South Side Iron, Steel and Glass and the connection to Carrick and Overbrook

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South Side Iron, Steel and Glass and it’s connections to Carrick and Overbrook

Research by Joe Krynock

I have included excerpts from other other sites and sources, that are closely related to Carrick and Overbrook communities development. At this point in time I wish to give credit to the sources that I have copied, rather than “link“ our history site with theirs. I expect this process will change, and I ask them and you to bear with me as I learn and improve in this system.

Many of the busnesses on the Pittsburgh's South Side were owned and operated by people who lived in Carrick. As the numbers of iron, steel, bolt and glass bottle and glass plate companies increased from 1763' so did the need for employees and homes for them. Carrick itself had the Englert glass factory, and our area was called Englertville until 1853 when a post office was placed here and the name Carrick was applied to it. John Agnew, owned a 52 acre parcel of land that was a glass factory he shared with the Chambers brothers. The following highlighted notations are from a much larger list of glass companies. The letters to follow were identifying marks on bottles when they were made by bottle makers of that time. These bottle marks help collectors of today identify antique bottles. Anouther site of much interest was done by a Susan Buyers, a relative of the Agnew family.

A & CO, A. & D. H. C,

Agnew & CO, Agnew & Son A & CO. Agnew & Company, Pittsburgh, PA (c.1854-1894+). There was a series of glass companies in the Pittsburgh area in which the Agnew family was involved, beginning as early as 1842 with Chambers & Agnew. Later, approximately 1854, the firm became John Agnew & Company (1854-1870 ), then, John Agnew & Son (1871-1876) and later simply Agnew & Company (1876-1892+). The most recent incarnation seems to have been "The Agnew Company", which was in operation in 1894 (a bottle catalog from this company exists, dated 1894) which may have continued on for some time afterwards. Jars that are marked "JOHN AGNEW & SON / PITTSBURG PA" presumably date from about 1871 to 1876, and those marked "AGNEW & CO / PITTSBURG PA" would date from c. 1876 into the early 1890s. See "A" entry.

A. & D. H. C. .........Alexander & David H. Chambers, Pittsburgh, PA (1843-c.1889). This was one of the most prolific glass companies in Pittsburgh during the mid-to-late 1800s. Huge quantities of bottles, flasks, and fruit jars were made, as well as window glass. Many local, regional, and nationally distributed sodas, mineral waters, beers, bitters, tonics, and other types of products were packaged in bottles made by A&DHC. Most commonly, bottles with this mark usually seem to date from the 1870s and 1880s, but the mark was probably in use at least from around the start of the Civil War, perhaps a bit earlier.

Agnew & CO............See "A & CO.

Agnew & Son...........See "A & CO." some cases, American Glass Works, Pittsburgh, PA (1866-1905). This company, which was officially known as "American Glass Works, Limited" after 1880, MAY have produced some glass marked "A.G.W." during the time period of 1866-1880, although I am not aware of any definitive proof that they did. American Glass Works reportedly manufactured mostly window glass prior to 1880. After 1880, the mark was most frequently "A.G.W.L.", although various bottles that date after 1880 (such as certain hutchinson sodas) do carry "A.G.W."(no L) so I tend to believe that both mark variants were used, at times, during the 1880-1905 period. (See next two entries).

Steel and tool manufacturing has done similar markings on their products. I recall a lengthy conversation with a fellow carpenter, Thomas Connally of Library, PA (deceased). Tom was a man who collected our trade's tools. He stated that there were hand saw manufacturers, some on Pittsburgh’s South Side that made hand saws for the reputable Diston saw/tool company.

However, according to him, Philadelphia got credit for hand saws that were made on the south side of Pittsburgh. The stamping pressmark from Phillie, had simply been copied and used here. But enterprizing Pittsburgh employee’s, developed their own marking system, with a mark of some kind, known at first only to them.

When time allows, I plan to search and list the names of glass and steel company names on vintage South Side maps. On maps from the Pittsburgh project web site, Joseph Keeling owned coal mines and inclines. His mining endevors were quite extensive, old mining maps show that besides south sides slopes, Mount Oliver, Carrick and Bon Air were mined out to at least Becks Run, by him.

There are approximately 40 glass bottle companies, listed below as Pittsburgh glass companies, other companies may have produced plate glass. According to south side area info there were 76 glass companies in the south side in 1876. I have yet to examine and count them from the maps at Pittsburgh project.

Pittsburgh glass information from

Link to Bottlemarks

My study shows 1872 maps show no J&L mill site, although historically it was first established in 1854, see the Pittsburgh project maps of South Side 1872 and earlier history.