Publication: The Sandwich Observer
Sandwich, MA, United States
The following from Mr. J. G. Pennycuick who was initiative in the purchase of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Co.'s estate, the originator of the patents now owned by the the Electrical Glass Corporation, which purposes reviving the glass industry in Sandwich, and also a large stockholder in the enterprise, will no doubt be of great interest to our readers:
I may premise by saying that the manufacture of glass is one of the most profitable, — if not the most profitable industries that any one can engage in. But various causes have tended, in this section of the country, to reduce the profits of the manufacture, — among others, the necessity of continuously renewing expensive mechanical plant for staple products to compete with enterprising rivals; changes of fashion, demanding new patterns; foreign importations; the dependance on skilled labor, and the continually occurring strikes of the labor combinations; the cutting of prices and fierce competition with Western rivals, armed with the advantages of the use of natural gas. These, and other causes, have so reduced this once large and profitable industry of manufacturing staple glass goods in New England. On the other hand, the manufacture of glass specialties, such as our Company are about to introduce into Sandwich, presents a much more favorable prospect for the investor, for these reasons. First, with regard to raw material, an almost unexhaustible supply of cullet can be had in New England at a merely nominal cost. Second, with regard to production, from the fact that we can produce, continuously during the 24 hours, at an expense but little in excess of the necessary expense of 12 hours. Third, the simplicity, durability and cheapness of our mechanical plant. Fourth, as regards labor. The economy of our outlay for this important item, which in our case does not require to be skilled — and our consequent relief from the effect of strikes — constitutes our chief advantage. Fifth, a market waiting for our goods, a perpetually increasing demand at our own prices, without competition, except in the matter of insulators wherein we are admitted to stand first. All this and much more might be advanced in proof that there is no visible reason why this glass company, organized under patents for the exclusive manufacture of specific articles should not pay a much larger dividend on its stock than any other industry around us.
We are exceptionally favored in this matter of expense, usually an item of considerable magnitude with a new article of manufacture, as although our goods are likely to come into universal demand, our constituents or means of distribution are chiefly limited to large corporations. In addition to this, which would be comparatively valueless if the business contemplated were in any way chimerical. It may be stated that though this enterprise began a short time ago in a small experimental factory samples of our products were approved on sight, and I am offered to-day contracts sufficient to run this great plant for a whole year, night and day, as soon as we are advanced enough to take them.
Our patents have passed the most careful scrutiny of experts and are all right. That, I personally, as the inventor and patentee of all the devices to be made by the Electrical Glass Corporation under their own patents, know to be true, and it is proved by the fact that I have conveyed my rights and title in the same, including one patent, still pending, for an "electrical underground conduit" to the corporation, without receiving any payment from them in the shape of cash, being entirely satisfied to allow my renumeration to come from realized profits of the manufacture in which I shall share, in common with the other stockholders.
Of the glass conduit Mr. Pennycuick has this to say: It has been endorsed by all the electricans who have seen it, notably Mr. Davis, electric engineer of the Phoenix Construction Co., a corporation controlling the underground system of New York, who tested its strength and pronounced it perfect, and it now simply awaits the consent of the electric board of control to be used throughout that city. In addition to its use in this capacity, it has been most favorably talked of as a substitute for metal pipes for water, & c.
Mr. Pennycuick further said: Fuel is a subject which has received my very earnest attention for several months past. My interests in another company running under my white or window glass patents requires my presence very often at our factory in Ohio, where the fuel used is natural gas. How to get this essential aid to the manufacturer (or the equivalent) in Massachusetts has been a study. I saw many appliances for using crude petroleum as a substitute for coal, and finally, this company decided to make a trial of a system that is now being used as a substitute for natural gas. The success of this means, manufacturing heat, much greater than that of coal and at a fractional part of the expense; and this is but a trifle in comparison with its other advantages; it frees us from a great expense in labor from the smoke, ashes and noxious gases common to coal. The success of this enterprise of which I have not the slightest doubt — means to New England, if we are properly supported, the revival of many defunct industries, as we can then compete favorably with the West, armed as she is, with natural gas.