Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oakland Glass Works

I noticed an ebay listing of a collection of a dozen OGW based embossed bottles for sale. This is certainly a nice grouping of western glass from a glass works that did not last long. Here is some relevant, information about this company.

On April 18th, 1884 a small article appeared in the S.F. Alta California paper "Patents were issued Wednesday to the following California inventors: Isaac B. Woilard, San Francisco, assigns to the Oakland Glass Works at Oakland, a demijohn or bottle-safe."

On Thursday September 18th, 1884 this article appeared; "Regular work at the Oakland glass works will begin on Monday on glass bottles. The glass pots are now being heated and several successful experiments in glassmaking were made yesterday. W. D. Loos is Superintendent and the works will employ sixty men and boys."

On September 24th, 1884, this article was written; "The Oakland Glass Works began regular work on Monday, and are now turning out demijohns, fruit-jars, claret and other bottles. Previously, no glass house in the United States has succeded in making claret bottles after the French pattern, but by a new process they are made with complete success at the Oakland works. The company is fortunate in the possession of a large tract of pure white sand at Monterey, which Eastern manufacturers admit is the best material for making glass in the United States. At the same time, Eastern experts doubted that white glass could be made here, even after washing the sand, which is always done in the East. Experiments made yesterday, however, show that so clean and pure is this sand that clear white glass can be made without washing the sand, and as a natural consequence, the factory will proceed to manufacture window-glass of the best quality. The demand for claret bottles alone is very large on this coast, exceeding fifty gross a day. The works employ a large number of men and boys. The latter are now employed in weaving the wicker covers for demijohns, and although they only began the work a few days ago, some of them are earning $1 a day, by the piece."

On September 4th, 1885, this article appeared in the S.F. Alta California paper; "Fifteen suits have been begun in the Justice's Court by John L. Howard, assignee, against the stockholders of the Oakland Glass Works, for sums ranging from $20 to 200. The works are at present shut down."

This article appeared in the September 19th, 1887 S. F. Alta California paper. "Oakland Glass Works to F. Dilger, 3.86 acres cor First and Linden sts."

Apparently by this time the property of the glassworks had been sold. Precisely how long its operations lasted I do not know. It appears to have been in operation for at least a year, maybe longer. Was it a casualty of SF & PGW is not certain, although SF & PGW has been credited with either buying or forcing out of business no less than 7 glassworks since their incorporation in 1876.

1 comment:

  1. Once I saw the listing for this group of bottles, I thought I'd write some history to help sell them, and it only took one day for someone to appreciate this group of fairly rare western glass. Hopefully they will be able to acquire a claret wine bottle with the OGW embossed base to add to it.