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Clyde Glass Works and the Clyde Fire Dowser Bottles

RED Matthews

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
4,898
0
Sarasota FL & Burdett NY
Hello you bottle collectors. I just wrote to a man that collects bottles and gave him a description of a bottle interest of mine. It is a little long winded but I decided to see how many of you have them or know about them. So here is an excerpt.

I only touched on my interest in the Clyde Glass Works and their products. My interest started when I was maybe seven or eight. My Mother had a dresser set of white milk glass pieces that fascinated me as a kid. However I was basically forbidden to play with the pieces. The flat dresser plate, had "/ CLYDE GLASS WORKS CLYDE, NY " embossed on the bottom of it. There were two large cologne bottles and a little covered dish. I do not remember much more than that, and when she got older, my brother talked her out of them. Heaven only knows where they went from his home.

Years later when I got more acquainted with antiques, I visited the Strong Mansion, just outside of Geneva on the east side of the lake (Route 96). There I got acquainted with the White Milk Glass "FIRE DOWSER:" This bottle was equipped with a white milk glass stopper. Both parts were made hand blown in three part molds and they each had three lions heads embossed in the molds - divided on the parting line. There was also vine embossing similar to the ones that were on my Mothers old dresser bottles. The dowser bottles were kept on a shelf over fire places, on top of the bread boxes on old cast iron kitchen stoves, and sometimes on a shelf in the kitchen, near the stove. They let me examine one of the bottles. I discovered that the main bottle part was made in the 3-leaf mold and had a burst-off finish on it - left rough because it wouldn't contact anyone's mouth. I also found that the stoppers were made in a three part mold and had a rough crack-off of the blowpipe. They were fascinated about my comments.

From there we went to a little antique shop as part of the museum complex and they had two of the Dowser Bottles, which I bought. They were both white milk glass, but I found out later that they were also made of clear bottle glass. These bottles were shipped by the canal system to the great lakes and were sold in all the market systems that handled Clyde Glass, from the mid-west to New York City and New England.

Since then, I have managed to get two dresser milk glass cologne bottles which were made the same way - except the bottle finish was ground and the stopper blowpipe end was ground so no one at their dresser or vanity would have gotten cut.

So I just tried to embed a picture of one.

I don't think it will work for me. RED Matthews
 

cc6pack

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2003
1,185
0
Mableton, Ga.
Red

I know nothing about the glass Co. but if you want to email me the pics I'll post them for you. PM or email me you addy and I'll contact you.
 

Steve/sewell

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2010
6,108
0
Red,here is some information I have on the Clyde Glassworks
William S. Dezeng and his brother-in-law, James Rees, founded the first glass factory in 1828.It was located on the south side of the Erie Canal in the village of Clyde. This factory manufactured window glass only. The company continued to operate until 1864 under several names. In 1864,a seperate pot furnace was built for the manufacture of bottles and was then combined with the window glassworks.The factory burned on July 24, 1873 and then was rebuilt the following year. In its best years the factory employed 85 men, 45 boys, and 6 girls.

The glass gaffers received 8 dollars a day and payroll for a weeks worth of work reached nearly $1,000. The bottle and glassworks operation continued, again under several different owners until 1895. At this time, the manufacture of window glass was discontinued, and the firm was incorporated as the Clyde Glass Works. By 1915, with the invention of the ABN machine to do the work of the glass blowers and the fact that the plant was not easily accessible to the railroad, the Clyde Glass Works was forced to close its doors. Many efforts were made to revive the business, but none were successful.

The workers of the glass works made whimsies like the gaffers in other factories to supplement their income.
The only known cobalt blue canning jar manufactured at the Clyde Glass Works was sold, at auction, for the sum of $ 17,500 in October of 2001 . The jar was made from the same cobalt glass used in the manufacture of the Hotchkiss Essential Oil Bottles as a whimsy by one of the glass blowers. H.G. Hotchkiss not only believed in presenting his excellent products in as elegant a form as possible, he also took great interest in his labels and bottles. Ely Glass Works of Clyde made special dark, blue bottles for H. G. The glass works was located on land where Acme Electric, General Electric and now Parker Hannifin exists.

The Erie Mansion has been known as the Smith-Ely Mansion. This 43 room, three story, 12,000 square foot mansion was built in 1858 in a stone's throw from the Erie Canal.
This historic landmark was originally constructed as an Italianate style home for Dr. & Mrs. Smith. Their daughter Eugenia married Charles Ely, owner of the Clyde Glass Works which was one of the largest glass companies in the world during the Erie Canal era. They transformed the home into the stately mansion that you see today. Construction was completed in 1910 and the Ely family lived there for two generations. The home has had a colorful and notorious history as a private residence for various families, a veterans' home and multi-family low-income housing, until its condemnation in 2006.

The mansion stood vacant for two years until local real estate investor Mark Wright spotted the house for sale. Realizing the historic significance and potential of the home (it is listed in the Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places), Mark purchased it in April of 2008 for his private residence.

Surprisingly through all its transformations the house has retained much of its original craftsmanship. Fireplaces with unique marble from different countries, massive mahogany and teak mantles, parquet floors, gold leaf wall coverings, ornately carved beams and pillars, and stained and leaded glass.
Mark and his staff set to renovating and restoring the home to its former glory when it began. The daily visits by the locals recalling their favorite ghost stories of the mansion, the workers on the renovation project and visitors hearing and seeing strange unexplainable events. One worker was so upset by this that he refused to work inside the house alone. With such an overwhelming amount of stories and occurrences, Mark decided to share his home with the public and The Erie Mansion Bed & Breakfast was founded.I have created an aerial photo showing the site the glassworks were located.





 

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JOETHECROW

Well-Known Member
Cool info Red and Steve!,... I enjoy the ariel shots...are they from google earth? Very informative and interesting.....What's the body of water that runs parallel to the old Erie canal? Red....Cool and nostalgic story about the dresser bottles, It's great that you've found a couple..
 

Steve/sewell

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2010
6,108
0
Joe thats the Clyde River which became a newer portion of the reengineered Erie Canal when heavier and wider boats were being used.
This plant was second only to the Whitney glassworks in total production for quite a few years.When using google maps,The bridge on the right which crosse's the Clyde river has a street viewable click and drag and you can cross the bridge in real time and see the the sign on the right hand side travelling south that states THE ERIE CANAL
 

RED Matthews

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2008
4,898
0
Sarasota FL & Burdett NY
Thanks Steve, I have quite a bit information on the company and was going to put together a review, but I think I will just continue to study and collect for a while. I recently got acquainted with a Mr. Dick Kelley that has won an award for his exhibit at the
Rochester 2010 bottle show on his collection of information and glass made by
Clyde Glass. His coverage is very complete and interesting.
Check Genesee Valley Bottle Collectors Association 2009 and 2010 shows.
RED Matthews
 

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