Patent Sept. 18, 1860
Patent Sept. 18, 1860
Robert Hemingray, Covington, Kentucky
Apple Green Quart
Provenance: Ron Hands Collection
Our quart, apple green “Patent Sept. 18, 1860” jar (SFJR #1036) is hand blown with a ground lip. The closure is a wax seal with a grooved ring pressed into the neck that would have used a metal cap. The jar is face embossed in two centered horizontal lines with a serifed typestyle. The first line reads, ‘PATENT,’ and the second line reads, ‘SEPT. 18. 1860.’ The base is unmarked.
The patentee was Robert Hemingray of Covington, Kentucky. The jar was made circa the 1860s by Gray, Hemingray & Bros. or Hemingray Brothers & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. The patent was issued for a “Mold for Glass Jars” to be made in four sections. This process enabled the wax seal groove to be blown in the mold rather than being formed later as a separate operation. After the jar was blown entirely, the top portions of the mold were opened to release the jar body. The completed jar was then cracked loose from the blowpipe, leaving a rough lip. The jar is scarce and can be found in aqua quarts. A deep blue (teal) half-gallon is also reported. Our quart is exceptional in this apple green glass color.
Robert Hemingray was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1820. He started as a grocer and baker before moving his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was a glassmaking capital before it became Steel City. In Pittsburgh, he married the sister of Ralph Gray, who would soon become his partner in glassmaking. Gray was also from Johnstown and was the first in the glass business in Cincinnati in 1847. In due time, the brothers-in-law were together in Cincinnati. They decided on a glass factory in Covington, Kentucky, to supply their store at the end of the river bridge in Cincinnati.
Ralph Gray died in 1863, and while the business name had been Gray, Hemingray & Bros. became Hemingray Glass Co. In the early years, the company went through numerous and frequent name changes, including Gray, Hemingray & Bros.; Gray, Hemingray & Brother; Hemingray Bros. & Company; and R. Hemingray & Company before incorporating into the Hemingray Glass Company, Inc. in 1870.
Initially, Hemingray was established to manufacture flint and green glassware of all types. Their warehouse and retail outlet were in Cincinnati on Main Street between Columbia and Front Streets. Advertising as early as 1857 listed “Perfumers’ Ware, Telegraph Glasses and Lightning Rod Insulators” among many products manufactured by their glassworks in Covington. Later advertising mentioned apothecary items, bottles, fruit jars, pressed glass dishes, tumblers, battery jars, fishbowls, lantern globes, and oil lamps.
See the museum example of the Hemingray Patent June 27 1865 quart jar.
Some other Hemingray made jars include the Hemingray Push-Down Wax Sealer, the Patented Nov 30 1858 (with/H.G.CO. Monogram), Patent No. 22,186, Patented Sep 18 1860 – Patent No. 30,063, Patented June 9 1863 – Patent No. 38,820, Patented Feb 16 1860 – Patent No. 41,657, Patent No 48,399, Patented May 25, 1886 (GLOBE, on lid) – No. 342,602, Royal and Royal of 1876.
Primary Image: Patent Sept. 18, 1860 Hemingray jar imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Support Image: Auction Lot 32: PATENT SEPT 18 1860 Half Gallon, Hemingray, Blue-aqua, Closure: push-down style grooved ring wax sealer mouth finish with a ground lip. Appearance: crude and sparkling glass. Condition: roughness and chipping of the ground lip. Embossing: strong. Base: unmarked, Age: 1860s. Availability: a scarce old Hemingray jar and a sharp looking example. – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass, September 2021
Support Image: Auction Lot 44: PATENT SEPT 18 1860 Quart, Hemingray, Strong aqua, Closure: push-down style grooved ring wax sealer mouth finish with sheared inner lip and comes with an early unmarked tin cap, Appearance: shiny glass, Condition: inner lip with roughness and flakes, Embossing: strong, Base: 4 raised dots, Age: 1860s, Availability: scarce – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass, January 2022
Support Image: Auction Lot 52: PATENT SEPT 18 1860, Hemingray, Wax Sealer, Quart (wide bodied version), strong aqua, Closure: push-down style grooved ring wax sealer mouth finish and comes with an early tin cap, Appearance: displays crude & seedy character….the jar has been lightly pro-cleaned and it sparkles, Condition: normal nicking of the ground mouth, Embossing: strong, Base: unmarked, Age: 1860s – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass, March 2019
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