M inside a circle: Maryland Glass Corporation

Maryland Glass Corporation

Baltimore, Maryland   

(1907-1970s)

“M inside a circle” marking 

This mark was first used in 1921, according to trademark information reported in Arthur G. Peterson’s  400 Trademarks on Glass  (1968).  However, Julian Toulouse, in Bottle Makers and their Marks (1971, page 341) writes that the “M in a circle” first appeared on bottles in 1916.

Maryland Glass Corporation was organized in 1907 as a vehicle for making large quantities of Bromo-Seltzer bottles for parent Emerson Drug Company, of Baltimore.   Emerson Drug Company (founder and president, Issac E. Emerson) had been incorporated in 1891, and because of increasing sales needed a reliable source of supply for the large quantities of glass bottles needed.

This company was soon specializing in producing all kinds of cobalt blue bottles and jars.  Many of the containers made for Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Bromo-Seltzer,  Bromo-Caffeine,  Vicks Vapo-Rub,  Noxema, and others were produced here.   Maryland also produced clear glass as well as cobalt.

The “M in a circle” mark is seen on tremendous numbers of glass containers from the 1920s through the 1960s, and cobalt blue jars and bottles from trash dumps of this time period are often found that bear this mark.  Many of these containers have no identification or brand markings other than the “M in a circle” on the base.

Maryland produced the most commonly-seen type of figural “violin bottle” or “fiddle bottle”  in various shades of blue (and probably other colors) although these bottles were not usually marked.  They may bear a mold number on the bottom.

3 Maryland Glass Corporation bottles in cobalt

Maryland Glass Corporation bottles: (Left to right) marked “Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets” with an “M”; Bromo-Seltzer Emerson Drug Co. bottle with “M in a circle / 24” on base; plain blue medicine/chemical bottle with “M in a circle / 7” on base.

Maryland Glass was acquired by the Dorsey Corporation in 1968, and I believe that the “M” mark was used for a time thereafter, but eventually discontinued sometime in the early 1970s.  Anyone with more concrete info,  please contact me on how late this mark was actually used, and I will be happy to add the data to this page, with credit to the contributor!

M in a circle bottle base

“M in a circle / 7” Base of plain bottle pictured on right in group photo.

Bromo Seltzer bottle base

Bromo Seltzer bottle base

Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets bottle base

Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets bottle base

 

Maryland also used the “plain M” on some bottles, and rarely, an “M inside a G”, which are listed on the Glass Bottle Marks pages, page 4.

NOTE: The “M in a circle” is also seen on the base of tableware, novelty glass shoes, upscale reproduction pattern glass, various colored glass toothpick holders, etc, and in those cases it is the mark of the Mosser Glass Company, of Cambridge, Ohio.  (Maryland Glass made, for the most part, utilitarian and commercial containers.) 

 

Click here to go to the Glass Bottle Marks pages (page 4).

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20 Responses to M inside a circle: Maryland Glass Corporation

  1. Jim Coyle says:

    Thanks for the technical info about 1921. That helps with identifying pieces after that.

  2. Jim coyle says:

    Jack,
    My father got a chemistry degree from Loyola College in 1929. He went to work at MD. Glass as a chemist. A fellow Loyola classmate was the son of the Corp. President, Phil Heisler. he worked there til his death in 1969, rising to the position of Superintendent of Glassmaking.

    the M on the products came about around 1930. But not all products had the symbol on them. many of their gift items were unique and not produced in large quantities. I think there most famous gift was the blue glass violin bud vase. I have been attempting to collect these gift items over the years. at the Bottle Club exhibition this past Spring, I found an item I was not aware of made in the early 1930’s. It is a blue glass ashtray with the Md Glass name and M on the bottom and identified as a Christmas gift. It looks like a flat tea bag holder with a Ladle handle. It was dated 1934.

    I have been searching for the blue glass piggy banks that they produced in the late 1940’s into the 50’s. Since they did not have an escape hatch, they likely were broken to retrieve the coins.

    I wish that someone had catalogued all of their products from the beginning of the seltzer bottles.

    Jim

    • David says:

      Jim, the cobalt blue glass piggy banks sound beautiful and adorable, and I would guess that occasionally one of them shows up on ebay! I’m sure a few people kept them as keepsakes, or for decoration and didn’t store coins in them, and so never felt the need to break them! At least I certainly hope so!!! Also, I’m not trying to pick an argument with you, but according to Arthur G. Peterson’s reference book “400 Trademarks on Glass” (1968) the “M inside a circle” was used beginning in 1921. His information came from researching the actual United States Patent & Trademark Office records, so I assume it is correct (or at least, that is assumedly the information that was supplied to the government office by Maryland Glass Company when applying to have their trademark officially registered).
      Best regards,
      ~David

  3. Jack Burkert says:

    Hello to all you “posters” – I sent this to Jim initially, but realized many of you may have stories to tell or things to share. I work for the Baltimore Museum of Industry. I am unofficial in asking, but could you relate the “story” of Maryland Glass for me sometime? I would love to take notes. Do you have an “artifacts”? Many thanks, Jack Burkert – burkert.jack@gmail.com

  4. Jim Coyle says:

    Wanda,
    That is great! Maybe someone could start a MD. Glass Corp. Alumni group. It could be a subset of the Baltimore Bottle Club.

    I am surprised by how little has been researched and written about the MD. Glass Corp since it was a major company in Baltimore for 70 years. For example, I can’t find a written catalog of all the products and gifts they made all those years. My knowledge is from my memory as a son of a 40 year employee.

    Jim

    • Jack Burkert says:

      Jim, I work for the Baltimore Museum of Industry. I am unofficial in asking, but could you relate the “story” of Maryland Glass for me sometime? I would love to take notes. Do you have an “artifacts”? Many thanks, Jack Burkert – burkert.jack@gmail.com

  5. Wanda Knickman Barthel says:

    My Pappy, Charles Knickman, his sons, my father Maynard Knickman, and my uncle Sonny Knickman worked at Maryland Glass all their lives. I still have some pieces my Dad brought home. A colbalt blue top hat, a ringed vase and a violin. At my childhood home in Elkridge we had one of the machines Pappy made. I don’t know what happened to it. I do have a copy of the blue prints. I believe Pappy was a glassblower in his early years.

  6. Jim coyle says:

    Glen,
    My father, Thomas Coyle, worked there for over 40 years, ending as Superintendent of glassmaking. Do you know where any others of the cigarette jars may be available for purchase? secondly, did anyone ever catalogue all the various bottles and jars that the company made over the years?
    I wish there were a more documented history of the MD Glass Co.

    jim

  7. Glen Mullins says:

    I worked for me. Glass corp for22 yrs.i had the cigarette holder you speak of,in addition to the fish and crabs it also has Maryland my Maryland on it. On the bottom it has Christmas 1932. I was a mold maker there, my son now has the cigarette, humidor,. My name is Glen Mullins

  8. Randall hughes says:

    I am inquiring to see if anyone knows what the #s under the M trademark stumble stand for?

    • David says:

      Randall, usually, the single or double-digit numbers along with the “M in a circle” trademark are mold numbers— identifying the mold which was used to make the item.
      ~David

  9. jim Coyle says:

    Among the specialty bottles they made was a very unique cigarette holder; it was a blue jar, similar in size to a Noxema jar, with a fish, crab and lobster embedded in the glass. It also had a divider with a silver top to hold the cigarettes. If anyone has seen such an item, I would be pleased to know.

    • Ken Huffman says:

      My grandpa worked at Maryland Glass for 50 years, also his sons and daughters were lifelong employees. When I was a child, I helped Pappy build machines in the extra bedroom which he gave to to company and significantly increased quality and production. My grandfathers name was Charles Henry Knickmen. TY. Ken Huffman 540-718-8111

      • David says:

        Hi Ken, and thank you for the information! I’m posting this on the page, so perhaps others with a family history relating to Maryland Glass could contact you. ~David

    • Glen Mullins says:

      Jim my name is Glen Mullins. I was a mold maker at md.glass corp. for 22 yrs,I had the cigarette humidor you speak of.my son has it now.i could probably send you a picture of it.

      • David says:

        Glen,
        Please let me chime in as well………..if you see any info here on my site that you believe is in error, please feel free to contact me. I would like to have my webpage on Maryland Glass (as well as my pages on other glass companies and topics) as accurate as possible. I realize there is ALOT that is not known, or at least is not published, about glass and glass companies, so bottle researchers just go by the best info available. Take care and thanks for your input.
        ~David

      • Jim Coyle says:

        Glen,
        That would be great for my records. Thanks.

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