Willaim Williams to Moses Austin, 06-12-1820

Summary: Concerning establishment of a glass factory in Missouri.

Geneva 12 June 1820

Moses Austin Esqr


This is an introduction quite out of all rule yet I hope you will have the kindness to admit it—

The subject I would address you upon is the Manufacturing of window Glass in your state.

From a Geographical view of that country I look upon it as possessing advantages in the manufacturing of window glass far superior to any other part of the United States—Amongst which its vicinity to the lead mines is not the least—The proper sand and clay (two articles of the first importance) I understand also may be had very convenient—

Altho lead on account of the expense is not commonly used in the making of window Glass yet where it can be procured so easily as at your place it may be rendered very useful—The Glass will be heavier and of finer texture and will of consequence sell more readily in a market where there may be a competition—

A Glass Factory may at present (labours being with us so much lower than usual) be erected and put in full operation with a capital of about $4000 cash and a store of goods of 6 000—making together Ten Thousand Dollars—

The cost of making Glass at these Works for a year past has been at an average of about three dollars and sixty cents per box (fifty feet) it is now made for $3.19 per box—Notwithstanding that a rent of $2000 per annum is paid for the works—A friend of mine who traveled through your country about eighteen months ago told me the article sold at your place then at seven dollars and fifty cents a box—being an advance of more than one hundred per cent—A manufactory well managed with good workmen will produce from six to seven hundred boxes of Glass per month—we have in two instances at these works within a year made 800 boxes of Glass in one month— I have here given you a correct summary of the whole work, should any Gentlemen in your place feel disposed to embark in the business I should be happy to engage with them and move to that country

Please reply as soon as convenient

Wm Williams Superint. Ontario Glass Factory [Ontario County N. Y.]

[Addressed:] Moses Austin Esquire Herculaneum Jefferson County Missouri State