The Wellington Glass Co. was formed in 1909. It�s purpose was to use the idle facility of the Cumberland/National Glass Co. The factory had been closed for about 5 years and was originally built in 1884. In an article about the Annual Glass Exhibit in Pittsburgh in 1910, it states that The Wellington displayed �inverted and upright gas and electric light goods�. The Wellington Glass Co. can be defined as producing shades and globes for gas and electric lights from the beginning of production in 1909, until the destructive fire in its final days of 1920.
The shades produced at Wellington were both blown in molds and pressed in molds. There were many types of shades produced, as exhibited in an early product catalog containing 40 pages. The catalog lists Boulevard Globes, Opal Domes, Humphrey Globes, Gas Balls, Peanut Globes, and Steam-tight Globes. The shades came in crystal, clear, satin, crimped, round, cut, and etched. The company patented �Marbolite� that competed against �Holophane�, which had a monopoly of the shade and globe market. Holophane was produced by Heisey, in Newark, Ohio in the early years. Marbolite was Wellington�s new white glass. Wellington included in their catalog, engineering graphs from an electrical testing laboratory in New York City, showing the vertical distribution of light with Marbolite shades. They had a graph for a 40 watt bulb and a 60 watt bulb. This was evidently an effort to show that Marbolite allowed a better distribution of light to transmit than Holophane, and Marbolite was a better product than Holophane.
The catalog contains 4 pages of cut glass shades, several pages of frosted shades, 2 pages of prismatic shades, and pages of molded and acid etched shades. It is known that they also made hand painted shades. I have not seen a hand painted Wellington shade to date, but they apparently exist.
Many of the Wellington shades had Wellington embossed around the outside of the top rim. Unfortunately, the embossing of the name Wellington on the mold, wore out over time, as the mold was used repeatedly. This led to lighter embossing of the name. I have Wellington design shades that show the Wellington name very faintly. Other shades, like the acid etched type, do not have the Wellington name. There were also other products of the Wellington Glass Works. These include the large clear cylinders for the top of early gasoline pumps at gas stations. It is presently not known what other items were made.
Many of the glass workers lived on North Centre and North Mechanic streets. This put them close to work. It has been indicated that there were workers at Wellington from many foreign countries including Japan, France, and Italy. It also has been indicated that �The Wellington� made shades of colors like cranberry. Since I have no additional collaborating information about these colorful home use type shades, I only mention this in passing. A brief search at the glass factory site did not produce any product shards. Apparently, the waste was dumped on the banks of Will�s Creek, which was then covered over or removed when the flood construction was built in the 1930�s, controlling the creek.
The Wellington Glass Works seemed to be doing just fine until it was destroyed by fire in 1920. The factory was never rebuilt.
Examples of shades made at the Wellington Glass Co.
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