Hazel Atlas Glass Company, the glassmaking giant in a state known for glass production, was created in 1902 by the merger of four earlier companies. The largest glass company in the United States from the 1930s until the 1950s, Hazel Atlas was a major producer of inexpensive ‘‘Depression Glass’’ table sets of pink, green, blue, colorless, and black glass. Hundreds of thousands of glass premiums given away in oats, coffee, and other products were made by Hazel Atlas.
Hazel Atlas glass plants in West Virginia included one along the Tygart River in Grafton (1916–60) that largely produced wide-mouth canning jars, and the world’s largest tumbler factory in Clarksburg (1902–87). By 1920, the Clarksburg factory had 15 acres of floor space, employed 1,200 people, and shipped all over the world. The company’s metal factories in Wheeling made lids and closures for glass containers.
By 1956, Hazel Atlas operated 12 plants across the U.S. and was contemplating a merger with Continental Can Corporation. Complex legal battles followed and anti-trust laws were used to prevent the merger. The result was that Continental Can acquired the Clarksburg tableware plant and Wheeling metal factory, with the other factories being sold to Brockway Glass Company. The handsome 1931 Hazel Atlas corporate headquarters at 15th and Jacob streets, a Wheeling landmark, was donated to West Liberty State College in 1964 and is now part of West Virginia Northern Community College.
This Article was written by Dean Six
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Algeo, J. S. A Story of the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, Booklet. West Virginia & Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries, 1956.