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Lynchburg Glass Corporation
The Story of Lynchburg Glass, Part II

Lynchburg Glass Works, 1919-1922
Lynchburg Glass Corporation, 1923-1925 (1928)

Dennis Bratcher

While links to this site are welcome, please do not repost any of this material to another web site
(Copyright © 2024 , Dennis Bratcher).

[This page is constantly being updated with new information as the Lynchburg documents are scanned and material added from newspaper accounts and other records. As a result, the footnotes and documentation are not yet complete and are not properly numbered.]

Note: For a description of the layout and features of the physical plant, see The Story of Lynchburg Glass, Part I.

The original venture into glass making by the Lynchburg Glass Works had failed. On June 29, 1922 the property of Lynchburg Glass Works was sold at public auction to a creditors’ committee chaired by John Victor, president of Peoples National Bank of Lynchburg. The committee’s options were either to resell the property at private sale, or to lease the facility long-term to another glass manufacturer. -1- The Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce had created the original company to promote local industry and employment. Many of the Chamber's prominent businessmen had invested in the company and it had employed almost 100 people. It is understandable that the Chamber wanted the company back into production. In December, 1922, a full page ad ran in The Glass Industry trade journal offering the entire plant and contents for sale (see Lynchburg Glass Works Sale Advertisement). The contact person for the ad was John Victor. -2-

Lynchburg Glass Corporation, 1923-1925 (1928)

The Second Beginning

lynchburg early logo

The original logo of Lynchburg Glass Corporation included a reference to bottles

We do not know the exact sequence of events, yet by July, 1923 attempts to reorganize the company were well under way. The principal people involved in this effort were basically the same people who were involved with Lynchburg Glass Works, making this functionally a reorganization of the original company. On July 16, incorporation papers were filed with the State of Virginia creating the Lynchburg Glass Corporation. The stated purpose of the company was “to manufacture glass containers, glassware, sheet glass, plate glass, and window glass, and any and all articles in the manufacture of which glass is used.” -3- It was understandingly ambitious as a legal statement of purpose, yet it also reveals the high expectations for the new company.

While reports in trade journals listed beginning capital as $300,000, this was only the maximum amount of capital stock allowed in the company's charter. -4- It is uncertain how much actual operating capital the beginning company had. There was a minimum of $150,000 from the issue of 1,500 shares of common stock at $100 a share. In addition, at least 700 shares of preferred stock were issued to cover the purchase price of the old Lynchburg Glass Works plant. -4a- However, this was an investment in the company by the Peoples National Bank and was not actual working capital. The conclusion later was that the company was under-capitalized. -4b-

Some of the officers of the company listed in the charter were familiar from the old Lynchburg Glass Works.  Nathan D. Eller would again assume the role as president and William H. Loyd would serve as secretary and treasurer. Additional directors of the company were prominent business men of Lynchburg, most of whom had invested in the first company: John Victor, president of Peoples National Bank who had facilitated the sale of the old glass plant; C. M. Guggenheimer of C. M. Guggenheimer Dry Goods, a large retail store in Lynchburg; J. D. Owen, manager of First National Bank of Lynchburg; D. H. Dillard, owner of Old Dominion Box Company; as well as C. S. Snidow and R. C. Watts. -5-

J wm. Gayner older

J. William Gayner (1867-1947)

Along with these, the new face in the company was J. William Gayner (see The Gayner Family). At age 56, Mr. Gayner would serve as vice-president and General Manager, and be the active head of the factory. Mr. Gayner had held that same position at the family business, Gayner Glass Works in Salem, NJ, so had considerable experience in glass manufacturing. -6-  William Gayner’s father, John Gayner, had founded Gayner Glass Works in the mid-1870s. In 1898 the company was incorporated as a family business with his three sons, John, Jr., Edward J., and J. William. By 1921 Gayer Glass Works was operating glass plants in Salem and Bridgeton, NJ, with J. William Gayner supervising production at the Salem plant. -7- Around 1920, Mr. Gayner decided insulators would be a profitable addition to the line of glassware. Gayner had produced eleven different styles of insulators of consistently high quality and color. They were sold mainly in the eastern USA.

In 1923 J. William Gayner left the family business to join the newly formed Lynchburg Glass Corporation. The reports in the industry were that he had “acquired a substantial financial interest in the Lynchburg factory." -8- The Minutes of the Organizational meeting of the company confirm that Mr. Gayner was the largest individual shareholder. -8a- There are various rumors and speculations of why William Gayner left Gayner Glass for Lynchburg: there was bickering among the brothers; he was tired of being in a family business; he wanted to make good on his own. However, none of these are documented. William H. Loyd later reported that Mr. Gayner came to Lynchburg with the blessing of the Gayner family, which seems likely given the fact that he moved Gayner's entire insulator capacity to Lynchburg. -8b-

Whatever the reason, Mr. Gayner brought to Lynchburg all of Gayner’s insulator molds along with Gayner’s automatic insulator press, as well as four hand insulator presses. -9- Brookfield Glass Company, which had dominated glass insulator production in the late 19th century, had recently closed (c. 1920). Whitall Tatum in Millville, N.J. had just started making insulators in 1922 but was not yet well established. Corning Glass was concentrating on making high voltage suspension insulators and would not enter the pin insulator market until the mid 1920s. That left Lynchburg Glass Corporation led by William Gayner in a position to compete directly with Hemingray of Muncie, IN, the largest producer of glass insulators in the 1920s. -10-

On July 20, 1923 the stockholders held their first organizational meeting approving the corporate charter and by-laws, as well as the officers of the corporation and Board of Directors. -10a- Immediately following this meeting, the new corporate Board of Directors held its first meeting. Salaries were determined, with president N. D. Eller receiving $4,200 annually and vice-president and general manager William Gayner receiving $5,200 annually. At this meeting the Board also approved the purchase of the Lynchburg Glass Works facility from the creditors' committee of Peoples National Bank for $85,000. Of that amount $15,000 was to be in cash and the remaining $70,000 was the assignment of 700 shares of preferred stock to the creditor's committee. -11- The property was transfered to the new corporation on August 1, 1923. -11a-

By the end of August, repairs were under way to put the plant back in production. The goal was to restart the plant by September 15 (for a description of the plant and facilities, see Lynchburg Glass Works, 1919-1922 and Site Photos). -11b- N. D. Eller reported that he had visited the Hemingray plant and the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, IN. The board discussed the prospects of starting insulator production. Mr. Eller reported that there were already inquiries from potential buyers. -12-

Mr. Eller also reported attempts to obtain a license to produce Coca-Cola bottles. -13- However, even though reporting inquiries from nine or ten Coca-Cola bottlers in Virginia and North Carolina, and encouraging them to write letters on the plant’s behalf, he was not able to obtain the necessary license. The company never did get the license since there is no record of the new company producing Coke bottles, even after much discussion, and none have been found made by Lynchburg Glass Corporation. -14-

Restarting the Plant

Production records as well as Board Minutes indicate that the Lynchburg plant went into production the last half of October or the first of November, 1923. Some records indicate the week ending October 13, 1923 as the first glass making, although it is unclear whether this was actual production or testing of the equipment. -14a- While the plant was originally equipped with two tanks of 22 and 28 tons daily capacity, which were later increased to 35 and 45 tons, the company began running only the larger 45 ton tank. Like the previous Lynchburg Glass Works, they never equipped or started the smaller second tank. -14b- The plant ran on a six day schedule. The furnace was blocked (reduced in temperature) Saturday night through Sunday night, and brought back to production temperature on Monday morning. -14c-

lynchburg late logo

A later version of the Lynchburg Corporate logo and slogan.

The slogan “Supreme where Quality Counts” that appeared in Lynchburg advertising reflected a commitment to excellence. While not documented, it is likely that this motto reflected the business philosophy of William Gayner. Initial announcements were that the plant would make “a complete line of containers” and that “the factory will also produce glass insulators.” -15- However, most of the products at Lynchburg Glass Corporation throughout its existence were glass pin insulators. -16- 

We have no production records for other glassware besides fruit jars. Home canning jars marked LYNCHBURG STANDARD MASON in pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes in both light blue aqua and light green were made by Lynchburg Glass Corporation between March and May, 1925 (see below). -17- Lynchburg Glass Corporation did have the bottle blowing equipment from the old company, and early letterheads of the company picture a case of bottles. Later comments by William Gayner indicated that the company had intended to produce Coca-Cola bottles, since they still had the molds for these. -17a- However, from existing evidence it is almost certain the second company never made any bottles. -17b-

lynchburg letterhead 1
An early company letterhead with an illustration of a case of medicinal bottles like those made by Lynchburg Glass Works (image is distorted on the left because the page is bound in a book). Note that the insulator cut pictures a Brookfield CD 162.1, a style never made by Lynchburg. The reference to "Brookfield License" likely referred to the Krib's insulator presses obtained from the defunct Brookfield plant. Letterhead courtesy Justin Stoudt, scan by Dennis Bratcher.

lynchburg letterhead 2
A later company letterhead in which the illustration of bottles has been replaced with an insulator, although the company logo still mentions "Machine Made Bottles". Note that the lower right insulator cut pictures a CD 152, also a style that LYNCHBURG never produced (although perhaps made by the company as a CD 153 no-name No. 48-40; see below and The Elusive No. 48). Letterhead courtesy Justin Stoudt, scan by Dennis Bratcher.

Lynchburg's company logo seen on the letterheads above was an L in an oval, which reflected the corporate seal. -17b1 Most of the insulators made by the company carried this logo with the name LYNCHBURG on the front. Reverse markings were generally Lynchburg's style number and MADE IN U.S.A. While the style numbers are not consistent, generally they follow Brookfield's numbering system rather than Hemingray's (see Company Style Number Comparison). However, in some correspondence insulators are referred to by a Hemingray style number rather than Lynchburg's number. -17b2-

The company was careful in keeping track of molds so most of Lynchburg's insulators as well as fruit jars carried mold numbers, even when the molds were retooled or reworked. Some pieces of some styles lack mold numbers, and none of the No. 2 Cable (CD 252) have mold numbers. Yet generally, mold numbers provide a way to track reworkings and retoolings of individual molds. Even some of the molds that occur without mold numbers were retooled to add numbers in subsequent production runs (for example, CD 112.1, Mold A and Mold 2).

Lynchburg produced a total of fourteen known styles of insulators that carry the name LYNCHBURG, under various company numbers. -17c- In addition, it is almost certain that they briefly made one style, No. 48 (CD 153), that never carried the Lynchburg name (see The Elusive No. 48). It is also possible that they made other insulators without the company name (see "No Name" Lynchburgs?), as well as some insulators that carried the Gayner name (see Gayner Insulators at Lynchburg?).

No. 90, 10
CD 106
No. 36-190, 36
CD 162
No. 31
CD 112.1
No. 38-20, 38
CD 164
No. 160, 30
CD 121
No. 53, 530
CD 205
No. 30
CD 122
No. 1
CD 251
No. 43
CD 145
No. 2 Cable
CD 252
No. 44
CD 154
No. 180
CD 281
No. 48
CD 153 ?
No. 181
CD 306
No. 140, 32
CD 160


Phase 1 Production: Initial Success

Production through November of 1923 focused on five popular insulator styles: No. 90 (CD 106), No. 140 (CD 160), No. 36 (CD 162), No. 38 (CD 164), and No. 44 (CD 154). -19- No Lynchburg insulators have been found lettered No. 90 or No. 140, the Gayner numbers for these styles. It is possible that William Gayner, familiar with these style numbers from working at the Gayner plant, used them for early record keeping. It is also possible, perhaps likely, that some or all of these made at Lynchburg were actually lettered Gayner before Lynchburg re-lettered them (see Gayner Insulators at Lynchburg?). 

Some collectors point to versions of several Gayner styles that have Gayner company numbers but lack any company name (called "No Name" insulators) as evidence of transition pieces between Gayner and Lynchburg. The suggestion is that these were made at Lynchburg while they were in the process of re-lettering the pieces for Lynchburg. This may well be the case, although hard evidence is scarce. These could just as easily have been produced at the Gayner plant, although it is unclear why Gayner would omit their well-known brand name on their ware. It is possible that some of these were molds made at Gayner and intended to be used there, but had not yet had the complete lettering added before being taken to Lynchburg. Still, there is at least one No-Name CD 154 that appears to be such a transition piece since the Gayner name is blotted out (see Lynchburg CD 154). 

What is certain is that that there was a progression in reworking molds at Lynchburg, from the early crude engraving of lettering on some CD 162, CD 164, and CD 106 pieces, to later retooling to correct errors, bad lettering, and style numbers, to retooling and reworking molds to improve features or design. It is just as possible that this progression also included a transition from Gayner to No Name to Lynchburg lettering. Solid conclusions await further evidence.

By late 1923, no doubt through William Gayner’s contacts in the glass industry, Lynchburg acquired two Krib’s automatic insulator presses from the defunct Brookfield plant (see Lynchburg Insulator Press; also The Kribs Insulator Press). These fully automatic presses held twelve molds and would significantly increase production capacity. -19a- They were delivered to Lynchburg in mid-November, 1923 with plans to assemble and install them as quickly as possible. -20- We know that Lynchburg used some reworked Brookfield molds for the No. 31 (CD 112.1, reworked from Brookfield CD 102), No. 36 (CD 162), No. 43 (CD 145), presumably No. 2 Cable (CD 252), and perhaps No. 1 Cable (CD 251). It is possible that Lynchburg acquired those Brookfield molds at the same time as the presses.

By the beginning of December, 1923, production at the plant expanded to include the No. 2 Cable (CD 252) and No. 160 Telephone Toll insulator (presumably CD 121). During the last week of December they added the No. 43 Western Union Telegraph insulator (CD 145) for a two week run. By early January they were also producing the No. 31 Telephone Transposition (CD 112.1) and the next week added the No. 530 Transposition (CD 205). -21- The company ran an ad in The Glassworker in mid-January seeking gatherers, who pulled molten glass from the furnace to place in the Brookfield presses, at the rate of 61 cents an hour. -21a-

By the Annual Stockholder’s Meeting on January 25, 1924 there were hints of developing issues at Lynchburg. By themselves, they would be innocuous, but from what we know of later problems these are the first signs of trouble. Mr. Bell, who chaired the meeting, made two suggestions. 

First, he suggested installation of machinery or labor-saving devices to facilitate handling the finished glassware in order to reduce costs. This implies that costs and profitability are already an emerging concern after only two months' production. -21b-

Second, Mr. Bell suggested in effect that the sales team work harder in order not to have so much unsold finished stock on hand. Again, this hints at concern with sales and potential cash flow issues. -22-

Actually, the company was already hard at work on sales. At a directors' meeting that morning, Mr. Eller reported a trip to Muncie, IN, and New York to talk to competitors and customers. He also reported that he had recently made a trip through the south to take orders and open agencies in several southern cities, and was encouraged by the prospects. -23- In addition, efforts were under way to open agencies in Cuba, Mexico, and South America “to be able to compete with the Germans for the South American trade.” -24-

By the first of February, after less than three months' production, Lynchburg had produced ten of the fourteen styles of insulators they would make, averaging about 100,000 pieces per week. -25- With production in full swing things seemed to be going well. The February board meeting (Feb 11, 1924) seemed routine with a report from Mr. Eller about sales and orders. Yet a concern with finances lingered in the background. -26-

Sometime in February, 1924, Mr, Gayner traveled to Atlanta City, NJ, to attend the annual meeting of the American Ceramic Society. He presented a paper to the glass division, "How To Get Rid of Scum on a Tank Melting Flint Bottle Glass." -26a-

Emerging Crisis and Shutdown

However by early March, 1924, it was obvious that the company was in trouble. Production had been halted the entire week of March 9-15, 1924. On March 11, at the board meeting W. H. Loyd reported for Mr. Eller, who was confined at home. -26b- The recommendation was that “business conditions” were such that either the plant should be shut down completely or operated with sharply curtailed production. Mr. Eller recommended curtailing production in order to maintain the company and keep the best workers. The decision was made to operate the plant at 50% capacity for two weeks, and then meet again to evaluate the situation. The board recommended to Mr. Eller that a concerted effort be made to sell the insulator stock on hand. -27-

While the recorded minutes do not deal with specifics, we know from Mr. Loyd’s oral accounts to N. R. Woodward that one of the main problems at the plant was low quality of production which led to a large amount of rejected product, which increased costs and lowered profits. -28- This was especially problematic since Mr. Gayner had built the company's reputation around quality. -28a-

During the first week of curtailed production (week ending March 22), Lynchburg produced only No. 36 (CD 162), No. 44 (CD 154), No 38 (CD 164), and No. 43 (CD 145). As if to emphasize the problems, 57% of the week's production run, 43,218 pieces, was rejected with a loss of $1,863.77 for the week. -29- The second week ending March 29, 1924 posted an additional loss of $1,625.27. Insulators may have been made during this week, but the records do not list any. Production continued through April 5 with only slightly improved results. Of the 85,402 insulators made, 24,780 were rejected, or almost one third of the production of the week, with a loss of $1,029.10. -29a-

On Friday, April 4, a special meeting of the board was called to review the situation. The outlook was not good. With such continuing losses and problems of quality, the decision was made to close down the plant and block the furnaces (keep them running but not in production status). There was discussion about whether to use fuel oil or coal gas for the furnaces. Since the cost would be about the same, the board decided to use producer gas (coal gas) since it would allow retention of some of the men running the gas producer. -30- The decision to block the furnaces rather than shut them down and to keep as many men as possible with the company says that there was every intention of restarting the plant.

Four days later on April 8, 1924 the board discussed the future of the company. Mr. Eller reported that R. C. Coleman was traveling trying to sell on-hand stock, but that insulator sales were generally slow. He reported that he was investigating the possibility of making soft drink bottles and was trying to get enough orders to restart the plant. He hoped to get the plant back in production within two weeks. -31- The fact that the company had a large stock of product on hand reveals that during the first six months Lynchburg was far more efficient at making insulators than in selling them.

By the beginning of May, 1924, the board was cautiously optimistic about getting the plant back into production. N. D. Eller had recently taken sample insulators to New York where he had met with representatives of Western Electric Company. They had approved Lynchburg to be listed as a supplier for glass insulators. However, this commitment was not as solid as it sounded and would prove to be a source of frustration and further problems for the company. -31a-

Mr. Eller had also met with several agencies in New York and had arranged for the export of insulators abroad. After a discussion of the prospect for insulator sales and the possibilities of making soft drink bottles, the board decided to restart the plant. The goal was to make some of the styles of insulators of which on-hand supply was low. The plant was to be run for the week beginning May 5 to renew on-hand supplies. However, if business did not improve the furnaces were again to be blocked. -32-

There are no existing productions records for the week ending May 10, 1924. -33- Either the plant was not restarted or, if insulators were made according to the instructions of the board, they are not in existing records. It is likely that some insulators were made during this week, because on May 10, 1924, Mr. Gayner reported that on hand stock was complete. -34-

However, the outlook remained bleak. William Gayner had been in Philadelphia and reported that there was no business available for soft drink bottles in that area. Since all types of insulators presently in the Lynchburg line were sufficiently stocked and there were not enough orders to keep the plant running, he suggested again closing the plant. The furnaces were to be blocked the night of May 10, 1924, using coal, which would require only two men to maintain them. Mr. Gayner suggested keeping a few men working in the machine shop making molds, but that the rest of the work force be furloughed until business improved. -35-

The June 10, 1924 board meeting makes it clear that the company was in a holding pattern although work was continuing to get the plant into a position to resume production. Mr. Gayner reported on the ongoing work at the plant, which included repairing old molds and making new ones. By this time the furnaces had been shut down completely. Part of Tank No. 1 had been converted into oil burning so that it could be quickly started in case orders caused supplies of on-hand product to run low. Once again, Mr. Gayner recommended a strong sales organization be assembled to build a market in the soft drink bottle business, as well as insulators. -36-

Exploring Options

In the August 18, 1924, board meeting, N. D. Eller reported that he had made arrangements to supply insulators to the Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Company of Chicago, an electrical supply firm that specialized in line and pole hardware and industrial applications. -37- This contract was a significant boost to the company. Lynchburg had already shipped about 375,000 units to Baker-Joslyn distributors on the West Coast, most of them intended for export. -38- In 1924, Joslyn’s eastern operation had distribution warehouses in Chicago, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and New York. -39- Between August and December, 1924, Lynchburg shipped 456,000 units to these warehouses, as well as an additional 35,000 to Baker-Joslyn in California. -40- As a result, Joslyn became the single largest customer of Lynchburg Glass Corporation.

N. D. Eller was still pursuing the possibility of obtaining a franchise to make the patented Coca-Cola bottle. However a recent trip to Atlanta had been unsuccessful and Mr. Eller reported that prospects were not promising to obtain the license. -41-

The board strongly encouraged the company to expand production beyond insulators. They authorized Mr. Eller to investigate the possibility of making canning jars and especially battery jars, and report the results at the next meeting. -42-

During the latter part of August, William Gayner took sample insulators to the Western Union headquarters in New York. However, they did not immediately approve Lynchburg as a supplier. Mr. Gayner reported to the board that he was still investigating the possibility of making fruit jars and battery jars. However, he informed the board that his preliminary investigation into the production of battery jars was not positive. He advised that expensive new machinery and molds would be needed to produce them, and he did not think the small volume of business they would generate would justify the expense.

In September, 1924, Lynchburg received a contract from the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad to supply all their insulators through January 1, 1925. -43- Mr. Gayner also reported ongoing negotiations with the Canadian General Electric Company, and suggested sending a representative to Canada rather than trying to continue through correspondence. Mr. Eller made the trip to Canada, and by the middle of October, 1924, Lynchburg had secured a contract with Canadian General Electric Company as exclusive distributors of Lynchburg insulators in Canada. -44-

In October, 1924, efforts to revitalize the company were apparent.  The board approved the installation of equipment to make canning jars with equipment to be obtained from Gayner Glass Works. Also, the equipment to make soda bottles was to be repaired and made ready for production.  And in spite of Mr. Gayner’s earlier negative report about battery jars, the board suggested "to keep in close touch with the battery jar situation." -45-

The November, 1924, meeting brought bad news.  The three fruit jar machines that had been shipped from Gayner Glass Works in New Jersey had been dropped and seriously damaged in transit. Mr. Gayner reported that the machines were not operable and would need to be returned to the factory to be rebuilt.  Mr. Eller had information on a used Miller Machine and Mould Works fruit jar press that could be obtained at about two thirds the cost of a new one.  He thought that the molds for the Gayner machine could be used with the Miller machine. -46-

Phase 2 Production: Attempted Recovery

The good news for November, 1924, was that production of insulators had resumed on a limited scale.  Five styles of insulators were made during the month:  No. 10 (CD 106), No. 36 (CD 162), No. 38 (CD 164), No. 44 (CD 154), and No. 53 (CD 205). -47- Yet the company was still posting losses ranging from $1,400 to over $4,000 each week. -47a-

By the end of the year, 1924, it was increasingly obvious, in spite of efforts to keep the company going, that the company was in deep financial trouble.  The steady losses over the past year had exhausted operating capital. On December 16 the board approved $75,000 in first mortgage bonds to increase capital. -48- A special meeting of the Board was held December 27, 1924 to propose changes to the corporate charter that would allow a mortgage on the plant. -48a- A second special meeting was called on December 30, 1924 to approve a loan of $15,000.00 to raise immediate capital to bring the No. 1 tank to full capacity to fill insulator orders as well as to begin production of fruit jars. -48b-

lynchburg jar
Lynchburg canning jar lettering; arrangement is the same on all three sizes and occurs with and without a mold number below MASON.

On January 8 a specially called stockholders' meeting approved the amendment to the charter, and on January 13 the Board began the process of securing the loan. -48c- At that same meeting, the board approved the purchase of the Miller fruit jar machine that had been suggested earlier by Mr. Eller.  Evidently new molds were needed since the purchase approval included mold equipment. -49- Production records show that almost half a million home canning jars were produced in the ten weeks between March 15 and May 23, 1925 (see Lynchburg Production Records for Canning Jars). They were made in three sizes, pint, quart, and half-gallon, and occur in typical light Blue Aqua as well as the much more scarce light green and light olive. -49a- Many of these were sold in southern and southwestern Pennsylvania.

Most of the January and February, 1925, board meetings were occupied with financial concerns with the board finalizing the issuing of bonds. On February 2, 1925, stockholders at a specially called meeting, which also served as the annual meeting, approved issuing $75,000 in first mortgage bonds. -49b- Production continued at the plant with seven styles of insulators made in February, including the introduction of the No. 180 (CD 281). -50-

By March, 1925, the strain of financial pressure was beginning to show.  While details are not given, it is apparent that there was considerable tension at the plant. From the Minutes and later letters from Mr. Gayner it is obvious that friction had emerged between Mr. Eller and Mr. Gayner as to how to operate the plant.  -50a- The board, with the concurrence of Mr. Gayner, affirmed that Mr. Eller would have full charge of the plant.  Mr. Gayner promised full cooperation in order to get the best possible results at the plant. -51- Later reflection by Mr. Gayner pointed to this conflict as a factor in the demise of the company. -51a-

The first two weeks of April, 1925, saw the production of the final new addition to the Lynchburg line of insulators, the No. 181 (CD 305). -52-  More evidence of the plant's dire circumstances emerged at the April meeting.  The board instructed Mr. Eller to contract with “some expert thoroughly qualified” to try to “straighten out production” at the plant.  The goal was to get the plant to a profitable basis and determine what it would cost to do so. -53-

A special board meeting was called May 14 to consider the report of Simplex Engineering Company, who had been hired to evaluate conditions at the plant. While details of the report are not given, the board instructed Mr. Eller and Mr. Gayner to find someone to be placed in charge of production at the plant. Some on the Board thought that the problems at the plant were due to poor management, and the Board in effect fired Mr. Gayner as plant superintendent. -54- He was enlisted to assist in finding a replacement -54a-

Existing production records end the week of May 23, 1925.  We do not know if the plant actually stopped production at this time or continued through the month of May. -55-

By the end of May it was apparent that the company was in crisis mode. At the urging of John Victor of Peoples National Bank, on May 28, 1925, Mr. Gayner presented a proposal to the Board with a plan to get the plant on a even basis within five weeks. -55a-  Mr. Gayner's proposal was to repair and upgrade the air compressors and complete an underground delivery system. The air compressors powered some of the key machinery of the plant, including the process of blowing fruit jars and parts of the insulator presses (some Lynchburg insulators show shallow or deformed lettering likely from inadequate pressure in the mold when the insulator was pressed). He also recommended investing in a "new laythe," presumably to make molds. He estimated cost at $5,200.

In a later letter to W. H. Loyd, Mr. Gayner commented on what he had proposed, or at least what he saw as decisions that he would have made differently had he actually been in charge of the plant at that time.

"1st I would have gotten Ingersol Rands repair man to fix the air compressor costing about $300 to $500 dollars." -55b- A further comment reveals some of the conflict at the plant: "I am sure if they, Mr Eller & the Board had allowed me to get the Ingersol people they would have fixed it in short time and not costing ¼ what we paid the Lynchburg people". -55c- This hints that Mr. Eller or the Board had insisted on using local people for repair work at a much higher cost than bringing in specialists from outside.

"2nd I would only [have] manufactured pint and quart jars until we had better help organized". -55d- As Mr. Gayner goes on to explain, the weekly losses while making pint and quart jars was minimal, ranging from $340 to $630 per week. Yet, "April - 25 [1925]- we change[d] to make ½ Gal jars weekly loss $3155.66". -55e- There is no further explanation of why making the half-gallon jars was a problem, but no doubt related both to difficulties with the air supply and some unspecified labor problems.

"3th [sic] I would not [have] up set the whole plant trying to get the General [actually Western] Electric insulator order[.] . . . they do not send inspectors to measure (frog hairs) [a euphemistic slang term for small amounts or trivial things] nor do they do it with Hemingray and we [Gayner Glass] make their battery jars[.]" It is clear from this comment and others that Mr. Gayner was convinced that the focus on the Western Electric contract was detrimental to the overall production of the plant and caused more problems than it was worth. Mr. Gayner concludes with his final analysis: "I then believe and still believe if they had allowed me to put in force my plan of manufacturing things would have been different". -55f-

After hearing Mr. Gayner's suggestions, the board instructed him and board member C. L. Snidow to make an immediate trip to present the proposal to Chatham and Phoenix Bank in New York. -56- However it is clear that the outlook was not promising evidenced by the fact that the officers of the company, Mr. Eller, Mr. Gayner, and Mr. Loyd all submitted their resignations at this meeting. At this point, the Board took no immediate action on the resignations. -56a-

The End Again

By June 1, 1925, Mr. Snidow reported back to the board that the Chatham & Phenix National Bank of New York City was pressing for payment of the loan, evidently rejecting Mr. Gayner's proposals.  Mr. Eller was instructed to close the plant, curtail expenses, and keep only workers essential for maintenance and the sale of on-hand stock.  The board accepted the resignation of Mr. Gayner, who had remained in Salem, NJ, effective June 1, 1925.  William Gayner returned briefly to Lynchburg, attended his last Director's meeting on June 19, and then on June 24, 1925, left permanently to return to his home and family in New Jersey. -56b- The board thought it best to keep N. D. Eller as President, with a reduced salary ($200 per month) and W. H. Loyd as secretary to oversee the shutdown of the plant. -57-

On June 29, 1925, the Board met with representatives of the First National and the Peoples National Banks of Lynchburg to explore options for paying the $15,000 Chatham & Phenix loan. However, it was decided that the best course of action would be to allow the New York bank to foreclose the property. Mr. Eller presented his resignation as President, which was accepted by the board effective July 1st. The board elected W. H. Loyd as president and L. R. Parrish Secretary. Mr. Eller volunteered to work with the president until July 15 to help dispose of the stock on hand and to assist in any way. -58-

The Chatham & Phenix National Bank of New York City continued to press the company for a plan to pay off the note. H. M. Sackett, attorney and a trustee, advised that the company pay out no more funds except payroll and necessary expenses to pack and ship the remaining stock of insulators. -59-  Lynchburg ran an advertisement in the trade journal Telephony in the latter half of 1925. -60- It is unknown whether this advertisement was scheduled earlier or whether this was an attempt to dispose of remaining stock.

By October, 1925, sales of on-hand ware allowed Lynchburg to pay in full all open accounts on material and machinery. -61- Evidently in the following three months, the company was also able to pay off the $15,000 it had borrowed from the Chatham & Phenix Bank since by February the sole creditor was the First National Bank who then held the bonds.

However, Lynchburg Glass Corporations had been in default on the $75,000 bonds since August 18th, 1925. According to the terms of the bonds, such default that persisted for sixty days required that the entire $75,000 amount of the bonds plus accrued interest be called due. -62a- Since the company could not pay that amount, it fell to Henry Sackett as trustee for the deed of trust to dispose of the property to recover the money for the bondholders. The sale of the entire plant was advertised for February 18, 1926. -61a- The property, buildings, and remaining machinery were sold on that date to a committee of bondholders headed by R. W. Massie for $18,000. The property valued at $145,000 was conveyed to the First National Bank against the bond indebtedness. -62- 

By February 25, 1926, the company reported a cash balance of $4,871.57 which was paid to First National Bank on the remaining debt.  The Bank took all remaining assets of the company that included raw materials and unsold stock valued at $20,000.00 to apply to the company's debt, effectively marking the end of the company. -63-

On November 30, 1927, Naphthalene Products Co. of Birmingham, Alabama, bought the three insulator presses and the insulator molds for $5,000. This company had been making some glassware and wanted to expand their line into insulators (see Birmingham). In December of 1927 efforts were still being made to interest other companies, including Corning Glass, in the factory. The bottom land below the factory had been leased to a local farmer. -64-  The idle plant was vulnerable. On January 11, 1929 the plant was broken into and a large number of brass articles, including fire extinguishers and pipe fittings, were stolen. -64a- By the late 1920s, Lynchburg was entering a period of industrial and economic stagnation. -65- After repeated failed attempts to interest another company in restarting the plant, it was eventually demolished in the Fall of 1934 by the Roanoke Scrap Iron and Metal Company. They advertised "100,000 ordinary building brick, 200,000 fire brick, all kinds of lumber, structural steel, tanks, pipe, machine and blacksmith shop tools and machinery, two 14-inch steam air compressors, and two 150 H.P. boilers" available "at sacrifice prices." -65aa-

The Final Chapter

The final chapter of the story is told in oral history. In an interview with N. R. Woodward in 1959, W. H. Loyd reported that when the plant was demolished, they discovered what may well have been a contributing cause of both companies' failure. According to the story, in the main gas line that ran from the producers to the glass furnaces they discovered a valve improperly installed in an inaccessible location behind the furnaces and partially closed. This would have restricted the flow of coal gas to the furnaces and resulted in improper heating of the glass. Mr. Loyd was convinced that this was the cause of the quality problems, the high number of rejects, and high production costs. -65a-

It could have been incompetent work. But Mr. Loyd thought, and it seems more likely, that it was a deliberate act of sabotage. We have no evidence of that, so we are left only with speculation that has tended to focus on external sources. Perhaps it was another glass company that wanted to eliminate competition by industrial sabotage. Speculation has focused on one of the workers brought in to help supervise the original construction of the plant, who was possibly an employee of Hemingray. Yet, no such connections can be confirmed. And while industrial sabotage was certainly not rare in the 1920s, it seems unlikely that such a large company as Hemingray would be very concerned about a small local glass operation in southwest Virginia when there were much larger companies that provided more direct competition. That is especially the case since the plant was originally built in 1919 to supply a local food processing company with glass containers. That would have been no threat to Hemingray.

If we pursue the speculation about deliberate sabotage, another scenario seems more plausible. We know from newspaper reports that some local people were upset about how preferred stock had been offered in the past for the Chamber of Commerce's business enterprises. Evidently the preferred stock had been offered in large blocks, which realistically would have been available only to large investors. In response to that criticism, as a preemptive solution the Chamber had made specific provisions for investors to be able to buy small quantities of preferred stock in the original Lynchburg Glass Works. -66- This seems to reflect a perception of preferential treatment, a sense of "insider" economic control by a select group of people. While there is no direct evidence, it seems that there may have been some resentment about the Chamber of Commerce's involvement in local business enterprises, and perhaps resentment toward the group of business leaders who tended to dominate the local economy. -67-

If this were the case, the closed valve could have originated locally, a deliberate attempt to inflict economic harm on what were perceived to be the city's business elite by someone outside that circle. Or it may have been nothing more than an impulsive act of frustration by a local disgruntled worker. In any case, the partially closed gas valve would have had less impact on the plant's production after June, 1924. Mr. Gayner reported to the board on June 10 "that part of Tank No. 1 had been converted into an oil burning furnace." -67a-

There were other problems at the Lynchburg Glass Corporation's plant that no doubt were contributing factors to its demise. These included high labor costs, difficulties in getting materials, disagreements over production priorities, leadership disputes, equipment failures, different visions of what the company should produce, interference by the Board with the day to day operations of the plant, as well as lack of sufficient operating capital to withstand short term problems. -68- Yet both William Gayner and W. H. Loyd were convinced in the years following the plant's failure that these problems could have been overcome. Both seemed to place some responsibility on the timidity of the board of directors in failing to make difficult decisions to address these issues. -69- Mr. Gayner placed a great deal of responsibility for the plant's failure on bad management decisions and excessive interference with the plant's operation by those inexperienced in the glass business. -70-

Still, if a primary problem that exacerbated all the other issues was the closed gas valve, there was likely no management or production correction that would have saved the plant. The reality is that we most likely will never know.



Some of the references to Trade Journals are courtesy of Bob Stahr and other researchers at The Insulator Gazette, an archive of glass-making and insulator history. They are referenced here by permission. The text or photocopies of most of the journals and other references below are available at The Insulator Gazette, on this web site, or can be accessed elsewhere on the Internet. Lynchburg's newspaper The Lynchburg News is available on miocrofilm at The Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg as well as other Virginia state libraries.

The original carbon copies of the typewritten Minutes of the Lynchburg Glass Corporation's corporate meetings are archived in the manuscript collection of Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. These have been scanned and converted to text by Dennis Bratcher, and are available at Lynchburg Glass Corporation: Minutes of the Board and Stockholders' Meetings. Production Records, company correspondence, financial statements, sales invoices, and other miscellaneous documents were recovered from W. H. Loyd, who served as a officer in both companies as well as the final president of Lynchburg Glass Corporation, in 1959 by N. R. Woodward. These are currently owned by Justin Stoudt who made them available for research. Most of these records were scanned by Dennis Bratcher and many are available on this web site as graphics, as well as documents converted to text.

1. The Glass Industry, New York, NY, Vol. 3, No. 8, August, 1922, p. 168, col. 2.

2. The Glass Industry, New York, NY, Vol. 3, No. 12, December, 1922, p. 10.

3. This information was taken from Minutes of the meetings of the Lynchburg Glass Corporation Board and Stockholders. These are archived in the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. The original typewritten Minutes have been scanned and converted to text by Dennis Bratcher, and are available at Lynchburg Glass Corporation: Minutes of the Board and Stockholders' Meetings. This quote is part of the official incorporation papers included in Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923.

4. The Glass Industry, September 1923, Vol. 4, No. 9, p. 180, col. 2; Lynchburg Glass Corporation Corporate Charter, included in Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923, p. 5.

4a. The relevant section of the corporate charter reads: "The maximum amount of the capital stock of the corporation is to be Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00), and the minimum amount is to be One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000.00), divided into shares of the par value of One Hundred. Dollars ($100.00) each, of which Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70,000.00) may be preferred stock, to be preferred both as to assets and dividends." Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923; a list of the stockholders and number of shares is included. Since all 1,500 shares of common stock were subscribed, it seems that all 700 shares of preferred stock issued went to the bank to cover purchase of the old glass plant. Minutes, July 20, 1923. However, it is possible that additional shares of preferred stock were issued that do not appear in existing records.


5. The Glassworker, Saturday, August 11, 1923, Vol. 42, No. 45, p. 8, col. 1; available at The Insulator Gazette; Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923, p. 7.

6. The Glassworker, Saturday, August 11, 1923, Vol. 42, No. 45, p. 8, col. 1; available at The Insulator Gazette. Mr Gayner was born in Caven Point, NJ, on May 27, 1867 (died Nov. 7, 1947 in Bridgeton, NJ) and was 56 years old when he came to Lynchburg. Biographical, Geneological and Descriptive History of the First Congressional District of New Jersey, Vol 1, Lewis Publishing Co, 1900, pp. 178-179, accessed March 12, 2018. Mr. Gayner had obtained several patents, in 1900 and 1903, for improvements in gas producers used to generate coal gas to heat glass furnaces. U.S. Patent 645719 A, Gas Producer and U. S. Patent 735494 A, Gas Producer by J. William Gayner. He had also filed a patent for a regulator for delivering glass from the furnace to forming machines. Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Vol 200, March, 1914, p. 537, accessed March 13, 2018.

7. EMF Electrical Year Book, June 1921, Vol 1, p. 316. col 1; there are other reports that place J. William at the Brigdgeton plant in 1920, The Glass industry, Vol. 1, No. 2, December, 1920, p. 53, col. 2, accessed March 12, 2018.

8. The Glassworker, Saturday, August 11, 1923, Vol. 42, No. 45, p. 8, col. 1; available at The Insulator Gazette.

8a. Company records show that Mr. Gayner was the largest individual shareholder of the company investing in 500 shares ($50,000), which amounted to one third of the company's common stock, Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923, p. 1. The creditor's committee of Peoples National Bank received 700 shares of stock (at par value of $70,000 as part of the purchase price for the old Lynchburg Glass Works facility, Minutes, July 20, 1923.

8b. An oral account given to N. R. Woodward in 1959 by William H. Loyd, Secretary and later President of Lynchburg Glass Corporation, reported to Dennis Bratcher by N. R. Woodward in an interview in Springfield. Ohio, November 5, 2011.

9. Lynchburg Glass Corporation Advertising Brochure, c. 1924/1925. It is assumed that the Lynchburg Glass Corporation purchased these from Gayner Glass Works although existing records do not give us this information.

10. ". . . the Lynchburg Glass Corporation, Lynchburg, Va., has made an effort to compete with the automatic machine in use by the Hemingray Glass Company. I think, however, there is little chance that this company will be successful." Proceedings of the Forty-Eighth American Flint Glass Workers Union Convention, Toledo, OH, 1924, p. 45, accessed Dec 30, 1917; Proceedings of the Consolidated Convention: American Flint Glass Workers Union, Volume 47, Parts 1923-1925, p. 45.

10a. Organizational Meeting, July 20, 1923

11. Minutes, July 20, 1923; Deed Book 126, City of Lynchburg, p. 465, No. 976.

11a. Deed Book 126, City of Lynchburg, p. 465, No. 976.

11b. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 2, 1923, p. 23, col. 1; "The Lynchburg Glass Company [Corporation] will resume operations about the middle of September and will need nine gatherers on Cox machines. Also six men to operate the Miller flow.", The Bottle Maker, September, 1923, p. 72, accessed April 23, 2019.

12. Minutes, August 17, 1923.

13. Minutes, August 17, 1923.

14. Minutes, September 4, 1923. "They . . . found after they were ready to start that the Coca-Cola Co. had taken away the franchise for making their bottles and given it to a Western house. . . . Had they retained the Coca-Cola franchise and made this with insulators and other soft drink bottles and operated both tanks there would have been a different story." Letter, January 10, 1927, Mr. Loyd to C. L Scott. It is possible that the Lynchburg Glass Corporation made a limited number of Coca-Cola distributed soda water bottles under contract with Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, IN, but this has not been documented (see Is It a Lynchburg?).

14a. All production information comes from the existing production and shipping records from the Lynchburg plant obtained by N. R. Woody Woodward from W. H. Loyd, secretary and treasurer, and later President, of Lynchburg Glass Corporation (now owned by Justin Stoudt). These were transcribed by Mr. Woodward and made available to collectors. While not comprehensive, these records are extensive. These will be referred to as Records. An advertisement for glass workers in The Glassworker, January 19, 1924, says "We started this plant August 1, 1923." It is unlikely that the plant was actually producing insulators by August 1; this may be a reference to the repairs made to get the plant back into operation, which began in early August. The Minutes, October 19, 1923 notes discussion about "progress made in getting started", while the Minutes, November 22, 1923 refer to "progress being made in the production of Insulators, the shipments made and orders on hand." The records contain a typewritten document "Analysis of Organization & Improvement Expense" dated (Monday) October, 15, 1923, which lists expenses for "Fuel and Glass Materials" ($2,756.13) as well as a substantial Payroll expense ($7,074.46). This indicates that the plant was making glass the week ending October 13, 1923, although whether this was production that resulted in sales or test runs of equipment is not clear.

14b. "This first company equipped and operated only one furnace. . . A second company . . . pulled from one tank in two six months runs . . .." Letter, January 10, 1927, Mr. Loyd to C. L. Scott

14c. This is clear in a trade journal article by J. William Gayner from February, 1924: "How to Get Rid of Scum on a Tank Melting Flint Bottle Glass." J. William Gayner, "How To Get Rid of Scum on a Tank Melting Flint Bottle Glass" Presented at the Atlantic City Meeting of the American Ceramic Society (Glass Division), February, 1924, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 1924), p. 200.

15. The Glassworker, Saturday, August 11, 1923, Vol. 42, No. 45, p. 8, col. 1; Glass Factory Directory, 1924, p. 63, 90, col. 1; American Glass Trade Directory, 1924, p. 17, 30, 61, 69, col. 1.

16. Trade Directory, Containing list of Manufacturers of Pottery, Glassware, Enamel and Aluminum Ware, 1924, p. 37, 53-54, col. 1, lists insulators as Lynchburg’s primary product. However, the trade directories continue to list Lynchburg as making bottles and sodas. We do not know whether this is simply a repetition of the original announced plans, or reflected actual production: Glass Factory Directory, 1925, 63,90, col. 1; Trade Directory, Containing list of Manufacturers of Pottery, Glassware, Enamel and Aluminum Ware, 1925, 37, 53-54, col. 1; American Glass Trade Directory, 1925, 41,52, 81, 89, col. 1. The accuracy of these trade directories is questionable, since some still carried listings for Lynchburg Glass Corporation into 1930, five years after the plant stopped production: for example, American Glass Trade Directory, 1926, p. 39, 50, 77, 84, col. 1; Glass Factory Year Book and Directory, 1927, 81, 100, 125, 139, col. 1; Glass Factory Year Book and Directory, 1928, 83, 102, col. 1; China & Glass Trade Directory, 1929, p. 74, col. 1; Glass Factory Year Book and Directory, 1930, p. 109, 120, col. 1.

17. Lynchburg’s advertising brochure lists “One Miller Machine & Mould Works, Model J Telescopic Jar Machine No. 365, complete with set each Pint, Quart and Half-Gallon Mason Jar Moulds.” Lynchburg Glass Corporation Advertising Brochure, c. 1924/1925. Minutes from the board meetings in October and November, 1924, record the decision to make canning jars, and the purchase of this machine was approved at the January meeting. Minutes, October 15, 1924; Minutes, November 17, 1924; Minutes, January 13, 1925. The advertising brochure, probably intended as an information sheet for prospective investors and buyers after the plant closed, lists molds for Coca-Cola bottles. Lynchburg Glass Corporation Advertising Brochure, c. 1924/1925;


17b. Some recent finds of bottles with an L in an oval logo, as well as some Root soda water bottles with the same logo raise questions about whether Lynchburg Glass Corporation made any bottles. See the information under "Root Glass Company" in Is It A Lynchburg?

17b1. "The corporate seal of the corporation shall consist of two concentric circles, between which are the words "Lynchburg Glass Corporation," and in the centre of which shall be inscribed the word and figures “Incorporated, 1923." Lynchburg Glass Corporation, Corporate Charter.

17b2. Letters,

17c. "The only known 'catalog', published by Lynchburg Glass Corporation in 1924 was a single piece of paper folded to fit into a standard business envelope. The cover page contains a technical drawing of a CD #103. This is most interesting, as we have the complete production records from Lynchburg. They never produced a CD #103, nor list it in that brochure." N. R. Woodward, "The Consolidated Design Number 103," accessed March 14, 2012. A second similar catalog also exists, but portrays a CD 112 on the cover. It also does not list a CD 103.

18. Records.

19. Records.

19a. "We have two of those large twelve mold Brookfield presses here . . .." Letter, April 23, 1927, W. H. Loyd to Pete Moore.

20. The Glass Industry, July 1924, Vol. 5, No. 7, p. 136, col. 2; Minutes,Nov 22, 1923

21. Records.

21a. The Glassworker, January 19, 1924.

21b. This concern with profitability is reflected in a notation in Workers' Report of the Sessions of the Wage Conference Between the Employers in the Glass Bottle Industry and the Glass Bottle Blowers Association of the United States and Canada, Glass Bottle Blowers Association of the United States and Canada, 1923, p. 31.  Accessed Dec 30, 2017: "The Chairman stated that the Lynchburg Glass Company requested the privilege of working their hand machines the same hours as the automatics and flows, namely, 6 full 24-hour days per week. This request being made to put them on an equal competitive basis with the automatics and flows. The matter was discussed by both sides and was deferred to final conference." The disposition of this request is not currently available.

22. Minutes, Annual Stockholders Meeting, Jan 25, 1924.

23. Minutes, Jan 25, 1924, 10AM.

24. The Glass Industry, July 1924, Vol. 5, No. 7, p. 136, col. 2.

25. Records.

26. "On motion of R. C. Watts, Jr., duly seconded by J. D. Owen the officers were instructed to make every effort to collect these unpaid subscriptions." Minutes, Feb 11, 1924.

26a. J. William Gayner, "How To Get Rid of Scum on a Tank Melting Flint Bottle Glass," Presented at the Atlantic City Meeting of the American Ceramic Society (Glass Division), February, 1924, in Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 1924), p. 200.

26b. While details are not given, apparently Mr. Eller was not in good health. W. H. Loyd wrote William Gayner that Mr. Eller died suddenly on May 16, 1926, a little over two years later. Letter, May 17, 1926, Mr. Loyd to Mr. Gayner

27. Minutes, March 11, 1924.

28. An oral account given to N. R. Woodward in 1959 by W. H. Loyd, Secretary and later President of Lynchburg Glass Corporation.

28a. The tag line on Lynchburg's price lists was "Supreme Where Quality counts." Lynchburg Insulator Product Flyer, 1923. This emphasis on quality is also reflected in a Baker-Joslyn Ad for Lynchburg Insulators.

29. Records.

29a. Weekly Operating Statements for Weeks ending March 22, March 29, and April 5, 1924.

30. Minutes, Apr 4, 1924.

31. Minutes, Apr 8, 1924.

31a. While the problems with Western Electric are not given in detail, we have a glimpse into the situation from Mr. Gayner as he later reflected back on the situation: "I would not [have] up set the whole plant trying to get the General Electric insulator order[.] I would [have] manufactured insulators for other companies and in time the General Electric would have come to us[.] Gayner Glass has had this experience. they do not send inspectors to measure (frog hairs)[slang: "trivial things"] nor do they do it with Hemingray and we make their battery jars. . . I would have done by . . . not . . . upsetting all the help trying to make the Western Electric insulator order" [the references to "General" electric are a mistake since the problems were with Western Electric]. Letter from Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd, May 26, 1927.

32. Minutes, May 2, 1924.

33. See Production Time Line.

34. Minutes, May 10, 1924

35. Minutes, May 10, 1924

36. Minutes, June 10, 1924

37. Minutes, August 12, 1924. “Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Co., Chicago, has filled large orders for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co., comprising pole-line hardware, such as crossarms, braces, bolts, lag screws, guy clamps, and anchor rods, for use in connection with the latter’s railway electrification in the state of Washington. The company’s two Pacific Coast houses, at San Francisco and Seattle, are known under the name of Baker-Joslyn Co.” Electrical Review, Vol. 73, No. 26, Dec. 28, 1918, col. 2, p. 1026. By 1924, Joslyn also had outlets in Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Cincinnati, as well as a New York outlet under the name of The American Jobber’s Supply. EMF Electrical Yearbook, No. 1, June 1921, col. 2, p. 225; Electrical World, Vol 76, No. 4, July 24, 1920, col 1, p. 216. See Baker-Joslyn Ad for Lynchburg Insulators.

38. Shipping information comes from the existing records of the Lynchburg plant obtained by N. R. Woody Woodward from W. H. Loyd, secretary and treasurer of Lynchburg Glass Corporation. These were transcribed by Mr. Woodward and made available to collectors. While not comprehensive, these records are extensive. These will be referred to as Shipping. The Baker-Joslyn Company was incorporated in 1915 when Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply of Chicago took over the Maydwell Company of San Francisco. C. G. A. Baker had been in charge of the electrical branches of Maydwell. Baker-Joslyn had offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, and Lynchburg shipped insulators to all three. Electrical World, Vol. 65, No. 15, April 10, 1915, Col. 1, p. 963.

39. The American Jobbers’ Supply Company in New York City was an associated company of the Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Company, Chicago. Electric Railway Journal, Vol. 56, No. 5, July 31, 1920, col. 3, p, 252. About 71,000 Lynchburg insulators were shipped to American Jobbers. Shipping.

40. Shipping.

41. Minutes, August 12, 1924.

42. Minutes, August 12, 1924.

43. Minutes, September 9, 1924.

44. Minutes, September 9, 1924; Minutes, October, 15, 1924. Shipping records show that 52,283 insulators were shipped to the C & O between July and the end of December, 1924: 5,950 No. 36; 248 No. 38; and 45,085 No. 44, Shipping.

45. Minutes, October, 15, 1924; Minutes, November 17, 1924; Lynchburg Glass Corporation Advertising Brochure, c. 1924/1925.

46. Minutes, November 17, 1924. On the same day of this meeting, N. D. Eller, president of Lynchburg Glass Corporation, filed a patent for an improved canning jar that would allow both glass and screw top closures. The patent was approved October 5, 1926 and assigned to Lynchburg Glass Corporation (Patent No. 1602346). However, by that time Lynchburg had already halted production and idled the plant for the last time. While this jar feature was never produced by Lynchburg, the patent application shows how serious the Lynchburg company was about making the venture profitable. N. D. Eller Jar Patent accessed May 24, 2017.

47. Records.

47a Weekly Operating Statements for Weeks ending November 8, 15, and 22, 1924.

48. Minutes, December 16, 1924; Minutes, December 30, 1924.

48a. Minutes, December 27, 1924

48b. Minutes, December 30, 1924

48c. Minutes, January 8, 1925; Minutes, January 13, 1925

49. Minutes, January 13, 1925. "also a lot of Pt-Qt and half gallon moulds Plungers blanks & other parts that were shipped to me from Salem when they [sic] three Fruit Jars machines were shipped to me" Letter from William Gayner to W. H. Loyd, May 26, 1927. "There is a lot of Pt Qt and ½ Gal moulds belonging to the Gayner Glass Works[.] they were store [sic] under the small furnace[.] These are the mould equipment belonging to the (3) fruit jar machines that got damage [sic] in transit from Salem to Lynchburg & the Co did not buy. I think you remember this transaction[.]" Letter from William Gayner to W. H. Loyd, Novemer, 1927.

49a. Pint: 76,464; Quart, 227,808; Half-Gallon, 172,368. For a chart of production, see Lynchburg Production Records for Canning Jars

49b. Minutes, January 13, 1925; Minutes January 20, 1925, Special Stockholders/Annual Meeting, February 2, 1925; Minutes, February 13, 1925.

50. Records.

50a. ". . . Mr. Eller is capable of taking care of the sales and financial end, but I think He had better leave the requirements of the factory to the factory manager." Letter from J. William Gayner to John Victor, May 16, 1925. This is one example of the tension that developed between Lynchburg's Company president (Mr. Eller) and the factory manager (Mr. Gayner). Mr. Gayner's frustration is understandable since Mr. Eller's previous experience had been in the business side of companies (for example, Glamorgan Pipe and Foundry Company and Piedmont Flour Mills) while Mr. Gayner had considerable experience in glass manufacturing, running Gayner Glass Works' Salem factory. The fact that Mr. Gayner was an "outsider" to the close-knit business community of Lynchburg may also have played a part in the tension.

51. Minutes, March 11, 1925.

51a. Letters,

52. Records.

53. Minutes, April 15, 1925

54. Minutes, May 14, 1925; Letters,

54a. Letters,

55. Records

55a. Minutes, May 28, 1925. Letter, May 23, 1925, John Victor to William Gayner

55b. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

55c. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

55d. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

55e. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

55f. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

56. Minutes, May 28, 1925.

56a. Minutes, June 1, 1925

56b. "Two years ago, June 24th, I left Lynchburg 7:15 a.m. with a sad heart returning home with my money gone, my reputation as a factory superintendent discredited, facing my family, Brother and his family as a prodigal runaway. I now feel I am beginning to climb again." J. William Gayner, in a letter to W. H. Loyd, June 21, 1927.

57. Minutes, June 1, 1925.

58. Minutes, June 29, 1925. "The bank foreclosed on their balance and bonds . . ." Letter, January 24, 1927, W. H. Loyd to Jonathan Berkley

59. Minutes, August 18, 1925.

60. "LYNCHBURG GLASS CORPORATION Lynchburg, Virginia Manufacturers INSULATORS GLASS the Perfect INSULATOR material for medium voltage lines Unaffected by time or the Elements. The same service anywhere and everywhere, under all climatic conditions. 'SUPREME WHERE QUALITY COUNTS' Lynchburg Glass Insulators are being ordered by the largest users and specified by Electric Engineers everywhere. Ask us for descriptive literature and prices. Lynchburg Glass Corp. Lynchburg. Va." Telephony: The American Telephone Journal, Vol 89, July 1 to December 30, 1925, p. 11. 

61. Minutes, October 6, 1925.

61a. The Lynchburg News, Thursday, January 21, 1926, p. 10, col 8.

62. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 21, 1926, p. 34, col. 8. "The present owners of the plant are the First National Bank of Lynchburg and four of its directors, owning the property jointly in fee simple as equal partners." Letter, January 24, 1927, W. H. Loyd to Jonathan Berkley. Also: The Glassworker, Saturday, March 13, 1926, vol. 45, no. 24, p. 14, col. 1, available at The Insulator Gazette; Glass Industry, April 1926, vol. 7, no. 4, p. 104, col. 2.  Some of the details of these trade journal reports may not be accurate.

62a. The Lynchburg News, Thursday, January 21, 1926, p. 10, col 8; Deed Book 139, City of Lynchburg, p. 42, No. 370.

63. Minutes, February 25, 1926. "The bank foreclosed on their balance and bonds and with the accounts receivable all indebtness [sic] of a further nature was paid in full and the plant and other property was forfeited to the purchasers of the bonds, leaving the charter to die a natural death." Letter, January 24, 1927, W. H. Loyd to Jonathan Berkley

64.Letter, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd, November, 1927; Letter , Mr. Loyd to Mr. Gayner, November 30, 1927;  Letter, Mr. Loyd to Mr. Gayner, December 15, 1927.

64a. The News and Advance [Lynchburg], Sat, Jan 12, 1929 Page 8, col. 4.

65. Chad R. Miller,The Tholian Web: The Political/Institutional Context of Regional Cluster-based Economic Development, Doctoral Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2006, p. 144-145, published online and accessed May 24, 2017.

65aa. The News and Advance [Lynchburg], Sun, Sep 30, 1934 Page 10, cols. 3-4; The News and Advance [Lynchburg], Wed, Oct 10, 1934, page 11, col. 5. A Sanford Map Company insurance map from around 1938 confirms that the plant had been demolished. See Plant Site Photos, photo 12. It is reported that light blue glass was left in the furnance and was broken down and distributed to townspeople for decorative use in gardens.

65a. An oral account given to N. R. Woodward in 1959 by William H. Loyd, Secretary and later President of Lynchburg Glass Corporation, reported to Dennis Bratcher by N. R. Woodward in personal correspondance and in an interview in Springfield. Ohio, November 5, 2011.

66. The News, Sunday, February 17, 1918, p. 1.

67. There is a perception among some historians and economists that the business environment at Lynchburg during the early twentieth century was dominated and negatively impacted by an "elite" group of businessmen, what one writer referred to as an "oligarchy" (Clifton Potter and Dorothy Potter, Lynchburg: A City Set on Seven Hills. Arcadia Publishing, 2004, p. 176). There is some opinion that such domination by such a small group of businessmen contributed to stagnation of economic growth in the city and to eventual decline (Chad R. Miller, The Tholian Web: The Political/Institutional Context of Regional Cluster-based Economic Development, Doctoral Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2006, p. 144-145, published online and accessedMay 24, 2017). By 1955, Jean Gottmann gave an even more pointed analysis: ". . . there is small chance that [Lynchburg's] growth will proceed quickly in the foreseeable future …most of the industries are locally owned, and the whole economy of the city is closely controlled by a small number of local families" (Jean Gottmann, Virginia at Mid-Century, Henry Holt, 1955, p. 507). While that reality had made Lynchburg an industrial and economic powerhouse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it also hindered adaptation to changing circumstances and the attraction of new industry following World War I.

67a. Minutes, June 10, 1924.

68. These were all addressed in correspondence between W. H. Loyd and J. William Gayner in the years following the closure of the plant. Correspondence between W. H. Loyd and J. William Gayner

69.Letter, January 24, 1927, W. H. Loyd to Jonathan Berkley

70. Letter, May 26, 1927, Mr. Gayner to Mr. Loyd

Lynchburg Glass Works, 1919-1922

 For historical materials, such as Minutes of Stockholders and Corporate Board Meetings of Lynchburg Glass Corporation,
see The Historical Archive

Is It a Lynchburg?
Identifying Lynchburg Maker's Marks