Glass Factories in or near Cumberland, Maryland


The glass industry of Cumberland, Maryland is the best kept secret in the glass collecting world. With nothing being mentioned in any of the vast number of books on glass and collecting glass, maybe this site will help spread the word about some of the fine collectible glass made in Cumberland, MD. The industry started in 1880 with a bottle factory known as Warren Glass Co. There were eventually over 30 different companies. Some just made glass, some made and decorated glass, while still others only decorated glass. In 1920, there were over 1000 people working in the Cumberland area glass industry. This suggests that the industry was not a small fly-by-night, single product, industry. The products were: stemware, hotel and bar ware, and depression pressed glass, decorated by stone cutting, acid etching, plate etching, enameling, gold coating, and in many colors.

There were sticker labels on a few of the items made in Cumberland, but not enough remained to present the story of glass products. The lack of identification and the lack of catalogs makes this task quite daunting. Additionally, there were no local retail outlets for the companies except for Queen Glass Co. Below are some of the methods used to provide the information.

"Artifact attribution" -- After all these years, it has been possible to search through the glass dumping areas of some of the glass factories. The artifacts that have been retrieved help define the glass factory products.
"Family attribution" -- Over the past 50 to 70 years, glass items made in Cumberland have been made available by the families of the glassworkers. These items are identified as having been made by their ancestor glassworker or items were brought home from one of the glass factories by the glassworker. Many times these items are visibly seconds, which is why they are still in Cumberland, but are still great examples of the products made here. There is also some attribution by family descendents of glass factory owners or management of the Maryland Glass Co.
"Glassworker attribution" -- Another fortunate occurrence while researching the glass industry was the opportunity to interview some of the glass workers who were working in Cumberland in the 1920's. This was indeed fortunate since these workers were now in their 90's. These men and women were able to confirm many of the items made at the glass factories.
"Catalog attribution" -- The easiest attribution of products from a glass company is a series of catalogs, possibly yearly, that pictures every product offered each year, and better yet, in color. This good fortune was not available for the local companies. There were only a couple of catalogs located. Hopefully, this book may bring out additional catalogs.

Cumberland was a good site for the glass industry. The rail service was world class, sand was nearby in Berkley Springs, WV, while coal was available from the local area and gas came from West Virginia. The glass workers came from all over the world. The early glass factories had workers speaking four or five different languages. This was always a management challenge, but then the glass workers were able to work together by showing each other what to do.

Below is a list of the Glass Companies that were located in or near Cumberland, MD, and their operating years. This list is the best available at this time.

Warren Glass Co. 1880-1888 (8 yrs)
Cumberland Glass Works 1884-1904 (20 yrs)
South Cumberland Glass Co. 1889-1890 (1yr)
Queen City Glass Co. 1890-1909 (19 yrs)
Maryland Glass Etching Works 1893-1930 (37 yrs)
Enterprise Glass Decorating Co. 1895-1896 (1 yr)
Potomac Glass Co. 1904-1929 (25 yrs)
Eastern Glass Co. 1909-1913 (4 yrs)
Wellington Glass Co. 1908-1920 (13 yrs)
Cumberland Glass Tube Co. 1911-1912 (1 yr)
Dugan Glass Co. 1914-1915 ( 1yr)
Lonaconing Glass Co. 1914-1918 (4 yrs)
Maryland Glass Co. 1918-1935 (17yrs)
Maryland Glass Co.
    (as Maryland Glass Co. Inc.) 1936-1938 (3 yrs)
Maryland Glass Co.
    (as NU Glass Co.) 1938-1941 (3 yrs)
Utility Glass Co. 1919-1929 (10yrs)
C. A. Borchert Co. 1923-1926 (4 yrs)
Queen City Glass Co. 1926-1926 ( 1 yr)
Braddock Glass Co. 1927-1928 (1yr)
Zihlman Glass Co. 1927-1928 (1 yr)
Independent Glass Co. 1928-1929 (1 yr)
Lonaconing Cut Glass Co. 1930-1934 (5 yrs)
Sloan Glass Co. (Lonaconing) 1930-1932 (3 yrs)
Eichner Cut Glass Co. 1931-1933 (2 yrs)
Cumberland Glass Co./ LaVale 1932-1956 (24 yrs)
Queen Glass Co. (LaVale) 1932-1987 (55 yrs)
Kortwright, Nehring, Weaver Inc 1935-1961 (25 yrs)
Sloan Glass Co. (Cumberland) 1935-1956 (21 yrs)
Sloan Glass Co. (Green Spring, WV) 1956-1968 (12 yrs)
Oglebay Glass Co. 1953-1972 (19 yrs)
Knocke Cut Glass Co. 1956 – 1968 (12 yrs)
Snyder’s Cut Crystal 1987-present

Webmaster's NOTE: This article, and related articles on the subject of Cumberland Glass, came from the web site The NDGA wishes to thank Dale Murschell for permission to post this article on our web site.