Manufacturer Notes: Fairmount Glass Works

FAIRMOUNT GLASS CO., Fairmount, Ind., 1889-98
FAIRMOUNT GLASS WORKS, Fairmount, Ind., 1898-1908; Indianapolis, Ind., 1905-45
FAIRMOUNT GLASS WORKS, INC., Indianapolis, Ind., 1945-60
FAIRMOUNT GLASS CORP., Indianapolis, Ind., 1961-64
FAIRMOUNT GLASS CO., Indianapolis, Ind., 1964-68

Fairmount was founded in 1889 by a Mr. Winslow, a Fairmount banker. In 1894 his son, Palmer Winslow, succeeded to the presidency upon the former's death. Palmer had been born in Fairmount in 1876, which, at 18 would have made him about the youngest glass company president of all time.....

Winslow sold his interest in Fairmount in order to build a factory at Matthews, Ind. - the Winslow Glass Co., soon to move to Columbus, Ohio. John Rau brought control of the factory and renamed it the Fairmount Glass Works.

Toulouse, Julian Harrison; Bottle Makers And Their Marks (New York, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1971).

JOHN RAU of Indianapolis, is one of the pioneers of glass manufacturing in Indiana, and is president of the Fairmount Glass Works. It has been a lifetime pursuit with him. He began as a boy helper, has worked himself up from the lowest rounds to the top of the ladder and knows glass making as few other men in the country know it today. The history' of the glass industry in Indiana is told on other pages of this publication. From that chapter it will be seen that Mr. Rau entered the industry, soon after natural gas made Indiana one of the most attractive fields in the country for glass making, and though glass manufacture has passed through its period of rise and decline Mr. Rau is one of the few who have continued, while others have come and gone, and is head of a large establishment at Indianapolis.

Mr. Rau was born at Louisville, Kentucky, August 15, 1856, son of Frederick G. and Rebecca (Schneider) Rau. His father, a native of Germany, learned both the butcher and baker's trades, and when about fifteen came to the United States. His home after that was at Louisville, Kentucky, and he was eighty-four years of age when he passed away. His wife was a native of this country of German parentage. They had twelve children, ten reaching maturity. 

Second in the family, John Rau had but little opportunity to secure an education. He was only nine years of age when he began working in a glass factory at Louisville. At eighteen he could scarcely read or write. He and his oldest brother, Fred, had in the meantime assumed the responsibilities of assisting their father in rearing the younger children. Reaching the age of eighteen, Mr. Rau realized the necessity of an education as a preliminary to a successful career. That education he acquired largely by study alone, in the silent watches of the night and in the intervals of hard labor. During 1884-85 he was employed in a glass factory at Milwaukee. This Milwaukee employer then started a factory at Denver, Colorado, and Mr. Ran was one of the men selected to open the new plant. He was at Denver and Golden, Colorado, for two years, and spent another year blowing glass at Massillon, Ohio.

This was the experience which preceded his pioneer efforts in Indiana. In 1889, with three other men, forming an equal copartnership, he established a glass factory at Fairmount. For eighteen years Mr. Rau was one of the men who held up the hands of industry in that typical Quaker settlement, and from there in 1904 he removed to Indianapolis and built, with several associates, a large plant for the manufacture of bottle ware. The present output is exclusively bottles, and of all sizes and colors. At the present time the entire plant is owned by John and Fred Rau. It represents an investment of over $500,000, and on the average more than 400 hands are employed.

While Mr. Rau's activities have been associated so largely with the executive end of the glass industry, his contributions to the business are also represented by between fifteen and twenty patents in his own name, involving various phases of glass manufacturing. Mr. Rau has the distinction of building the first continuous tank in Indiana. It was an experiment, and he took big chances in erecting it, but demonstrated its utility and six years later others began following his example. Some of the machines now used by his company are also his individual invention, and it is said that John Rau has made more improvements in the glass business than any other one man. 

Having come up from the lowest walks of industry himself. Mr. Rau has always shown a sympathetic understanding and appreciation of the laboring man's position. As a workman he stood high in the councils of union labor, and his establishment has always been conducted as a union shop. Politically he is a republican. In 1883 he married Miss Alice Marsh, a native of Louisville, Kentucky. They have three children: John Hite; Charles Dillard; and Marie, Mrs. Kenneth C. Woolling. 

Dunn, Jacob Piatt; INDIANA AND INDIANANS (Chicago, The American Historical Society, 1919).

116 115 Winslow W. C.        W M 26                 Manufacturer       N C
                  " Adeline               W F  26     Wife    House work         Ind
                  " Palmer                W M   4     Son     at home                Ind
                  " Florence             W F    2     Daugh      " "                       "

1880 Iowa Sac Odebolt District 191 Census.


No. 311 December 23. Fairmount Glass Works, manufacturers of bottles, ' 
                   jars, etc. Employees: Males, 102; females, 6; males under sixteen, 
                   22. Orders: To procure and file affidavits for all boys between 
                   fourteen and sixteen years, and discharge all under fourteen 
                   years. Complied.

No. 312 December 23. Marion Fruit Jar and Bottle Co., manufacturers 
                    of fruit jars. Employees: Males, 65; females, 18; males under 
                    sixteen, 2. 

McAbee, D. H.; First Annual Report of the Department Of Factory Inspection 1897 (Indianapolis, Wm. B. Burford, 1898).


ETC., FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1898, TO OCTOBER 31, 1900. 

Name of Company......................................... When Filed,

Fort Wayne Milk Depot, The ....................... June 30,1900. 
Farmland Telephone Co ..............................August 20,1900. 
Fairmount Glass Works ...............................August 22,1900. 
Franklin Oil and Gas Company ...................September 13,1900.

Hunt, Union B.; Bi-Annual Report of the Secretary Of State Of the State of Indiana (Indianapolis, Wm B. Burford, 1900).


Some few complaints have been received during the year relative to the employment of children under fourteen years of age. Most of these were made by persons who had not carefully read the law, and when investigated by us few violations were found. We have, however, had to bring suit against the following firms for flagrant violations of the law: Thompson Bottle Company, Gas City, January 19, 1901, $12.40; Fairmount Glass Works, Fairmount, January 19, 1901, $13.85; Swayzee Glass Company, Swayzee, January 19, 1901, $13.50; Winslow Glass Company, Matthews, January 19, 1901, $20.65; The Sans Pareil Bottle Company, Hartford City, February 4, 1901, $10.95; Hartford City Flint Glass Company, Hartford City, February 5, 1901, $10.40; Maring, Hart & Company, Dunkirk, February 7, 1901, $11.65; Beatty-Brady Glass Company, Dunkirk, February 7, 1901, $11.60; Marietta Glass Company, Redkey, February 2, 1901, $9.95; The Lapel Flint Glass Company, two cases and second time, February 15, 1901, $26.80; The Lapel Bottle Company, second time, February 15, 1901, $13.40; The Sans Pareil Bottle Company, two cases and second time, May 29, 1901, $22.90; and Mr. Henry Criminel, of the Sneath Glass Company, Hartford City, May 29, 1901, $11.95.

They are all in the glass business where boys are scarce. The violations were so plain that they all pleaded guilty and were fined the amounts stated. Outside of glass works little trouble is encountered, now that we have the department stores living up to the requirements of the law. This Department has been repeatedly solicited by the mothers of those 1mder fourteen years of age for permission for their children to work. Many of them were very persistent in their solicitations, as they could not understand why the State would not allow their children to work when they were their only support.

State Of Indiana Fifth Annual Report of the Department Of Inspection 1901 (Indianapolis, Wm. B. Burford, 1902).


Novel Plan of Glass Factory to Increase Flow from Wells.

Alexandria, Ind., Dec. 19.--The Fairmount glass works, a few miles from this place, has made a new application on an old principle which promises to lengthen the life of natural gas fuel and giving marvelous results in the burning of the fuel. The process is simply the forcing of air into the well at a high pressure which mixes thoroughly with the gas before again coming to the service, giving off a much greater heat, better combustion and a pressure amply great, where previously there was practically none. The discovery has created much interest over the gas belt.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) December 19, 1902.

The Fairmount Glass Works has drilled 14 wells on the I. N. Sluder farm, which lies in both townships. but has secured only a small production. Of the 5 wells on the Madison county side of the line, none sre being pumped and there is little gas. though not all dusters, there is little to choose between them. Nine wells have been drilled on the Grant county side, of which four are being pumped, with a yield of less than 20 barrels per day.

Lima Times Democrat (Lima, Ohio) December 22, 1902.

In section 5 Fairmount, south of the town, the Fairmount Glass Works completed the second well on the Glass Works lot, and its production is reported at 50 barrels.

Lima Times Democrat (Lima, Ohio) March 17, 1903.

On the Leach farm, in the south half of 25, just north of Fowlerton, a well was drilled in 1901, but was not put to pumping until July, 1903, when it produced two tanks in 40 days. Another bore or two on the same farm came in as light producers. Sections 26 to 28, inclusive are, as yet, unproductive of oil. The Fairmount Glass Works finished a light producer and a gas well on its own property in 29. Section 30 has proven a spotted area. 

Blatchley, W. S.; Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources Twenty-Eighth Annual Report 1903 (Indianapolis, Wm. B. Burford, 1904). 

1448--Jars, Fruit.
    Ball Brothers Glass Mfg. Co. Muncie, Ind.
    Cumberland Glass Mfg. co., Bridgeton, N. J.
    Fairmount Glass Works, Fairmount, Ind.
    Federal Glass co. Columbus, Ohio.
    Hazel-Atlas Glass co., Wheeling, W. Va.
    Heminggray Glass Co., Covington, Ky.
    Illinois-Pacific Glass co. San Francisco, cal.
    Poughkeepsie Glass Works, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
    United States Glass Co., Pittsburg, Pa.
    Whitall-Tatum Co., New York.

National Association of Manufacturers; American Trade Index 1906 (National Association of Manufacturers, 1905).


Child labor, and by this term is understood the employment of children between fourteen and sixteen years of age in manufacturing and mercantile establishments, mines, quarries, laundries, renovating works, bakeries and printing offices. So far as these places are concerned, the law is very generally observed. In a few places we found them violating the law by employing children under the age of fourteen years and by not having the proper affidavits on file. Suits were entered with the following results:

Jan. 20th, John Drach, of Wagner Glass Co., of Ingalls, one case $14 65 
Jan. 30th, J. H. Osborn, of Anderson Computing Scale Co., of Anderson, one case 11 40 
Mar. 14th, Fred Rau, of Fairmount Glass Co., of Fairmount, one case 12 80 
Mar. 23d, S. C. Zombro, of Zombro Box Co., Gas City, one case 12 80 
Apr. 12th, Scott Printing Co., of Marion, one case 10 90 
Apr. 21st, The S. G. Taylor Chain Co., of Maxwell, one case 8 25 
June 10th, National Biscuit Co., of Indianapolis, one case 11 60 
June 17th, The Mill Grove Glass Co. of Mill Grove, one case 9 85 
July 1st, The J. F. Darmody Co., of Indianapolis 11 50 



Indianapolis, Dec. 19.--The plant of the Fairmount Glass Works in this city was destroyed by fire today. John Rau, president of the concern, said tonight that the loss will be about $30,000, practically covered by insurance. The fire started from a leaking oil burning fixture.

Logansport Daily Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) December 20, 1918.

Manufactured by
Prospect 63. Keystone and Belt

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana November 10, 1919.

Men and Boys
Over 16 Years
of Age.
Take Prospect
Car to End of Line
Fairmount Glass Works.

The Indianapolis Daily Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) May 1, 1923.

Manufactured by
DRexel 1863 Keystone and Belt

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana July 21, 1924.

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