Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/600

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

much for the enterprise. The works were separated from the markets by long distances, and by roads which, after the lapse of nearly a century, are still very rough. Mr. Lewis appears never to have lost faith in the undertaking, but after his death the works were finally abandoned.

There are doubtless many other quiet localities scattered throughout the State which could tell a similar story of endeavor and perseverance and failure. West of the mountains the development of the glass industry has been phenomenal. The works established by Mr. Gallatin at New Geneva in 1797 continued to make window glass for many years. They were, however, finally abandoned toward the middle of the century. But the establishments at Pittsburg became the nucleus of a glass-making center which is to-day quite unrivaled in importance by any other glass center in the world. In the early days it was not all smooth sailing by any means. But the men who nourished the industry seem to have possessed unusual enterprise and perseverance. Their pioneer efforts in the use of coal in place of wood was in itself an act of no little industrial courage, for even in 1810 this remained the only plant in America which used coal. The product of the Craig and O'Hara factory was chiefly window glass, though an occasional lot of bottles was also turned out. About 1800 a second glass-house was established in Pittsburg by Denny and Beelen. It used wood exclusively as a fuel—being so situated, indeed, on the north side of the Ohio River that coal was not readily obtainable. The works did not prove successful and were soon abandoned.

The records of the industry show the establishment of various other works during the early part of the century, but the majority of them were unsuccessful and were sooner or later forced to suspend. The first flint-glass works were probably those established by Messrs. Bakewell and Page in 1808. They started with one six-pot furnace, but met with such flattering success that they constantly enlarged the capacity of their works. In the census of 1810 it is stated that "decanters, tumblers, and every other description of flint glass of a superior quality" were manufactured at Pittsburg. From this time onward the growth of the industry has been continuous and rapid, except during a brief period preceding 1819, when a temporary decline was experienced.

It would be both uninteresting and foreign to the present purpose to enumerate the separate histories of these various enterprises, but the figures illustrating the growth of the industry from this time on to the tenth census are too significant to be passed over in silence. Thus in 1837 there were thirteen factories in Pittsburg, yielding an annual product of about $700,000. In 1857 there were twenty-five factories, with a yearly output valued at