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                    The - DOMINION GLASS WORKS - MONTREAL 1869-70

The story of this ( to my knowledge ) unknown glass house begins with a most unusual man. His coming and going in the glass industry is as much a story as is the works themselves. In the U.S. he is listed as Richard Davis but in this case he is listed as Richard Davies. He was always involved in flat window glass.

Searches in many old and new books gave us this time line .

Boston Crystal Glass works  . Uncertain of his start but as seen below he leaves in 1864 .

The American Glass Works 1864... Three employees left the Boston Crystal Glass works to found this new window glass house. Ralph Gray , Richard Davis and a man named Tiffin. They had no money of their own but found backers to foot the cost . Opening the end of Sept. 1864 , they made only several batches and one of the new melt pots cracked burning the place down. 

The Saxson Sheet Glass Company . Spring 1865.. Again we have Ralph Gray and Richard Davis and possibly a few others. Having convinced new investors to bankroll the venture this one failed in about six months.

   Montreal Directory 1869-70 Davies is  found on St. Mary Street as a trader .


   Montreal 1869 - 70 . Dominion Glass Works , write up to follow . 

Lovell's Directory. 1871 he is found still on St. Mary as a glass blower 

The Saint John Glass Co. St John New Brunswick 1873-74 , he seems to be here but this works never seemed to have had production.  
New Bruswick Crystal Glass Co. Crouchville N. B. 1874-78 he is listed as a director. This works seems to have taken the equipment etc. from the one above. This works burnt in 1878.

Having bought the above burnt works in 1878 he renamed it the Courtney Bay Glass Works. By Feb. 1878 it was being leased by Mr Gray of Philadelphia, yet was shut down in Apr. 8th and auctioned off in June 1878.


A newspaper article dated March 12 1880 Montreal Herald shows Richard Davies attempted to open another glass works at Thorold, Ontario. This shows he failed in Thorold and ended up in Penetanguishene and he came from New Brunswick at this time. Clip is shown below this text box.

Penetang Glass Factory 1879-83. Penetanguishene. Ont. Richard Davis came from Nova Scotia Mar. 1880 and became manager. This was after his time in the New Brunswick ventures . This venture failed by 1883.

1885 July 4th Notary # 872- Protest against Richard Davies, glassworker by John C Spence & Sons, owners of the Canada Stained Glass Works Montreal. Davies is being sued over failure to build a proper furnace to bend glass etc.

The Sydenham Glass Co. of Wallaceburg Ont. 1894 .Here he seems to have purchased 200 shares in the Co. and is listed as a highly recommended tank engineer from Indiana U.S. to build the first tank.



1869 February 3rd -LR #53023
Sale of four lots of land- #11, 12, 13 and 14  "near the foot of St Mary or  Quebec suburbs in the city of Montreal" to Richard Davies, glass manufacturer from William Markland Molson, Esquire. It has a stone building formerly used as a Gas house and a wooden cottage on it. Also being sold is a piece of land 12 feet wide by 93 depth which is  partly bounded by Panthensis Square. Originally, the late Thomas Molson acquired this property from the New City Gas Works  in December 1852. William Molson inherited this land in June 1866. 
Richard Davies is purchasing the four lots and parcel of land for nine thousand dollars current money of the province. He will pay within five years and must have insurance on the property.( mortgage included)

1869 February 12th .  Obligation and Morgage to Richard Davies from Dame Ann Hynes ( wife of Henry Clarke) for $10,000. Done at the office of public notary Henry Blake Wright

1869 February 20th -N # 301   Sale by Richard Davies, glass manufacturer to Henry Joseph Clarke , Lawyer , the four lots of land #11, 12, 13, 14, and the parcel of land  only 17 days after Davies purchases them.

1869 May 1st   Richard Davies renting a house on Ste Marie street for 1 year from Louis Demer Boucher.

1869 November 16th   Richard Davies borrows money $254.75  from H J Clarke and D. Laine  & Co.

       Montreal Directory 1869 below on left and on right is clip of Thorold attempt

1869-1870 mtl dir davis.jpg
davis-1880 march 12 mHDG.jpg

1870 February 19th -N #116                                                                                                                                                    Protest of Promissory note made 3 monthes earlier by R Davies to H J Clarke and D Laine & Co

1870 March 7 -N # 2748-2749                                                                                                                                                      Act de depot  and Subrogation -claim by Mulholland & Baker for  $1611.25 for wages paid to the workers of Richard Davies and the employee's give Mulholland & Baker the right to be recompenced. This set of Dominion Glass Works pay lists start for January 29 1870 until February 26 1870 . This is the first one , occupation can be seen on the side.
 Mulholland and Baker were wholesale hardware dealers in Montreal. 

dominion glass works montreal 1870

1870 March 10 -Quebec Official Gazette

Richard Davies is bankrupt. He is described as a "glass manufacturer carrying on trade  and business in Montreal on his own behalf and benefit but under the  name and firm of Clarke and Company ". 

dominion glass works montreal 1870

1870 April 19
According to the letter written by H J Clarke  to John  Whyte assignee for Davies bankruptcy. The firm of  Mullholland & Baker received all the glass made by Davies ( La Revue Legale)

1870 June 9-10th overnight FIRE ( La Revue Legale)The Dominion Glass Works burnt down due to a pot cracking.

1870 September 7 -N #2887
Transfer and Subrogation from Henry Joseph Clarke to  Mulholland &Baker , ( Joel C Baker and Henry and Joseph Mulholland ) Wholesale Hardware Merchants, in Montreal of Clarke's claim and demand against  the estate of Richard Davies formerly glass manufacturer under the name Clarke and Company. The claim is based on monies lent, promissary notes, etc amounting to the sum of $28,976.09
Also same day N # 2888 Transfer and subrogation from Dame Ann Hynes , wife of H J Clarke to "Mulholland & Baker" her claim against Richard Davis  for $10,000 borrowed by him on February 12th 1869. 

Below is from the 1872 Montreal Directory showing Clarke ended up as attorney General Fort Garry  Manitoba

Below are start up costs note first expense was a trip to Boston. This links to Richard Davies to Richard Davis  of Boston glass companies.

1870 sept EXpences first page.jpg
1870 sept EXpences last page.jpg

1870 September 12th -N #2895
John Whyte, assigne for the insolvent estate of Richard Davies is notified that H J Clarke has transferred his claim to Mulholland & Baker

1870 November 16 -Quebec Official Gazette
sale of land  on January 25 1871 for Richard Davies, glass manufacturer doing business under the name of Clarke &Co, insolvant
Lots # 11, 12, 13, 14 in St Mary's suburb in the city of Montreal with a stone building formerly used for the Dominion Glass Works( now partly destroyed by fire), a wooden cottage etc.. also another lot of land in the suburb of Quebec ( St Mary's) 12 feet breadth by 93 feet in depth

dominion glass works montreal 1870
1870 nov 16 QOG- sale Dominion glass lan

1871 Montreal Directory-still lists Richard Davies as a glassblower

Is it possible he was working for the St Lawrence Glass Works?


BELOW ... After the above failure of the Dominion Glass Works, he seems intent on trying again. Yet the lease is cancelled .
1871 January 20th - N# 827 a lease to Richard Davies, glass manufacturer from Pierre Aime Fauteux, Lawyer and Nazaire Villeneuve, Merchant for a piece of land with an unoccupied stone building on St Mary street. The lease starts on Febuary 1 1871 for 27 monthes ending May 1 1873. He must have insurance if he uses it for producing glass.

1871 Febuary 14th  N # 831 Cancelling of foregoing lease between P.A. Fanteux & all and Richard Davies "hereby voluntarily for good reason to them personally known, cancel, annul and make void" the lease made on January 20th 1871


1871 November 11th
Court Case starts John Whyte Assignee for insolvant estate of Richard Davies (Clarke &Co.) against the Western Insurance company. The insurance company does not want to pay out. Insurance company does not end up paying as it took more than 30 days for the correct holder of the policy to give them the information .

 Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette

dominion glass works montreal 1870
1871 nov 11 MHDG-FIRE-2.jpg

1871 November 14 Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette

 Richard Davies Testimony on how the fire started.  Note fold in paper

1871 nov 14 MHDG-court.jpg

1872 Montreal  Directory - No listing for Richard Davies

1875 March 9 On this date this  case of  Whyte VS Western Insurance company was appealed before the high court of Quebec and the former decision was upheld. Insurance was not to be paid as not all documents were received before the  30 day deadline.

This ends the window glass production in the old Quebec Suburb of Montreal , St Mary's Ward.


December 2020 - For more information on Richard Davies

        GLASS FACTS  -The Newsletter of Glasfax- A Canadian Glass Association -Volume 15, Issue 2 Fall 2020

Article - Richard Davis - Scoundrel or Incompetent? by Sid Lethbridge

Gives a timeline from 1864-1901 of Richard Davies 's whereabouts and involvement in different glass works in Canada and the United States.

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