Re: sand and glass making


Did the Morgantown glass industry get served by other roads? Did the
Monongahela Railroad get up there? Where would one find a list of those
industries in that area? Great post!

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Hansmann [mailto:ehansmann@...]
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 6:23 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] sand and glass making

A busy week has kept me from responding on the sand delivery topic.

Sand used in the manufacture of glass products needed to be delivered
dry and uncontaminated. Open gondolas were not recommended. Since the
glass industry pre-dates covered hopper use, be aware that a large
amount of sand was transported loose in boxcars. This was common into
the 1960's, as one of our model rr club members here has related several
stories of his employment at a glass factory in Weston, W. Va. He spent
many days unloading boxcars of sand with a shovel and a wheelbarrow in
the period just beyond the focus of this list. In researching the West
Virginia glass industry, I have seen many images of glass factories with
boxcars spotted at the stock room doors (also known as stock house,
materials house, sand house, etc).

As for production leaders, it seems that Ohio, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia were the top states in glass production from the early teens
through the mid-1950's. After this point, the plastics revolution and
outmoded plants forced many glass factories to close. Here in
Morgantown, W. Va., we once had ten plants operating. Two large window
glass plants (not the same manufacturing process as plate glass) closed
just before WW2, while three table and stemware plants lasted into the
1960's. The last tableware plant closed in 1995. All that is left is a
small operation that produces lampshades. It outlasted the B&O that ran
beside it for nearly a century.

Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.

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