McLaughlin Glass Company
Vernon, California (1920-1935)
William McLaughlin worked at Robert Good, Jr.’s glass factory at Valverde, CO (now part of metropolitan Denver), later for Illinois Glass Company, Illinois Pacific Glass Company, and the Southern Glass Company in Los Angeles (c.1917-1919) before starting up his own glass company in 1920 in the town of Vernon, an industrial suburb of Los Angeles.
Located at the corner of 52nd Street and Alameda, the McLaughlin Glass Company produced a large variety of electrical insulators (their most well-known and collected product) plus many other items (large 5-gallon water bottles, vinegar jugs, soda bottles, ammonia bottles, olive oil and horseradish bottles, aquariums, fishbowls, juice reamers, etc) and operated there until a lawsuit forced it’s closing in 1935. Many of the bottles were marked with “McL” on the base.
Most of the insulators produced were embossed “McLAUGHLIN”, and carry a style (model) number. The unmarked so-called “Castle” insulators (CD 206) were also produced by McLaughlin.
Although McLaughlin production “officially” ended in 1935 at the Vernon plant, William McLaughlin continued to produce glass sporadically and on a smaller scale at several other locations in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1946 he took over the Larson Glass Company facility in Gardena, California and produced water bottles. He sold that property in 1956 to the Arrowhead-Puritas Water Company and the glass works then became known as the “Glass Products Division” of Arrowhead Puritas Water Company. Water bottles manufactured at that location after 1956 bear the letters “G P D” on the base, as well as date codes for various years in the 1950s and 1960s. (I’m not sure what the latest year date is, as seen on the GPD water bottles. If you know, please email me with that info and I will post it here.)
He also produced other types of glass in small “backyard” factories, and in later years (1972) hand-pressed the highly-sought-after “McLaughlin” embossed commemorative CD 162 insulators in his garage at his home in Gardena, California. Those souvenir insulators were made in various combinations of opaque swirled (marbled) multi-colored glass.
A very good, comprehensive reference book detailing McLaughlin’s glass manufacturing career, the items he made, and many other events, is Dreams of Glass: The Story of William McLaughlin and His Glass Company, by Fred Padgett (1996). I would heartily recommend it to anyone even slightly interested in McLaughlin glassware and it’s associated history.
For some more basic information on glass factories that produced electrical insulators, please check out my webpage here: Glass Factories that made Insulators.
Please click here for my “Glass Bottle Marks” website HOME PAGE.
Please check out my webpage with general information on glass insulators: General Overview on Glass Insulators.
Click here for an alphabetical list of GLASS MANUFACTURERS’ MARKS ON BOTTLES AND OTHER GLASSWARE.