Webster’s Patent Feb. 16. 1864
Patent Feb 16. 1864
Alfred L. Webster, New York City, N.Y.
Gray, Hemingray & Bros. and Hemingray Bros. & Co.
Covington, Kentucky & Cincinnati, Ohio
Blue Aquamarine Quart
Provenance: Phil Smith collection
Our very rare “Websters Patent Feb 16. 1864” dark blue-aquamarine quart jar is hand blown with a ground lip. The odd closure is a top seal straddle lip tinned iron lid held down by a spring steel bar passed through two wire loops soldered onto a metal band around the jar’s neck.
Alfred L. Webster was born in New York around 1820. In 1855 Webster & Miller, No. 67 Nassau street, were manufacturers in the sheet metal business advertising their “Webster’s (patent) Premium Bending and Tubing Machines for forming pencil cases, napkin rings, preserve and paint cans, mustard, blacking, pill boxes stove pipes, etc. Webster placed the following notice in the 1870 New York Herald, “A. L. Webster, manufacturer of and wholesale dealer in Webster’s Patent Oil and Fruit Cans; also Patent Ventilators for barrels, cans &c. and dealer in refined Petroleum Oil. 114 Fulton street, New York.” A. L. Webster likely had relatives in mid-Ohio like Cheever L. Webster (fruit jar inventor), who connected him with the Hemingray glass concern.
The face of the straight-sided jar is embossed in two centered lines; ‘WEBSTER’S’ (top line) and ‘PATENT FEB 16. 1864’ (bottom line). The type style is sans serif. The crude glass has some very nice character.
Fruit jar authority Alice Creswick illustrated six glass variations of the Webster container and one made of tin. One variant had rounded shoulders and was embossed ‘WEBSTER’S,’ while three had straight sides. One of these had ‘WEBSTER.S,’ while another had a space between the “R” and “S.” The third had “WEBSTER’S” on the front as well as the “1860 patent” on the reverse. The tin can was unmarked but used the Webster finish. Her final example was embossed ‘PATENTED WEBSTERS / SEPT 18 1860 / FEB 16 1864’—all ghosted. The jar had a sloped shoulder. She attributed all variations to Gray, Hemingray & Bros., and Hemingray Bros. & Co.
Primary Image: Webster’s Patent Feb 16 1864 jar imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio.
Support: Secondary Image: Auction Lot 685: WEBSTER’S PATENT 1864, Odd Closure, Quart. A deep aqua quart embossed in two lines: “WEBSTER’S PATENT FEB 16 1864.” Sparkling glass with some nice crude character. No damage or stains. The mouth is sheared and not ground with roughness around the top from the making. The closure is a replica. A rare jar and a great-looking example. – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass
Support: Reference to The Hemingray Glass Firms by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Bill Lindsey, and Carol Serr with contributions by Bob Stahr and David Whitten.
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 Doug Leybourne.
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