Southern California Glass Factories, McBride makes radio insulators

[Trade Journal]

Publication: American Glass Review

Pittsburgh, PA, United States
vol. 45, no. 48, p. 15-16, col. 1-2

Southern California Glass Factories


Los Angeles Has No Monopoly on Glass Factories in Southern Part of the State as

Many Are Located in Thriving Little Towns South of That Metropolis.




LOS ANGELES cannot lay claim to all the glass factories in Southern California for there are eight progressive concerns located in the smaller towns surrounding this southern metropolis, all of which are showing steady growth and are forging to the front as rapidly as conditions arrant.

Of this number, three are devoted to the manufacture of fiat glass, three to novelties and specialties and two to containers of various nature.

In the flat glass, field, are the three fine plan of the Western Glass Co., the Standard American Glass Co., and the Torrance Flat Glass Company, the first manufacturing rough and ribbed glass at Fullerton as a branch of the Western Glass Co. at Streator, Ill.; the second manufacturing window glass at Santa Ana, as a part of the Dixon organization, and the third manufacturing flat glass at Torrance by the Fourcault process.

In bottles and containers, there are the Long Beach Glass Company at Long Beach, making a full line of prescriptions and kindred bottles, and the branch of the Latchford Glass Company at Compton, Manufacturing five gallon bottles.

In specialties, there are the Brock Glass Company at Santa Ana, manufacturing door knobs and pulls; the McBride Glass Works, at Anaheim, manufacturing insulators, chimneys, novelties and special ties, etc., and the Sterling Glass Company at Hermosa Beach, manufacturing a line of pressed specialties.

The three flat glass plants all are large, modern concerns, manufacturing a high grade of glass on a large scale. The plant of the Standard American Glass Company will be discussed in a later article. As for the Western Glass Company, it is fully equipped for the manufacture of a complete line of rough ribbed, rolled, wired, Florentine, etc., glass and Los Angeles and San Francisco flat glass jobbers and dealers who have been selling the product of this plant have commented most favorably on the excellent quality attained. W. N. Rollo, who has been with the Western Glass Company for 25 years, is in charge of this plant and established it in Fullerton two years ago. In the two years it has been in existence Mr. Rollo, who incidentally is secretary of the Western Glass Company; has achieved distinction as a manufacturer who knows the business from beginning to end and anyone who thinks these words are being written merely because Mr. Rollo is an amiable gentleman and was very hospitable when the Weary Wanderer called has another guess coming. It is true that Mr. Rollo welcomed the Weary Wanderer most cordially, but inquiry in either San Francisco or Los Angeles as to the kind of glass his plant is making will convince anyone that there is no exaggeration in the foregoing.

The Torrance Flat Glass Company at Torrance has been persevering and progressing under the general management of Frank Coates and just recently resumed operations after .a temporary shutdown. The plant is up to date and modern and equipped with two continuous tanks and eight Fourcault machines. Sheet glass is being manufactured at present Equipment makes it possible, however, to also manufacture ribbed, Florentine, hammered, etc.

When it comes to prescriptions and kindred ware the Long Beach Glass Company gives an example of one of the most efficient plants for its size in the country. Tireless effort on the part of W. W. Watt, the president, H. P. Dickinson, general manager, and C. W. Pleukarp, superintendent, and, the entire organization as well, has brought this plant to a point where it is a real factor in the manufacture of its class of products on the Coast.

Located in Long Beach, one of the fastest growing cities in the country right now, this plant is housed in modern quarters, with excellent railroad facilities and ample warehouse space.

The plant is equipped with one continuous tank from which Lynch machines are operated. It possesses its own mould shop, as well as its own box factory and its own corrugated paper box factory, both machine equipped.

Its complete line of products includes flint prescriptions, beverages, fruit jars, packers and pressed and plain specialties. Manufacturing conditions in Long Beach are ideal and the plant operates steadily throughout the year with virtually no climatic changes to be taken into consideration from a manufacturing standpoint for in Long Beach the climate is most even.

Mr. Watt is enthusiastic over conditions on the Coast, pointing out that just at present the market is more stable, due to co-ordinated effort on the part of bottle manufacturers on the Coast, than it ever has been. . He pointed out, however, that Utopia still is far away, that the life of a glass manufacturer on the Pacific Coast is not apt to be likened unto a bed of roses-many months in a year, and that the only way manufacturing can be carried on successfully is by refusing to let the many difficulties that come up continually overcome one.

The plant of the Latchford Glass Company at Compton already has been discussed in a preceding article.




In the specialty field one comes across the Brock Glass Company, at Santa. Ana, which has been operating steadily, manufacturing door knobs and pulls, including several innovations in this line. W. Lewis is general manager of plant and L. D. Brannon factory manager. Two day tanks make up the equipment, from which four rings are operated, and an additional tank soon is to be installed. The bulk of the output of this factory is distributed by a San Francisco hardware jobbing concern, leaving only manufacturing problems to be worried over by the management.

Mr. Brannon, the factory manager, is an old-timer in the glass manufacturing business, having served in Ohio and West Virginia early in his career and later going with the "Whitall Tatum Company at Millville, N. J. From the Whitall Tatum Company, Mr. Brannon came to the Coast and has been connected with the Brock Glass Company since.

The McBride Glass Company at Anaheim, manufacturers of chimneys, insulators, and a varied line of similar articles, is really a second edition, on a smaller scale, of the McBride Glass Works, at Salem, W. Va., for Thomas F. McBride, who formerly owned the Salem plant, now operates this one which has been on the Coast for a number of years. It is a small, highly efficient little plant, which has been doing a nice business. Associated with Mr. McBride is his son, J. A. McBride, as general manager of the plant.

The third specialty plant is that of the Sterling Glass Company at Hermosa Beach, of which J. Harry Williams is president; A. R. Bethel, vice president, and James W. Greig secretary and treasurer. Mr. Bethel incidentally is the manufacturer of the Bethel glass, feeders. Its principal product is in opal raised glass letters and the company is the exclusive licensee of the "Sterling" process in the manufacture of these letters. Other products include a varied line of specialties.

When it comes to large scale production in these plants, the three flat glass plants, of course, take first place, with the Long Beach Glass Company also coming in for its share of consideration. These four plants, it may be said, would compare most favorably in the matter of production capacity, with the majority of Eastern plants. The other plants are smaller concerns, but growing up with the country.

All of them are interesting for the simple reason that it always is interesting to not manufacturing operations in a growing territory such as this Pacific Coast territory is. Needless to say, there is a future for every one of these plants, barring circumstances over which the proprietors have no control. For California and the Northwest as well are growing rapidly, which means that the market is expanding. At the present time, there are apparently sufficient glass factories in California, for there is no doubt thin were the market larger, these plants, now on the ground floor, would be larger, too. Here, while it is most pleasant to note their gradual growth, it also is a good tip to anyone who may be looking with longing eyes at the Pacific Coast as a site for a new factory, to reflect as to why the plants already there, with a few notable exceptions, have not attained even greater growth up to this time.


Keywords:McBride Glass Company
Researcher notes:McBride manufactured radio antennae insulators
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:August 18, 2007 by: Elton Gish;