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Research is an ongoing process and old incorrect info must always be set aside for new facts in an age when so much can be found online . I hope others will carry the search further and add even to this new look at an old question.

The history of this glass works has been both confusing and misinformed. This error began with the " Guide to the manufacturers of Ontario & Quebec " published by W.T. Urqhart & H.L. Forbes, in Montreal in 1870. It has "The Canada Glass Co's Works at Hudson, Province of Quebec" the problem is that the word "Works" in this case should have a small case w as the word works should stand only for their place of manufacture , as in iron works , pottery works etc. Yet later, under "Glass Manufacturers" they list CANADA GLASS WORKS at Hudson, enforcing the error.

This led many early researchers to accept the Hudson works as Canada Glass Works instead of Canada Glass Co. Limited. The works at Hudson began in 1864 but the one at St. Johns began in 1845.  In the Canada Directory of 1857-58 where the Foster Brothers listed themselves as glass manufatures at what was really the Canada Glass Works in St . Johns C.E.  mistakenly making Foster Brothers Glass Works the accepted name of the works.

The base for  this search was:                                                      

"A Progress Report on Research into the St Johns Quebec Houses" (The first Glasfax Seminar newsletter-June 1971).       "The First Quebec Glass Factory" (Canadian Antiques Collector magazine 1974) both by W. Newlands  Coburn were the best research for the time , to which we have added .



St. Johns ( now Saint - Jean-sur -Richelieu ) was first called Dorchester it changed about 1844 it was a perfect place for industry to set up. On the Richelieu River it connected the  lake Champlain of Vermont to Lower Canada . All trade from the US came through it , as it was the customs port . All trade was by steam boat till 1851 when a rail line went to the US using Rouse's Point for customs at the border. Later a rail line in 1853 went to Portland Maine. 

The story of this glass house begins in 1844, with the first glass made 1845. Frederick Smith of Burlington Vermont is always listed as central with the registered name of  Smith Wilkins & Co. and the working name of Canada Glass Works. Yet, there is another person who I find, as important, if not more. Edwin Atwater, who was the Co. in partnership. Background on Smith can be found online in the "Champlain Glass Company: Burlington's First Manufacturing Enterprise" by Diana Carlisle, as well as, a biography of Edwin Atwater in the Directory of Canadian Biography Vol. X 1871-1880. 


Smith was  born in Williston Vermont in 1812. Partnered with William H Wilkins and others ,and over time turned the Champlain Glass in Burlington profitable. Edwin Atwater was also born in Williston Vermont in 1808, he moved to Montreal around 1830 as a painter (not an artist ) and started a business in the paint , varnish and window glass sales. 

From the  1842 Montreal Directory:

e atwater window glass

They most likely knew each other from youth and Edwin Atwater was the first major importer of window  glass into Canada , so a good trade was begun.   The Burlington glass import duties and the dwindling wood in the Burlington area likely led them to form the partnership in  1844 as the first glass was produced April or earlier 1845 , (Kingston Recorder April 24th 1845 from reprinted from the Montreal  Observer.)



May 1st 1845 Bytown Gazette

Starting in May 1846 for one year Edwin Atwater advertized in the Canadian Economist of Montreal Canada Window Glass manufactured at the Canada Glass Works St Johns C.E.

edwin atwater

Sept 12th, 1846, article in the Canadian Economist .

Stanstead Journal

Below is a receipt from a St Johns merchant for glass and putty.

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette Oct 14 th 1848

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette Oct 28 th 1850

canada glas works st johns

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette Jan 1st 1851

Montreal Herald & Daily Comercial Gazette May 21st 1851

canada glass works st johns

Montreal Herald & Daily Commercial Gazette Nov. 10th  1852

No ads found for 1853 but  by 1854 German glass only.

Montreal Herald & Daily Comercial Gazette June 15th 1854.

 e. atwater window glass


The first partners were only Smith, Wilkins & Atwater in 1844 , under Smith Wilkins & Co.    An agreement bringing in other partners - August 1st 1846  written in St Johns (no notary) Smith (glass works manager) & Wilkins, Edwin Atwater, Charles Seymour (store manager in St Johns), Jason C Pierce & son (Charles), Dwight P Janes & Co ( William Janes) for a term of 5 years . It is held in the Frederick Smith Papers  Special Collections, Bailey-Howe Library, Vermont . ( I thank them for the help )

NOTE:  The # is for land registery numbers.(or notory )

#2487 - July 13 1849 . Edwin Atwater statement saying Frederick Smith, William Wilkins of Burlington Vt. , Charles Seymour and Jason and Charles Pierce of St. Johns and himself of Montreal will continue to manufacture glass at St. Johns and have been "the only members of said partnership"  since August 1 , 1846      ( no mention of Dwight P Janes & Co from August 1st, 1846 agreement .The Janes partners must have been in financial difficulty as they went bankrupt in July 1848 .)

The purpose of following the land records so far forward is to see the people involved. We wanted to know if this works was used for one year as a beginning for the St. Johns Glass Works of 1875 , we found it had not , but the tools etc. would have been transferred by A. Bertrand.


First town block Lot 310 , having been at this for eight months we thought we like others would never find the deed to this lot. It is not listed in the land registers yet we finally found it in the Notorial Records of Quebec. Held in the BANQ archives in Montreal whom we thank for all their help with these records .                                                                                                         The reason became clear when we were sent a copy of the notary # 4631 Dated Sept. 28, 1844  It was a free concession to Smith Wilkins & Co  by the Baron De Longueuil Charles William Grant with conditions. Make roads ,build a factory and make glass within one year . It's purpose was to bring industry and employment to the area.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Notary # 4625  On Sept 19 , 1844 nine days before the land was granted , a contract was signed between Smith Wilkins & Co and (Henry) Gillespie & Sheridon (Thomas) to build the factory & out buildings . Complete specs , windows ,  hinges , wall thickness and a drawing with all info.

This block was bounded by St Jean , Lemoine, Demaray , & Partition Streets and cut by the St. Lawrence & Champlain Railway at Partition .  


SECOND TOWN BLOCK : (These lots are south of lot 310) Act #1457 - May 2 1846.

Purchase of 14 lots #'s 376,377,378,379,388,389,390,391,392, 393, 394,395, 396,397 and a surplus on Glass street in Dorchester ( later called St Johns ) from Charles William Grant, Baron of Longueuil to Frederick Smith of Dorchester, William Henry Wilkins junior of Burlington Vermont and Edwin Atwater of Montreal (manufactures of glass in Dorchester. ) Lots are bordered to the east by Rue St Jean, in the back west side by Rue Demaray, south side by Glass Street and north side by Rue Lemoine" according to the plan by H. Corey .

This is an 1847 map without the Champlain & St Lawrence R.R. although it was there since 1836 . The lots in the divided block are in the bottom right of this picture, 


The lot 310 is directly above it as can be seen from the street names.

This is a map of 1877 St Johns with R.R. on it. The lot numbers have been changed as well as street names. They are now to the north is St George , West is Albert , East is St Jean , & south is Glass factory St.   

The two town blocks from the RR downwards on the right hand of the pic are the glass factory.   



The small triangle below the word CHAMPLAIN is where the St. Johns Glass Works was put in 1875 (yellow star).


Lot 310 is red ,others are green.

IMPORTANT NOTE . This next group of deeds show the ownership of the properties were held by three owners while it produced glass. Smith Wilkins & Co. then Hugh Allan and finally by Eusebe Dupont . 

SMITH WILKINS & Co. is covered above.

HUGH ALLAN  On 12 June 1856 Hugh Allan purchased the whole property from Smith Wilkins & Co. for 500 pounds currency It was signed by Edwin Atwater acting on behalf of Smith, Wilkins and Co. ( in liquidation) for which he was one of the original partners . Found only in Notorial Records Of Quebec .


    # 1438 This property was sold to Eusebe Dupont (noted as a mechanic this was a french to english  mis-translation as other documents listed him as a machinist ) on 17 September 1860 for $1700. Canadian dollars . The seller was Hugh Allen .
Twice under Eusebe Dupont these properties were listed by sheriff's sale , Aug. 22 1863 was lot 310 . And Mar. 24th 1865 the whole property. Yet Eusebe managed to retain ownership.

It is important to note that at least two glass workers were in the 1861 Census ,District # 1 town of St John.These are in french and the name for glass blower is "soufleur de verre". We find Jean Gauthier , 24 years old as one. There is also a Joseph Russell listed as a " C***** de vitre" ( not sure but he must be a mixer of glass). He is 35 years old.

Eusebe Dupont was also listed but in district # 2 but with no occupation.


1860 AND LATER . 
 LOT 310
 All buildings were on this large lot containing about 12 lots listed only as 310. 

   # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (noted as a manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT..(FARMER) his brother.

  # 4769. 2 APRIL 1868.......LEONARD DUPONT TO LOUIS MOLLEUR (ESQUIRE AND MEMBER OF PARLIMENT) .....Part of the buildings were rented to A.Bertrand and Company ending 26 September 1868 , Molleur can rent to him and receive rent from then on. Another building (house) was occupied by Eusebe Dupont plus a garden plot. He could stay until 29 September 1868. ( This was likely the residence used by Smith and later the Foster's ) Eusebe passed away on April 16th 1869 so it is uncertain if he died in the factory he must have held a strong attachment to.

 # 4808 .. 2nd of June 1868 , Louis Mollleur to James Macpherson merchant . ( later became a partner in the ST Johns Glass Co. ) Commitments to A Bertrand & E. Dupont remain in place.

# 6964 James Macpherson ( under the Co. of Sincliar Jack & Co. ) lost in bankruptcy in Nov. 1872 .William Coote bought him out .
#7075 On Feb. 21 , 1873 sold to Alexis Bertrand from Sinclair Jack & Co.  ( now Sinclair , Jack & Coote )                                                        Bertrand  soon after was a share holder in the St. Johns Glass Co. of 1875 along with Macpherson. Tools and anything usefull still in the buildings were likely transfered there at that time.                                                                             
LOT 376
 # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT..(south half of)
 # 3260. 12 MAY 1863 . E. DUPONT TO MOISE ROY..(north half of)
LOT 377
 # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT..(south half of)
 # 3260. 12 MAY 1863. E. DUPONT TO MOISE ROY..(north half of)(BUTCHER)
LOT 378                                                                                                                                                                                      # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT.
LOT 379
 # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT..
LOT 388
 # 3258. 20 APRIL 1863 . E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO FRANCOIS GUILMETTE (farmer)
LOT 389
 # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865. E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT..
LOT 390
 # 3259. 3 OCTOBER 1863. E. DUPONT  (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO JAMES S. ALLEN (book keeper )
LOTS 391 , 392 , 393 & 394 at first are found only in notorial records . They were sold on April 14th & 29th  & July 2nd 1863. From E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry ) to GEORGE MOREHOUSE (merchant) # 5398 & 5399 All were sold to BENJAMIN BURLAND on Sept. 22nd 1869.                                                              

 # 6437 Oct. 25th 1871 BURLAND sold all 4 lots to HENRY GILLESPIE ( master carpenter )                          

 # 7251 March 13th 1873 HENRY GILLESPIE to JAMES B GILLESPIE ( painter )                                                                                       
LOT 393 & 394 .
 # 7661 Theophile Arpin aquired the lots 393 & 394 on 17 November 1873. From James B Gillespie.

 LOT 393 # 9499 15 November 1876 Sold by Theophile Arpin ( trader )  to James Macpherson ( merchant, )

LOT 394  . # 9499 15 November 1876 Sold by Theophile Arpin ( trader )  to James Macpherson ( merchant, )  

 # 9589 12 January 1877, both lots lost in bankruptcy by James MacPherson , was a partner in the St Johns Glass Co. ( this is at the time the St Johns Glass Co. was going bankrupt and later turned over to the Yuiles.)  
LOT 395
 # 3259. 3 OCTOBER 1863. E. DUPONT  (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO JAMES S. ALLEN .
LOT 396
 # 3201. 6 MARCH 1865 . E. DUPONT  (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO LEONARD DUPONT.
 # 9589 12 January 1877 , lost in bankruptcy by James MacPherson , was a partner in the St Johns Glass Co. ( this is at the time the St Johns Glass Co was going bankrupt and later turned over to the Yuiles.) 
LOT 397
 # 3257. 15 APRIL 1863 . E. DUPONT (manufacturer of glass and foundry) TO FRANCOIS GUILMETTE
+ surplus along Glass street
NOTE , The seignory of Bleury is on the east side of the Richelieu River where Iberville is now. These properties were used for wood to fuel the glass making.
 #262 ( notorial ) 25th Aug. 1845 . A protest or suit by Smith Wilkins & Co. against Joseph Ouimet & Michael Massey for not fullfilling an agreement to deliver wood signed on Oct 4th 1844 to deliver on or before March 15th 1845. (2000 cords total.)

#2626 - march 2 1846 . An agreement for 5 years between Joseph Charrouse and Smith, Wilkins & co(Atwater) to cut mature wood for their use on the north half of lot 62 , 3rd concession  in the Seignory of Bleury(2 arpents in front by 40 arpents depth , about 80 acres) for 37 pounds 10 shillings

# 430 ( Notorial ) June 19th 1846 agreement to remove wood. Joseph Lebeau to Smith Wilkins & Co. for 5 years in St Anathase  in the Seignory of Bleury .

#2882 - july 3 1846 A let and lease for 5 years ( until July 3 1851) between George McKimmins and Smith, Wilkins & Co for a certain strip or parcel of land of irregular form being part of a greater content of land or farm also of irregular form situated in St Athanase in the Seignory of Bleury. This land shall not be used for any other purpose than as a deposit for wood of whatever description in the said lesee may think proper to lay thereon , 25 pounds for 5 years .

#3120 -  December 10 1846 Purchase of lot  # (triangular form) in Parish of St Athanase , 3rd concession Seignory of Bleury by Smith, Wilkins & Co (glass manufactures in St Johns) about 45 arpents (aprox  45  acres )  from Mott & Patee and Prudence Bertrand .

 # not found ,January 2 1848- purchase of lot # 68 mentioned in  #9484 which is the sale of this property. It was sold to Smith on January 2nd 1848 ( can not find original Act) by Brownson Meigs timber merchant in St Athanase   ( see #'s 266 ,9475 ,8260 ) 

# 5658 ( notorial ) March 1st 1851 Agreement to continue to cut  and remove wood from the land of Abraham Goyette , 3rd concession Seigneurie de Bleury . ( St. Anathase )  till June 1st 1852 . Seems to be an extention of #2626 ( listed above) with Joseph Charrouse. 

 #9484 - november 14 1857 . Sale of lot #68 in the 3rd concession , Seigneurie de Bleury by Frederick Smith (represented by Charles S Pierce , St Johns)  to Theophille Frechette, cultivateur de la Paroisse St Athanase.   

.Properties were found at Coteau Landing on Lake St Francis ( part of the St. Lawrence River below Montreal) These lots are not part of the glass works and are listed with Smith & Wilkins as owners. They had originally belonged to Wilkins father in law who had a large forwarding buisiness with steam boats running the mail from Lower Canada to Upper Canada. When Smith went back to the U.S. in 1849 he and Wilkins also went into forwarding so the dock at Coteau was used in delivery on the St Lawrence. Great read for those like my wife was the book Steamboat connections: Montreal to Upper Canada1816 - 1843 by Frank Mackey

While it's known that window glass was the purpose for the establishment of this works, it was soon to become an anchor around their necks. The agreement would have brought them to Aug. 1851, but by at least early 1848 the Ottawa Glass Works at Como was advertising regularly in the Montreal newspapers making for strong competition

ottawa glass company

By 1849 Smith was back in Burlington yet there were others that took over the window glass production as the advertisements continue till 1852. At this time Oliver Holman was superintendent ( see info in in SECOND PHASE 1852-1855 below)


A look at the reasons for keeping it open and never closing down were the other objects being made . I will focus on the telegraph insulators as the colours give insight into the other products. This leads us to look at telegraph . Both Atwater and Allan were instrumental in the start up of the Montreal Telegraph Co. and the Montreal & Troy Telegraph Co.       If only for a supply of insulators, they needed to keep the Works open for their rapid expansion . As stated later O.S.Woods was the first president of the Montreal Telegraph Co. in 1847.  Yet by 1851 Hugh Allan became president and Woods was superintendent. In 1851 there were 500 miles of line in the Province of Canada but by 1860 there were 19,000 miles in Canada and the USA belonging to MTCo.

NOTE . CD # for designating insulators is a modern term that classes them for collectors by design and size.

 The first mould made for Montreal Telegraph Co. is the     CD 740.1  .  The first lines were along roads , later the rail lines became a main route . It was not till 1869 seeing the beginnings of the Dominion Telegraph Co that the MTCo received exclusive rights along the rail roads.    Made in 1847 , the mould , I am certain was made by E . Dupont , he had a foundry in St Johns at that time and his continued association with the works leaves him as the certain maker. First years were as a smooth base . It gets the ridged base around 1851 colours are blues , green & blue  aqua often with white chunks and a milky look , light & dark green , it also comes in different black glass colours. It is easy to tell the difference of the Canadian ones from the U.S. ones , notice the slope on the upper wire ridge . The U.S. ones are straight down then a sharp turn out to form a ring for the wire ridge.
While it can not be certain I feel this particular hat style insulator design was first used at the Canada Glass Works. It may have been a design by O S Wood who  with Samuel Morse and Ezra Cornell his brother in-law were the first three men in the industry. He was brought up to oversee the Montreal Telegraph Co. in 1847 as president . The 740.1 was used on the Atlantic & St. Lawrence RR ( name was used by the U.S. )  St . Lawrence & Atlantic ( was used by the Canadian side) It was built starting in 1847 and finished in early 1853. Some 740.1s were found all the way to Portland Maine. The U.S. 740s are newer looking .


Fresh & old mould 740.1

740.1 Threadless Insulator
740.1 Threadless Insulator
Smooth base of fresh mould
Smooth base of fresh mould

The next three pictures are of my favourite. It came in three pieces, has the ridged base , it is a yellow olive blackglass but with sun coming through it is a yellow mustard colour.

CD 740.1 threadless insulator
cd 740.1 threadless insulator
cd 740.1 threadless insulator
U.S. made ones have the 90 degree at the wire ridge.
us made cd 740 threadless

INSULATORS 1854 - 1859

This time period is for the  most part blackglass.

Second mould is what is designated the CD 740 it begins in about 1854 it gets the ridged base from the beginning . Comes in blackglass shades . Often confused with the U.S.A. insulators , yet it is easy to tell the difference . Soon after being made the upper wire ridge chipped at the mould line on each side , to repair it the chip was filed out making the ridge have a slight point instead of being round at the mould line. ( football ends when looking at from above).

cd 740 canadian threadless

Ridged Base: Note the second tiny ridge near the outer edge.

It gets a few reworks ( football ends are larger as time goes on ) and on the last one is turned into the Foster Brothers CD 740 in 1858 by the making of a new  * base plate* . Note band around the base of the skirt , by this time Dupont has added a metal lathe to his foundry and to clean up chips on the skirt base it is turned slightly leaving the band. Comes in blackglass colours. Although listed in many colours including aqua , emerald green etc.    I have never seen any , and shining a lot of light into a green blackglass insulator does not make it emerald green.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

This stage of Foster Brothers CD 740 is referred to by George Foster in his 1861 letter for New Granite Glass Works in Stoddard offering to make high quality insulators for U.S Tel. Co's like he made for the Montreal Telegraph Co. in St. Johns C.E.                          


Some U.S. collectors have put forward that the Fosters may have made some of these in Stoddard New Hampshire when they went back in 1859. 


First , they didn't own the moulds,  secondly they offered U.S. telegraph Co.'s the finest insulators. Why then would they make some for them in old moulds with St. Johns C.E. ( Canada East ) on the base , no US Tel Co . would accept that.

Foster Brothers threadless insulator
foster brothers threadless insulator
foster brothers threadless insulator
foster brothers threadless

INSULATOR 1860 +      

 Still later in 1860 it is totally reworked into the E . Dupont St. Jean C.E.  CD740 .  The band on the base while used as a Foster Brothers is removed by machining a smooth arc to meet the upper skirt. The points ( football ends ) are filled making the wire ridge round when viewed from the top.   These come in light and dark green ,  odd aqua with lots of milky and white bits , and in blackglass. I feel these were made till at least 1864 and possibly till 1868 as that is when Leonard Dupont sold the property ( with E. Dupont still there). However the Montreal Telegraph Co. contract would seem to  have gone to the Canada Glass CO. ( in HUDSON ) in 1864 . Many people have dated these Dupont insulators to the 1850's because of the lines they are found on , however being on a line does not mean it was the first (or last ) insulator used. So location must be used with other info.

 E Dupont threadless insulator
e dupont st jean theadless insulator
e dupont st jean threadless insulator

These bottles are all in the time frame 1845-60 and are finished with the same at the lip. It is an actual "applied lip " with a bead of glass applied and finished with a tool . It is different from the later hand tooled lip.

This is a type of tool used .  


Tool in open position.                                                                                                Tool in closed position.

In early soda's it is possible to tell the difference between glass works .

The tiny pimple on the base from a flaw and the plate for the embossing shows the Musson & Co and the A.Savage & Co as the same mould. 

The lip is identical to the Foster Brothers soda bottle.  

Below are both sides of the Savage bottle.

Below are some photos of a Foster Brothers St Johns C.E. torpedo bottle from the Royal Ontario Museum.


SECOND PHASE 1852 - 1855  


This period is usually considered closed or shut down. Yet in the agreement to purchase wood signed in 1851 # 5658 -notary document shows that Oliver Holman as superintendent of the glass factory and was still there in1852 when the ads for the window glass ended .

His name is significant as he remains in St Johns until at least July 13th 1854 when his wife died ( likely until Joseph Foster took over in Nov. 1855 .) He came from New Hampshire where he was a partner in the Keene Window Glass Factory works & store. ( 1820-1830's ) At this time the Perry Wheeler & Co. was also in Keene making bottles.

This is where Joseph Foster worked and knew Oliver Holman.

Below is a receipt with Holman's name on it. Archives Canada

NEW INFO AS OF 2023 -The glass works would seem to be in full operation during this period of 1852-1855.

In the Montreal Herald and Daily Gazette newspaper form December 1853 until October 22, 1855 are Glassware imports by the Champlain & St Lawrence railway.

In 1836 this railway line originally ran from St Johns ( known as Dorchester at that time and now as St Jean-sur -le Richelieu ) to La Prairie on the St Lawrence.  In effect, it served as a portage over the most troublesome part of the journey from Montréal to New York, which continued by steamer via Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. The railway was extended to Rouses Point, New York, in 1851 and to St Lambert, Québec, in 1852. In(Canadian Encyclopedia)

Although there is a chance the glass being imported was from the United States , Oliver Holmon was still in St Johns in in1854 and Joseph Foster ( as shown below) in St Johns probably in 1852.

Montreal merchants most likely supported a close establishment.

The production was now mostly bottles for druggists, merchants and lamp/lantern glass globes.

Dec 29 1853.png

 1854 Montreal directory listings for merchants

A .Savage & Co. - chemists and druggists, 109 (late 91) Notre Dame, house Lagauchetière near Alexander

Carter, Kerry & Co, chemists and druggists 184 St Paul

S. J. Lyman & Co, chemists and druggists, 141 and 143 Notre Dame, corner Place d’ Armes

John Birks & Co - medical hall, 7 Great St James

H. B. Smith &Co - wholesale China and glass, 256 St Paul, house Durocher near the Mountain

W. R. Hibbard - trunk and lamp store, 161 St Paul

Charles Hager & Co., (Edward Hager) China, glass& etc, 293 St Paul

Geo N Hall - Hardware ,145 St Paul St

William Darling  & Co - general merchants, 239 St Paul, house corner Queen and William


  For a very good understanding of Hugh Allan the  Dictionary of Canadian Biography volume xi 1881-1890 and also the , Telegraph in America by James D Reid 1879 can both be found on line.  

JOSEPH FOSTER 1855-1857 
In the search I could not help but feel for Joseph as he worked hard all his life , yet the old saying goes  " if it can go wrong it will " seemed to follow him.                                        

This next info comes from Historical American Glass . Com.                                                                          

 Joseph Foster left Perry Wheeler & Co. as it closed down. He became a partner in J B Leonard & Co. when they took over the former Perry Wheeler & Co. This also failed and Joseph moved to Stoddard New Hampshire 

  He then opened his own works in 1842 using much of the moulds etc. from the former venture. One month after the first fireing in Nov. 1842 he went bankrupt April 19th, 1843 .  He must have blown for others till by June 12th 1847 he was again making glass at a new property of his own. By April 27th 1850 he was again bankrupt.                                                                            

By Aug. 7th 1850 he was in Roxbury Massachusetts with his whole family in the census.  On line there is the Supreme Court records Oct. term 1851 .       The  Norfolk Glass Works in Roxbury, property of Joseph Foster, being held and foreclosed by the sheriff. Now Judson & Co ( main creditor) was after the holdings from the sherrif Thomas Adams , this had been heard earlier in lower court, again the judgement went against him and he was bankrupt. This shows Joseph bankrupt late spring 1851.                                                                


While his daughter died in Roxbury Feb. 27th 1852 this does not mean Joseph was there at that time. She was 20 years old and had been married for just over a year . It is some time between  fall 1851 & spring 1852 that we believe he went to St. Johns C.E. to work as a glass blower , the connection with Oliver Holman superintendent of Canada Glass Works St Johns C.E. likely helped . It was customary for glass blowers to leave their families and take work far away. ( George Foster's diary shows he often left his wife with family.) Joseph's family remained in Roxbury till about 1854 when they moved to St Johns.  Ellen Foster was married in St Johns  Mar. 13th 1855.                  


 By 1855 Smith Wilkins & Co. had had their fill of this works and it was going to be sold (actual sale to Hugh Allan in 1856) It was then that Joseph must have leased the works. This is shown by the following

From The News and frontier Advocate:

Joseph Foster glass St Johns

From The News and Frontier Advocate Jan 11th 1856 , it is part of a business directory list of St Johns. He is at the bottom.

joseph foster glass blower

It was common for a new manufacturer to offer all that they could supply in ads so it is quite certain that Nov 1855 was the start of Joseph's running the works he must have only leased it as he never owned the property .

It is uncertain when Charles came up , most likely 1854, he is mentioned in George's diary as being in St Johns on Jan 3rd 1856. Also in George's diary  at the end of 1856 Charles was asking him to come up to Canada to blow.

NEW INFO Aug.10th 2019


Notary doc. # 331 - October 18 1856 - Assignment of Patent Rights
This document was drawn up in St Johns and is between  Lewis Blakley Carpenter , Trader in the city of Buffalo in the State of New York of the United States and Joseph Foster , Glass Manufacturer of St Johns.
Lewis B Carpenter is selling  for $ 1000. (equal to 250 pounds ) the exclusive rights to manufacture  and sell an Improved Hand Lantern  for which he holds the Patent since October 6 1854 ( Patent # 476 ) from the Government of the Provinces of  Canada and since July 24 1854 in the United States. Joseph Foster will have the right to sell in both Canada and the United States ( Patent # 11354 ) . He has paid $100. and will owe $ 900. Every three months he must make at least six dozen lanterns and pay L B Carpenter $3. He has until October 6 1868 to complete the payment. There are seven pages of complex terms and conditions making it an unusual contract. It is not known how long Joseph produced these or if he ever finished full payment.

As noted below August 25 1857 , Joseph took over the tin manufacturing from Charles.

At the bottom of this post are the pictures and a description  of this lantern.
After searching the net and going through Richard C Barrett's books we find no info or real pic's of this lantern . If anyone out there has one of these a real pic would be appreciated .


 Hugh Allan as new owner continued to let  Joseph manage the works ( no lease was found ) & On Aug 20th 1857 the Foster Brothers period begins .                                                              

This pic of the Canada Glass Works during the 1857- 1859 period comes from T B Kings book and was courtesy of John Morrill Foster. As does the pic of the trade card. 

A notorial record Aug 20th 1857  # 484 of George & Charles of St Johns , Glass Manufacturers & Traders co-partners under the name "Foster Brothers"  giving power of attorney to Joseph to sell and keep monies of 600 one gallon demi johns ( willow covered) , 3 gross soda water bottles (=432) & 200 quart bottles. This would have been the remaining stock while Joseph was in charge.

 On Aug 20th 1857 # 485 they also appoint John Hibbard as their attorney to represent them in any legal  matters.
 A side coincidence is that Mary Foster's needlepoint of the family record was done on this date , as shown in the book Old bottle Foster & His Glass Making Decendants by J M Foster. 

On Aug 25th 1857 # 488 Charles W Foster ,"Tinware , ink ,& lantern manufacturer" of St Johns engages and hires Joseph to sell and cause to be produced for six months from Sept 1st all tinware of Charles's business This shows Charles as a tinsmith , the ink word I believe is for blued or blackened tin. We find in the 1857 directory below Foster Brothers Glass manufacturers , Foster & Ramsay tin wares &,c Front Street .
foster brothers glass

Charles is giving up the tinsmith business to work with George on the glass works. 

Products , insulators etc . seen above.

As for the ending of this phase Charles was married on July 13th 1859 in Concord New Hampshire. On June 16th 1860 census he was living with his wife & inlaws in Stoddard N.H.   , also they are not listed in the News and Frontier Advocate in the St Johns Business Directory of 1859 . So it would seem to be mid 1859 as the end of this phase.

FORTH PHASE EUSEBE DUPONT 1860 - 1864 - 68 ?

As Noted above Eusebe may have continued to make glass after he sold to his brother . His products judging from his insulator colours were likely beer , whiskey and soda bottles . These insulators come in light and dark green,  odd aqua with lots of milky and white bits , and in blackglass.                                                                

  Eusebe like Joseph Foster was a man whose life was a struggle. In 1842 he bought his first lot of land for a foundry from the Baron on Grant St. in St Johns ( land register # 43 .)  His first wife died in 1850 and he seems to have been forever one step away from the sherrif's forclosure. At some point he may have moved his foundry into the glass works possibly as early as 1852 . He sold his foundry to Leandre Lareau his apprentice and we find no new foundry yet he may have continued for a time working with him.  

                                                            As a machinist he took out a patent on an improved pump.

In 1865 he was again in financial trouble yet he had just sold all properties . Still , his whole household belongings went up for auction by the sherrif. His tools and one lot of moulds were in this sale . Yet only two bidders were there as though by design, M Dufresne who could have been his second wife whom he married in 1850. She was a widow and had children from her first marriage. ( Eusebe didn't seem to have any of his own ) There was also a Maxime O'David a merchant who bought almost everything , who in the same notary document # 80 leased everything back to Eusebe for 10 years. Again life wasn't great for Eusebe he died April 16th1869.  

  History may have passed this man by were it not for the insulator that bears his name. ..........................................................................................
This project began while I was very ill. Having a base knowlege on this subject I wanted to get it written up . My wife undertook to spend about 20 + hours a week for about 15 months , and what I thought I knew grew by tenfold , I can not thank her enough.

Research is neither quick or cheap , owning and using at least a dozen books that aided in this search.  As well as about $400. spent on downloaded documents etc. Yet each new fact was as good as acquiring a high end insulator for my collection.                                                        

  We thank those that sent us pictures as well as the unknown pics used from my 12,000 + pics in my computer saved from ebay , ICON ( insulator collectors on the net) as well as books that were noted and online sources.   (Telecomunications in Canada by Robert E Babe is a good read for Canadian collectors.)              

 The National Archives in Ottawa is a great source but is so vast it is difficult to use for those living any distance away.          All Quebec land records are now online ( if they were registered ) We downloaded dozens that were not what we wanted in order to get all the ones we needed.                    

  Notorial records of Quebec can be found in with a search mechanism. They can be ordered from the BANQ with the Notary's name, his number and the number of the document.


 The following is the Patent for the Lantern that Joseph Foster received the rights to manufacture and sell in October 1856.

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