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.


  1. Chad's Crooked House on February 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I looked at a house on Amber Street! It wasn’t that far up though.

  2. Rose on January 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    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.

    • Ross on January 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Can you send me a picture?

  3. Paul on April 28, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Do you have a Gill catalog or catalogs. I found a few simple sconces by Gill not the ornate deco ones. Wanted to identify if possible. Thanks

  4. JoAnn Arduini on May 20, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    How to evaluate the value of a Gill Glass 3 Cone Light Fixture???

    • Ross on May 20, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Valuations are difficult to ascertain. Too many factors affect price, including condition, location, the time of the year, local/national economic conditions, seller reputation, presentation, etc.

      Like, for example, if you put a fixture in a yard sale it would get very little. If you listed the same fixture on Craig’s List it would get more. If you consigned the same fixture to a NYC auction house it might get much more!

      One thing to consider is that most old lights, unrestored and with old wiring, sell for less than $100 on eBay.

  5. Ed Albright on May 17, 2018 at 8:15 am

    My parents worked at Gill Glass and that is where they met.
    I still have one piece that my father made there. It is a glass Christmas tree lit from inside with a bulb.

    • Sue Amondson on May 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      I have a base to a Gill tree and have looked everywhere for a green tree to make it whole. Do you have any resources regarding replacement pieces?
      Thank you for your time.
      Sue Amondson

    • Dale Amondson on May 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      I am looking to purchase the glass Christmas tree lamp made by Gill Glass in the 1930s. Do you have any idea if anyone has one available for sale?

    • Janet Elvidge on August 1, 2019 at 5:23 am

      My Great Grandfather and his 2 brothers came from Ireland and founded Gill Glass. Did you ever hear stories about the owners? I never heard much except they lost their money during the depression. Thanks, Janet

      • Sue Ryan on November 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm

        Hi, Janet.
        I think you are the daughter of my cousin Ed Elvidge.
        Your great-grandfather Edward Gill was my maternal grandfather.
        He had a twin brother Patrick.
        He married Mary Helen Meighan. Her youngest child was your grandmother Marjorie Elvidge. My mother, Suzanne, was two years older than Marge.
        I don’t have much info about Gill Glass except that Edward Gill’s father was a glass blower at Waterford Glass in Ireland before he came to America and founded Gill Glass.
        During WWI, the factory was taken over by the US government to help the war effort. This was detrimental to the company’s profits, so even before the depression the company was struggling.
        Janet, are you still love bing in Maine? My son John is working at a Jackson Labs.
        I would love to know how you and your family are, Janet!
        Sue Conroy Ryan

        • Lulu Bistrong on November 18, 2020 at 7:44 am

          Ed Elvidge is my grandfather, and my mother Theresa told me that Edward Gill(or one of his descendants I think) lost everything due to his gambling addiction.

  6. Margaret Plumb on December 25, 2018 at 1:56 am

    The identical pattern in glass can be found in a vintage 16″ diameter heavy glass shade which would sit atop a vintage torchiere. In fact, the silver fitter pictured is also found as a standard fitter/shade holder on such a torchiere. Below the torchiere fitter, you would have a neck spacer (usually), which would be attached to a vertical ribbed lamp sleeve which would run down to a lower spacer which would sit atop a lamp base (with or without an onyx, marble or slag glass center insert). I didn’t know that Gill made the glass. This lovely fixture screams ‘torchiere’ to me. Lighting manufacturers were eager to capitalize on every market and it is always interesting to see the crossovers! Thanks!

  7. Joanne schippert on September 8, 2019 at 10:46 am

    My grandmother worked at Gill’s in the 50s putting the fixtures on lamps and chandeliers! I still have one of her lamps !

    • Janet Elvidge on September 9, 2019 at 4:16 am

      Did you hear any stories about working there? Thanks

  8. Felix J Reid III on March 15, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    My grandfather (Felix J. Reid, Sr.) worked there in the 1920s. They made beautiful ceiling lights.

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