SALEMGLASSWORKS

 

The Salem Glass Works is now located on Griffith Street along the water front.�� It started in 1862, when Henry Hall, Joseph Pancoast, and John V. Craven formed a partnership and built a single furnace on Third Street in the City of Salem.�� They made mold blown bottles, including squat mineral waters and porters for John P. Robinson, and John C. Brown of Salem, blue porter squats and squat ales for John Ryan of Savannah Ga., squat porters and mineral waters for Wm. Morton of Trenton, and squat porters for Twitchel of Phila.��� This information comes from a company mould book for the years 1865, 1866, and 1867.���� They made the Banner, Worcester, Wm. Pogue, W.W. Lyman, and Willoughby fruit jars and the U.H. Dudley Fruit bottle.�� They also made Attwoods bitters, Carter�s inks, Lea & Perkins Worcestershire Sauce, cone inks, Sachem Barrel bitters, Jenny Linds, Poland Springs �Moses� bottle, Paine�s Celery Compound, Lydia Pinkham�s Vegetable Compound, Turlington Balsam, Drakes Plantation Bitters to name a few from the mould book.��

 

��� Some of the bottles were standard non-embossed type, made in factory molds, others were standard slug-plate type, with the slug-plate embossed for the customer, while others were made using the customers mold.�� The bottle business flourished, allowing a second furnace to be built on Fourth Street, doubling the company capacity.�� And finally in 1876, a third furnace was built between Griffith Street and the water front, the present location.��� The ownership began to change in 1878, when Mr. Hall withdrew, and then in 1879, Mr. Pancoast died.�� Thomas J. Craven joined his brother John, to form �The Craven Bros.�Glass Co. in 1881.�� They built a fourth furnace at the Griffith Street site, and increased employment to 350 workers.

 

In 1895, the partnership was dissolved, when a stock company was formed, which took the name �Salem Glass Works�.�� Thomas J. Craven was president, with Louis Pancoast,John V. Craven, and D. Stewart Craven in the management.��� The products were still various bottles and jars like the Pettit and Mason fruit jars, amber Lorillard�s tobacco jars, blood purifier bottles, Poland Springs Water bottles, pint pickle jars for Philadelphia Pickling Co., and Mallard�s barrel shape mustards.��They made the Safety Mason, Sanety Wide Mouth Mason, Eureka (script), and the Sterling (script) fruit jars.����

 

In 1934 the company was absorbed by the Anchor Cap and Seal Corp.�� Expansions and upgrades increased the workforce, and by 1959, there were 1700 employees.��� The plant had 535,000 square feet of operating space on 22 acres, and operates 4 furnaces around the clock.�� Through the 1970�s, the operating costs increased, and profits were decreasing.�� Finally, in the early 1980�s, there were rumors of the Salem plant closing, because Anchor was closing plants in Bridgeton and Millville.��

 

In May of 1983, William Simon, a politician, led a group that mobilized capital and purchased the plant from Anchor Hocking.�� The new name of the plant became Anchor Glass Container Corp.�� The plant had reduced to 300 employees by this time.�� There were still rumors of the plant closing, but profits began to rise, and after a few years, William Simon sold his interest in the plant for a profit.�� By 1989, there were 500 employees, and automation increased production to the levels of the 1960�s.��

 

In 1989, the plant was sold to Vitro USA (Vitro Sociedad Anomia ) Mexican Corp.�� The plant has continued into the 21st century, which makes glass production in Salem County for four centuries.�� In 2003, the Southern Railroad Company was anticipating ceasing operations due to a deteriorated rail line in Salem County.�� To loose the railroad would have surely closed the Anchor Glass Plant.��� The State of NJ and the NJDOT have provided funds for the necessary improvements to keep the rail line functioning.�� This has allowed the Anchor Glass Plant to continue operation.����

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