2 Winter 2004 Bottles and Extras

Knox Glass and the Marks Toulouse Missed
by Bill Lockhart

In preparation for writing my e-book While still in his teens, he started industry. Both Jimmy Odom and Jack
on El Paso, Texas, soda bottlers and their organizing the Marienville Glass Underwood confirmed that the plant used
bottles, I looked at a lot of bottles that I Company in 1914. Just three years later, the T-in-a-keystone manufacturer’s mark
had collected along with several other in 1917, he moved to Knox, Pennsylva- on soda bottles and jars made at the plant.
collections from the city. Because I was nia, and organized the Knox Glass Bottle The “T” in the keystone probably stood
interested in the manufacturers as well as Company. Underwood either founded or for Texas, although it may have
the local bottlers, I carefully examined purchased numerous additional plants as represented the “t” in Palestine, since the
each bottle and recorded all the informa- part of the Knox system including the “P” was already in use by the Wightman
tion on it. Several times, I saw a mark Wightman Bottle & Glass Manufacturing Bottle & Glass Company, at Parker’s
that I could not find in any of my refer- Company at Parker’s Landing, Pennsyl- Landing, Pennsylvania. The T-in-a-key-
ence books, including Bottle Makers and vania, in 1921, a second plant in Knox in stone mark was used by the Palestine plant
Their Marks, the noted book used by 1922, the Pennsylvania Bottle Company from 1941 until the early 1950s, when the
collectors and archeologists both, written in Sheffield in 1928, and many later plants. entire Knox system adopted the K-in-a-
by Julian Harrison Toulouse in 1971. Eventually, some were sold off. The Glass keystone mark. The Palestine plant used
Container Corporation acquired the ten the generic mark from about 1953 until it
Thus began my search for the T-in-a- remaining Knox-organization plants in closed in 1985.
keystone manufacturer’s mark. Toulouse 1968.
noted several other keystone marks, and Jack also shed light on the L-in-a-key-
that gave me an idea where to begin. So, Roy’s younger brother, Chester, joined stone mark. It was used by the Lincoln
I looked at the marks, always capital in the Knox management and eventually Glass Bottle Company, a Knox plant
letters enclosed in a keystone, used by the began a southern expansion of the established in Lincoln, Illinois, in 1942.
Knox Bottle Company. Those included company, beginning with the Knox Bottle The branch made beer bottles for Anheuser
the letters, M, K, J, O, and others but not Company of Mississippi at Jackson in Busch and was open from 1942 until 1952
the letter T. I checked a few other books I 1932. Chester opened a second southern when it was sold to Obear-Nester Glass
that had some information about plant at Palestine, Texas, in 1941. After Company in East St. Louis, Illinois. The
manufacturer’s marks and came up with Roy’s death in 1951, Chester took over the company used the mark during its entire
a bit more information about Knox marks operation of Knox. However, he found existence as a Knox affiliate.
but nothing about a T-in-a-keystone. himself in a difficult position. The
company was in financial trouble, and he Jack also explained the components of
Both Toulouse and Jeffrey L. Giarde, began selling off some of the Knox plants the Knox system of mold numbers on
in his book Glass Milk Bottles: Their to retain solvency. The other stock- bottle bases. The numbers are embossed
Makers and Marks, mentioned two other holders executed a proxy raid and ejected in three sections: a two-digit numeral
Knox plants with no marks attached – in Chester from power at Knox. Along with followed by a dash; a single, capital letter
Palestine, Texas, and Lincoln, Illinois. his sons, Dick and Jack, Chester started followed by another dash; and a final two-
I confided what I was looking for to my the Underwood Glass Company in New digit numeral (e.g. 54-B-10). The first
friend, Bill Lindsey, and he added to the Orleans, Louisiana, in 1956. The two-digits identify the “number for the set
mystery by sending me a photo of an Southern Underwoods soon opened of molds”; the letter represents the type of
L-in-a-keystone mark on the base of a beer another plant at Memphis, Tennessee. container (B = Beverages); and the final
bottle. Meanwhile, I had written to the Dick and Jack managed the two plants, two numerals signify the capacity of the
museum at Palestine and received a letter and Jack sold the Memphis plant after his container (e.g. 10 = 10 ounces). Even if
from David Andrews directing me to brother’s death in the early 1970s. In the first two digits seem to note a year (as
Jimmy Odom, a former worker at the Knox 1978, he closed down the New Orleans in the 54 example from an El Paso soft
plant. Jimmy kindly put me in touch with plant due to the rising prices of natural drink bottle), it is coincidental rather than
Jack Underwood, nephew of the Knox gas to power the glass furnaces. The a date code.
founder, Roy Underwood, former Knox Underwood Glass Company always
plant manager, and later owner of the marked its bottles with a simple “U” Other companies besides Knox have
Underwood Glass Company. embossed on the base. used the keystone as part of their logos
with or without a letter in the center. The
Roy Underwood (Jack’s uncle) was the The Palestine, Texas, plant opened on C. L. Flaccus Glass Company used an
power behind the Knox Glass Bottle July 5, 1941, after only 80 days of con- F-in-a-keystone, and the Newborn Glass
Company. He began his career in glass as struction. Eventually, the plant provided Company used an N. The accompanying
a boy at the Crescent Glass Bottle jobs for almost 500 local citizens and table shows all the known keystone marks,
Company and soon learned glass blowing. became the town’s most important the companies that used them, and the

them. Sheffield.com glassware. Parkers Landing. New Jersey 1935-1949 Newborn Glass Co. in 1959 and Atlanta.(505) 439-8158 Company of Philadelphia. are known for any of these plants. Lincoln. Pennsylvania 1929-1951 . As more and more companies merged. Pennsylvania 1940-1952 Metro Glass Bottle Co. table is an upwardly slanted. in 1961. NM 88310 1900 by the R. 1313 14th St. still remains. Illinois 1942-1952 Pennsylvania Bottle Co. Knox. and Knox “Luster”in a keystone found on the plants were established in Danielson. How. From Pennsylvania Bottle Company and not an Marienville used the K-in-a-keystone the 19th century to the middle of the 20th. lamp chimneys.bottlebill@zianet. Pennsylvania 1900-1928 Knox Glass Bottle Co. Texas 1941-1953 Pennsylvania Bottle Co. actual manufacturer. Wilcox. in 1968. Pittsburgh. Another mark. The bottles. Knox Alamogordo. and nia. were actually made in Pennsylva. No specific marks E-mail . Pittsburgh. of Miss. Jersey City. Royersford. does not mention any manufacturer’s mark When the Knox conglomerate finally although the letters were in italics.Bottles and Extras Winter 2004 3 approximate dates of use. Flaccus Glass Co. acquired the Buck Glass Company of Telephone . also used the LP-in-a. it ended an interesting era.L. Oil City. Mid-West Glass Company in Gas City. This was Connecticut. an intriguing era vanished.) giants grew. however. Pennsylvania 1920-1925 Oil City Glass Co. 21 probably used from about 1890 to about Georgia. Underwood’s control in 1929.. a wholesaler in Baltimore. selves. for this company. The glass was rich in the diversity of its marks. mark after it became part of Knox. Lummis was a distributor for the to track one down. Bill Lockhart shoulders of some fruit jars. New York. and pottery. Pennsylvania 1943-1947 Knox Glass Bottle Co. A bit of mystery. Tongue & Bros. script became part of Knox in 1951. Jackson. It is Mark Company Location Dates C. E. (formerly the Slick Glass Co. Maryland. Apt. and I have been unable sold to the Glass Container Corporation ever. Pennsylvania 1924-1968 Lincoln Glass Bottle Co. Also. in 1961. Palestine. likely that all of them only used the K-in- The Marienville Glass Company was a-keystone mark that was apparently used The Lummis Glass Company of New established in 1914 and came into by all Knox plants after about 1953. Mississippi 1932-1953 Knox Glass Bottle Co. Pennsylvania 1930-1952 Wightman Bottle & Glass Co. Pennsylvania 1930-1951 Seaboard Glass Bottle Co. Apparently. York. of Miss. Toulouse keystone mark from 1940 to 1955. not represented on the Indiana.