In 1863, Holz, Clark, and Taylor erected a glass factory at Broadway and Front Streets.�� Early products include several collectible fruit jars along with many mould blown bottles.�� Their products included The Salem Jar, the Holz, Clark, & Taylor Salem Jar, and the Peerless fruit jars.���
John Gayner worked for his father in Bristol, England before coming to America in 1866.�� He started a glass factory in Waterford, NJ, and took on S. J. Pardessus as a partner.�� They made colored lamp shades and glass stained by a new technic.�� They moved their business to Salem where they leased the defunct Holz, Clark, and Taylor factory.�� John started off with less than a dozen workers, and by 1918, the company had over 600 employees.��� In 1879, they purchased the property and in 1885, Pardessus withdrew from the partnership.�� John Gayner then operated the business alone, until it was incorporated as a family business in 1898.��
One furnace supplied glass for various bottles and fruit jars, including Clark�s Peerless, J & B Fruit Jar, Trademark Leotric, The Gayner Mason, Gayner Glass Top, Trademerk Electric, and the Trademark Banner fruit jars.�� Two additional furnaces supplied glass for the hand shops making five gallon and ten gallon carboys along with� battery jars.�� In the 1920�s, J. William Gayner started the factory making insulators.� There are ten different insulators that were made at Gayner, and they all have �Gayner� embossed on the side.�� The quality of these insulators was excellent, but they were only produced for three years.�� J. William Gayner left the Gayner Glass Co., in 1923, to join the Lynchburg Glass Co. and headed up their effort to produce insulators.��
The factory focused on large carboys, but also made decorative whiskey bottles, grape juice bottles, glass eye washes, and even some collectible or commemorative bottles like the Helm�s Cove bottle in green.�� Green was probably easy for them because they were probably making seven up bottles, which are the same color.� ��Many of the Gayner items have a �G� or Gayner on the base.
Eph Roundtree was a glass blower at the Gayner plant from 1934 to 1965.�� In the off hours, he would make glass whimsies like lilies, turtles, swans, pipes, and canes.�� Whatever he made had to go through the lehr for overnight cooling.�� Many times he would come to work the next day to find his personally crafted items were missing.�� To learn more about glass whimsies, go to www.whimsey.org .���
In 1956 the family business was sold to Star City Glass Co., which later merged with the National Bottle Corp.��� The National Bottle Corp. ceased operation in 1975.�� In 1977, after a long financial struggle, John G. Foster obtained the old Gayner plant from the National Bottle Corp.��� Foster refurbished the newer furnace, renovated production machinery, and rebuilt production lines.� In the fall of 1977, production started and bottles were again coming from the old Gayner plant.�� But with all the good intensions, the plant ceased production for the final time in 1979.�� The facility eventually became ALU-CHEM and a distribution center for solid chemicals like fertilizer.�������