Fairmount Glass Works / Fairmount Glass Company

Fairmount Glass Works/Fairmount Glass Company

Fairmount, Indiana (1889-1906)  & Indianapolis, Indiana (c.1906-1968).

The town of Fairmount, Indiana, located northeast of Indianapolis on Route 26,  is probably best-known as the early home of actor James Dean (1931-1955, East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Giant), but not so well known is the fact that Fairmount was an early and fairly prosperous “glass factory town”, especially in the late 1880s to the early 1900s.  A number of glass companies operated there, including King City Glass Works (making electrical insulators with “K. C. G. W.” markings), Marion Fruit Jar & Bottle Company (two of their 3 plants located there for a period of time), and the Fairmount Glass Works.

Fairmount Glass Works was started in 1888 or 1889.  Initial investors included John Rau, W.C. Winslow,  Frank Taylor and Charles Tigner, although some conflicting information exists on who was the “principal” proprietor in the very earliest days of the firm’s formation.  By 1897 (and probably quite some time beforehand) “Winslow & Rau” were the two principal partners involved. A letterhead (dated 1897) exists stating “Fairmount Glass Works / Located in the Natural Gas Belt / Winslow & Rau / Manufacturers of Fruit Jars, Bottles, Etc / Fairmount, Ind” . This is reproduced on page 26 of  Indiana Glass Factories Notes by Dick Roller (1994).

A new glass factory was built in Indianapolis and the manufacture of glass was moved entirely to that location approximately 1906.  The exact “official” name “Fairmount Glass Works” or “Fairmount Glass Company” was changed several times over the years, (including a short span during the 1960s as “Fairmount Glass Corporation”) but I have not attempted to include a precise timeline of those name changes on this page.

At least 3, possibly four identification marks were used on their containers:

1) F G Co : As far as I am aware, this mark is not confirmed to have been used by Fairmount.  Julian Toulouse (Bottle Makers and their Marks, 1971)  illustrates this as their mark, used c. 1889-1898. It remains to be seen if this information is accurate.  In any case, I am listing the mark here, but with a note that I don’t know for a fact that it was ever used by Fairmount!

FGW mark on the base of small cylindrical utility bottle

FGW mark on the base of small cylindrical utility bottle

 

 

2) F G W: Period of use uncertain…………. perhaps from c.1898 to approximately 1930?  (There is probably considerable overlap with the following mark.)  The “G” is in larger, taller font than the other two letters on many bottles, but on some containers all three letters are the same size. The FGW mark is found on many bottles,  such as cylindrical chemical/bleach/utility bottles of a range of sizes, and (shown here) the popular “WINTERSMITH / LOUISVILLE, KY” rectangular medicine bottles.

Amber utility bottle, marked FGW on base.

Amber “generic” utility bottle, marked FGW on base.

 

3) F  A plain “F” was used circa 1920 to circa 1945, and possibly later in some cases, as there is an overlap on the time frame these marks were used, and much uncertainty on the EXACT range of years involved.

FGW mark on base of Wintersmith medicine bottle

FGW mark on base of Wintersmith medicine bottle

Fairmount Glass Company produced some of the amber figural “fish bottles” of the 1920s which originally contained Cod Liver Oil or a similar product.  Those bottles usually carry the plain “F” mark on the base along with mold and bottle style numbers.

 

 

Amber Wintersmith bottle, marked FGW / 2 on base.

Amber Wintersmith bottle, marked FGW / 2 on base.

"F" mark on the base of screw-lip-style Wintersmith bottle

“F” mark on the base of screw-lip-style Wintersmith bottle

 

 

 

(Note: Shards of certain bottles (such as hand-blown strap-side whiskey flasks) with an “F” on the base, undoubtedly of a much earlier vintage, have been found at the site of the Lyndeborough Glass Company, South Lyndeborough, New Hampshire (1866-1888) and are certainly not related to Fairmount.   In those cases the “F” may be a “shop letter” and was possibly used by a specific group of workers, i.e. “shop” of glassblowers at Lyndeboro.  This is also true of certain early handmade strapside flasks with an “S” on the base which are found at Lyndeboro).

"1 F" on base of screw-lip Wintersmith bottle made by Fairmount.

Screw-lip style Wintersmith bottle made by Fairmount, marked “1 F” on base.

 

 

The “plain F” was also used on some  Owens-Illinois Glass Company bottles, denoting manufacture at their Fairmont, West Virginia factory. For more detailed information on Fairmount and the marks they used, see this webpage written by researcher Bill Lockhart et al:

https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/FairmountGlass.pdf

 

F in Hexagon - Fairmount Glass

4) F in a hexagon:  Used from 1933 to approximately 1968, and possibly somewhat later on some bottles.  Commonly seen on the bottom of many amber-colored (and clear) medicine, chemical, and other types of generic “packer” jars and bottles that were produced in very large quantities during the 1940s, 1950s and ’60s.

 

Eventually, Fairmount had 3 separate factory locations including the main plant at Indianapolis, another one at Gas City, Indiana, and a third plant in Atlanta, GA.    In 1968 Fairmount was purchased to became part of Glass Containers, Inc. based in Fullerton, California. (see G C marks on this page.)

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23 Responses to Fairmount Glass Works / Fairmount Glass Company

  1. Colleen Klinger says:

    Hi David, I found an intact clear bottle in the woods on our property. On the bottom there is the F in the hexagon with DES. Pat 103535 on it with a 4 in the upper left side. I am assuming it is some kind of oil bottle but not sure. Could you shed any light on this ? thanks much

    • David says:

      Hi Colleen,
      I’m not sure what the bottle was intended for. It looks like some kind of “fancy” soda bottle. You can find some info on the patent (issued in 1937) by searching google with the words GOOGLE PATENTS D103535. The “D” refers to “DESIGN”. That bottle design might have been made over a period of several years beginning in 1937.
      Hope this helps,
      David

  2. rbbrasher says:

    If you can see my avatar pic, can you tell me about this bottle. It is a Full Pint distillery bottle that has the “Federal law forbids sale or re-use of this bottle” and on the other side has the crest that is my avatar pic. On the bottom it has D-8 and below that is 68 an “F” inside a hexagon and then 5. I think it might be a Fairmount bottle but not sure.. Any information would be awesome. Not interested in value, I just like it because its old / history!!!

    • David says:

      Hello Rbbrasher,
      From your photo of the insignia or logo, it appears to be a monogram of the initials D G CO, G D CO, or C D CO or D C CO. In any case, from the other markings, you have a liquor bottle with the distiller code “D-8”, and the “F in a hexagon” is unquestionably the mark of Fairmount Glass. The “68” is a “liquor bottle permit number” assigned to Fairmount Glass Company. The “5” in this case is a date code but I can’t say for sure what decade it might be…..perhaps 1945 or 1955.
      Best regards,
      David

  3. Laura says:

    I live in Naugatuck, CT in an old 1924 farmhouse. My back yard was cleared of overgrown bushes and I found an intact glass bottle from Fairmount glass works with the F in a hexagon on the bottom of the little brown bottle. Screw top brown bottle. The numbers 975 on the foot of the bottle. Can anyone tell me what that means?
    It looks like a medicine bottle.

    Thanks.

    • David says:

      Laura, the “975” is probably a bottle design number assigned by Fairmount to that particular type or size bottle. I don’t have any other info, but since Fairmount made MANY different types and sizes of bottles, I assume each was assigned a code number which is often (not always) embossed on the bottom of the container.
      David

  4. BEVERLY GARDNER says:

    my father and Uncle worked at Fairmount Glass my father started when he was in his 20’s around 1935 and he worked there until 1967

  5. Robbie says:

    My husband found a small clear bottle with a F in a hexagon and a number 2-878 on the bottom. Any ideas on what it held?

    • David says:

      Hi Robbie,
      No ideas. However, the “2-878” is probably a bottle style or inventory number used by the factory, so if you can find a similar bottle (using keywords such as ‘2-878’ and ‘glass’ and ‘bottle’) searching on ebay, perhaps one will show up with an original label still attached.
      David

  6. Edward Noli says:

    I found an old bottle while exploring a mine site this week. The mark on the bottom is F 88 in a horizontal oval, surrounded by lines radiating outward from the oval (starburst)? Another mark near the neck is XVI. Could this be related to Fairmount? Thanks

  7. L. Bogle says:

    My grandfather and all 6 of his brother’s worked at the Fairmont Glass Co, in Fairmont, In. They all relocated to Indianapolis to continue working at Fairmont. He retired I believe in the early 70’s.
    He never missed a days work the entire time. He recieved a nice watch from the CEO of Fairmont. He thought an error had been made on not missing a days work but it was confirmed he never missed.

  8. laurie klinger says:

    i am trying to track down the history of a former glass factory at 2520 e. 12 in indpls. probably around first half of 1900’s. do you know how i can find out the name of it? i was told they paved a street in spades park with glass pieces, and am hoping to get more info about that. thank you! laurie 317 637 6242, laurieklinger@att.net

  9. Rita says:

    Hi David! This is a great resource, thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge 🙂 About 6 years ago we bought a 100 year old farm. The neighbor living across the street told me if I was into old bottles I should look along the hill beside the road. It was the old disposal sight! I’ve found some really old bottles (70 to 100 yo), it’s great fun searching……

    • David says:

      Rita, Thanks for your post! Interesting……..you never know what you will find where an old dump site was located. Besides bottles and jars, you can find old marbles, toys, keys, and sometimes coins and other artifacts that were accidentally discarded or lost.
      Best regards,
      David

  10. Neal Westphal says:

    I have what appears to be old glass bottle about 6 inches tall and about 1-1/2 x 2 inches wide at the base. It has a fluted neck for a cork stopper. On the bottom is the Fairmount Glass Works as shown in example 1 with the F, large G, and W. Does this marking confirm it is Fairmount? If so is it old?

    • David says:

      Hi Neal,
      Yes, it was made by Fairmount Glass Works. Yes, it is old (but that might depend on what any persons’ definition of “OLD” is!!)

      ~David

  11. Patty Stacy says:

    My aunt, Martha Waterfill, worked at the Indianapolis location in the late 50’s or early 60’s. She retired with bad health during that period of time. She had a 2 sons during that time, one which she had at a home for unwed mothers, and another she raised until she passed away. The son born in the home for unwed mothers was adopted, but found us, his biological family about 8 years ago, and discovered he had a brother. They have met. No husband was ever known of at that time. I am looking for more information on her when she was there, such as men she might have dated. If you can help me in this area or know of anyone who worked with her, please let me know. Both sons are in their 60’s, and they are looking for information regarding their fathers. Thank you.

    Patty Stacy

  12. Libby and Jerry Caudill says:

    I think my grandfather worked in the Indianapolis factory. Probably 1940’s. He brought home a green glass cane that he made there. My husband’s mother worked there in the late 1950’s. Thank you for this site.
    .,
    ..

Comments/Replies: All comments are moderated so will not be published immediately. Because of mail volume received, and time and energy restraints, some questions may not be answered individually, especially if the subject is already addressed elsewhere on this site. This website is not intended as an appraisal service, but as a resource for background info on glass companies and the marks they used, so I usually delete "What is this bottle worth?" types of queries. Thank you very much for your patience & understanding !!