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Glass industry history difficult to wind down
Thursday, September 7, 1989

Pix #1 - Vernon Glenn Ball. Again, I must thank Vernon Ball for his contributio9n to the :"Glass" series. some of the information Ray coburn had in his possession, an dmade availble, was originally written by Ball and published in tTHe Review Times in 1966.

Pix #2 - Ray coburn as he looks today, photographed by The Review Times photographer, exclusively for this article

Pix #3 - Mrs Lillie Babb. Babb's father was a glass worker in Fostoria during those early days. The only photo of him that was available was not suitable for reproduction.

(Author's NOte: I had planned to finish the series about "glass: with last week's article, but as I surveyed the amount of information availabel and the time required to collect and organize it, I was sure the serires had to be extended to tell the full sotry about the glass plants in this ar4ea in past years.

Glass worker was city maypr

Oldr residents of fostoria may recall that Ray coburn in his earlier years was a glass worekr, but later became Fsotoria's mayor. That episode is herewith reprinted fro The Ameircan Flint, official publication of glass workers, it being th April 1952 issue"

"The many friend of Ray R. Coburn, a memeber of the American Flint Glass Workes' Union, will be glasd to know that he has recieved the outstianding honor of being elected mayor of Fostoria. He is ther first Democrat to be electred in Twenty years, and the only glass worker to ever be elected to that office.

Ray learned his trade as a glass workers in the Hot Metal Department. He geban at the age of nine years in 1902 with the Macbeth-Evans in Toledo as a carrying-in boy for his father, the late Hugh Coburn, who also was a memeber of the Flints for 65 years.

In his sarly years in Fostoria, Niles and Cleveland, and Totonto, Canada, he was a [ropgressive, outstanding trad unionist. He has held many offices in local unions and has attended convintions of the American Flint Glass Workers' Union of North America. later he was elected to memebership of the Executive Board in the Bulb Department.

Ray had had many years in city affairs, and because of his outstanding ability and his interest in the welfare of the people, they elected him for thier mayor.

Another photo with today's ar5icle is the font cover of "American Flint" April 1975 issur, showing employees at the Fostoria Glass Co., Moundsville, W. Va., the location of that factory after leaving Fostoria.

Boyhood neightbor calls about series

Soon after the Aug. 24 issue of The Review Times about the glass industry was delivered to readers, I had a call from Mrs. Lillie Babb, a resident on North Countyline St.

She had read one of the artiacle about "Glass," and said she didn't think I would remember her. I agreed until she told me she once lived on Taft boulevard as a young firl, and that her name then was Sturgiss.

Like a flash of lightening, I remembered as a very young boy we lived beside that family and myuchg came flashing throught my memory: My fall down an outside basement entraceto hour house, hitting my head and knocking me out, and how Mrs. Sturgiss, the mother of Mrs. Babb came running over to help reivie me. I guess I am no worse for that boyhood fall of nearly 80 yearys ago or am I?

During our conversation, Mrs Bab inquired if Wilbur Fransec was still living. I told her the last I knew he still lived in Bettsville, but my last contact with his was 4 or 5 years ago. I talked to him at hthat time, and I asked him if he remembered me. He looked at me for a few seconds, and then assked, "Are you Paul?"

Wilbur and I both attended Whittier School, wich at that time was located on crocker Street (west of Wood). I will make an effort ot learn if Wilbur Frances is still living and in bettsville,.

Heed God's word

In the showow of night you can draw on the light of god. In the glow of the dawn you can welcome the morn with God. Any time of the year you can banish all fear through God. So let's sprinkle our days iwth our thanks and our praise to god.

(By Barbara larriva. Extracted froom "From Darkness to Light: Salsiam Inspirational Books).



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