MS 401 - Tiffin Glass Company (Tiffin, Ohio)
|Title||MS 401 - Tiffin Glass Company (Tiffin, Ohio)|
|Subject||Business & Commerce|
The financial records and production materials of the Tiffin Glass Company and its predecessor/parent, the United States Glass Company, primarily cover the years 1891to 1945, with a few records documenting the years 1945 to 1970. The collection is representative of the American pressed and blown glassware industry of the early to mid-twentieth century as reflected in the company's general, distribution, production, sales, and stock ledgers not to mention its fine selection of glassware photographs, sketches, pattern rubbings, mold designs and machinery blueprints.
The financial records contain information for United States Glass Company factories in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania with the latter receiving a great amount of coverage. The photographs, drawings and blueprints are of post-World War II vintage and belonged to the Tiffin Glass Company.
This collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio on August 1, 1984 by the Seneca Industrial Economic Development Corporation. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for research purposes. This collections was processed and the register was completed by Frederick Honneffer in March 1985, with revisions completed by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in June, 1994.
The United States Glass Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, confronted at the turn of the century by crises in the glass industry; labor unrest, foreign competition, and increasing dependency upon gas rather than coal for manufacturing purposes, began a major reorganization. On July 1, 1891, the company merged between thirteen and eighteen fully operational glass companies located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. From 1891 to the early 1920s, various glass factories within this merger either ceased operations or left, while others were added, resulting in the number of factories under the USGC merger to fluctuate between nine and twelve. For example, during the 1890s, a Gas City, Indiana plant was added to the merger as well as a tank operation at Glassport, Pennsylvania. The Glassport Land Company was formed on October 4, 1894, after the USGC purchased approximately 500 acres of land along the Monongahela River, intending eventually to concentrate all of its factories at this location. The Glassport Land Company was responsible for the sale of property belonging to the USGC but not used by them for manufacturing purposes.
In March 1923, the USGC was comprised of nine manufacturing plants; five of which were located in Pittsburgh, two located in Glassport, another in Tiffin, Ohio, and the fifth in Gas City, Indiana. Through the 1920s and 1930s, the company added decorating shops and sales offices; the latter located throughout the United States as well as Mexico, Cuba, Australia and England. USGC, however, was operating at a loss each year and finally applied for a mortgage loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in July 1936. By 1938, in a consolidation move, USGC moved its general offices from Pittsburgh to Tiffin, Ohio.
The Beatty Glass Company was founded in Tiffin, Ohio, in 1888; just a few years prior to joining the USGC merger. Available fuel sources, the offer of free land and an undisclosed amount of money (estimated at $50,000 including the value of the land) from a select group of Tiffin citizens, led Alexander J. Beatty to move his glassworks from Steubenville to Tiffin. In 1888 the Beatty Glass Company was the world's largest manufacturer of pressed glassware.
Upon becoming a member of the USGC merger, the Beatty Glass Company was known by the parent company's name. Tiffin's colored glass, satin glass and banana clear glass were among its most notable products in the 1920s. In 1937, due to the USGC's financial instability, the production of cheaper glassware lines was discontinued and efforts were directed toward the manufacturing of high quality stemware and such heavy design pieces as cornucopias, vases and bowls, which were sold to major department stores. The Tiffin glassworks was noted for its complete lines of lead blown glassware, stemware, tumblers and tableware of every description.
In 1959 business began to diminish and by 1963 the company went bankrupt. A year later, Tiffin Art Glass was born, reviving the company's tradition of quality stemware. Two years later, in June 1966, the glassworks became the property of the Continental Can Company and was officially named the Tiffin Glass Company. Upon becoming a division of the Interpace Corporation in January 1976, the Franciscan Ware line was added while continuing to manufacture pressed glass, sandwich glass, white milk glass, and, of course, stemware. In 1979 Leonard Silver Manufacturing Company, a Boston giftware enterprise and division of Towle Silver purchased the glassworks, remaining in that company's hands until the Tiffin Glass Company closed is doors in 1983.
Additional information on Tiffin Glass Company may be found in a 1987 interview (MMS 1016) with Paul J. Williams, who was plant engineer at Tiffin, Ohio.
|Scope and Content|
The Records of the Tiffin Glass Company and its predecessor/parent, the United States Glass Company provide a comprehensive view of the glass industry that was dominant in the Midwest United States from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Encompassing both commercial and artistic product records (sketches, mold drawings, glass rubbings), the collection gives a balanced picture of the creative and business aspects of the company.
The variety of reports included in the collection range from the typical annual reports and stockholders reports, to monthly chemical inventories, expense and production reports, income tax returns, manufacturing census reports, lists by factory of employees salaries (including detailed personal statistical information in sheets for 1927), and mold inventories.
While the correspondence component of the collection is weak, consisting primarily of the affairs of the Mexico City sales office (much of it in Spanish), this material provides a detailed representation of the difficulties of conducting business at the outset of World War I. Problems encountered included material shortages, shipping problems, and difficulties with inferior goods being shipped to Mexico. Wartime restrictions on manufactured goods sent to foreign countries (particularly the Enemy Trading List, Bulletin #1, Oct. 1917), highlight the fact that much of the quality glassware produced at the time came from Germany.
The Tiffin Glass Company collection contains financial records (including general, distribution, production, sales, and stock ledgers dating from approximately 1891 until 1945), balance sheets, audit reports, comparative and condensed statements, expense and productions reports, inventories, and corporate income tax returns. This variety of records details the amount and type of glassware produced at specific factories, manpower required, and quantity of glassware sold. The factory appraisal schedules give detailed listings of the values of physical plants and their contents such as land, steam, sewage, gas and water lines, factory and storage buildings, warehouses, stables, tools, molds, furnishings, recapitulations and depreciations.
The products of the Tiffin Glass Company are represented in the form of glassware rubbing notebooks and tissue rubbing sheets (representing over 200 patterns), penciled glassware sketches, blueprints of glassware and technical drawings with specific measurements, glassware promotional sketches and drawings, cutting and etching designs, glass manufacturing machinery drawings and blueprints (including plans for a plate etching machine, a spinning machine, cutting machine, a machine press, a stemware fluting machine and a stempress), design drawings and blueprints of various pieces of glassware with dimensions in preparation of designing molds, and technical drawings and blueprints of glassware molds. The collection also includes a small number of photographs which show the step-by-step production of Tiffin stemware. This component of the collection primarily illustrates products from the postwar period of the 1950's through the 1960's.
The printed materials included in the collection include examples of blank stock certificates for United States Glass Company Preferred and Common Stock, union booklets for various glass manufacturing departments focusing upon rules, regulations, prices, moves and wages for machinists, and those involved in pressedware and mold making, contracts between the American Flint Glass Workers Union & National Association of Manufacturers of Pressed and Blown Glassware, constitutions and bylaws, letters, circulars and directories of these two organizations, and catalogues containing illustrate pages of Tiffin glassware (including a 1917 stemware & tumbler catalogue written in Spanish).
Encompassing approximately 80 linear feet of material (with over 160 volumes) and spanning over 70 years of the history of the Tiffin Glass Company and the United States Glass Company, this collection is particularly strong in the financial view of the company in the first third of the 20th Century, with detailed ledgers from 1891 through 1942. The period of the Company's economic difficulties in the 1920's and 1930's is well represented by these volumes as well as in the various cash books, statements, and account records. Financial records from the late period of the Company are noticeably absent. Conversely, the documentation of the aesthetic production of Tiffin Glass is primarily limited to the second third of the century, focused on the late 1930's and the early postwar years. These sketches, rubbings, and mold drawings provide a graphic example of design trends of the 1950's, with many industrial designers illustrated. Only scattered records of the Company's final years of the 1970's are represented in the holdings.
MEXICAN SALES OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE
MONTHLY CHEMICAL INVENTORY AND USAGE REPORTS
EXPENSE AND PRODUCTION REPORTS
INCOME TAX RETURNS
SALARIES FOR INCOME TAXES
FACTORY MOLD APPRAISAL REPORTS/INVENTORIES
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE LEDGERS/VOUCHER RECORDS
SUSPENSE LEDGERS AND INDEXES
CASH & SUBSCRIPTION LEDGERS (LIBERTY LOAN BONDS)
PRODUCTION, WAGE AND COST LEDGERS
SALES AND SALES EXPENSE LEDGERS
GLASSPORT LAND COMPANY COST OF PROPERTY LEDGERS
COMMON AND PREFERRED STOCK LEDGERS
FACTORY APPRAISAL SCHEDULES
TIFFIN ART GLASS LEDGER
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND OPERATIONS
COMPARATIVE AND CONDENSED STATEMENTS
ERNST AND ERNST STATEMENTS
RECONSTRUCTION FINANCE CORPORATION/LOAN MATERIALS
GLASSPORT LAND COMPANY MATERIALS
MISCELLANEOUS FINANCIAL RECORDS
GLASS PRODUCTION MATERIALS
LONDON SALES OFFICE RECORDS
MAPS, CHARTS, DIAGRAMS, GRAPHS, LISTS, ETC.
GLASSWARE RUBBING NOTEBOOKS
GLASSWARE PROMOTIONAL SKETCHES AND DRAWINGS
CUTTING AND ETCHING SKETCHES AND DESIGNS
GLASS MANUFACTURING MACHINERY TECHNICAL DRAWINGS
GLASSWARE DESIGN TECHNICAL DRAWINGS/BLUEPRINTS
GLASSWARE DESIGN RUBBINGS
GLASSWARE MOLD DRAWINGS/BLUEPRINTS
BOOKLETS - AMERICAN FLINT GLASS WORKERS UNION & NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS OF PRESSED AND BLOWN GLASSWARE
CATALOGUES - USGC AND TIFFIN GLASSWARE
MISCELLANEOUS PRINTED MATERIALS
GLASSWARE PROMOTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS
GLASSWARE PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES
Box 1: Proceedings, Correspondence
Box 2: Mexican Office Correspondence - Spanish Corr.
Box 3: Annual Reports, Stockholders Reports
Box 4: Monthly Chemical Inventory and Usage Reports
Box 5: Expense and Production Reports
Box 6: Expense and Production Reports
Box 7: Expense and Production Reports
Box 8: Expense and Production Reports
Box 9: Expense and Production Reports
Box 10: Federal Corporation Income Tax Return
Box 11: Income Tax Returns, Manufacturing Census
Box 12: Federal Annual Information Return of Payments of Income
Box 13: Salaries for Income Taxes
Box 14: Payroll Analyses, Labor Analyses
Box 15: Factory Mold Appraisal Reports/Inventories
Box 16: Statement of Financial Condition and Operations
Box 17: Comparative and Condensed Statements
Box 18: Comparative and Condensed Statements
Box 19: Ernst & Ernst Audit Statements
Box 21: Inventory Packets for Prep. of Finan. Statements
Box 22: Inventory Packets for Prep. of Finan. Statements, Reconstruction Finance Corporation/Loan Materials
Box 23: Glassport Land Company Materials
Box 24: Miscellaneous Financial Records, Glass Production Materials
Box 27: Glassware Rubbing Notebooks
Box 28: Glassware Mold Drawings/Blueprints
Box 33: Booklets - American Flint Glass Workers Union & National Association of Manufacturers of Pressed and Blown Glassware
Box 34: Booklets - American Flint Glass Workers Union & National Association of Manufacturers of Pressed and Blown Glassware
Box 35: Catalogues - USGC and Tiffin Glassware
Box 36: Miscellaneous Printed Materials
Box 37: Glassware Promotional Photographs
Box 38: Tiffin Glassware Photographs
Box 40: Tiffin Glassware Negatives
Oversize Box 1: Mold Inventories
Oversize Box 4: Glassware Sketches
Oversize Box 5: Glassware Sketches
Oversize Box 6: Cutting and Etching Sketches and Designs, Glassware Promotional Sketches and Drawings
Oversize Box 7: Glass Manufacturing Machinery Technical Drawings
Oversize Box 8: Glass Manufacturing Machinery Technical Drawings
Oversize Box 9: Glass Manufacturing Machinery Technical Drawings
Oversize Box 10: Glass Manufacturing Machinery Technical Drawings
Oversize Box 11: Glass Manufacturing Machinery Technical Drawings
Oversize Box 12: Glassware Design Technical Drawings/Blueprints
Oversize Box 13: Glassware Design Rubbings
Rubbings - Pattern Group 1
Rubbings - Pattern Group 2
Rubbings - Pattern Group 3
Rubbings - Pattern Group 4
Rubbings - Group 5
Rubbings - Group 6
Rubbings - Group 7
Rubbings - Group 8
Rubbings - Group 9
Oversize Box 14: Glassware Design Rubbings
Oversize Box 16
Glassware Promotional Photographs