Capstan Glass Company


Connellsville, Pennsylvania (1919-1938) 

The manufacturer’s mark used by Capstan Glass resembles a “pawn” chess piece, but actually represents a CAPSTAN, the “spool-like” contraption installed on ships, docks, etc.,  to move, pull or lift heavy items, often seen with cables or ropes wound around it………….one of those items that people may see without knowing the “proper” name for them 🙂

This factory was bought by Anchor Hocking Glass Company in 1938. This mark appears on a variety of flint (clear) glass bottles as well as commercial packers’ jars used for such products as mayo, pickles, etc.  Many sizes of jelly glasses and other small “tumblers” are found that originally held food products such as cheese spread, mustard,  jam, peanut butter, etc.

Capstan mark on base of small jelly glass or packer jar

Capstan mark on base of small jelly glass or packer jar

These glasses are found in a number of different sizes, some very small and not much bigger in size than some druggist dose glasses or large shotglasses.   Accompanying photos shows a 2 & 1/4 oz. “packer glass” with the Capstan mark, and a closeup of the base.

Capstan Glass Company "packer glass" or small jelly jar. These were made to hold a number of different products.

Capstan Glass Company “packer glass” or small jelly jar. These were made to hold a number of different products.


The mark is often seen on items from 1920s-1930s bottle dumps, frequently found along with Hazel-Atlas and Owens-Illinois glass containers from that time period.



For an article with more information on some of the items made by Capstan Glass Company, check out this piece written by Capstan researcher/collector/authority Barry L. Bernas.   (Bernas has written several articles, and a reference book, about Capstan).

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13 Responses to Capstan Glass Company

  1. Donna says:

    Hi, I have a Capstan light green glass (resembling Jadeite but not as milky) salt shaker with the number 4 above the Capstan logo and under the logo the number 5984. It has a “waffle” or “checkerboard” pattern and the word “salt” in a square on the front. I can’t find it referenced anywhere. Could you tell me how old it is?

  2. BROOKE says:


  3. Elgee Bell says:

    Hi David, I am hoping you can identify a small rectangular tapered at the top and bottom Capstan jar with a screw top. I’m curious about the age of it. It has the number 5, then a capstan with two lines underneath, and numbers 8M under. My son found it off the coast of Maryland while on a kayak trip. I’ve looked at many bottle ID sites, and can’t find this one. Thanks!! Elgee

  4. Duane says:

    Hi, my name is Duane Collins.
    I recently came across the same exact 2 & 1/4 oz. “packer glass” with different markings, the one I have has the H and anchor together with the number 2 above the anchor and the number 27 below the anchor. I would like to know the age.
    Thank you

    • David says:

      Duane, you have a version made by the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation . (Please check out that webpage). Anchor Hocking used an Anchor symbol entwined or superimposed over an “H” as their trademark for many years. It would date no earlier than 1937, and possibly into the 1940s or 1950s. Those kinds of glasses cannot be dated to an exact year so we can only guess at an approximate date range.

      • Duane says:

        Thanks David for the information and the quick response!!! I will definitely check out the websit thanks again.
        Duane Collins

  5. Karen Boaz says:

    Thank you for your information. I have “found” a 3″ dark amber piece of glass that turns out to be a Capstan glass “paper weight” (or something for a company promotion to dealers?)with written Capstan on one side, Glass written on another side, Company on another and Connellsville on the 4th side. At first I thought there was something wrong because the capstan has a lean to it.

  6. Bill Saffran says:

    I also found the bottom of an old vicks vapo rub jar in that area as well that I was able to identify thanks to your site. thank you for the great resource that you have provided here for all people interested in this subject. It was the cobalt blue glass with the triangle within a triangle design on the bottom. unfortunately it was only the very bottom and a small part of the side of the bottle. It sits in my kitchen window sill to catch the morning light. 🙂

  7. Bill Saffran says:

    hello sir
    my name is Bill and I recently found a bottle in the western Maryland area that resembles an old canning bottle. on the bottom of the bottle it reads at top – 2, in the middle is a symbol resembling a “chess pawn”, below that is 3032 or the zero could be an “O” or a “D” as it has a kind of squarish outer edge. you mention the capstan company as a possible source but could there be another? the symbol is rather vague on the bottle with little to no detail and no evidence of ropes or chains around it as you depicted in your photograph. Would it be possible to figure out the age of this bottle? When I found it there was little bits of rusted metal around the top of the bottle which were removed when I washed the bottle out but the top of the bottle does not have a screw top on it just a ridge for the old type of canning tops like the kind that would “latch down”. There are two seams in the glass that run from the base of the bottle up to the top rim of the glass as well. I hope I was clear enough to help identify this find. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    • David says:

      Hi Bill,
      The Capstan Glass Company is definitely the source of your bottle. No other glass company used a mark that looks like a capstan or “pawn” chess piece. Capstan Glass Company made gobs of different styles and sizes of bottles, jars, and packing glasses from the late teens throughout the 1920s and 1930s. I am assuming your bottle has some type of closure that is somewhat similar to the so-called “Lightning” type or wire “bail” type canning jar closures. It may not be possible to pin down any particular Capstan Glass Co. article to a specific year (since any individual style may have been made over a period of several years production), although I believe they officially patented a number of different glass jar/bottle designs during their existence.

      It is very common for a mark to vary somewhat from one glass item to another. The capstan mark was engraved by hand into a steel mold, and sometimes the details are not clear, or appear indistinct or “smeared” in the finished article. The “3032” is probably a code number / catalog number assigned to that bottle style.
      You might be able to find more info by doing an internet search with “Capstan Glass Company” and “3032”.
      Best regards, and I hope this helps a bit,

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