D.C. JENKINS GLASS CO.
-Then and Now-
The brick buildings and some sheds are just about all that remain on the former Arcadia, IN factory site. The day in May 2004, when we visited the site, Dean took the photos shown here. The molten glass left to “season” in the daily atmosphere, and the resultant colors piled on top of the former vat, along with the dark shadowy remnant of the former furnace, are all that remain of the thriving business which once operated here. Huge amounts of pressed and blown glassware once emanated from this place. The acres of ground covered with overgrown brush are not to be trespassed upon today unless a permit is issued.
Dates on which the photos of the former production facilities were taken, is not known, but they are viable evidence of a once active glass making concern, which must have employed many local residents of Arcadia and Kokomo, IN.
Joyce A. Hicks of Kokomo, along with help from Bill and Velma Stinchcomb, who are well-known to Carnival Glass collectors in Indiana, compiled the second book on Jenkins Glass in 1988. The title of the book is JUST GLASS. At the demise of Mrs. Hicks, Kay Riley purchased a number of copies left in Mr. Hicks' possession, and has been distributing them since. Kay was extremely kind in giving us a copy of the book on our first visit to arrange for a return, at her convenience, to take photos of the vast Riley collection, including several pieces of marigold Carnival Glass which, during our years with the hobby, have not surfaced at any auction. What FUN to locate unlisted examples of iridized marigold in order to share it with the world for the first time! Kay is a most gracious researcher and collectors can feel a sense of gratitude for the many hours she has devoted to the task of enlightening us to better advantage. Since we viewed many pieces we had never seen before, we are utterly certain that a great many of you will be delighted with the “findings”. The trail we follow will be lengthened following this segment. You will now have more to search for.
The Hicks book, like most other publications surrounding glass has been rendered incomplete with passing time and new discoveries, but does offer some patterns which had not yet surfaced when Mrs. Riley compiled the first catalog of products from Jenkins Glass four years earlier.
JUST GLASS offers a list of known patterns to have received applied marigold finish. Some of the names are known to current carnival glass collectors. Others will be called by the known Jenkins names for the patterns. Never-the-less, everything we display in three coming articles/segments WILL have been observed in marigold carnival glass!
Kay Riley has in her possession, all the glass Dean photographed for this segment. Her brother in Kokomo, and friends who have helped in the search for shards at the Arcadia site, as well as patterns in the possession of local folks, lend much knowledge which has not been available until now. We hope you enjoy the verified findings.~~~ Diane Fry
*Printed below is information taken from the obituary of D.C. Jenkins as printed in the Kokomo Tribune & Dispatch, Kokomo, IN, 8-25-1930.
David Charles Jenkins, Jr., was born in Pittsburg, Penn. May 24, 1834. Son of David and Elizabeth (Evans) Jenkins, both of whom were natives of Wales. His schooling was obtained in Pittsburgh, where he grew to manhood and there he became connected with glass manufacturing. Taking his first job at the age of eleven in the flint glass factory at McKee Bros., in that city. From the day in 1845 on which he obtained his first employment in a glass plant, to the day of his death, Mr. Jenkins was continuously connected with the glass industry. On Jan. 4, 1876 at Pittsburg, Mr. Jenkins was united in marriage with Miss Anna Jones. To them were born two sons, Addison and Howard.
About 1886, Mr. Jenkins moved his family from Pittsburg to Findley, OH. There he erected and put into operation a glass factory. This plant was sold in 1891 to the United States Glass Co. The first of the large corporations in the flint glass business. For that company, Mr. Jenkins moved to Gas City, Indiana to superintend the construction of a new factory.
Mr. Jenkins came to Howard County, Indiana in 1893. He organized a company and erected a large flint glass factory in Greentown, IN. This concern operated with natural gas as fuel and quickly became an important factory in the flint glass trade of the company.
In 1899 the plant was bought by the national Glass Co., Pittsburg and for the next two years, Mr. Jenkins was back in that city as chairman of the executive committee and general manager of the company mentioned.
In 1901, Mr. Jenkins and his sons, with J.D.K. Kennedy and Edward Seeny Kokomo, organized The Kokomo Glass Manufacturing Co. and erected and put into operation a flint glass factory. This plant was destroyed by fire in 1905, and was rebuilt in 1906 and resumed operations as the D.C. Jenkins Glass Company.
In 1914, Mr. Jenkins started another glass factory in Arcadia, IN. Both plants were in operation until 1932.
In business for over thirty years, surely there are more examples of Jenkins Glass yet to be found.
More Jenkins Info
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