Masons OVGCo Patent Nov 30th 1858

Provenance: Jerry McCann Collection

Our “Masons OVGCo (monogram) Patent Nov 30th 1858” jar is extremely rare as the jar is typically 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 too far away was the La Belle Glass Works.

The Ohio Valley Glass Co. was started by Jacob Boney Steele, William Keohline, C. M. Rhodes, Louis Franzheim, and Jacob Berger. The glassworks 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. Refer to the support photographs. The second was the subject “Masons OVGCo (monogram) Patent Nov 30th 1858” jar which is illustrated below.

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 reportedly 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 into debt. In late July 1886, the Ohio Valley Glass Co. permanently closed its factory because of excessive liabilities.

Primary Image: Masons OVGCo (monogram) Patent Nov 30th 1858 jar imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support: The Ohio Valley Glass Co. and Related Firms by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Carol Serr, and Bill Lindsey

Support Image: Auction Lot 876: OVGCo JAR 1881 Aqua Half Gallon, Gorgeous Example. An early aqua half-gallon shoulder seal jar embossed on the front: “OVGCo JAR 1881”. An outstanding example with strong embossing and brilliant glass that displays wonderful character with a bold whittled effect. No damage or stains and the ground mouth has the usual edge flaking. Base: “6”. RB listing #2265. This item is from the Cay & Erv Bettinghaus Collection. – 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.

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