Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Martinsville Glass Manufacturing Company ash tray

I'm a sucker for anything with a patent number, so when my wife found this ashtray I had to have it, even though I'm not a smoker.

It features a recess for a book of matches, plus cylindrical holes, presumably for cigarettes.

The Design Patent was awarded to Ira Clarke of New Martinsville, West Virginia, who assigned it to the New Martinsville Glass Manufacturing Company.  In 1913, Mr. Clarke had been awarded an earlier patent for pressed glass vessel, which he assigned to the John B. Hibgee Glass Company of Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.  In 1923, he received a design patent for a relish plate, and in 1928 for a "glass jar or similar container."  It seems there was a time when you could make a living designing stuff like this.

As for the New Martinsville Glass Company, it was founded in 1900, but was renamed Viking Glass in 1944.  The company was known for its use of colour in its wares.  That comes with an environmental price, though.  In 1987, the plant was purchased and renamed Dalzell-Viking Glass, and continued until 1998 when it declared bankruptcy.  The factory was abandoned. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency became involved because:

"On November 29, 1999, an emergency assessment was conducted. The On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) observed evidence of trespassers entering the building. The assessment identified open and deteriorating vats containing hydrofluoric acid (HF). Other hazardous substances present included unsecured drums, containers, and bags of the following compounds and materials: arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, chromium, cerium, lead, selenium, and various silica. There is a municipal potable water well that supplies the City of New Martinsville located within 100 feet of the north end of the property."

Nice.  It has since been cleaned up at taxpayer expense.

1 comment:

jade said...

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