H. C. Fry Glass Company, Rochester, Pennsylvania

Rochester Flint Glass Plants - H.C. Fry Details

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Glassworker

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
vol. 32, p. 2, col. 1 - 3


A special writer had the following to say concerning a well known Beaver Valley glass man, and Rochester glass companies in a recent issue of the Pittsburg Dispatch:

Henry C. Fry was born in Lexington, Ky., in 1840. When 17 years old he entered the employ of William Phillips & Co. as clerk in their glass works, where he remained until 1862, when he enlisted in the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, participating in all the battles in which the Army of the Cumberland was engaged. Returning to Pittsburg he engaged in manufacturing glass, as a member of the firm Lippincott, Fry & Co., which later became Fry & Scott and then Fry, Semple & Reynolds. In 1869 he was general manager for James B. Lyon & Co., Pittsburg, but in 1872 came to Rochester, where he organized the Rochester Tumbler Co. He also organized the First National Bank, of which he is president and director.

In 1901 the H. C. Fry Glass Co. was organized and a factory built in what is now known as North Rochester. This marked the beginning of a new era in the glass business, and today the Fry plant is recognized as the greatest of its kind in the world. This establishment is not only a factory, but a home for its workmen as well. The original buildings have been added to by newer ones of fireproof construction, surrounded by grounds that are beautifully kept and made to blossom as the rose. Cleanliness is the watchword in the Fry plant, and a visit is all that is necessary to convince one that surroundings count even in the manufacture of glass. Roominess is the keynote inside, and beauty the leading feature outside of the different buildings.


Henry C. Fry.


The company has just completed and moved into a magnificent new office building that combines beauty and architectural design with every comfort and utility known for office employees. With a park like entrance flanked by flowing shrubbery, the visitor is at once impressed with the idea that here is no ordinary manufacturing plant. In short, everything possible is done at the Fry works to add to the comfort, cleanliness and pleasant surroundings of its employees. And this care is reflected in the bearing and dress of the workmen themselves. Pride in the institution and a feeling that everyone has a hand in keeping up the "Fry quality" is evident on all sides. In reply to the questions, "Does it pay - all this expense in beautifying and keeping up the park-like grounds?" an official of the company recently said "It's not a question of dollars and cents. Most of us live here. This is our home. Here is where we spend most of our waking hours. Why shouldn't we make it attractive?"

The buildings and grounds cover a space of 10 acres and the plant has grown steadily since its inception. The officers of the company are; H. C. Fry, president; J. Howard Fry, vice president; Edw. T. David, secretary, and Herbert Ailes, treasurer. All these gentlemen are widely interested in other business ventures in the Beaver valley, and all have been instrumental in the development of Rochester, both from a commercial and financial standpoint.

In addition to every kind of cut glass products, the Fry company specializes in etched glass of beautiful designs, lenses for automobiles and moving picture machines, and also manufactures the celebrated "Golden Glow" headlights, searchlights and reflectors. In the new office building above mentioned are spacious sample rooms with magnificent displays of the company's wares, where visitors are always welcomed.

The Rochester Tumbler Co.

Another of the glass industries that has made Rochester famous is the Rochester Tumbler Co. This plant was established in 1873 and for years has been known as the largest tumbler works in the world. The plant covers 33 acres of ground and has 3,265 feet of river frontage lying along the Ohio river. With the best of shipping facilities, this concern's products, which consist of pressed and blown tumblers and etched bar bottles, have become known all over the civilized world. The buildings are fitted with the most modern machinery and every facility for carrying on its immense business. Charles Runyon is president and general manager of the company, and W. M. Goettman is secretary. Upwards of 500 hands are employed and the payroll adds not a little to Rochester's commercial prosperity. The offices of the company are located at the works on River avenue.


Keywords:H. C. Fry Glass Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:September 11, 2007 by: Elaine Corriero;