Great Western Glass Company, St. Louis, Missouri

  Great Western Glass Company

St. Louis, Missouri (1874 – c.1887)

             “G.W.” mark

This “G.W.” mark is seen on the bottoms of a variety of utilitarian bottles and jars typical of the late Victorian era. These bottles are most frequently found in the St. Louis and surrounding area. They are typically found in a very pale green or aqua-colored glass.   It is currently uncertain when the last bottles were blown here by Great Western Glass Company.

Here are a couple brief mentions from contemporary sources:

“The Great Western Glass Company, P. B. Leach, President, W. F. de Cordova, Secretary and Treasurer, was established in 1874. Their specialties are druggist’s flint prescription bottles,.and flasks. Their capacity, which is 300 boxes a day, has been more than doubled since 1878, when it was only 125 boxes daily, and still the demand continues to increase at a rate that will require early enlargement.”  1882-83 [St. Louis] Year Book of the Commercial, Banking, and Manufacturing Interests, Volume 1.


Great Western Glass Company bottles (left to right, round castor oil; oval bluing; mustard barrel).

Great Western Glass Company bottles (left to right: round castor oil; oval bluing or “Jamaica Ginger” style medicine bottle; barrel mustard).



Base of cylindrical castor oil or medicine bottle (left in group photo, above)

Base of cylindrical castor oil or medicine bottle (left in group photo, above)


“The Great Western Glass Works, corner of Third and Barton streets, are being wrecked by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association, who will establish in their place a bottle house employing new methods of manufacture.” Iron and Machinery World, [trade newspaper] December 27, 1890, page 12.

The soon-to-be-built bottle manufacturing plant mentioned in that brief article above would have been the second plant of the Adolphus Busch Glass Manufacturing Company, division or subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.   Beer bottles made by that concern are typically embossed “A.B.G.M.CO” or “A.B.G.CO”.

This operation evidently went by either/both “Company” or “Works” although the term “Works” may have been used more in casual conversation, referring to the actual brick and mortar building as opposed to the organized business operation (firm name).

Base of oval bluing or medicine bottle, center bottle in above group picture.

Base of Great Western Glass oval bluing or “Jamaica Ginger”- type medicine bottle, shown at center in above group photo.



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