Falls City Glass Company, Louisville KY

FALLS CITY GLASS COMPANY

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
(1884-1892)

The Falls City Glass Company glassworks was located in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville, on Lytle Street, and made a wide variety of utilitarian bottles and jars.  Some of the same glass workers (glass blowers and others) who had worked at the Southern Glass Company  were later employed by this company, judging from a search of city directory listings of the time period.

“F.C.G.CO.”  was the most common mark they used on their containers. The initials are seen embossed on the base of wax sealer-style fruit jars, pickle bottles, hock wines, coffin flasks, cylinder whiskey bottles,  whiskey “mini-samplers”, blobtop beers,  peppersauce bottles, olive oils, generic Worcestershire sauce bottles, Hutchinson (“Hutch”)  style soda/mineral water bottles, shoe polish bottles,  chemical bottles and a variety of other “generic” or “packer ware” containers in common use during the late Victorian era.

A few bottles are found marked “F C G CO  LOU KY”, as shown below on a base shard of a quart size coffin flask.  (Thanks to Jimmy Bray for the photo!)  Evidently a number of different coffin flask molds, for half pint, pint, and quart size bottles, were used by Falls City during their years in business, as others usually have the initials arranged in a straight line, as opposed to the lettering in a circle on this mold variant.  An amber cylinder whiskey bottle is also known, marked on the bottom “F. C. G. CO.  LOU KY”,  with the letters also arranged in a circular formation.

FCGCO.LOU.KY. - mark on base of quart coffin flask. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Bray)

F C G CO LOU KY   – mark on base of quart coffin flask. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Bray)

 

Many of the F.C.G.CO bottles are rather crudely made, and sometimes appear to be of an earlier time period (1860s-1870s) although they date after 1884.  It is possible (just an idea, not proven) that some of the bottle and jar molds used by Falls City were older molds, previously used at other glass factories such as Southern Glass Works, or the old Louisville Glass Works of the late 1860s/early 1870s.


Group of three F.C.G.CO. "generic" chemical or packer bottles. 6 inches, 7.5 inches and 9 inches in height.

Group of three F.C.G.CO. “generic” chemical or packer bottles. 6 inches, 7.5 inches and 9 inches in height.


A few bottles were marked “F.C.G.C.”,  including the Joseph Goldbach / PorPoise Oil Dressing bottle which is only known with an embossing error in which all of the S’s appear backward on the finished bottle.  That bottle is more or less identical in shape to the well-known “Frank Miller’s Crown Dressing” bottles which contained shoe polish or “shoe dressing”.

Although most containers made by Falls City Glass Company are found in some shade of aqua (or amber, in the case of alcohol-related bottles), a square pickle bottle is known in off-clear (very light sun-colored amethyst).  It is likely that pickle bottle was made during their last years of production.


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F.C.G.CO. pickle bottles: 9 inches, 11 inches, 13.5 inches in height.

F.C.G.CO. square pickle bottles: 9 inches, 11 inches, 13.5 inches in height.



F.C.G.CO. on base of chemical/packer bottle.

F.C.G.CO. on base of chemical / packer bottle


Base of F.C.G.Co. (Falls City Glass Company) pumpkinseed whiskey flask

Base of  “pumpkin seed” flask (courtesy of unidentified ebay auction seller)

Their product most well-known to collectors would probably be the wax sealer fruit jar which is extremely scarce in a vibrant cobalt blue glass. The typical aqua examples are relatively common and are still occasionally found at antique shops in Louisville and the surrounding region.  Over a dozen slightly different jar mold varieties are known, some with mold numbers on the base, or with the initials interspersed in a “W” or cross-hatched lines. Examples are also found in a range of ambers and greens.

 

Left to right: JOSEPH GOLDBACH / PORPOISE OIL DRESSING / LOUISVILLE,KY. (shoe/leather dressing); Wax sealer type fruit jar; Worcestershire Sauce bottle, all marked F.C.G.CO. on base.

Left to right: JOSEPH GOLDBACH / PORPOISE OIL DRESSING / LOUISVILLE,KY. (shoe/leather dressing, marked F.C.G.C.);  Wax sealer type fruit jar  and  “generic” Worcestershire Sauce bottle, both marked F.C.G.CO. on base.

 

FCGCO wax sealer fruit jar in cobalt blue, quart size (photographs courtesy of Greg Spurgeon, HoosierJar.com)

F.C.G.CO. wax sealer fruit jar in cobalt blue, quart size (photographs courtesy of Greg Spurgeon, HoosierJar.com)


Note: Occasionally there is confusion regarding Falls City Glass Company and the Falls City Brewing Company, producer of the original “Falls City” brand beer.  Falls City Glass has no connection with the brewing firm which was not organized until 1904, and which started selling draft beer in 1906.  The first bottles of Falls City beer were not on the market until 1908, approximately 16 years after the closing of the Falls City Glass Company factory.

A little more info on Falls City Glass Company can be found in one of my articles published in 2005 about early Louisville glass, here: http://www.blm.gov/historic_bottles/pdffiles/LouisvilleGlass3_DWhitten.pdf


Click here to got to the GLASS BOTTLE MARKS pages, an extensive list of glass manufacturers’ marks on bottles, jars, insulators and tableware.

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3 Responses to Falls City Glass Company, Louisville KY

  1. Marianne Bryant says:

    I was told my cousins Frank Walker and then his daughter Virginia Walker owned Falls City Plate Glass company. Is this the same company?

    • David says:

      Hi Marianne,
      What time period and location are you referring to, and did the company you are referring to actually MAKE glass, or sell it? I have not found any information on any company with the exact name “Falls City Plate Glass Company” although there may very well be (or have been) such a company. Perhaps they sold (retail or wholesale) finished automotive plate glass, or plate/window glass for building construction???
      In any case, the subject of this web article was in business during the years 1884 to 1892 (closing about 127 years ago, as of the year 2019), and made primarily glass containers (bottles and jars) and did not make plate glass. So there is certainly no connection with the company you referred to.
      ~David

  2. Tina Mundy says:

    I have found one of the green fruit jars pictured above

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