United States Glass Company Contract

May 20, 2024 | Museum Monday Treasures

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a bit of an oddity from our archives. It is a contract between Wm. J. Royce and Frank T. Hunter and the United States Glass Company for work done at Glassport, Pennsylvania, dated August 25, 1894. The work involved converting two stables into dwelling houses for a sum of $1,630. It is signed by Wm. J. Royce and Frank T. Hunter, with a facsimile signature of S. A. Bryce as witness. The price being paid also included moving the larger of the two structures into a specified alignment on the property.

Was this part of the effort to create sufficient employee housing for the brand new Glassport factory? Leading up to 1894, U.S. Glass had endured a tumultuous couple of years with major union disputes, problems with fuel supply at some of their other member factories, as well as the expense of building two brand new factories – one at Gas City, Indiana, and the other at the newly created town of Glassport. Using an online conversion for inflation, it appears that $1,630 would be a little over $59,000 in today’s dollars, so this wasn’t necessarily cheap housing. And there was enough of a sense of urgency for the contract to include penalties, to be paid in cash, for every day that the work went over the scheduled completion date.

I wonder if either of these houses still exist in Glassport today. And, if they do, would their current owners have any idea that they are living in a former stable?

More Museum Treasures

Little Bo-Peep Goblet

Little Bo-Peep Goblet

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a goblet with a lovely Little Bo-Peep cutting. It was tentatively attributed by Gene Florence to the Morgantown Glass Works in the 1930s, but has not been documented. It is 7 ½” high with a...

The Atherholt Company Envelope

The Atherholt Company Envelope

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a wonderful example of how business stationery can be used as an effective means for advertising. It is an envelope from The Atherholt Company, dealers in wholesale crockery and glassware, from...

Chatham Glass Company Fish

Chatham Glass Company Fish

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a wonderful Chatham Glass Company fish. It is in green and clear with controlled bubbles, signed on the bottom: "Chatham Glass Co. '98." It was made by James Holmes and his wife, Deborah Doane....