Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/604

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ful for success are now pretty well known, and where these are found the most extensive works may spring up without any previous history. So we find in the enumeration of an establishment, now in course of construction, one item of one hundred and twenty-five two-story houses, while the plant itself is to be one of the most perfect and extensive in this country. These sudden growths will become more and more possible with the progress of industrial analysis.

In the neighboring State of Ohio the industry gained small footing until within recent years. There were two glass-houses in operation in 1817, and others were subsequently started, but they do not appear to have succeeded, for none were reported in the census returns of 1840. Ten years later there were six in operation, but in 1860 the number had decreased to four. In 1870 the total establishments numbered nine, and at the time of the tenth census had increased to a score. With the discovery of natural gas, however, the industry experienced a sudden expansion, and the State is now one of our most active glass-producing centers. Gas was known as early as 1836, but it was not until 1884 that it was regularly sought for and utilized. In the fall of that year a successful well was drilled in the now famous Findlay district. This was followed by other wells in 1885, and in 1886 by the Karg well, one of the most prolific in the entire country. A few months later the Van Buren well yielded even larger returns, and firmly established the reputation of western Ohio as assured gas-producing territory. Bowling Green, twenty-four miles to the north of Findlay, became a second important gas center. Both towns are underlaid by Trenton limestone, and draw their supplies of gas from the same geological horizon. Other gas rock has been discovered, but this remains by far the most productive.

The history of these and other districts in the gas country reads quite like an industrial fairy story. Quiet country towns have expanded in a surprisingly short space of time into manufacturing centers of national importance. In this development glass-making has been the foremost industry. By 1888 there were a dozen different establishments at Findlay alone, making bottles, window glass, and flint ware of fine quality, while the population had increased from six thousand to thirty in about eighteen months. At the same time Bowling Green had five glass-houses, and Fostoria five more. Numerous other establishments are found scattered over the entire State.

The development of glass-making in Ohio, in addition to the mushroom rapidity with which the industry has sprung up, presents a number of unique and interesting economic features. It has been practically a race between the different localities as to which should secure the greatest number of establishments