the city." 


HOS. EVANS was born in Pittsburgh, on 
October 5, 1842, the son of Evan and 
Eleanor Jones Evans. His father and 
mother had come to the United States from 
^ Wales in 1835 and settled at Ebensburg, 
Pa., moving a few years later to Pittsburgh, where Thos. 
Evans was born. He was one of a family of six. In 
1856 his father, who was employed as a mechanic 
in the glass works of Bake well, Pears & Company, was 
killed in a fly-wheel accident. Thos. Evans, who was 
thirteen years old at the time, was compelled to leave 
school and accept with his brothers the responsibility 
of providing for the family. His mother having died 
seven years before his father made the task all the 
greater. With characteristic courage, however, he 
assumed the burden which fell upon his youthful 

His first position was with Bakewell, Pears & Com- 
pany, where he was employed as an errand boy at a 
salary of $6.00 per month. He took up his duties on 
Wednesday, and on Saturday he received his first 
pay, which consisted of one gold dollar. He has often 
said that he has not seen a dollar since quite as large 
as that one. 

He continued in the employ of Bakewell, Pears & 
Company until 1862, when he became associated as a 
salesman with William N. Ogden & Company, dealers 
in oil and lamp chimneys, located at Liberty and Wood 
Streets. In 1863 he went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he 
remained for one year, during which time he was 
employed as a salesman by S. S. Barrie & Company, 


large retailers of oil lamps and glassware. Return- 
ing to Pittsburgh he was successively employed by 
Wallace & Company, who had a retail store on Wood 
Street, and Atterbury & Company, large glass manu- 
facturers at that time. Just previous to the organization 
of his own company in 1869 he was with Fry, Semple & 
Reynolds, who operated a glass plant at the foot of 
Seventeenth Street on the South Side. The diversified 
experience which he gained in being associated with 
both the retail and manufacturing branches of the glass 
industry provided him with the foundation upon which 
his later career was built. 

Those who have been associated with Thos. Evans 
over a long period of time can best appreciate the 
sterling qualities which eventually brought him recogni- 
tion as one of the outstanding figures in the glass 
industry in America. 

The history of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company 
and of Mr. Evans's earlier venture in glass making 
reveals to only a small extent his genius for organization 
and finance. His has always been an indomitable will 
plus a high type of courage, primary essentials in the 
pioneer days of his career, and contributing factors to 
the success of Macbeth-Evans Glass Company, of which 
he was treasurer from 1899 to 1916, when he became 


Development of the 

Thomas Evans 


EDDICK& COMPANY, organized in 1869 
by Thos. Evans, was capitalized at $14,- 
000.00, the stock being owned by Thos. 
Evans, James Reddick and fifteen skilled 
glass workers. After operating for three 
years, it developed that the continued existence of the 
company necessitated the removal of the works to the 
south side of the Monongahela River. This was because 
the more favorable labor conditions in that section made 
it possible to operate a glass plant with greater economy. 
After a thorough canvass of the situation, Mr. Evans 
found that the works of Fahncstock, Fortune & Com- 
pany, located at Josephine and Twenty-second Streets, 
could be purchased for $35,000.00. A glimpse of the 
courage of this man is revealed in the fact that but 
$5,000.00 was paid in cash, the balance being repre- 
sented by notes. It was a noteworthy transaction 
and, because of the lack of money, extremely difficult 
to handle. The fact that Thos. Evans was barely 
thirty years of age at the time he negotiated this deal 
shows that his genius for organization and finance 
was developed at an early date. The new plant was 
the largest lamp chimney factory in Pittsburgh, operat- 
ing sixty shops. 








V 1 '-",',: 


Works at 18th and Josephine Sts., Thos. Evans & Co. 

In 1873 James Reddick retired and the name of the 
company was changed to Evans, Sell & Company. In 
1877 a machine known as the "Patent Crimper" was 
invented. The introduction of this machine had the 
immediate effect of greatly increasing production and 
reducing costs correspondingly. Quickly recognizing 
the necessity of having this machine in his factory in 
order to meet competition, Mr. Evans secured a 
license to use the "Patent Crimper." The workmen 
were not in sympathy with any improvement tending 
toward the increase of production, laboring under the 
delusion that it would result in fewer employees as 
well as less work. The conditions outlined by the 
workers under which they would operate the machine 
were so unreasonable that they could not be accepted. 
The men quit work and very quickly a general strike 
spread through all the factories operating patent 


Employees of the 18th St. Works, Thos. Evans & Co. 

crimping machines. The fifteen glass workers who 
owned stock in Evans, Sell & Company refused to work, 
thus creating an unpleasant situation. Mr. Evans 
made a proposition to them for the purchase of their 
interests, which was accepted. The firm name was 
then changed to Evans & Company. Because of the 
determined stand taken by the workmen, it was evident 
that the strike would be of long duration. What to do 
under the circumstances was a problem. With his 
characteristic ability to think straight and decide 
promptly, Mr. Evans determined to secure a factory in 
another city which could be operated temporarily and 
thus maintain the identity of his company with the 
trade during the time his Pittsburgh plant was closed. 
A careful search disclosed an idle glass works in the 
northwestern part of Chicago. Leasing this plant he 
secured workmen from widely separated sections of 
the country and within a short time had the factory in 
operation. Desperate attempts were made to prevent 
the operation of the works, but in spite of the great 
difficulties encountered, Mr. Evans, although his life 
was in danger almost constantly, kept the plant going 


for about one year, when the strikers made overtures 
looking toward a settlement. After several conferences a 
compromise was effected, the result of which was the 
immediate abandonment of the Chicago works and the 
resumption of operations at the Pittsburgh factory. 

In 1881 Mr. Evans sold his interest in the company 
and erected in the same year a plant at Josephine and 
Eighteenth Streets, operating under the name of 
Thos. Evans & Co. The melting equipment of the new 
factory consisted of a large fifteen-pot furnace. The 
business grew so rapidly that in order to meet the 
demand for his product Mr. Evans leased the factory 
owned at one time by his former employers, Frye, 
Semple & Reynolds, located at the foot of Seventeenth 
Street on the South Side. In 1887 the Thos. Evans 
Company was incorporated. 

In 1890 the development of the natural gas field in 
Indiana gave the glass manufacturers an opportunity 
to obtain fuel at small cost, and many factories removed 
to that section. To meet the competition of these plants, 
Mr. Evans in 1892 established a works near Marion, 
Indiana. The new plant contained three fifteen-pot 
furnaces. Coincident with the opening of the Marion 
works, the Seventeenth Street factory was discontinued. 
Forty-five pots at Marion and fifteen pots in opera- 
tion at the plant on Eighteenth Street, Pittsburgh, 
making a total of sixty pots, made the Thos. Evans 
Company the largest lamp chimney manufacturers in 
the world. 

The production of the Thos. Evans Company reached 
the enormous total at that time of 12,000,000 lamp 
chimneys a year. The factories of the company pro- 
duced in addition to lamp chimneys large quantities 
of lantern globes and oil lamp shades as well as other 
illuminating glass. One historian of the time visualized 


Group of Employees of the Thos. Evans Company 

the output of the Thos. Evans Company in the state- 
ment that the production laid in line would reach 1500 
miles — built up as a ten-foot hollow square it would 
form a chimney over nine miles high. 

The use of colored decorations in the forms of 
wreaths, flowers, landscapes and marine views on lamp 
chimneys and shades became popular about 1885. 
The demand for these decorated chimneys became so 
widespread that within a comparatively short time 
the Thos. Evans Company were decorating 4,000,000 
chimneys and shades a year, employing seventy-five 
to a hundred women for this work alone. 

The Thos. Evans Company continued to maintain 
its leadership as the largest lamp chimney manufac- 
turers in the world until 1899, when it was combined with 
the Geo. A. Macbeth Company, forming the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company. 


Development of the 
George A.Macbeth 

HE melting equipment of Muzzy & Com- 
pany organized by Geo. A. Macbeth in 
1872 consisted of a ten-pot furnace. The 
employees numbered about 150. The 
plant was generally known throughout the 
glass industry by the nickname "Dolly Varden." 

In 1880 the factory of Atterbury & Company, known 
as the "White House" and located at Tenth and Carson 
Streets, South Side, was leased and operated by Mr. 
Macbeth under the name Geo. A. Macbeth & Company. 
The output, which was confined to lead glass chimneys, 
reflectors and lantern globes, was melted in a ten-pot 

In 1881 Muzzy & Company, operating the Keystone 
Flint Glass Works, and Geo. A. Macbeth & Company 
were absorbed in a corporation which was called the 
Geo. A. Macbeth Company. The principal owners 
were Geo. A. Macbeth, Harry Darlington, W. G. Muzzy 
and C. Z. F. Rott. Coincident with the formation of 
the new company, the plant at Second and Try Streets 
was abandoned. 

In 1882 the Geo. A. Macbeth Company, in the plant 
at Tenth and Carson Streets, built a fourteen-pot 




1 itS'' Jf^^%Um^^ ^^^^*iiM 

Ol §^p|BSSSfcS53 


B.^^ A^:^' 1 

"White House" Employees, Geo. A. Macbeth Company 

"Deep Eye" furnace, the largest melting unit of its 
kind in the United States at that time. After the 
completion of this furnace this company began the 
manufacture of colored lantern globes, signal glasses, 
lenses and roundels, for railroad and marine use. 
It was in the making of these products that Mr. Mac- 
beth gave expression to his unceasing study of glass 
chemistry and his desire to reach ultimately the position 
of being able to manufacture everything for industrial, 
scientific and illuminating purposes. 

In 1886 a factory located at Eighth and Sarah Streets 
was purchased from Adams & Company. The melting 
capacity of this plant was limited to a ten-pot furnace 
and its product was confined to lead glass chimneys. 

In the year 1883 Mr. Macbeth secured the design 
patent under which he manufactured chimneys which 
he marketed as "Pearl Top." This patent covered the 
decoration consisting of thirty-six beads or pearls 
around the top of the Number 1 chimney and forty 


beads or pearls on the Number 2 chimney. "Pearl Top" 
chimneys continue to be manufactured that way to 
this day. 

Mr. Macbeth's merchandising instinct quickly recog- 
nized the possibilities of trade-marking and advertising 
these chimneys. He engaged the services of an adver- 
tising agency in St. Louis and during the first year his 
appropriation totaled $25,000.00. Compared to the 
mammoth advertising appropriations of the present 
day, this amount seems insignificant. In those early 
pioneer times when advertising was frowned upon by 
many of the old-established companies who believed 
it to be an instrument employed chiefly to exploit 
patent medicines and fake schemes, the spending of this 
amount of money to advertise a lamp chimney was 
exceptionally daring and a decided deviation from 
the ordinary selling methods. There were many who 
believed that it would ultimately ruin his business, 
but notwithstanding the criticism of his friends and 
competitors, the advertising was continued year after 
year with splendid results. 

In 1886 Mr. Macbeth engaged the services of John 
E. Powers, who was the outstanding figure in the 
advertising world at that time. Working together, 
these two men outlined an advertising and selling cam- 
paign for "Pearl Top" and "Pearl Glass" lamp chimneys 
which made these chimneys famous the world over. 
The unusual copy used in the advertisements created 
widespread comment. Particularly was this true of the 
car cards used in the New York Elevated Railroads. 
These were always placed at the end of the car where 
they were easily seen. Some of the early advertise- 
ments are reproduced on the following page. 

In 1890, wishing to take advantage of the cheap fuel 
available because of the gas development in Indiana, 


a factory was built at Elwood, Indiana. Two fifteen- 
pot furnaces completed the melting capacity and the 
product consisted of paste mold lead lamp chimneys. 
It was in the Elwood plant in 1891 that optical glass 
was first successfully produced in the United States. 
This was a signal triumph and was accomplished in 
spite of the doubts of the instrument makers and other 
users that optical glass equal in quality to the imported 
could be made in America. A one-pot furnace for 
melting the glass was built and skilled workmen were 
secured at great expense. Optical glass of excellent 
quality was produced, but unfortunately labor in 
foreign countries was so much cheaper that it was 
impossible to compete with the imported glass inas- 
much as most of it came in duty free or nearly so. In 
addition, the American instrument makers agreed 
among themselves to buy only foreign glass. The folly 
of refusing protection to this industry was demon- 
strated during the late war, when frantic attempts were 
made to make optical glass. Had the industry been 
fostered, there would have been plenty of optical glass 
for the instruments used by the army and navy. 

After losing three sets of six-inch lenses which he 
was making for the Tokio Observatory at Tokio, Japan, 
during the grinding process. Dr. John A. Brashear 
appealed to Mr. Macbeth for avssistance. Optical glass 
made at the Elwood plant of the Geo. A. Macbeth 
Company was sent to Dr. Brashear, and from it the 

Thirty- six 

tmployees at the "White House," Geo. A. Macbeth Co. 

lenses now used in Tokio Observatory were ground and 

The high quality of the products of the Geo. A. 
Macbeth Company was recognized at the International 
Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876, the Exposition 
Universelle in 1889 at Paris, France, and at the Colum- 
bian Exposition at Chicago in 1892. Reproductions 
of the certificates awarded to the Geo. A. Macbeth 
Company are shown on page 44. 

In 1894 two fourteen-pot furnaces were added to 
the melting equipment of the plant at Charleroi, Pa. 
The factory known as the "White House" at South 
Tenth and Carson Streets was abandoned in 1895, 
leaving three plants operated by the Geo. A. Macbeth 
Company: Charleroi, Pa.; Elwood, Ind., and the 
factory at Eighth and Sarah Streets, South Side, 
Pittsburgh, Pa. These factories were in operation at 
the time of the formation of the Macbeth-Evans Glass 
Company and were taken over by the new corporation. 

These plants are still operated with the exception 
of the factory located at Eighth and Sarah Streets, 
which was sold in 1920. The disposal of this works 
marked the passing of one of the historical glass plants 
of the South Side of Pittsburgh. 


J^^rr is generally conceded that the two most 
fcfoiiai powerful influences giving the greatest im- 
petus to the manufacture of glass during 
the last fifty years were (1) the substi- 
tution of gas for coal and (2) the invention 
of the glass-blowing machine. 

When coal was used for fuel it gave off sulphur fumes 
which destroyed the brilliancy of the glass. This 
defect was overcome by the use of gas, with the result 
that we find a contemporary' writer stating that the 
new fuel will * 'cause ultimately Pittsburgh glass to 
surpass the wonders of old Venice and the Bohemian's 
best work." The second influence, the invention of the 
glass-blowing machine by M. J. Owens, of Toledo, Ohio, 
made it possible to increase the production of lamp 
chimneys and other articles many fold over what could 
be made by hand. The patent on this machine was 
owned by the Toledo Glass Company, which operated 
a factory at Toledo, Ohio, under the name of the 
American Lamp Chimney Company. It can readily be 
seen that the invention of this machine would cause 
much concern on the part of glass manufacturers 
inasmuch as it was not possible to compete with it 

Realizing that the continued existence of their 
respective companies depended upon securing the 
ownership of this patent, Mr. Thomas Evans and 
Mr. George A. Macbeth in 1899 formed the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company, which in turn absorbed the 
American Lamp Chimney Company, taking over the 
patents on the Owens glass-blowing machine. The 


new company was capitalized at $2,000,000.00. This 
was probably the largest single transaction which had 
taken place in the glass industry in America up to 
that time. 

Shortly after the incorporation of the new company, 
the Hogan-Evans Company, whose plant was located 
at Twenty-second and Josephine Streets, was pur- 
chased. The Geo. A. Macbeth Company, at the time 
of the merger, operated a factory at Charleroi, Pa., 
containing three twelve-pot furnaces and a plant at 
Elwood, Indiana, which had two fifteen-pot furnaces 
and one twelve-pot furnace. A third plant located in 
Pittsburgh operated one twelve-pot furnace, making 
a total in all of ninety pots. 

The Thomas Evans Company at this time was 
operating one fifteen-pot furnace in the plant at Eight- 
eenth and Josephine Streets, Pittsburgh; three fifteen- 
pot furnaces in the factory at IMarion, Indiana, and 
two ten-pot furnaces in the Seventeenth Street Works, 
making a total of eighty pots. Immediately after the 
Owens patent was acquired together with the American 
Lamp Chimney Company, whose capacity was limited 
to one sixteen-pot furnace and one fourteen-pot furnace, 
the Seventeenth Street Works was abandoned, making 
the total of 180 pots as the capacity of the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company at the time that it really began 
operation. Shortly after the company was formed a 
continuous tank with a working capacity equivalent to 
thirty pots was built at Charleroi Works. In 1902 the 
fourth furnace was built in the same factory. When this 
furnace was completed the Macbeth-Evans Glass Com- 
pany began the manufacture of all kinds of glass for 

The most important feature in connection with the 
formation of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company, aside 


Display Room 

Technical Display Room 

from the purchase of the Owens glass-blowing machine, 
was the bringing together of Mr. George A. Macbeth 
and Mr. Thos. Evans, one the antithesis of the other 
in many respects, but both well grounded in the intricate 
processes of glass making. The first, a man of great 
imagination ; the second, more conservative but admir- 
ably fitted by reason of a keen business instinct and a 
thorough knowledge of glass making to direct the 
financial destiny of the new company, an exceedingly 
difficult and important task, as later years disclosed. 

The Macbeth-Evans Glass Company, under the 
guidance of these two men, grew so rapidly that it 
soon outdistanced its competitors in the majority of 
the lines manufactured. The works at Bethevan, Ind. 
(changed from Marion, Ind.) ; El wood, Ind., and Toledo, 
Ohio, have been extended and improved by the intro- 
duction of labor-saving machinery, since they first 
became part of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company. 

It has been the Charleroi Works, located at Charleroi, 
Pa., about 40 miles distant from Pittsburgh, that has 
had the greatest growth. This plant, including the 
Hamilton plant acquired in 1918, covers 21 acres, and 
has a melting capacity of 63 pots, 2 continuous tanks, 
and 15 day tanks. Combined with this melting capacity 
is the large accessory equipment necessary for the 
efficient production of glass in large volume as well as 
that needed in the manufacture of glass of special 

The Charleroi Works has been responsible for many 
of the extraordinary accomplishments of the past 
twenty years in the glass industry. Some of these are 
described in the chapter reviewing the products of this 


Staff Organizaiion and. 
Its Development 

HEN the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company 
was incorporated in 1899, the separate 
organizations of the Thos. Evans Company 
and the Geo. A. Macbeth Company were 
combined. The general office of the new 
organization was established in the Bell Telephone Build- 
ing on Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh. As in every corpora- 
tion, a board of directors was the governing body. The 
active direction of the Manufacturing and Sales Depart- 
ment was directly under the supervision of Geo. A. 
Macbeth, President, and Thos. Evans, Secretary and 

The comparatively simple organization at that time 
has developed due to the rapid growth of the business 
into the highly specialized company of the present day. 
It would be tiresome to trace the various changes which 
have taken place during the past twenty years, but it 
undoubtedly will be of interest to describe the organiza- 
tion as it exists today. 

The operations of the company are divided into the 
following principal departments: Executive, Manu- 
facturing, Research, Purchasing, Sales, Advertising, 
Accounting, Credit, Traffic and Engineering, each 
with a head responsible to the Executive Department. 
Finance is not represented, as it is under the direct 
control of the Executive Department. 

The Export Department is located in New York 
City. Through this department and its representatives 


Chemical Laboratory 

Physical Laboratory 

throughout the world, the products of the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company are distributed to foreign coun- 
tries, some of them being shipped to the most remote 
parts of the globe. 

WVekly meetings of the various department heads are 
held, at which increasing problems of operation are 
discussed and solved. The co-ordination of the various 
departments is under the direction of the Assistant 
Secretary'. While the work which the Research Depart- 
ment is doing has always been carried on to a certain 
extent, the highly specialized organization of today was 
not dreamed of a few years ago. In its well-equipped 
laboratories, its chemists, physicists and ceramists, 
under the supervision of an able director, have elimi- 
nated to a very large extent the element of chance 
which has made the glass industry so hazardous. It is 
in the Research Department that the increasing number 
of glass problems, presented by the widely diversified 
industries of the world, are studied and solved. 

The operation of all works is under the supervision 
of the Manufacturing Department, directed by a com- 
mittee consistingof a General Manager and two Assistant 
General Managers. Works superintendents are directly 
responsible to this committee. In addition, this com- 
mittee has to do with the company's relations to its 
workmen, their employment, efficiency, welfare, com- 
pensation for accidents, and with other duties of similar 
character. That the welfare of the workmen is carefully 
considered is evidenced by the establishment of a cafe- 
teria a few months ago at Bethevan plant, at which the 
employees can secure their noon-day lunch at cost. 

Quite recently the life of every employee was insured 
under the "Group" plan as it is generally known. All 
this expense is borne by the company — the amount of 
each policy being dependent upon the salary and the 
length of service of the employee. 


TOI.iaX) WOKh 


Philadelphia Office 

Cafeteria — Bethevan Works 




[O the uninitiated the manufacture of glass 
has about it a halo of mystery. This can 

j be attributed, partially at least, to the fact 
that the materials which compose it are 
opaque. The resulting product — glass — is 
usually thought of as transparent, notwithstanding the 
fact that glass is made in various degrees of opacity. 
The mysterious agent which causes this transformation 
is fire. 

Since the first glass was made, the two essential 
ingredients have been silica in the form of sand and 
alkali. In commercial glass of the present day, a 
metal such as lead, zinc or aluminum forms the third 

The glass industry depends upon natural deposits of 
sodium and potassium. The principal ingredients of 
nearly all modern glass are sand, soda-ash, potash, 
lime, borax and lead. 


Pot Furnace 


A "Shop" Making Blown Ware 

Sand, which comprises 50 to 75 per cent of the mixture 
or batch as it is called, which is melted to form glass, 
is found in practically pure form in various parts of 
the United States. Notwithstanding this fact, how- 
ever, it is necessary to wash all sand in order to remove 
any foreign substances which may be present, chief 
among which is alumina. 

Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is used as a flux. Its 
substitution for potash reduces the melting point of the 
batch considerably below that in which the same 
quantity of potash has been used. The chief reason, 
however, for using soda ash instead of potash is because 
it is less expensive. 

Lime (calcium carbonate) is used principally to 
harden glass, and at the same time, facilitate melting 
and refining. 

Potassium, in the form of pearlash or potash, like 
soda, acts as a flux. It is more expensive than soda 


and for that reason is used only in those glasses where 
high brilliancy is required. 

Nitre and borax are alkalies which are frequently used 
because of the large amount of oxygen which they con- 
tain. Glass in which alkalies have been used to excess, 
when exposed to the chemical action of the atmosphere 
and moisture, takes on an iridescent appearance, and in 
many cases this "soft glass" if stored away for a time 
will have its entire surface covered by a white film. 

Lead is the principal metallic ingredient and is used 
either in the form of litharge or red lead. Lead increases 
the brilliancy of glass and makes it heat resistant. 

Aluminum, arsenic, zinc, tin, barium, antimony and 
many of the rarer elements are now used in glasses 
manufactured to meet special requirements. 


Grinding and Polishing Department 


U , ■■:%{{ M 11 


Making Glass with Machinery 

Colored Glass 

One of the most difficult problems in glass manu- 
facture is the control of color in glass. Metallic oxides 
are generally used and while certain elements produce 
a definite color, such as the blue of cobalt, yet the 
varying conditions entering into the manufacture of 
glass frequently result in the same element producing 
different colors. 

It is interesting to note here, however, that the 
development of highly organized laboratories in the 
plants of a few glass manufacturers is, to a large 
extent, bringing under control the vagaries of the batch 
in its transition from the raw mixture into molten glass. 

The batch, after the raw materials have been carefully 
mixed, is melted either in a pot or a tank, at a temper- 


Clay Pot 

ature of approximately 
2600° Fahrenheit. 

Except in the man- 
ufacture of optical 
glass, in which one pot 
is used in a furnace, 
the number of pots to 
a furnace will range 
from six to twenty. A 
pot furnace is ordi- 
narily conical in shape, 
tapering toward the 
top and extending well 
above the roof of the building. At the base of the 
furnace is the fire, above which the pots are arranged 
before arched openings. The fire by forced draft 
envelops the pots, melting and refining the batch. 
The time required is dependent upon the kind of glass 
which is being made. The pots are filled and the mol- 
ten glass gathered through a projecting aperture extend- 
ing to the furnace wall. 

The material used in the manufacture of pots from 
time immemorial has been fire clay. It is absolutely 
essential that this clay be as homogeneous as possible. 
The making of a pot is necessarily a long and tedious 
process, requiring great care, as obviously a defective 
pot may mean the loss of a valuable batch. 

The present day tendency in plants of large produc- 
tion is toward an increasing use of the tank furnace, of 
which there are two kinds — a day or intermittent tank 
and a continuous tank. The former is nothing more 
than a large rectangular pot where the batch is charged, 
melted and gathered in much the same way as when 
a regular pot is used. A continuous tank furnace, on 
the other hand, is one so constructed as to melt glass 


by a continuous process. It consists of two principal 
divisions, a charging and melting "End" and a refining 
or working "End," connected by a restricted passage 
called the throat. The capacity of these furnaces 
varies from one hundred to seven hundred and fifty 
tons of molten glass. Glass batch and cullet are fed 
at short intervals into the charging end of the furnace 
and are there melted. The molten glass then passes 
through the throat of the furnace into the refining end 
and gradually flows toward the various points at which 
it is gathered or otherwise removed. 


■"^^^fe^v-^ ^^ 


Making Lamp Chimneys with Machine 


Molds Used in 
Glass Making 

X the manufacture of any article made 
from a liquid or molten substance, which 
is in its finished state either solid or shell- 
like, it is necessary to use some kind of 
form or mold which will give the finished 
article the desired shape. Each industry whose product 
is made in the most part by the aid of molds has its 
own peculiar type and trade names for molds. 

Molds have been used in glass making from the 
very early ages. The ancient Egyptians used crude 
molds, presumably made of cla^, in the manufac- 
ture of bottles and other containers and ornaments, 
upon the surface of which were sunken hieroglyphic 
characters. But the industry in those ages, in fact up 
to the time of the Venetians, was not developed commer- 
cially, and the use of molds probably died out or at 
least was not commercialized and improved. The 
Venetians made practically all of their glass by the off- 
hand method, which is accomplished without the aid of 
molds. Using this method the blower gathers the 
molten metal (glass) on the end of a tube and by 
blowing upon the tube, pressure is exerted upon the 
inside of the glass gathered. The blower, knowing 
exactly how much pressure to exert from the inside, 
combined with his skill in properly distributing the 


glass — by swinging or revolving the tube — and by the 
use of his various tools, is able to produce an article 
in the desired shape. 

Glass molds are of three kinds: iron, paste and 
press molds, and considerable confusion has resulted 
from these names. The fact is that all of these molds 
are made of iron and the names which are used grew 
out of manufacturing methods rather than from the 
kind of material of which the molds are made. If one 
understands the history of glass making and the applica- 
tion of molds to help in the shaping of articles, he will 
understand better how the names of these different 
molds originated and will then be able to tell quickly 
which of the three styles has been used to make certain 

From the method used by the early Egyptians 
someone conceived the idea of an iron substitution 
for a primitive clay mold. These iron molds were 

Paste Blow Mold 


Press Mold Showing Plunger 

made in two sections, hinged on one side and held 
closed by a clamp or lock on the opposite side. The 
inside of the mold was polished so that the surface 
of the finished article would not be marred or scratched. 
These molds consisted of two or more segments 
hinged together, which permitted the mold to be 
opened and the blown article removed. 

It was impossible to fit these molds tightly enough 
to prevent the mold joint or seam from showing on 
the surface of the finished articles in the form of a 
ridge. As the molds were cleaned from time to time 
and became abused in handling, the seam became more 
and more noticeable in every piece of glassware blown 
in them. This same condition exists today in spite of 
all modern methods of making tight joints — but of 
course to a much lesser degree. 

Although the faces of these molds were highly 
polished, it was impossible to obtain a perfect surface 
and all inequalities that were in the iron showed in 
the glass. Of course the development of fine abrasives 
has enabled mold manufacturers to produce a much 
smoother surface; nevertheless, it is practically impos- 
sible to produce an iron blown article which does not 
have more or less of an obscure surface, varying of 
course with the condition of the mold. 


The German glassmakers made molds from maple, 
apple and other hard woods which were kept water- 
soaked to prevent them from taking fire as soon as the 
molten glass came in contact with the mold. It was 
soon found that in spite of the water-soaked condition 
of the mold the extreme heat of the glass charred the 
surface of the mold and the longer it was used the 
larger became the inside dimension, consequently a 
larger article was produced than originally intended. It 
was also noticed that after a mold became slightly 
charred the blower could readily revolve the article 
which he was making. A study of these conditions 
revealed the fact that the charred surface of the mold 
formed a paste which acted as a lubricant, thus per- 
mitting the blower to turn the article at random. The 
finished article made in this way had a smooth surface 
free from seam marks and of a pleasing lustre. 

Grinding and Polishing Tumblers 


Semi-Automatic Machine 

Iron molds were also in use at this time and it was 
found that if the inside surface of these iron molds 
was covered with some of this charred substance from 
the wooden molds the glass could be revolved, while 
being blown, just as it could in the wooden molds. 
From this developed a carbon mixture which is now 
known as "paste." This paste is applied to the inside 
of an iron mold and is frequently sprayed with water 
so that it will not get too hot and burn. The name 
"paste mold" is generally used to designate an iron 
mold which has an inner lining of some material which 
allows the glass to be turned or revolved while it is 
being blown. 

It will be readily seen, however, that any article 
having a design or figuration impressed upon or raised 
from its surface cannot be revolved and must be blown 
in an iron mold. Any article having a smooth and 


symmetrical surface can be blown 
a paste mold. Perhaps we can 


No. 832 

illustrate this better by two of our 
products, No. 832, which is a 12-inch 
paste mold ball globe, and our No. 
2691, a 12-inch Alba ball globe with 
a figuration, which is made in an iron 
Lantern globes are blown in both paste and iron 

molds. Globes having lettering on their surfaces must 

be blown in an iron mold, but 

globes without lettering can be 

blown in a paste mold. The ma- 
jority of lantern globes are, due to 

other manufacturing conditions, 

made by the iron mold process. 
A press mold is made of iron 

and consists of two parts, the mold 

proper and the plunger. The mold 

proper forms the outside surface of 

the article and the plunger the inside surface. When 

they are in proper position the space between the surface 

No. 2691 

Iron Blow Mold 


Part of Gas Producer Plant at the Charleroi Works 

of the mold proper and the face of the plunger represents 
the article. The surfaces of both are ver>^ highly polished 
so as to leave as few marks as possible on the finished 
article. In making press mold glassware the molten glass 
is gathered on the end of an iron rod or punty and then 
dropped into the mold proper; the press operator 
severs with shears the intervening thread between the 
body of the glass and the punty. The plunger is now 
pressed down into the hot glass, squeezing it from the 
bottom of the mold up and around the sides until 
the mold is filled. One can readily see that the 
presser must know exactly how much glass to cut off 
the punty in order that the mold may be sufficiently 
filled when the plunger is dropped into place. Too 
much glass will cause over-pressing and too little under- 

From the nature of the process it is obvious that in 


making pressed articles the largest diameter is at the 
top of the mold, so that after the plunger enters the 
mold it may be withdrawn when the glass has solid- 
ified. Our Alba shades, such as No. 3429, are made in 
this manner, with the fitter at the bottom of the mold 
and the widest part at the top. 

Glass cooled suddenly is fragile and will break 
easily when subjected to rapid temperature changes. 
The elimination of this brittleness is accomplished by 
tempering, or leering, as the process is called. After the 
glass has been blown or pressed into the proper shapes 
it is placed on large pans in a leer, which is an oven-like 
structure of considerable length with doors at both ends. 

Sand Blasting Department 






These pans are drawn by mechanical means through a 
zone of rising temperature which at its greatest inten- 
sity closely approaches the melting point of the glass. 
The pans move on into other zones, the temperature 
being gradually reduced as the glass approaches the 
end of the leer, from which it is removed. This slow 
cooling eliminates the brittleness that the glass would 
otherwise possess. Obviously, painstaking leering of 
glass is one of the essential elements in successful glass 



TheWirDepartksnt of 





OF THE United States of America in the war with 

THE Imperial German Government and the Imperial 

AND Royal Austro Hungarian Government 





The Macbeth-Evans Glass 
Company manufactures 
almost every kind of glass 
for illuminating, industrial 
and scientific purposes. 
While a large part of the pro- 
duction consists of such widely 
known articles as chimneys, 
gas and electric shades and 
tumblers — yet there are many 
special glasses produced, with 
which the layman is not so 
familiar. Their importance in 
the commercial Hfe of the 
world makes them of more than 
ordinary interest to the reader. 
Descriptions of the most im- 
portant of these glasses, their 
application and development, 
will give some conception of 
the problems which this com- 
pany is called upon to solve. 



IN 1805 the great destruction of vessels 
with the consequent loss of life resulted 
in definite action the following year look- 
ing toward the systematic lighting of coasts 
and harbors. Previous to 1806 the coast 
signals at night were confined to a few "beacon" 
lights, produced by either coal or wood fires on tops 
of buildings erected for that purpose. This was an 
uncertain and dangerous method of marking coasts 
and harbors, as vessels could be lost by mistaking the 
fire of a lime kiln for a "beacon" light. The first 
permanent lighthouse was built about twelve miles 
distant from the coast of Scotland off the Firth of 
Forth. Here the great lighthouse engineer, Robert 
Stevenson, began experiments in which parabolic mir- 
rors were used to project the light. 


It was not until 1822 that Fresnel, an ingenious 
Frenchman, utilizing the experience of others, developed 
the cylindrical lamp employing one central light source. 
It is this system with improvements which is used 

There is probably no more impressive example of 
the glassmaker's art than a lighthouse lens. Involved 
in its manufacture is not only a glass making problem 
but in addition a mathematical problem, an optical 
problem and a mechanical problem. 

The making of lighthouse lenses by the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company for the first time in United 
States in 1910 was a signal triumph and convincing 
evidence of the great advancement of the art of glass 
making in this country. In this connection an extract 
from a paper read before the Engineering Society of 
Western Pennsylvania in 1914 by Mr. Macbeth is 

"In commencing the manufacture of these glasses 
(Lighthouse Lenses) it seemed like assuming a duty 
with an unknown investment as well as an unknown loss 
or profit, but it also answered a challenge to an old 
glass center like Pittsburgh to produce high-grade 
articles and run the risk in the endeavor." 

The first attempt to manufacture lighthouse lenses 
in the United States is best described 
in the annual report of the Secretary 
of Commerce and Labor, under which 
Bureau the Lighthouse Department 
operates : 

"Until lately it has been necessary to pro- 
cure all the cut glass lenses used in the Light- 
house Service from either France, England, 
or Germany, most of them coming from 
France. Recently the matter was taken up 
with an American firm of glass manu- ^""'^S^S'L^n*^ ^"**' 


facturers with a view to ascertaining if a 
better lens could be made in this country 
than abroad by using some modern manu- 
facturing methods. The results to date have 
proven satisfactory. The lenses are superior 
to those purchased abroad and can be made 
for the same cost or less. The essential 
feature of the American method of manu- 
facture is that the prisms are formed by 
machine instead of by hand. Every part 

Fourth Order Four • . /- i • • 

Panel Flashing Lens is made to fit an accurate template or jig, 
so that they are true to size and parts of the same number are 
completely interchangeable. Improvements have been made in 
pressed glass lens lantern and buoy lantern lenses, and tests 
show them well adapted for many conditions of the service, at a 
decrease in expense." 

Due to superiority of design and the accuracy 
attained in manufacture, the light- 
house lenses made by the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company are approxi- 
mately fifty per cent more efficient 
than those made abroad. The glass 
which is used is not hygroscopic — 
that is, it does not absorb moisture. mm mm Fixed Lens 
Because of this fact, Macbeth-Evans 
lighthouse lenses, after years of continuous service, have 
the same clear, highly polished appearance as when 
originally installed. 

This "permanent" glass, as it is sometimes called, 
made by this company, is the result of extensive research 
which culminated in producing the 
proper combinations of certain 
materials which form the glass 
batch. The actual melting of the 
batch and the manipulation of the 
glass are, obviously, vital parts of 
the whole process of securing suc- 

Fourth Order Two I'anel r 1 1^ 

Bivalve unH cesstul results. 



N Pennsylvania in 1859 Col. E. L. Drake, 
successfully boring for petroleum, caused 
the flooding of the market with oil at prices 
never dreamed possible. This led to the 
introduction of foreign-made oil lamps 
and had the immediate eff'ect of stimulating their 
manufacture in America. Chimneys being an essential 
part of oil lamps, it was quite natural that the increased 
use of the latter would cause a correspondingly heavy 
demand for the former. It was not long before the 
consumption of chimneys became so great that their 
manufacture quickly grew into a distinct industry in 

It was as manufacturers of lamp chimneys that 
Geo. A. Macbeth and Thos. Evans became identified 
with the glass industry. Although many diversified 
lines for widely different purposes are now made by 
the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company, yet the major 
part of the production is illuminating glass. 


The fame of "Pearl Glass" and "Pearl Top" lamp 
chimneys has extended to the most remote parts of the 
globe. They continue to be sold where oil lamps are 
burnt and, strange to relate, there is a surprisingly 
large number of lamp chimneys used today — this in 
spite of the development of the more efficient modern 
light sources. 

The advent of the Welsbach mantle in 1886 created 
a demand for illuminating glass of somewhat different 
character than that used for oil lamps. The manu- 
facture of chimneys, shades and globes for this new 
light source made necessary new factory equipment and 
the readjustment of the business to meet the changed 

The incandescent electric lamp, possibly the most 
interesting development in illumination, was the achieve- 
ment of the famous American, Thomas A. Edison. 
Electric lighting had been used pre- 
vious to Edison's invention but was 
produced by the means of the electric 
arc, discovered by Sir Humphry Davy 
in 1801. The greatest development 
in the use of electricity for lighting 
has been during the past twenty-five 
years. Special glassware was devised 
by this company to meet the require- 
ments of each improvement in elec- 
tric lighting. 

It is interesting to note that the 
Macbeth-Evans Glass Company has 
contributed through its illuminating 
(MiiL^ineering department and byexten- 
si\ e publicity in no small degree to the 
impetus which has been given orna- 
mental street lighting during recent 

>mnnri'inl I,i(;litir>K I nil 


years. Handsome posts, surmounted by attractive and 
efficient globes made either of Alba or Monax Glass, 
are enhancing the appearance of cities and towns today. 

The manufacture of illuminating glass for the carbon 
filament lamp, and more recently for tungsten and gas 
filled lamps, has given the resources of Macbeth-Evans 
Glass Company an opportunity for real expression. 

This company recognized early in the development 
of modern light sources that their intrinsic brilliancy 
required modification in order to produce useful and 
efficient illumination. The invention of Alba — a white 
diffusing glass — was the first step toward the solution 
of the problem. The manufacture of this glass in the 
form of globes, shades and bowls, scientifically designed 
to distribute the light efficiently, quickly followed its 

In the creation of an illuminating engineering depart- 
ment, the facilities, which this company offered to those 
who desired efficient as well as attractive illumination, 
were complete. 

Comprehensive publicity campaigns, advocating bet- 
ter lighting, had the effect of creating a 
demand for improved lighting conditions 
in factories and offices, as well as in homes. 
The requirements of home lighting differ 
somewhat from the demands of the indus- 
trial world. It is the desire of the average 
owner to light his home artistically, depend- 
ing upon local illumination for reading or 
writing. It was therefore with this in mind 
that the illuminating glass manufactured 
by this company for residence lighting was 

Alba, in many of its decorative forms, has 
beenused toadvantageinhomeillumination. Ligh^unTpost 


Thebian is another form of decorated glass designed to 
meet the requirements of those residences in which 
artistic Hghting is desired at moderate cost. Artistically, 
however, the most beautiful product of the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company is the glass known as Decora. 
Here the artist designer was given the opportunity for 
unlimited expression. Exquisite colors combined with 
a wealth of rarely decorative designs distinguish Decora 
among other illuminating glass. It is truly a glass of 
character — distinctive because of its originality and 
artistry, yet having the restraint necessary to become 
part of an harmonious interior. 

The illuminating glass made by this company 
includes not only that described above, but in addition 
a great variety of more or less staple shades and globes 
in common use, the description of which would be 
uninteresting because it is so well known. 

Semi-Indirect Ligliting Unit 


ra'ia^way glass 



HERE is probably no more exacting con- 
sumers of glass than the railroads. It is 
important to the traveling public that such 
be the case, as glass is a vital part of all 
railway signal systems. The large American 
railroads maintain testing departments, which scientif- 
ically examine samples of all railway guide glass. For 
instance, photometric tests are made when color and 
transmission of light are involved, and when it is nec- 
essary that the glass have a certain inherent strength, 
it must pass mechanical shock tests. These tests deter- 
mine whether or not the glass will meet the rigid speci- 
fications of the Railway Signal Association. 

It is interesting to know that red and yellow glasses 
transmit approximately one-fourth as much light as 
clear glass — green glass one-sixth and blue even less. In 
order, therefore, to project red light rays as far as white, 
the intensity of the light source must be four times that 
used with clear glass, while for green it must be six 



times as great. In small de- 
tached units it is not practicable 
to so grade the light sources, 
and for this reason the railroads 
require colored glass which has 
a minimum of absorption. This 
is one of the many problems 
which must be solved by the 
Research Department of this 
company. Another is to make a glass which when 
subjected to mechanical shock sufficient to break it will 
not fall to pieces. The importance of this quality is 
best illustrated when we consider the situation of the 
flagman, who may break the red globe in his lantern 
when going out in a storm to stop a train. Disin- 
tegration of a globe could easily result in a serious acci- 
dent, such as a rear-end collision. 

In the manufacture of roundels, which are used in 
connection with semaphore signals, the color of the 
glass is the essential requirement. Lantern globes, 
other than clear, on the other hand, must combine, not 
only the quality of great heat resistance necessary in 
clear globes, but also the proper colors to meet rigid 
railroad specifications. Lamp chimneys for switch lamps 
and coach lighting must also be made of special glass. 
One of the outstanding developments in the making 
of glass for railroads was accom- 
plished in producing tubular and 
reflex water gauge glasses now used 
on locomotives. Previous to the 
invention of the special glass now 
used in their manufacture serious 
accidents resulted from the break- 
ing and disintegration of gauge 
glasses, allowing the escape of scald- 

R. R. Lantern Globe 


ing steam and hot water. The inher- 
ent construction of the gauge glasses 
now made for railroads by this com- 
pany is such that if a gauge glass is 
broken, it does not disintegrate and 
preserves its original shape, thus 
preventing the escape of steam from 


the boiler. 

The automatic signals of railroads are dependent for 
their operation upon electric storage batteries. One 
can easily imagine the serious consequence should these 
batteries fail to operate. It is of vital importance there- 
fore that the glass jars used to encase batteries be so made 
that they will withstand the most severe service. On 
some of the Northern roads it is not uncommon to renew 
batteries by pouring in caustic soda, thus bringing the 
temperature inside of the glass jar up as high 

fas that of boiling water when the temperature 
outside the jar may be below zero. To deter- 
mine whether the Macbeth-Evans battery jars 
would stand this terrific strain samples were 
^ ■ placed in cracked ice, where they were allowed 
to remain until the temperature of the glass had 
Gauge Glass ^^^^ rcduccd to 5° F whcn boiling water was 
poured into the jar. This is a severe test but is necessary 
because of conditions under which battery jars are used. 
The illumination of coaches, Pullman cars and 
terminals has in recent years been given more con- 
sideration by the railroads than formerly. This 
company manufactures specially designed shades and 
globes made to meet certain photometric requirements 
specified by the railroads in order to secure efficient 
lighting of terminals and cars for passenger service. 





O those who have spent their lives on land 
the statement that a vessel could not safely 
leave our shores without being equipped 
with certain glasses may seem somewhat 
It is quickly apparent even to those least familiar 

with the sea that a ship would be in constant danger 

traversing the ocean at night without masthead, port, 

and starboard lights, running lights as they are called. 

These lights are of different colors, thus identifying 

certain parts of the vessel. It is for these lights that 

this company makes special glass 

to meet marine conditions. 

Gauge glasses like those used on 

the railroads are provided for the 

high powered steam boilers with 

which the large passenger liners and 

warships are equipped. These gauge 

glasses must resist the corroding 


action of superheated water under steam pressure. The 
superiority of gauge glasses made by this company is 
shown by their widespread use by the United States Gov- 
ernment, as well as by private steamship companies. 

During the recent war the Macbeth-Evans Glass 
Company devoted almost all of its production to 
the manufacture of glass for the army and navy. Chief 
among the articles made were the reflectors used on 
the powerful searchlights with which our warships 
and coast defenses are equipped. A battleship's 
battery of searchlights is a vital part of its equipment. 
In repelling a night attack it is obviously desirable 
that a ship have sufficient searchlights to disclose each 
attacking unit; the lack of an additional searchlight 
might mean a battleship's doom, since one of the small, 
swift-attacking units may slip up and deal the great 
ship its death blow under cover of darkness. 

Mirrors for searchlight purposes are of varied forms 
and sizes, the shape depending largely upon the par- 
ticular form of beam which they are designed to project. 
Large searchlights generally are designed to project a 
straight beam or bundle of light, and for this purpose a 
reflector having a parabolic form is required. 

In most cases these parabolic mirrors are made of 
crystal mirror glass. A flat disc of the glass is placed 
in an oven on a parabolic iron former. The temperature 
of the oven is increased gradually until the glass softens 
sufficiently to settle down to the shape of the former. 

This approximately parabolic blank is then ground 
to a true curvature on both the inside and outside sur- 
faces. After polishing and silvering, the mirror is sub- 
jected to severe test to determine whether the various 
zones of the inside and outside surfaces have a common 
focus. After completion each lens is rigidly examined 
by a government inspector. 


The glass itself must be of good color and free from 
cords, seeds, etc. It must also show durability under 
the action of atmospheric agents. 

Aside from the constitution of the glass itself the 
backing or silvering presents a difficult problem; the 
nature and quality of the glass considerably affects the 
ease and success of the various silvering processes. 

Many of the older mirrors have mercury or quick- 
silver films placed on their reverse surface for the 
reflecting medium. Generally speaking, the present 
method is to deposit metallic silver upon the glass, but 
the manner in which this is accomplished, to enable 
the mirror to stand up under government tests, is a 
trade secret with the manufacturer. The silvering 
must be deposited at a rate that can be controlled and 
in a manner to give a uniform, continuous film, free 
from all defects. 

There are other glasses used on board ship which 
are essential, the description of which is impossible 
here because space is limited. 



:i!it.L * 'J^/ GLASS 

HE increase in the number of industrial 
laboratories throughout the country during 
the past few years has caused a heav}' 
demand for laboratory glass. In addition 
there is a large consumption of this kind 
of glass by private testing laboratories, schools and 

In order to realize the difficulties that present 
themselves to the glass manufacturer in the production 
of high quality glass for chemical purposes one should 
know that when the science of chemistry was still in 
its infancy chemists generally 
had not yet realized the necessity 
of having glassware of known 
resistance to repeated evapora- 
tion and resistance to chemical 

When water was boiled for 
considerable period in glass ves- 


sels a distinct amount of solid matter col- 
lected in the glass container. The expla- 
nation commonly given, on the basis of the 
old Greek philosophy, was that water had 
been turned into earth. 

Lavoisier, the great French chemist, 
came into contact with this problem in his 
earlier experiments, and was not satisfied 
with this explanation. He was soon able to prove 
that the earthy matter observed was accounted for 
by the attack of the water on the glass, which had 
corroded or lost weight during the boiling process. 
Davy, another of the early chemists of note, in his 
electro-chemical experiments, was able 
to show that the alkaline substances 
found in water that had been boiled 
in glass containers could only have 
arisen from the glass used as the con- 
taining vessel. As the developments 
of quantitative chemistry proceeded, 
other errors in analytical work were 
noted which arose through the use of 
the glass apparatus of the day. 

Because of this chemical instability of glass surfaces 
there soon arose a demand for a glass that would 
resist the action of solutions that might be placed in 
it, but years of experiment were to pass before it 
became commercially possible to produce such a glass. 
Eventually, however, the desired results were achieved, 
and a satisfactory glass was produced, thus making it 
possible for the chemist to accurateh- determine the 
atomic weights of various sub- 

The chemical processes in- 
volved in determining atomic 


weights constitute a delicate 
task. The substance must be 
first prepared and weighed in 
the pure state, and must then 
be subjected to suitable reac- 
tions and again weighed with 
proof that in the process noth- 
ing has been lost and nothing 
accidentally garnered into the material to be placed on 
the scales. These requirements among other things 
require a glass the production of which is a technical 
problem of the first rank, and even today considerable 
variation is still to be found in the various makes of 
laboratory ware. 

This company produces a glass which is eminently 
suitable for analytical work, since it gives up no appre- 
ciable quantity of alkali even after prolonged boiling. 
This glass resists not only gradual heating, which 
almost any glass will 
stand, but also violent 
and sudden changes of 
temperature — in other 
words having a low 
coefficient of expansion. 
negligible effect upon it. 



N addition to the glasses which have been 
described there are many other kinds for 
special purposes, made by this company, 
which cannot be placed under broad class- 
ifications. A few of these are sufficiently 
interesting and important to warrant their mention here. 
The glass condenser jars used in connection with the 
more powerful types of wireless sending apparatus are 
made of a special glass, which will withstand the 
tremendous shock of electrical currents from high 
frequency. This is an unusual glass, the successful 
making of which was not dreamed of a few years ago. 

An American company utilizing large 
vats for distilling purposes was in a quan- 
dary a few years ago because of frequent re- 
placements of the observation glass through 
which the contents of the vat are observed. 
The glass which was used lasted but a few 
days, because of its inability to resist a 
chemical action of the contents, sudden 
changes of temperature, and corroding 
action which caused the glass to become 
obscured. To meet these unusual and se- 
vere conditions this company invented a 
glass which resists not only the chemical condenser jar 


action of the contents of the vat, but in addition will 
not break when subjected to sudden changes of temper- 
ature. The use of the special glass has resulted in 
reducing the cost of production through the fact that 
it is now possible to keep the vats in operation almost 

In coal mines, where electric lights are not used, 
accidents have occurred due to defects in the glasses 
used in miners' safety lamps. A miners' safety lamp 
glass has been produced by this company which will 
not fall to pieces, or even permit the passage of air 
through a crack in this glass. The introduction of this 
glass has no doubt averted many mining catastrophes 
that have so often in the past formed terrible blots 
upon the pages of the history of coal mining. 

Flame Test 

Miners' Safety Lamp Glass 

Flaine can play indefinitely against glass without breaking it 



^' ' '' LENSES 

I HP2 alarming increase in the number of 
automobile accidents in the United States 
caused by glaring automobile headlights 
definitely established the necessity for this 
light to be controlled in a way to eliminate 
dangerous glare and to provide at the same time the 
long range and side lighting necessary for safe driving. 
The engineering vskill which produced the wonderful 
lighthouse lenses made by this company was con- 
centrated on the problem with the result that "Macbeth 
Green Visor" and "Liberty" lenses are giv- 
ing the same measure of safety to motorists 
as Macbeth lighthouse lenses are giving 
to travelers upon the 
ocean and inland waters. 
More than 1,000,000 
automobiles are now 
equipped with headlight 
lenses made by the 
Macbeth-Evans Glass 

Macbeth Lens CoUipany. Liberty Lens 


List of Products 

HE following is a list of articles made 
by this company, reproduced to give a 
general idea of the ramification of glass 
making. It will also serve to acquaint the 
reader with the reason why 80% of the pro- 
duction of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company went to 
the government during the recent war. 

July 14, 1918, Commodore Denig gave the com- 
mand to break out the Emergency Fleet Flag at the 
Charleroi Works. This date to future generations will 
be a reminder that the 264 employees of the Macbeth- 
Evans Glass Company who served in Army and Navy, 
and those who remained at essential tasks at home, 
contributed in no small way to bring the war to a 
successful conclusion. 

Flag Raising. July U. l''is 


Lamp Chimneys for domestic use. 

Lamp Chimneys for railroads. 

Lamp Chimneys for lighthouses. 

Lamp Chimneys for steamships. 

Lamp Chimneys for street lighting. 

Lamp Chimneys for gas mantle burners. I 

Lantern Globes. 

Lantern Globes for use as signals on railroads. 

Lighting Fixture Glassware. 

Globes for street lighting. 

Shades for street lighting. 

Reflectors for street lighting. 

Globes for Welsbach and other gas mantle burners. 

Shades for Welsbach and other gas mantle burners. 

Laboratory Glassware. 


Lubricator Glasses — used on gas and steam stationary 
engines, locomotives and steamships. 

Miners' Glasses — used in miners' safety lamps in all 
gaseous mines. 

Gauge Glasses, flat (oblong and round) — used on all 
steam gauges on stationary boilers, locomotives, and 
by the Navy on nearly all war vessels. 

Gauge Glasses, tubular — used on all steam gauges on 
stationary boilers, locomotives, and by the Navy on 
nearly all war vessels. 

Protector Glasses — used on tubular gauges, on station- 
ary boilers, on locomotives, and by the Navy to 
protect firemen and engineers from escaping steam 
caused by the breaking of tubular gauge glasses. 

Observation Glasses — used in the manufacture of 

Glass Sponge Cups for holding sf)onges for office use. 

Reflectors for automobile and truck headlights. 

Reflectors for household use in connection with old- 
fashioned wall brackets. 


Shades for railroad use. 

Founts for side wall brackets for household use. 

Bowls for use in railroad cars. 

Plates for use in stove doors. 

Meter Covers for gas meters. 

Dental Glassware for spittoons in dental chairs. 

Globes for collection boxes. 

Globes used in flour mills. 

Globes for electric sign use. 

Globes for water filters. 

Globes for sterilizers. 

Cylinders for carburetors on automobiles and trucks. 

Cylinders for electric meters. 

Globes for ship lights and in tunnels. 

Bowls for ship lights. 

Cylinders for airplanes. 

Lenses, in colors, for airplanes. 

Cups to collect oil drippings in lamps used in railroad 

Bull's-eyes for advertising signs. 
Bull's-eyes for lanterns. 

Globes used as containers in dispensing gasoline. 
Candle Globes for ecclesiastical use. 
Bottles for milk testing. 
Glass bowls for automobile lighting. 
Glasses for dispensing paper cups. 
Lenses for lightships. 

Mirrors for searchlights for the Army and the Navy. 
Ship Light Glasses — used on vessels — masthead, port, 

starboard and running lights. 
Buoy Light Glasses — used on buoys for marking 

channels along coast. 
Lenses for lighthouses. 

Lenses for automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. 
Lenses for railroad signals. 


Lenses for locomotive headlight use. 

Battery Jars, of special quality of heat-resisting glass, 
for the operation of block signals on nearly all 
United States Railroads and in Europe. 

Relay Covers for covering apparatus for operating 
signals on railroads and water meters. 

Glazing Glasses for polishing leather. 

Globes for Pintsch and other railroad passenger car 
lighting systems. 

Cab Globes for illuminating locomotive gauges. 

Candle Globes for railroad passenger cars and cabooses. 

Lamp Chimneys for locomotive headlight and passenger 
car use. 

Headlight Front Glasses, of special quality glass, for 
locomotive headlights. 

Elevator Signal Glasses. 

Vacuum Bottles for Thermos and other vacuum bottles. 

Mantle Formers — used in the manufacture of gas 

Glasses for coffee percolators. 

Glasses for vending machines. 

Glass Bushings for bell cords and whistle cords in rail- 
road coaches. 

Globes used in chemical manufacture. 

Globes for medicinal use. 

Tubes for Ozone machines. 

Globes for water heaters. 

Jars to contain tobacco. 

Plates for dental chairs. 

Holders for cotton for dental chairs. 

Glasses for automatic milking machines. 


Toward Tomorrow^ 


HERE are comparatively few prosperous 
businesses a half century old. This will 
not seem astonishing when we consider 
that our country is still young in the 
world's history. The pardonable pride of 
the Macbeth-Evans organization, because 
of its long and successful career, is tempered by the 
responsibilities thrust upon those whose duty it is to 
maintain the carefully fashioned individuality which 
has distinguished the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company 
since its founding. The personnel changes, but those 
intangible but nevertheless potential forces — the spirit 
and ideals of the founders, together with the traditions 
of the company — remain to mark the course for those 
upon whom rests the responsibility of preserving 
Macbeth-Evans standards. 

In the growth of the Macbeth-Evans Glass Company 
the value of knowledge gained by intimate contact with 
the intricate problems of the business has been carefully 
emphasized. It is this tradition which has made possi- 
ble many of the achievements of glass making recorded 
in the preceding pages. 

The earliest effort produced an incomparable lamp 
chimney. The same high standards of progressive 
manufacturing gave to the world at a later date Alba, 
the original white diffusing glass. It is seemingly a far 
cry from a modest lamp chimney to that marvel of the 
glassmakers' art, the lighthouse lens, yet the success- 
ful manufacture, for the first time in the United States, 
of lighthouse lenses, by this company, was a natural 
development, a visible tribute to the fifty-year tested 
ideals and policies of the Macbeth-Evans organization. 
It is in the contemplation of a successful past that 
we find the best augury for a successful future. 


We are indebted to the Pennsylvania 
Museum of Philadelphia for their courtesy 
in allowing us to use the following illustra- 
tions found on pages 19, 20 and 21: Glass 
Beads made at Jamestown, Va., 1621-1625; 
Stiegel Glass Tumbler and Molded Bottle, 
Early Nineteenth Century, and to the 
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa., for 
several illustrations in the Historical Section. 


TP Macbeth -Evans Glass Company, 
853 Pittsburgh, Pa. 
P6>G Fifty years of glass