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English: William Gillinder came to the United States in 1853 and worked for at time at the New England Glass Company in East Cambridge, Mass., making paperweights. He moved to s Pittsburgh and then St. Louis before settling in Philadelphia in 1861. Gillinder bought a glassworks there that he renamed the Franklin Flint Glass Works. He was joined by Edwin Bennett in 1863 and the company changed its name to Gillinder & Bennett. Then Gillinder's two sons, James and Frederick, joined the firm, which became Gillinder & Sons in 1867. William Gillinder died in 1971 at only 49 years of age. He left behind 9 children. He also left a productive business that had yet to see some major successes, particularly at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. At that fair, the company set up a fully operational exhibition glass factory, where the public could see their souvenir glass being made. Many of these souvenirs where made in “frosted” glass, a popular technique that would be all the rage during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Frosted glass is actually acid-washed or acid-etched. It’s a signature of the gaslight era, appearing in homes on mirrors, windows, and gaslight and oil lampshades, as well as tableware and decorative glass. Gillinder & Sons moved out of Philadelphia to Greensberg, Pa. in 1889. It is still in business today up across the Delaware River in Port Jervis, New York.

Reference: Arthur Schwerdt. A Philadelphia legacy: Much ado about Gillinder Glass, Cape May County Herald, May 5, 2008.

Media in category "James Gillinder and Sons"

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