With the discovery of gas in Findlay many industries, especially glass, were attracted to Findlay, lured by free or “cheap” gas for fuel. The glass companies took the bait and one by one came to Findlay They included 8 window, 2 bottle, 2 chimney lamp, one light bulb, 1 novelty, and 5 tableware glass factories. Tableware companies employed women as decorators and packers, however men were generally glass blowers.
The Columbia Glass Company from Pittsburgh was the first tableware company to locate in Findlay. In 1886 they signed a contract with the Findlay Gas Light Company for a factory site and their gas supply. The term was for five years for $43,000.
The site was on the east side of the New York Central Railroad between Crystal Avenue and the Nickel Place Railroad. Construction of the factory started July 19, 1886 by William H. Camfield (builder of the Hancock County court house).
In 1891 Columbia Glass became part of the U. S. Glass Company. In 1892, employees were notified the factory would be shut down. Glass making, ceased and the furnace was banked. Because this was in the dead of winter and the gas was shut off. All the glass was destroyed as the outside temperature was below zero. You can read more about the different glass factories located in Findlay here and purchase pieces, including those from Columbia Glass, at the Hancock Historical Museum online and in the gift shop.