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 insulators plus many other items (large 5-gallon water bottles, vinegar jugs, horseradish bottles, aquariums, fishbowls, juice reamers, etc) and operated there until a lawsuit forced it’s closing in 1935. Most of the insulators produced were embossed “McLAUGHLIN”, and carry a style (“model”) number. The unmarked “Castle” insulators (CD 206) were also produced by McLaughlin. Many of the bottles were marked with “McL” on the base.
William McLaughlin continued to produce glass 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 and Puritas Water Company. 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.
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 other glass factories that produced electrical insulators, please check out my webpage here: Glass Factories that made Insulators.
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