GII-15 Eagle/Cornucopia Pittsburgh District, Initials F L in Center Oval Medallion. This Flask was made at Frederick Lorenz's Glass Factory between the years 1825 and 1834. Mckearin lists this flask as extremely rare 6 to 10 specimens and is in group B o
Americas most famous two glass makers Caspar Wistar and Wilhelm Henry Stiegel are linked together on this legal document pictured below as Caspars wife Catherine Wistar passed away in 1786 and left a large sum of money and land for her Grand Children Bartholomew,and Caspar the III. Wills and courts took time to settle and this document although dated in 1793 was begun many years prior.
Caspar Wistar, began the industrial modes of his entrepreneurship with the purchase of an iron furnace,in Abbington Delaware and later diversified into glass making. The Wistarburgh glass operations predated Stiegel’s American Flint Glass.by 25 years.
Caspar Wistar may be best remembered for the glass factory but,he became the second largest landowner in Eastern Pennsylvania next to Thomas Penn. Wistar was, in fact, America’s first real estate tycoon, buying large tracts from the Penns and others, carving them into smaller parcels, and selling them to German immigrants settling in the vicinity of Berks County. Caspars wife survived much longer then he and left Caspars Grand Children the money and also quite a bit of acreage in North Eastern Pennsylvania.Other names seen on the document include:
Jacob Bower Register and recorder for the courts:
Jacob Bower of Reading, was born in 1757. he entered the service in June 1775, as a Sergeant of Capt George Nagel's Company, from Reading (First Defenders), in Col Thompson's Battalion of Rifleman; promoted to Quartermaster; First Lieutenant January 18, 1776, in Capt Benjamin Weiser's Company of the German Regiment. Raised in Heidelberg Twp of Berks County, near the town of Womelsdorf; he served as captain in "Flying Camps"; Captain Sixth Pennsylvania Continental Regiment; February 15, 1777; transferred to Second Pennsylvania, January 1, 1783; died at Womelsdorf, August 3, 1818.
At the close of the war he settled at Reading, and became a prominent county official. He first filled the office of Sheriff for one term, 1788-1790; then County Commissioner, 1790-1793; Recorder, Register and clerk of the Orphan's Court, 1792-1798; County Auditor, 1799 and 1800.He was the son Conrad Bower, innkeeper, of Reading, who died in 1765. Captain Bower served faithfully during the entire war and was a most gallant officer.
George Ege Judge:
George Ege is the piece of this puzzle in this land document that ties the Wistar and Stiegel name together. Henry Stiegels first wife Elizabeth Huber died young leaving Henry to raise two small daughters. Henry was only 29 and quickley remarried a woman by the name of Elizabeth Holz on October 24th 1758. She was the sister of Anna Catherine Holz the wife of George Michael Ege a prominent man in the Province of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Independent Troop of Horse of Philadelphia. He was also a veteran of the French and Indian war.
The ceremony was performed in the Holz home in Roxborough Pennsylvania a resort near Philadelphia. The record of the marrige is preserved in the archives of St. Michaels Luthern Church in Germantown. Tradition has it that the second Mrs Stiegel had kept a house for her husband in Philadelphia.This probably meant she was kept in charge of the home in Philadelphia.
Shortley after this marriage on January 18th 1759 George Michael Ege died and at the urgent solicitation Of the Stiegels his widow Anna and her two sons George age 11 and Michael age 6 came to make their home at Elizabeth Furnace with the Stiegels. The two families being from that time forward were bound together by the closet ties. George Ege Jr went on to be a very wealthy business man and had purchased Elizabeth Furnace Stiegels Mansion and Iron works.
Later in life destitute from the loss of all his real estate the glass factory's and the Iron furnaces Stiegel turned to his Nephew George Ege who he raised as his own son and moved in with him for the final two years of his life.Young George became a very prominent citizen in his own right as he was a veteran of the war of Independence,Sheriff and while working as a Judge when this document was recorded George Ege had the pleasure of having known Henry Stiegel and now the Wistar clan AMERICAS TWO MOST FAMOUS GLASS MAKING FAMILIES.Wilhelm Henry Stiegel died at George Eges Home on January 10th 1785
Witness signatures also on the document:
Daniel Cunningham Clymer, 1748-1810.
Daniel Cunningham Clymer was an officer of the Philadelphia Military Associators, 5th Rifle Battalion. In 1776 he was a a deputy commissary general of prisoners in the Continental Army. Following the war 1777-1781, he became a lawyer in Berks County.
Benjamin Morris. Associate Judge in Berks County 1798-1800
Benjamin was also related to the Wistars. His Grandfather was Samuel Morris.
This indenture ties the names of Wistar and Stiegel together again and makes for an interesting history read wouldnt you agree. No other historians I am awhere of realized the link George Ege provided between the two families.George Ege who took care of his step Dad (Uncle Wilhelm Henry Stiegel) had his hand in Caspars wife Catherines indenture of monies paid to Bartholomew and Caspar Wistar her Grandsons (Richards sons) . George was always helping out our early glass manyufacturers in one way or another.
Click on a picture to enlarge.
The United Glass Company (Wistarburgh) was America's first successful glassworks. It operated largely prior to the American Revolution. Glass made at the site can now be attributed to this factory because of analysis of alkali-lime glass shards from the glassworks site shows that green Wistarburgh bottle glass is much more calcic and is enriched in various trace elements (notably the rare-earth elements) compared with later south Jersey glass for which analytical data is also available for. The compositional data indicates that Wistarburgh's proprietors made use of a batch recipe containing approximately 68 wt.% local sand, 24% dolomitic limestone, and 3% each of soda ash and potash. In addition to green bottle glass, blue, aquamarine, and colorless potash–lead glass and colorless potash glass were also recovered from the Wistarburgh factory site, suggesting that a range of specialized glassware's was produced by this factory.This method for determining Wistarburgh authenticity was patented by J. Victor Owen. (check out his resume quite impressive)
A lot of Wistar attributed glass has now been made possible because of Mr. Owen's work.The two bottles shown here have the gall (white yellowy looking substance with the texture of cement grout) in the pontil seen only on glass manufactured at Wistarburgh.The vial is small at only 2 and 3/8s in length and 5/8s in circumference.The cylinder shaped utility or med bottle is the same in color but stands 6 inches in heigth and 2 and 3/4 inches in diameter.Both bottes have the familiar Wistar yellow green color in them.My best guess is the vial is very old made in the early years of the factory 1739 to 1760.The utility bottle shape was more prevalent after 1760 so my best guess is the 1760 to 1782 period of the glass factory.The pontil on the utility bottle is one of the prettiest I have ever seen or held.Although Wistar glass is rare you must remember they were in business for 43 years with the 20 year period just before the American revolution being very prolific and profitable for Caspar Wistar and then is Son Richard.Their glass is out there in our antique bottle market as hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass were made there in 43 years of manufacture.
Caspar Wistar founded the first successful glass house in the early American colonies in 1739.He called his glass manufactory the United Glass Company.Caspar Wistar, an immigrant from Germany, arrived in Philadelphia in September 1717. It had been assumed that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, forester for the Elector of Palatine, but he protested that his "heart was so taken with the new world that I would not be able to stay.
He arrived in Philadelphia with ambition and not much money, but soon became a successful maker of brass buttons. In 1725, he joined the Quaker faith and married a woman from a successful Quaker family. In general, Philadelphia’s Quakers were a financially ambitious group .It isn’t known how Caspar Wistar decided to start the Glass house venture but one good theory is that he was contacted by unemployed German glass blowers back home in Hilspach Germany.They sought sympathetic German investors in the early North American Colonies.
Wistar had been in constant contact with and correspondence with German businessmen in his Homeland.He would have certainly been aware of such an opportunity to start a Glass works in North American was decided that he would go into business with four master glass gaffers from the Palitinate region of Germany. This was the first cooperative business venture in the early glass industry in this country that the workers had helped to initiate. The names of the four men were Martin Halter,William Wentzel,Simeon Griesmeyer and Caspar Halter.They arrived in Philadelphia in 1738 having sailed from Rotterdam on the ship (Two Sisters).Wistar had to wait until the glassmen had arrived to begin construction of the glass factory.The factory was built in less then a years time.The first pieces of glass to be sold from the factory was in September of 1739.
Since 1730, Caspar Wistar had been purchasing land in Pennsylvania, some of which he sold to the Penn family. When he purchased the Alloway NJ tract, he already owned several thousand acres in Pennsylvania including property outside of Philadelphia near an old glassworks. Since he lived in Philadelphia and had a store in the city, it might be assumed that the glass factory was established there. This was not the case. Location was a critical consideration and the purchase of the Alloway, NJ, tract was not coincidental with the arrival of the German glassblowers in the same year. Caspar Wistar was aware of the particular needs of an operating glass enterprise and the location outside of Salem was ideal!
When Caspar Wistar passed away on March 21st 1752 of dropsy Richard his second son took over the glassworks for his father and ran them successfully until 1782.It was his daughter Catherine who had been a book keeper for her father in the business to make sure all monies owed to and paid out were taken care of. No other person affected the early glass industry in the Colonies more then Caspar Wistar.Last year I got lucky and found descendants of the Wistar family alive and well in England.They are slowly liquidating there collection of manuscripts,family heirlooms ect.Here is a ledger showing repayment of loans to various investors in the glass works mostly Caspars children and there husbands and wives but also private investors including Charles Stedman Henry Stiegels early business partner.
This is an important document which I have scanned and archived pertaining to Caspar Wistars Estate beginning 10 days after his death.This appears to be an account ledger showing repayment of loans from the glass house business to various family members; sons, daughters,son in-laws, daughter in-laws,investors ect.Where I am 90 percent sure of glass I have in my collection as to being attributed to Wistarburgh,these ledger sheets show all the family easily seen in the Wistars lineal descent with monies owed them by the glass house thus tying together the glass house,Caspars children their husbands and their wives to the Americas first sucessful glass factory.This is an important piece of information showing the incredible wealth attained by The Wistars and their extended family.The ledger was kept by Caspars Daughter Catherine who married Isaac Greenleaf.Richard Wistars name is clearly shown and his sister calls him Rich on one occasion.This Diary and ledger ended up in England
via Caspar Wistar the III the doctor.He studied in England for quite a few years and would make it a logical explanation for these papers to be over there still in the Wistar family hands.
The First page of the ledger.