Side A: With ready access to raw materials, fuel, skilled labor, and transportation, the Ohio Valley became the center of the American glass industry during the late 1800s. Among dozens of local manufacturers, the Imperial Glass Company, founded in 1901 by river man and financier Edward Muhleman, first made glass in 1904 and distinguished itself for mass production of attractive and affordable pressed glass tableware using continuous-feed melting tanks. One of the largest American handmade glass manufacturers during the 20th century, Imperial also produced blown glass, several lines of art glass, and its trademark “Candlewick” pattern. Bellaire’s glassmaking era ended when the “Big I” closed its doors in 1984, and the building was razed in 1995. Its diverse products remain highly prized by glass collectors.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Imperial Glass Museum and The Belmont County Tourism Council, and The Ohio Historical Society