A Beauty by Gill Glass

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.


The Gill Glass factory.
The Gill Glass factory. See all the empty land? In reality that was, and is, filled with housing


The factory today.
The factory today.


This is the housing directly across the street.
This is the housing directly across the street. Most of these houses would have likely been occupied by Gill factory workers.


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.

Just stunning.
Just stunning.


Oh my.
Oh my.


Who does such work today?


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.

3 Responses to A Beauty by Gill Glass

  1. Do you sell vintage globes or know a of good sources for globe replacements? I have a wonderful ceiling light fixture from the 1920s, however the beautiful glass globe broke. Although I saved the broken pieces, it’s likely too fragmented to put back together.

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