View Full Version : Lynch & Clarke New York. Mt Vernon Glass Works.

03-25-2011, 08:50 PM
I picked up this old Mt Vernon glass works made Lynch and Clarke Mineral water.The bottle does have damage but is whole.The damage is a star Crack beginning at the letter C in the word LYNCH .From this star crack a long crack travels up to the bottom of the double taper neck a half inch crack travels down to the letter E in the word NEW. The color of the glass is light olive green loaded with tiny bubbles. The bottle has a short squatty neck and a double tapered applied top typical of these bottles.The neat part about this bottle is I believe it is a 4 part mold, as a horizontal seam barley discernable traverses the bottle beginning at a point a quarter inch above where the shoulder begins to taper towards the neck of the bottle.It is at this same point where you follow up from the base of the bottle the Vertical seam and where it meets and passes through this horizontal seam the vertical line has a slight offset (16th of an inch) to one side as it travels up through to the neck.The bottom of the bottle has a nice early looking one inch indented base with 4 vent hole marks and a center thick seam.This looks to be a very early version of the Lynch and Clarke bottles.Caz or Wolfy do either of you have this same bottle and what is your familiarity with it.

This is only my 4th Mineral water bottle as Red Matthews got me hooked on these after seeing part of his collection.
I will upgrade to a damage free one as time and money permits but this will suffice for now .


03-25-2011, 08:51 PM


03-25-2011, 08:52 PM


03-25-2011, 08:52 PM


03-25-2011, 08:53 PM


03-25-2011, 09:34 PM
Nice bottle, too bad that star isn't on the back. Yes I'm familiar with the Lynch & Clarke bottles. Everyone attributes them to Mt. Vernon, but I have yet to find any (s)hard evidence to prove it. Which leads me to the question... When were snap cases first used, really?

03-25-2011, 10:18 PM
This 4 piece mold type of mineral water Brian have you seen it before.This bottle is very crude if I were to guess on its date of manufacture I would say 1826 to 1830 would not be out of the question.Logically and for all intensive purposes sheer practicality not to mention profitability the two factorys that could have made these early bottles would have been Mt.Vernon or Keene.It seems enough evidence exists to know that contracts existed between Lynch and Clarke and the Mt Vernon Glass works so I would lean towards Mt Vernon,however the color is right on with Keene made glass also so maybe some of the bottles were also made at Keene.It is not out of the question that Lynch and Clarke were looking for the best price to keep costs down.

03-25-2011, 10:21 PM
Dunno, Looks two piece to me.

03-25-2011, 10:56 PM
Its tough to see but hopefully this explains it.If anyone else knows about the 4 piece molded Lynch and Clarke bottles please add to this topic thank you..


03-25-2011, 10:57 PM
This is how the seams line up at the crossroads.They are slightly offset from each other.


03-25-2011, 10:59 PM
The other side showing the verticle seam.


03-25-2011, 11:37 PM
There is an invoice that Lynch & Clarke bottles were made at the New England Glassworks, I believe, that the National Bottle Museum wrote about several years ago in their newsletter. I have never seen a L&C shard from the Mt Vernon site. The early John Clarke Saratoga-type bottles were made at MVG though. There are several mold variations and color shades known for the L&C bottles, so it is certainly possible, but not definite. I'm in the skeptical camp.This is another of the "facts" that get perpetuated without any hard evidence. There are several other "attributed" MVG bottles that I would love to see some proof of, mostly blown three mold items like the GII-15 inkwells and the GI-29 carafe.

03-25-2011, 11:49 PM
Brian, as far as snap cases go, I have a 3 piece mold John Clarke quart in forest green with the small lettering (probably the earliest varient) that matches shards from Mt Vernon and has a smooth base. John Clarke was in business from 1834-1846, so the snap case was apparently used prior to about 1844 (or so) when the glassworks moved to Mt Pleasant.


03-25-2011, 11:55 PM
Here is the pint L&C that I have in my collection. The small letter variation (C2 A variation in Don Tucker's book on Saratogas) is considered the earliest. This example has a horizontal line where the neck meets the body of the bottle that I believe is where the mold ended and the rest of the neck and lip were hand finished. Maybe that is the line you see on yours Steve?


03-26-2011, 12:29 AM
Jeff Noordsy lists two of these both being attributed to Mt.Vernon also.This invoice you speak of can you find it.in the news letter.From what I can see the greens that seem to have come from Mt Vernon seem to be more of the forest green color like the Northbend Flasks. Is this the predominant color of the Mt Vernon glass?

03-26-2011, 02:54 PM
Hey Mark,
I'm well aware of the John Clarke attribution. (We made that determination together if I recall correctly).
Which is why I brought up snap cases. Most books will tell you that snap cases weren't introduced into the US until around 1850 (post Mt. Vernon). But as you said, it would appear that they were in use earlier than that.
Do you think it is possible that the lip was finished while still in the mold? Is it possible that the blowpipe was seperated with a water-cooled tool, a small gather added and then finished with a lipping tool (rotating the tool rather than the bottle); The bottle then removed from the mold with tongs? Seems to me that if they had more than one mold, this process would be feasable. Thoughts?

Mt. Vernon made glass in a wide range of greens: ranging from deep forest green, olive-green, apple green, teal green to olive amber. The olive-amber is pretty much the end of the range. I've found no evidence of any glass in what I would term in the brown category. The predominant color falls somewhere between forest and olive. Mt. Vernons green batches were apparantly full of impurities judging from the amount of sandiver (gall) that was left behind.


03-26-2011, 03:25 PM
It is both of your opionons this early Lynch and Clarke bottle is a product of a New England Glass factory.The color is of that which is predominantly of New England manufacture.It does however seem strange for Lynch and Clarke to get their bottles from that far away as these are not light vials or small meds.It took a lot of horsepower to haul this glass from the Boston area across a good deal of mountanous and hilly terrain to get to Saratoga.

This article by Howard Dean is not 100 percent accurate in regaurds to Lynch and Clarke having a contract with Mt Vernon to make the glass bottles in both of your thoughts Brian and Mark?

The Saratoga Glass Works at Mt. Pleasant
Saratoga County, N.Y.
by Howard Dean
In the 1866 Atlas of Saratoga County Sylvester wrote the following: “About the year 1850 a glass
factory was started on the mountains in the northwest part of the town (Greenfield) a little village of about
one hundred inhabitants sprung up around it. It was named Mount Pleasant. Some years ago the factory
was removed to Saratoga Springs, and the village followed it to its new location.” Not a very fitting
obituary for so important a place, especially to bottle collectors with a yen for a bit of history connected
with an old hand made bottle!
First of all lets straighten out the various names that have been associated with this glass house. Most
glass works are easily identified with a single name, not so Mt. Pleasant. Bernie Puckhaber, in his
extensive research on Saratoga County mineral waters, has listed the following names that have been
associated with the facility: (1) Saratoga Glass Works (2) Saratoga Mountain Glass Works (3) Mt.
Pleasant Glass Works (4) Granger Glass Works and/or (5) Mountain Glass Works. The owner called this
plant the Saratoga Glass Works so I suppose we should finally settle on this as the official name.
Along about 1810 a petition was approved by the New York State Legislature and the Mt. Vernon
Glass Co. came into being. They made a large number of beautiful flasks. By about 1823, John Clarke
and Tom Lynch were beginning to look for a source of bottles for their mineral water. At this time a
Charles Granger was the superintendent of the Mt. Vernon Glass Works, a few miles west of Utica, N.Y.
He was given the contract to produce the “Lynch and Clarke” bottles in spite of the long distance between
Mt. Vernon and the mineral springs around Saratoga. Gradually the Granger family became the dominate
forces in the Mt. Vernon works and an Oscar Granger became plant superintendent. By 1843, the
Saratoga mineral water business was in full swing and the demand for these bottles was taking the
capacity of the Mt. Vernon plant. In addition to this, the supply of wood needed to keep the furnaces
going was beginning to fail. It was about this time that the Grangers decided that in order to remain in
business they should build a modern glass factory, near to the source of their main outlet and having an
“endless” wood supply and a supply of pure sand. Oscar Granger was given the responsibility of finding a
suitable location. It seems fitting to state that the Mt. Vernon Glass works continued to produce glass
until about 1850.
Oscar was drawn quite naturally to the Mt. Pleasant area of the Kayaderosseras Mountains in Saratoga
County because his mother’s early home was in nearby Greenfield, his father, Nathan had lived near
Saratoga before moving to Vernon. Also there was a good wood supply and nearby sand. Oscar met a
local banker and businessman named John James. James sold him 1400 acres of land in the Greenfield
Township and also agreed to finance the new undertaking. It cost money to build a new factory, establish
a new community of homes, school, church, stores, hotel and to move from Vernon to Mt. Pleasant. It
was not done overnight, but rather took a couple of years. It was in 1844 that Oscar and John met and
agreed to be business partners. A carpenter named Todd was hired and the glass factory was begun. Two
years later it went into full operation and was named “Saratoga Glass Works of
James, Granger and Todd.” Todd left in 1848 to become postmaster and operator of the general store at
Mt. Pleasant. James was a partner until 1850. Before 1850 Oscar Granger’s nephew Henry arrived from
Mt. Vernon to help with the business. The other Grangers, Charles and Gideon remained behind to phase
out the old Mt. Vernon operation.
The establishment of this new factory involved three undertakings: (1) establishing the new village, (2)
improvement of roads and transportation and (3) planning and construction of the glass factory itself. The
map of Mt. Pleasant shows the layout of the village; the other maps show the location of the works in
relation to the surrounding country. Transportation and accessibility was a real problem. In those days
going up the mountain was generally through Greenfield Center to Porter Corners and then west to Mt.
Pleasant. Most of this was a toll road so a fee was charged for each passage. Much of the time in the
winter one would be snowed in the mountains - it was a hard life!
To expedite the movement of wagon loads of bottles down the mountain a dug way was devised by Mr.
Granger. Horses or oxen brought the wagons to a launching platform at the top of a long right angled cut
in the side of the mountain. Here the teams would be unhitched and the loaded wagons would be let down
with the aid of a series of ropes and a windless into Middle Grove (then called Jamesville). From here the
teams were again used to convey the bottles to their destination. Some parts of this old dugway can still
be seen. Some do not believe that such a dugway ever existed for this purpose.
Would they risk losing a load of bottles to save a mile or so of travel? On the other hand Mr. Lowe, a
relative of the Grangers, states that such a dugway did exist and was shown on a county map. In 1948 Mr.
Lowe wrote, “it is considerably grown up now, but I have been over it in a wagon about fifty-five years
ago.” We will probably never know for sure whether Oscar Granger used it or not. After having
delivered the load of bottles in Saratoga Springs, the teamsters would pick up a load of lime at a quarry in
Rowlands Hollow or a load of sand at Chatfield Corners on their return trip.
The factory itself was a large round building, perhaps fifty to seventy five feet in diameter. It had a
large high smoke stack in the center which picked up the smoke from the large conical furnace. Around
this furnace were six fireholes from which the glass blowers could gather the glass or “metal” to blow the
The 1850 census reveals that there were five glass blowers living at Mt. Pleasant and a total population
of 200 of which 40 worked in the glass factory. it also reported that 7,200,000 bottles were produced
annually. This continued for more than twenty years when in 1865 it was sold to the Congress and
Empire Glass Works in Congressville, a suburb of Saratoga Springs. Tradition has it that all the houses
from Mt. Pleasant were moved to Congressville along with the glass factory equipment.
Between 1845 - 1865 the following mineral water bottles were blown at the Saratoga Glass Works:
Clarke and Co., John Clarke, Clarke and White, High Rock, Congress and Empire (C&E), G.W. Weston,
D.A. Knowlton, Star Spring and Paradise (Quaker) Spring. Also blown were; pint Success to the
Railroad, and half pint Cornucopia flasks. Other bottles blown were: inks, Dr. Townsend Sarsaparilla, E.
Roome/Troy/New York, other cylinder bottles without embossing, a limited number of chestnuts and
porters, wine bottles, peppersauce, varnish, and B. Fosgate’s Anodyne Cordial (in which the N’s are
backwards). As was usual at all glass works, the blowers would blow “occasional pieces” and the men at
Saratoga were no different! It is reported that these usually were rolling pins, pitchers, match holders, lily
pad design plates and probably many other items.
It has recently been realized that threadless insulators were also made at this works. Many parts and
pieces of which have been dug by the author and others. A recent article in Antique Bottle and Glass
Collector by Ray Klingensmith tells this story so it will not be repeated here.
An attempt to list all of the colors, tints, shades, hues etc. of old glass bottles would be nearly
impossible. “Mountain Glass,” as pieces from this works are called, can be described as very dark, nearly
black olive green or olive amber. Some chards of glass found there also include blue-green, dark green,
dark amber and aqua. The glass is generally dark, bubbly and greasy.
It is recognized that great caution must be used when trying to identify a certain piece of glass with a
specific glass house. Recent techniques using mass spectrometer and other analytical methods can be of
great assistance to the student of glass. Most of us can only go by known dates when companies were in
business, colors most likely used, mold marks and other such unscientific facts.
The known base marks from the Saratoga Glass Works include the numbers 1 through 5 and the letter
“B.” Bases both with and without pontil scars have been dug there. One has to be very careful in
attributing a particular bottle to a certain glass house just because a chard was found there. On a recent
dig at the Saratoga site, Bob Joki dug a chard from a Lynch and Clarke bottle. These bottles were blown
at Mt. Vernon and the company went out of business around 1833 - the Saratoga Glass Works was built in
1844 so a Lynch & Clarke could not have been blown there. What probably did happen, since both plants
were owned by the Grangers, was that some cullet, or broken pieces of glass, were taken from Mt. Vernon
to Saratoga for making glass. We know that molds were moved from plant to plant, why not cullet?
What a great experience it is to dig on these old sites. I can’t wait for spring so I can go back!
Many people have dug the Mountain Glass area and are still at it today. Harry Hall White was one of
the first to make a detailed study of this area, from records, personal contacts with descendants of the
operators and from excavations on the site; he published his findings in 1927. Fenton Keyes also did
extensive excavations on this site in the 1950’s. My first experience there was in November of 1982
when the newly formed Saratoga Collectors Society made a trip to see this area. Led by Bernie
Puckhaber, we drove up the road past Lake Desolation and up to the top of the mountain, where we pulled
over and stopped. The area is completely grown up and there is very little to indicate the great activity
which once flourished here. If one searches the woods, the foundations of some of the homes and other
buildings can be found. The roads have been changed a bit making it harder to visualize how it used to
be. The recent photos will illustrate how it looks now. To the careful observer the bits of glass that are
everywhere is a dead giveaway of what went before! Gone is Saratoga Glass Works, but it is far from
forgotten by a few diehard bottle and history buffs.
At the opening of the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa in June 1984, the Saratoga Bottle
Collectors Society sponsored a Saratoga Glass Works exhibit. In addition to bottles and other pieces
blown there, pictures of the Grangers, glass making tools, the main item was a large model of the old
glass works made by Gerry Strubel. It was recently learned that a grant of $750 by the Gannett
Newspaper was made available to put the model on a mobil basis so that it can be taken to area schools as
a teaching aid. We will not let the old Saratoga Glass Works be forgotten!
(1) Saratogas, by Bernhard C. Puckhaber - 1976
(2) American Glass - Volume 1, Blown and Molded. Edited by M.D. Schwarty
(3) The Glass Factory, by John Lowe. From a talk given June 20, 1948
(4) Sylvester’s History of Saratoga County, N.Y. - 1866
(5) The Springs, Glass Houses and Bottles of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. by Fenton Keyes.
Quarterly Journal of the N.Y. S. Historical Association, April 1959
(6) The Spouter - No. 3 - September 1982, No. 4 - January 1983 and No. 11, January 1985
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Howard Dean in 1985 and was published in the May 1985issue of The Antique Bottle and Glass Collector.

03-26-2011, 06:58 PM
Speaking of GII-15 inkwells... check out this one that I just got yesterday... what a color! I know that shards are the keys to attribution, but you have to believe this is a Mt. Vernon product. Although, I would not have suspected the New England Glassworks for the Lynch & Clark bottles.



03-26-2011, 07:24 PM
Nice ink Mike!
It certainly does have that MVG look about it. I personally have not found, or seen any shards supporting the GII-15 being a MVG product. I have found at least one shard supporting the GII-18 however. The molds are quite similar and I would not rule out the possibility. I have just not found anything to support the theory as of yet.

03-26-2011, 07:38 PM
I guess that the variants of the GII-18 were produced at a number of glasshouses. As far as I am aware... Sandwich, Keene, Coventry and Mt. Vernon all produced the GII-18, or variants of the GII-18. If I remember correctly, the GII-18 from MT. Vernon is a narrower example, and they actually have a slight resemblance to the GII-15 mold. I suspect you will find some GII-15 shards up there at some point! :)


03-26-2011, 08:21 PM
Hi Steve, I will be talking to Howard Dean tomorrow at the Brewerton bottle show and will let you know what he says. I am trying to track down that article. Have you joined the Saratoga-type Mineral Water Bottle club? Don Tucker, who literally wrote the book on Saratogas, is the newsletter editor of the club and does a great job. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Saratogas.
Mike, I have a GII-15 in green just like that one, and it looks like a Mt Vernon shade of green, but one thing that makes me a little skeptical about the GII-15 is that they were most commonly made in amber and sometimes blue, two colors Neither Brian, who has a lot more experience than I, nor I have seen a single shard of at Mt Vernon..

03-26-2011, 08:30 PM
As far as the New England Glassworks, I am going off of memory, but I am pretty sure thats where the invoice was from. (I remember being very surprised.) New England Glassworks did make a black glass base edge embossed bottle similar to the Ricketts Patent English bottles, not too far off style-wise from L&C mineral water bottles. Like I said previously, that does not exclude Vernon. There are at least seven mold and size variations, not to mention different colors of the L&C bottles, so it is possible that they were made at more than one glassworks.

03-26-2011, 08:33 PM
I have seen quite a few of the GV-5 Railroads in that "rich amber" color... as a matter of fact I sold one to Rich Strunk. I don't know about the blue though...

03-26-2011, 08:39 PM
The amber GV-5 are from Mt Pleasant. They made quite a few amber bottles, but no shards for GII-15 there either.

03-26-2011, 08:47 PM
OK. Are all of the GV-5 examples from Mt. Pleasant? As you know, they come in aqua and a huge range of greens, including emerald and almost a blue-green. Are any of these attributed to MVG?

03-26-2011, 08:55 PM
The amber ones are exclusive to MP as far as I know Mike. The others could have been made at either works.

03-26-2011, 09:33 PM
I have only heard of one aqua GV-5 example that was in the Judge McKenzie collection. Surprising that aqua would be the rarest color for a flask.

03-29-2011, 12:52 AM
Hi Steve, I spoke with Howard Dean and Jon Landers at the Brewerton show. Howard wrote the article you reference and Jon is the foremost expert on the Mt Vernon Glassworks. Both said they have never seen any documentation or shards that Lynch & Clarke bottles were made at Mt Vernon. I also contacted Don Tucker and he recalled the New England Glassworks invoice article but wasn't sure. I sent the National Bottle Museum an email asking if they could find the article, but I haven't heard back from them yet. Once again, I am not saying that L&C bottles weren't made at Vernon, but that no hard evidence has come to light. As far as I know, it is just speculation and it gets passed along like fact over and over. The best proof is a document. Even shards found at a glassworks can be misleading (could be cullet or a random throwaway from the period).

03-29-2011, 01:10 AM
Thanks Mark,They are still the earliest or are the Congress bottles that Dyott advertised in 1809.

03-29-2011, 10:27 AM
According to Don Tucker in his book "Collector's Guide to Saratoga- type Mineral Water Bottles,"
"Congress water was bottled and sold as early as 1810 in unmarked bottles. Advertisements appeared in newspapers over the next decade, including one in which Rev. D.O. Griswold was offering boxes of Congress Water in 1822 (Boston). It was not until Dr John Clarke purchased the land and spring that the commercial aspects of selling the waters were fully developed. After 1823, Congress water was sold in embossed bottles, marked Lynch & Clarke."
He has a date of 1823-1833 when the John Clarke embossed bottles appeared. Some of these were made at Vernon, Mt Pleasant near Saratoga and apparently other glassworks too. Don Tucker also states in his book that L&C bottles were made at Mt Vernon, but he has since told me that there is no hard evidence as of yet and he is currently researching where they were blown. If anyone is interested, you can buy his book directly, he lives in North Berwick Maine, but I don't have his phone #. If you have any interest in Saratoga type mineral water bottles, it is the "bible".

03-29-2011, 11:54 AM

. Once again, I am not saying that L&C bottles weren't made at Vernon, but that no hard evidence has come to light. As far as I know, it is just speculation and it gets passed along like fact over and over. The best proof is a document. Even shards found at a glassworks can be misleading (could be cullet or a random throwaway from the period).

Well said Mark!!!!!!! As a collective group we tend to over-attribute (myself included) and you offer sage advice. You could tighten your statement even further by changing the word "document" to "period document" (even though I think that this is already what you mean). In the future I will be sure to catalog Lynch and Clarke bottles as simply American (even though I have a strong suspicion that at least some of them were blown at Mount Vernon...)

03-29-2011, 11:57 AM

There are at least seven mold and size variations, not to mention different colors of the L&C bottles, so it is possible that they were made at more than one glassworks.

This too is an important point. Remember, there is strong evidence that SOME marked Keene flasks were made in Stoddard and also evidence that Westford and Willington shared molds. I am also of the strong suspicion that Pitkin, Mather and Coventry shared molds and or split up orders during busy times...

Mountain Man
05-08-2011, 01:57 AM
I guess I better jump in on this. I wrote about NE Glassworks making L& Clarkes in the Spouter Newsletter. It came from a personal communication to me from a young guy who is a direct descendant of Oscar Granger. He wrote a masters thesis on Mt Pleasant and found an invoice from NE Glassworks to L& Clarke. I have not seen this paper myself.

Considering that L&C bottles are fairly available, there should be some frags found at Mt V, especially as they were made for a reasonable period of time.

I have found aqua GV-V frags at Mt Pleasant and there are several whole ones around. I got mine 20+ yrs ago. It just blows away the other colors as it is a dark icy aqua.

Just finished washing up some Mt V shards: GI-30 decanter base in clear, Dr T in clean emerald, usual meds, clean green large handle for a pitcher, lots of clear misc frags. Not all of their glass was cruddy, some was of very high quality. Possible result of the changes in ownership? It is interesting that the majority of the Lafayettes are so full of junk they should never have been released to the public.

05-08-2011, 04:43 PM
Many glasshouses actually advertised their run-of-the-mill bottles (unembossed utilities, etc.) as "junk bottles." Mt Vernon definitely made some high quality glass, esp. the tableware, and if you have ever seen one of the early Mt Vernon seal bottles, wow, they are some of the most brilliant, clear emerald greens without a bubble or potstone, very high quality glass! But also I have some Mt V utilities that are cruddy, foamy crude little bottles in a muddy dark olive amber that def. would be considered "junk" bottles by the glassworks.

05-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Another very interesting thread guys....Very educational and thank you for posting the info.

RED Matthews
05-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Well you guys have hit on a subject that I know a little about but I thought I had read some of it before and then I checked the dates and times. WoW - you reactivated an old one and extended it.
I have a few Lewis & Clark SARATOGA Bottles, and appreciate their characteristics. I haven't found enough printed reference to them to cover the history very good. They are interesting for sure, RED Matthews

05-08-2011, 08:47 PM