Darling & Rhodes Invoices

Jan 8, 2024 | Museum Monday Treasures

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a small collection of invoices from Darling & Rhodes, Worcester, Massachusetts, manufacturers of bottles, glassware, and druggists’ sundries, as well as barware of every description. Their address is given as 24 Washington Sq., Worcester, Mass., with an incomplete date on the first one of 9/26/ 189[?]. Intriguingly they list two factories, one at Poughkeepsie, New York, and the other at Tarentum, Pennsylvania. The billhead includes images of bottles and other glassware. The proprietors are F. H. Darling and John L. Rhodes.

The second invoice is from 1900 and has a redesigned billhead, emphasizing druggist’s bottles.
In 1902, yet another style of billhead appears, and the company is now described as manufacturers of bottles & glassware for druggists and liquor dealers, and jobbers of druggists’ sundries. While they still had both factories, it appears they had now become wholesalers and distributors. And the billhead no longer features glassware, but instead has a graphic reading “Use the Worcester Brand of corks specially selected for druggists.”

The mystery to researchers today is whether they actually operated two glass factories at different locations independently under their own name or did they just place orders for products from two already existing factories? I suspect the latter, since although Darling and Rhodes Company, Inc., continued to exist for many years, by the 1920s and 1930s they were described strictly as jobbers of drug supplies and restaurant and hotel supplies. One report of a robbery at their location mentioned that the thieves got away with a large lot of toothbrushes. My guess is that their bottles were ordered from the Poughkeepsie Glass Works and the C. L. Flaccus Glass Company in Tarentum.

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