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Foster Family Business Records

Identifier: MS-0223

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of business records from a variety of glass container manufacturing companies and glass jobbing firms owned by members of the Foster family in the Northeast and Midwest. The records are divided into eleven series:

(1) George W. and Charles W. Foster Papers, 1866-1902

(2) John M. Foster Business Correspondence and Subject Files, 1921-1974

(3) John Morrill Foster Personal Correspondence, 1923-1953

(4) Dean, Foster & Co. Records, 1878-1901

(5) A. M. Foster & Co. Records, 1885-1941

(6) B. F. Leach & Co. Records, 1897-1905

(7) Millgrove Glass Co. Records, 1898-1933

(8) Upland Flint Bottle Co. Records, 1902-1972

(9) Foster-Forbes Glass Co. Records, 1886-2000

(10) Demuth Glass Works, Inc. Records, 1945-1952

(11) Miscellaneous Foster Family Business Records, 1894-1937


  • 1866-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1960


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

The Foster family, located first in New England and then in the Midwest, consists of five generations of glass makers.

(1) Joseph Foster (1801-1863) was a glassblower who founded a glass bottle factory in 1842 in Stoddard, New Hampshire.

(2) George W. Foster (1829-1892), son of Joseph Foster, was also a glassblower and worked in his father's and other glass factories. He established his own factory, New Granite Glassworks, also in Stoddard, New Hampshire, around 1860. By the 1870s, glass making began to move to the Appalachia and Midwest, where fuel was more abundant. George W. Foster closed the New Hampshire factories and opened Dean, Foster & Co., a glass jobbing company.

(3) Adelbert M. Foster (1859-1934), son of George W. Foster, opened a branch office of Dean, Foster & Co. in Chicago in 1885. The jobbing company changed its name to A. M. Foster & Co. around 1895. He also held leadership positions in and owned various Indiana glass making factories, including B. F. Leach Glass Co., Marion Flint Glass Co., and Millgrove Glass Co. In 1910, he purchased the Upland Cooperative Glass Co., which was renamed Upland Flint Glass Co. in 1911. Foster owned Upland Flint Glass Co. jointly with W. C. Forbes and S. L. Peterson. In 1929, Upland Flint Glass Co. was renamed Foster-Forbes Glass Co.

(4) John M. Foster (1898-1996), son of Adelbert M. Foster, began working for Upland Flint Glass Co. in 1920, first in manufacturing, and later in sales. In 1922 the plant abandoned hand-blown bottle making techniques for the Owens bottle machine. He became president of Foster-Forbes Glass Co. upon the death of his father in 1935. He held that position until his retirement in 1970.

(5) John J. Foster (1933-2015), son of John M. Foster, worked for Foster-Forbes Glass Co., becoming the Burlington, Wisconsin plant manager in 1966. He also served as a regional sales manager in the company's Massachusetts office.

Bibliography: Foster, John Merrill. _Old Bottle Foster and His Glass-Making Descendants_. Fort Wayne: Keefer Printing Co., 1972.


53.4 Linear Feet (56 Hollinger boxes, 23 half Hollinger boxes, 14 flat boxes, and 3 card file boxes. )

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Visibly moldy materials were found within this collection. While most of those materials have been copied and removed, the entire collection has a musty smell and should be monitored for mold growth.

Most ledger book covers were removed because of substantial damage to their bindings. Disbound ledgers should be used on rigid book supports. Many of the remaining bound ledgers have red rot.

Blueprints in the collection remain folded. Researchers may carefully unfold them with assistance from the staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Sue Miller Foster in 2019. Accession 2019.020

Related Materials

Documents related to Foster Family glass businesses in New Hampshire are located at the Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene, New Hampshire. Among the records are the papers of George W. Foster, which include journals and other documentation of glass manufacture in the 1840s and 1850s.

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2019 and 2020 with assistance from Amanda LaLomia.

Foster Family Business Records, 1866-2000
A Guide to the Collection
Colleen McFarland Rademaker
January 30, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The Foster Family Business Records were collected and preserved by John Morrill Foster (1898-1996), who spent his life and career in the glass industry. The Foster family wishes to acknowledge the work of Alan Rumrill of the Historical Scoiety of Cheshire County in Keene, New Hampshire for his work on the preliminary organization of this collection and for arranging the donation and delivery of this collection to The Corning Museum of Glass.

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA