HISTORY UNIVERSAL - DIAMOND - GLASS CO
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UNIVERSAL - DIAMOND - GLASS CO
Modernizing injects life into glass plant considerate efforts by Diamond Glass Co. now Diamond - bathurst inc. to Modernizing Vienna's nearly century old glass factory have turned its fortunes around' The Vienna plant was bought by Pennsylvania-based Diamond Glass in February 1981 when the owner, National Bottle Manufacturing Co. was bankrupt. Continued capital improvement projects financed by combinations of private and public sector funds were started almost immediately. New offices and warehouse totaling 146,400 square feet were completed and dedicated in May 1982. The project was part of the modernization of the Vienna plant made after the acquisition by Diamond Glass.
Additional renovation was done to upgrade production equipment and rebuild a glass furnace. Four of the five renovated production lines went into operation in January 1984 in a $3 million program by Diamond Glass to increase its marketing reach. A $1 million plant renovation project, to build a new vat system for producing glassware, was also completed by late February The system is used to deliver the ingredients to furnaces for molding into bottles but the system Diamond inherited from National Bottle was outdated and in need of being replaced. The improvements were essential to make the plant competitive.
Disaster had struck at the plant in the early 1980s. As a result of over supply. in the glass industry and generally poor overall economic conditions National Bottle was forced into chapter 11 bankruptcy. While in bankruptcy the plant was purchased by Diamond Glass. Diamond a subsidiary of Dominion Glass of Canada at that time had one other plant located in Royersford, Pa.
In the last couple of years the company has grown by tremendous strides. It recently gobbled up two large glass companies Container General and Thatcher Glass Co, Diamond-Bathurst Inc. the present name of the company, is now the nation's second largest glass container manufacturing company. It currently has locations scattered throughout the United States. President and Chief Executive Officer Frank B. Foster III predicts the company will have sales exceeding $600 million in 1986. The company's stock which recently split has also experienced tremendous growth during the past few months. The local manufacturing facility in Vienna produces glass containers for the liquor, wine and soft drink industries. The plant employs 250 men and women.
The plant was built ln the late 1800s. It was initially called the Brown Tumbler Co. and produced glass tumblers. Visitors today still can see the original brick, smoke stack, now non-functional, that dis-plays a big "B".In 1919, the company became Universal Glass Products Co. and at that time it was owned and managed by Robert S. Davis and his family. Davis's birthday, Jan. 31 is still celebrated as an official holiday by some plant employees.
In the 1920-1940 period Universal primarily produced milk bottles. The late 50s saw a gradual change in product mix beginning with the manufacture of liquor bottles.
In 1959 the Vienna bottle plant was purchased by Bernard L. Sachs. Ownership was subsequently handed down to Sachs's two sons and once again in the mid 1970s the company's name changed this time to National Bottle Manufacturing Co. They closed down 1986 the building demolished and a sams club was built
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