Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/461

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THE GLASS INDUSTRY.

The most extensive attempt was that made by the Baron Steigel in 1762. He built the village of Manheim, eleven miles from Lancaster, and erected iron furnaces and glass works in the neighborhood. Operations were conducted upon quite a grand scale, and the glass produced was of excellent quality, but the enterprise was far from successful. The baron was too dramatic. His home was a veritable castle, and from its battlements the discharge of cannon announced the return of the lord of the manor, and summoned his retainers from furnace and factory to do honor to the occasion. This is thought to have somewhat interfered with the processes of glass-making. The war cut off his income from across seas and forced the abandonment of the works. The iron establishment passed into the hands of the Coleman family, and is still in operation.

West of the Alleghanies the industry was slower in finding a footing, but the conditions there made its establishment a matter of destiny. Mr. Albert Gallatin and his associates established a flourishing window-glass factory at New Geneva in Fayette County, somewhere about the year 1797. Various dates have been assigned for this undertaking, one published statement placing it as early as 1785, but the most reliable evidence appears to be in favor of the later date. The abundance of good glass sand and the wealth of timber were the attracting forces. The glass-house was forty feet square and contained one eight-pot furnace. The enterprise was reasonably successful and continued for thirty or forty years. But more significant was the opening of a glasshouse in Pittsburg somewhat earlier than this, since the city has now become the center of the industry in America. There is a tradition that this early factory was established in 1795, and was located on the west side of the Monongahela, at what is now called Glass-house Ripple. It was devoted extensively to the production of window glass, and is reported to have been about the same size as the New Geneva plant. Two years later, in 1797, General James O'Hara and Major Isaac Craig established more extensive works, whose date and history are quite authentic. We believe that these were the first works in America to use coal in the manufacture of glass. As the supply of fuel was right at hand and practically inexhaustible, they escaped a source of danger which constantly menaced those establishments which depended upon wood. The works were intended for the production of window glass, but, like many of the plants in those days, also turned out some bottles. A memorandum found among General O'Hara's papers suggests that for a time at least the outgo made more impression upon him than the income, for it reads, "To-day we made the first bottle, at the cost of thirty thousand dollars." Many difficulties had to be met and overcome before the works proved successful. They were