Gill Glass & Fixture Company was located on Amber Street in Philadelphia, and occupied most of the block between East Tioga and East Venango Streets. The factory backed up against rail lines, as was common, and there would have been a rail spur leading directly to Gill loading docks.
The Gill buildings are extant, although they look a lot less attractive than they did as pictured, proudly, in Gill catalogs. The immediate area around the factory was all housing (and still is), and it can be assumed that many of these homeowners worked for Gill – an easy commute.
All this seems like an ancient time, a lost age far, far away when America actually made stuff. Quality stuff, too. And when people didn’t have long commutes to work, and when railroads were powerful and important. Sigh.
Gill Glass produced some truly incredibly lighting from the 1920s to at least the 1950s. The glass on their fixtures was particularly notable.
Today, I listed a chandelier which just takes my breath away. It was first produced in the late 1930s, and was sold, I believe, until the early 1950s. The fixture was from Gill’s Bellaire series, which offered six models. In 1949, the chandelier was priced at $25.68. I know, you laugh, but that was WAY expensive! This was during an era when a new car was $1,600, gas was 26 cents a gallon, and a nice house was $14,000.
Hard to imagine.
So, to all the fine men and women who worked at the Gill Glass factory, and lived across the street raising families, I salute your fine, fine work. Your art.
Your efforts lives on. Thank you.
My online vintage lighting store.