story of Niles' Glass Industry
(Left)Photo of a light bulb produced
at the GE plant in Niles.
This webpage features images from
the beginning of the electric lamp industry in Niles, Ohio.
The first glass plant was the Fostoria
Glassworks which became the General Electric Plant. Both plants
were located on West Federal Street near North Main Street.
Follow the links below for additional
visit by Ronald Reagan.
Fostoria Glass Works was constructed in 1910 by Fostoria Glass Company,
many of the first employees moved here from Fostoria, Ohio. Hand
blown glass bulbs were the initial products. Large circular kilns
contained molten glass in pots which was extracted through 16 curtain
doors on the end of five foot tubes by gatherers who handed the
tube to the blower. General Electric acquired the plant in 1911
and later mechanized the process.
taken during the building of Fostoria Glass which took place in
1910 on the corner of Main Street and Federal Street in Niles.
view of the Fostoria Glass Works built in 1909 and taken over by
GE in 1911. Located at the corner of Main Street and Federal Street
Blowers on pedestal moulds left to right: E. McGowan,
John Curtis. Gatherer at station 14- Mr. Sebinaller. PO1.530
Photo of one of the glass furnaces and crew
at the Fostoria Glass Works, later GE. PO1.532
Glass blowers at the Fostoria Glass Works. Second
from left - J. Fitzgerald,
Augie Ramer and John Newhouse. PO1.533
Photo of the glass blowers before
mechanization in the twenties. Blower near left with black cap is
Charles Krizan. PO1.535
Photo of a newspaper article captioned "The
men who blow your Mazda bulbs". Glass blowers worked at the
Fostoria Glass Works before the advent of mechanization in the 1920's.
Photo taken from the Stein Postcard,
showing the Fostoria Glass Works
over the Mosquito Creek. PO1.528
(L)Fostoria House. When Fostoria Glass Co. built
the Niles Plant in 1910, many Fostoria workers moved here. Some
lived and took their meals at the Niles Fostoria House, which
was located where the McGurk Hotel was located at 62 Railroad
Street (Depot Street, now Mahoning Avenue).
(R)A photo of the 1909 Champion Fostoria Works
baseball team. Later known as General Electric, this industry
still exists today. George Kestner and Harry Clapp
are identified on back.
The baseball game is being played
on the GE glassworks field on East Federal Street at Mosquito
Creek. Building on the right in the background, Niles Auto Wrecking
and Metal Co. owned at this time by Jacob Clayman.
The Sinclair gas station is west
of Niles Auto Wrecking and west of the gas station is the Ice
Service Co. with a display of ice boxes in the window. Picture
taken circa 1930. Women's baseball team on the field. Note the
model of the cars. PO1.1330
The General Electric Plant and grounds. It was
built about 1909-1910 and merged with National Lamp and GE in 1911.
Before mechanization in the early twenties, 205 blowers blew about
225,000 bulbs per day.
A blower and gatherer could blow 1100 bulbs in
an 8 hour day. After mechaniztion, 2 men and a machine could make
3,000 to 5,000 bulbs per hour. PO1.526
Photo of the main entrance and gardens
of the General Electric Plant, formerly known as the Fostoria Glass
Co. located on the southeast corner of Main Street and Federal Street.
Aerial view of the General Electric
Plant and grounds. ca 1960.
Prior to demolition in 2015. Looking
west on East Federal Street.
Another Aerial view of the General Electric
Plant and grounds. ca 1950