Masons OVGCo Patent Nov 30th 1858
Masons Patent Nov 30th 1858
Ohio Valley Glass Co.
Apple Green Quart
Provenance: Jerry McCann Collection
The Masons OVGCo monogram Patent Nov 30th 1858 jar is extremely rare. The jar is found in aqua with exceptionally rare examples reported in olive-amber and apple-green like our museum example.
From about 1881 to 1896, there were a series of Bridgeport, Ohio glass companies that operated out of the same location. The Nail City Glass Co. began production in 1881 and was reorganized as the Ohio Valley Glass Co. in 1883. Ohio Valley failed in 1886 and was replaced by the Bridgeport Glass Co. in 1887. Bridgeport Glass remained open until 1896. Not far away was the La Belle Glass Works.
Bridgeport, at the west end of the bridge of the Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Company, and connected with Wheeling, like Bellaire and Martin’s Ferry, by street cars, is almost as old a town as Wheeling, and older than either of the others named. She has always had something of a manufacturing industry, which now includes the R.J. Baggs & Son Lumber Company, operating the National Planing Mill, and doing a large general lumber business; the Bridgeport Machine Shops of Thomas Hill; the Roller Flour Mills of Smith & Sons, which have a large capacity, and make also semolina, a preparation of wheat germ; the Diamond Flour Mills of E.P. Rhodes & Son, also a large concern; the Carlisle Brick Company, which operates on a large scale; J.M. Woodcock’s long-established stove foundry; and the La Belle and Nail City Glass Works. The latter manufactures glass jars and bottles. It has suffered from several fires, and is not therefore as prosperous as most of the factories of the section. The La Belle seems to have entered a new era of prosperity. It is one of the completest one-furnace factories in the country. S.C. Dunlevy is President and Addison Thompson Secretary.The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, September 14, 1886
The Ohio Valley Glass Co. was started by Jacob Boney Steele, William Keohline, C.M. Rhodes, Louis Franzheim, and Jacob Berger. The glass works made beer and mineral water bottles, fruit jars, and druggists’ ware. Their best seller was The Eclipse jar.
It was during this period that two OVGCo monogram jars were made. The first had the horizontal OVGCo monogram and the word JAR and 1881 embossed beneath. Referer to the support photograph. The second was the Masons Patent illustrated below and highlighted in our museum.
In 1884, legal problems beset the company and the following year the factory was entirely destroyed by fire on April 1, 1885. Fortunately, the entire $12,000 to $14,000 loss was covered by insurance. By that time, the plant was reported making beer bottles, fruit jars, and telegraph insulators.
After the fire, Ohio Valley contracted with the Cadiz Glass Works in Cadiz, Ohio, to fill its orders, while the factory was rebuilt during the summer break. They focused on making the Economy Sealer fruit jar, as well as beer and mineral water bottles and green druggists’ ware. However, the company went deeply in debt. In late July 1886, the Ohio Valley Glass Co. permanently closed its factory because of excessive liabilities.
Support: The Ohio Valley Glass Co. and Related Firms by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Carol Serr, and Bill Lindsey
Support Image: OVGCo monogram JAR 1881 courtesy Greg Spurgeon and North American Glass
Support: Reference to Fruit Jar Annual 2020 – The Guide to Collecting Fruit Jars by Jerome J. McCann
Support: Reference to Red Book #11, the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr. Use of Creswick illustration courtesy Leybourne.