Editor’s Note: This is the 360th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
Although Pilgrim Glass Corp., which operated from 1948 to 2001, was the largest and best-known glass company in Ceredo, it was by no means the first. Ceredo had a glass factory, the Ceredo Glass Works, for a short time just before the Civil War, circa 1860-61.
Glass returned to Ceredo in 1938 when the Sinclair Glass Co. opened. The big glass plant occupied 30,000 square feet of factory, warehouse and office space at Main and High streets. In its heyday in the 1950s it had 125 employees who worked two shifts a day, producing 5 million pieces of glass a year.
Sinclair Glass first occupied a plant building that the Glass Brick Co. had built at the foot of West 16th Street in Huntington. Sinclair moved to Ceredo to take advantage of a nearby gas well.
The company produced a wide variety of items, including lenses for automobile tail lights, parking lights and turn signal lights, lenses for flashlights and railroad lanterns, lamps shades, ashtrays and glass novelty items.
In its decorating department, young women busily painted attractive designs on tableware in many different patterns, colors and styles.
In 1957, Sinclair stopped making hot glass and sold all its manufacturing equipment to the Canton Glass Co. in Marion, Indiana. Sinclair said it would continue to operate its decorating department, applying designs to glass products it purchased from other companies. Sinclair also said it planned to seek another industry to occupy the vacant space in its building.
In 1961, American National Rubber purchased the building and moved there from West 17th Street and Virginia Avenue. Sinclair then leased space in its old building, where it continued to operate its decorating department.
In “West Virginia Glass Towns,” his authoritative guide to the state’s glass industry, author Dean Six writes that Sinclair Glass went out of business in 1966.