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Dating old horseshoes

Five of the webpages within this site list glass manufacturers’ identification marks (alphabetically listed) found on container glass (bottles, jars, flasks, jugs, etc) and in some cases on other types of glassware.

A few examples of marks would be “I inside a diamond”, “OWENS”, “B in a circle” , “K in a hexagon” and “N in a square”.

According to historian Rhea Mansfield Knittle (, 1927), one of the earliest glass manufacturers in the United States (not counting the unsuccessful attempts at Jamestown in 16) who may have produced considerable quantities of glassware and actually met with some degree of success, was Johannes Smedes (or Jan Smedes), who operated an establishment — probably making bottles for the most part– sometime in the period of 1654-1664 at New Amsterdam (now known as New York City) . What elements/chemicals were included in the glass “recipe”? If it’s an older, hand-blown bottle, who was the glassblower who fashioned it?

: Although some collectors and researchers may consider this an “obvious” question, it’s not quite as simple as that. Who was the last person who used it and handled it before it came into your possession?

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I’m interested in the general history of the glass manufacturing industry in the United States, especially within the sphere of container glass, electrical insulators and tableware (both pressed and blown).

Fire was always a potential occurrence, and many early factories were destroyed by fire, sometimes leading to the complete closing down of a plant and/or failure of a company.

Antique and vintage glassware of all types and styles that are collected, studied and appreciated today are the tangible artifacts and testaments to the remarkable creativity, sheer hard work, energy, perseverance, and innovation of those men (and some women) who worked in those earlier factories.

One page in particular within this site is a list of glass factories that manufactured, or are believed to have produced, glass electrical insulators for telegraph, telephone and/or power lines. Sources of some of the information is included after each entry if I have it available.

This is an ongoing project, started in 2004, and I’d appreciate any additions, corrections, or suggestions you may have!

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