John Gayner dies

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Glassworker

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
vol. 45, no. 5, p. 13-14, col. 4, 1



John Gayner, Sr., president of the Gayner Glass Works, Salem, N. J., died in his home there on October 20, at the age of 94 years. He had been in poor health for a long time, but had gone about the streets of Salem in a wheel chair.

Mr. Gayner had been interested in the manufacture of glass in Salem for nearly a half century. He was a native of England as were his father and grandfather, and all his life was devoted to the glass industry. He had little opportunity to attend day schools and obtrained his education by studying at nights. At the age of 12 years he entered the glass works of which his father was the manager, and after two eyars he was apprenticed to the firm of Coathupes & Company, of Bristol, and Naises, England, for a seven-year term, to learn the art of window glass and shade blowing. He remained with the firm and its successors for 12 years.

With what little money he accumulated he branched out for himself and manufacured glass shades in Bristol.

Competition was so keen he severed his home ties and accompanied by his wife and six children started for the United States and landed at Portland, Maine. He secured work in the Crystal Glass Works at Boston and when that firm closed down he went to Bergen Point, N. J., and was employed until that firm ceased operations. Syracuse, N. Y., was the next place of hisemployment and then Craven Point, Norristown, Pa., and Wheeling, W. Va. At all these places he was either superintendent or general manager.

In 1874, Mr. Gayner was located at Waterford, N. J., where he became a member of a firm, his partner being S. J. Pardessus, of New York City. July, 1879, the firm of Gayner & Pardessus moved their business to Salem and at first employed only about seven men. The firm was dissolved when the sons of Mr. Gayner became partners in the business. From year to year the patronage increased and today it is one of the largest industries in the East and is manager successfully by members of the family.

Mr. Gayner was married three times. His first wife was Frances Atkin and to them were born six children, three of whom are living; Edward J. Gayner, Mrs. E. S. Moser, of Collegeville, Pa., and Miss Fannie Gayner. His second wife was Miss Elizabeth Wilkins and to whom several children were born, most of whom died in infancy, with the exception of J. William Gayner and the late Mrs. Frank B. Morrison. His third wife, who survives, was Miss Sara Gretta Mahan.

Mr. Gayner had few equals as a glass manufacturer and lived to see the industry he started in Salem grow to great proportions. His advanced age did not lessen his interest in the business and almost daily he would visit the plant and his advice and suggestions were sought by those who had taken up the work which he founded. He was a member of the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church and regular in attendance at all the services as long as health would permit.


Keywords:Gayner Glass Works
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:August 13, 2007 by: Elton Gish;