Peter W. Reid, Birmingham, Pennsylvania
White House Glass Works, Birmingham, Pennsylvania
Lavender Gray Quart Preserve Jar
Provenance: Phil Smith Collection
Our pale lavender or SCA (sun-colored amethyst) jar may have been made in clear or pale aquamarine glass. The patentee was Peter W. Reid, from Birmingham, Pennsylvania who was listed as a moulder in the Pittsburgh City Directory in 1863 and 1864. The very rare jar was produced by the White House Glass Works during the same years. The preserve jar is simply embossed ‘REID’ in an arch on the side of the container in a sans serif typestyle. The base is smooth.
Peter W. Reid received Patent No. 39,327 for an “Improved Preserve Jar” on July 21, 1863. He assigned the patent to James D. and Thomas B. Atterbury, who were brothers, and J. Reddick. Atterbury, Reddick & Co. were the proprietors of the White House Glass Works.
Reid’s description of the finish and lid for his invention is quite convoluted. The glass lid was tapered downward to fit into an upwardly tapered finish. The central section of the lid was recessed to create a handle area and had two lugs extending outward on opposite sides of the lid. These fit into two bulges in the finish, and the lid was turned to rotate the lugs, creating a seal against a rubber gasket.
General James O’Hara and Major Isaac Craig, pioneers of the glass industry in Pittsburgh, opened the first glass factory in the county on the south side of Pittsburgh. By the early-to-mid 19th century, South Side was known as the center of the glass industry in the United States. In 1876, there were about 76 glass factories in the neighborhood. The location was so nationally recognized for production, that Presidents Andrew Jackson and James Monroe ordered glass tableware for the White House from companies operating in the area. South Side factories produced myriad glass products such as goblets, window glass, bottles, jars, tableware, etc. By the 1920s, most of the glass factories had moved away from the area due to high taxes and a lack of available real estate for expansion.
Primary Image: The “Reid” preserve jar imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio.
Support Image: Support Image: Auction Lot 6652: REID (in arch) Quart Glass StopperJar, Aquamarine, Closure: Original clear glass stopper (has an unfilled spot in the handle as shown, with a thin chip nearby). Note that the stopper will only rotate a short ways into the neck ramps, possibly a manufacturing flaw. Appearance: good with areas of haze that could be easily removed by pro-cleaning. Condition: manufacturer’s shallow chipping of the ground mouth. Embossing: strong, Base: smooth, Age: c1870s, Availability: rare – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass, January 2014
Support: Reference to Red Book #11, the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr.
Support: Reference to Fruit Jar Annual 2020 – The Guide to Collecting Fruit Jars by Jerome J. McCann
Support: Reference to The Atterbury Glass Houses by Bill Lockhart, Bob Brown, Bill Lindsey, Beau Schriever, and Carol Serr
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