Thomas Evans Co. Pittsburgh, PA
glass advertising paperweight
was formed in 1899. It came about as a result of a merger of two of the major producers of lamp chimneys: one founded in 1869 by Thomas Evans, the other was the company of George A. Macbeth, founded in 1872. In that same year, the newly-formed Macbeth-Evans acquired the American Lamp Chimney Company which owned the rights to Michael J. Owen's patent #534,840 dated February 26, 1895, for a glass-blowing machine suitable for the production of lamp chimneys. At the turn of the century, Macbeth-Evans, through mergers and acquisitions, was operating plants in Pittsburgh and Charleroi, Pennsylvania; Marion, Indiana; and Toledo, Ohio.1
As the country's largest
|Macbeth-Evans invoice dated May 3, 1913, Charleroi Plant
producer of lamp chimneys, Macbeth-Evans made chimneys of plain glass in every size and shape imaginable, and for virtually every type of kerosene lamp made. Decorative chimney tops became quite popular in the 1870's. In 1877, the parent company of Thomas Evans secured the rights to a patented crimping machine to produce the "pie crust" edging on the top of the chimney. In 1883, George A. Macbeth patented the "Pearl Top" chimney in which the top rim was adorned with 36 or 40 glass beads or pearls, the number depending upon the size of the chimney.2
|A CRESCENT Chimney, one of many brands manufactured by Macbeth-Evans
Decorated rims were not the only things that were popular in the last quarter of the century. Often chimneys, glass globes or shades, which were also produced by Macbeth-Evans, were etched or painted in colors with designs of wreaths, flowers, landscapes and marine views. These decorated chimneys and shades became popular around 1885. By the late 1880's, the Thomas Evans Co. was turning out 4,000,000 decorated pieces a year.3
In addition to chimneys, shades and globes, Macbeth-Evans manufactured lighthouse [fresnel] lenses, glass for marine, railroad and later, automotive use, and laboratory glassware. It introduced its first water set in the mid 1920's and the colored glassware era began. The first complete colored line was produced in 1930 and many others quickly followed. Popular patterns were: Dogwood, Thistle, Petalware and American Sweetheart. In 1937 the company was bought by Corning Glass Works of New York, but operation continued under Macbeth-Evans until the late 1940's.4
||Sept. 21, 1880
||Sept. 23, 1890
||Dec. 31, 1912
||Mar. 3, 1885
||Thomas Evans Co.
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- 1 The American Heritage Catalog Collection. Lamps & Other Lighting Devices, 1850-1906. Princeton: The Pyne Press, 1972.
- 2 ibid.
- 3 ibid.
- 4 Manufacturing History. (24 March 2003), <http://users.rcn.com/sweetb.javanet/history.html>
- Manufacturing History. 24 March 2003. <http://users.rcn.com/sweetb.javanet/history.html>
- The American Heritage Catalog Collection. Lamps & Other Lighting Devices, 1850-1906. Princeton: The Pyne Press, 1972.