About Jeannette

The City of Jeannette will celebrate its 125th Anniversary in July 2013.  Please refer to the calendar of events on the home page for further details.  51lhokw2usl._sl500_

The brand new community of Jeannette grew at a rapid pace in its early years. This community that started in 1888, grew from farmlands and a handful of pioneer glassworkers and their families to a population of some 3,000. During the same year, the Pennsylvania Railroad constructed a station on the mail line. Jeannette became known as the “fastest growing community on the main line”.

800px-map_of_pennsylvania_highlighting_westmoreland_county.svg copyH. SELLERS MCKEE noted the waste of natural gas in the Grapeville field and decided to bring his glass making factories here from the Southside (Birmingham), Pittsburgh, to build a City. On August 30, 1887, application was made for a charter for the Western Land and Improvement Company, which was granted in 1888. About five hundred acres of land was purchased and engineers began at once to lay out the ground for factory and house sites. Mr. McKee wished to honor his wife by giving the new town her name, so it was named Jeannette. The engineers laid out the Streets of the new town and named one after every one of the incorporators. Early in June, 1888, the first public sale of lots was held and men and women came from near and far to attend, thus Jeannette was launched.

By the turn of the century, Jeannette’s economy was centered around four glass manufacturing plants and the construction, trade and service activities needed by a growing community. Following 1990, Jeannette’s economy, rail service and the community’s proximity to Pittsburgh brought additional, diversified industry to the area. The city soon grew to house seven glass companies and largest tableware glass factory in the world. Today, Jeannette has a population of 10,654.

jean mapDubbed originally the “Glass City”, because it was founded on a glass manufacturing center, the diversification of the manufacturing and industry, as came to exist in later, more recent years, earned the City the proud title “An American Workshop”.

As Jeannette became a leader in the glasswork industry it continued to heighten its innovations. In the early 1900’s, Jeannette became the location of the first company to produce sheet glass. This process was established using the Lubbers cylinder machine. Later the process was refined to the increase sturdiness and reduced the green tint of sheet glass. This innovation proved to be highly influential and was adopted by the entire glass industry. 

In the mid 1900’s Jeannette became the home of the only glass factory that produced flat, plate, sheet, and patterned-rolled glass. Previously known as one of the world’s largest producers of glass, the industries that populated the city have gone through changing times and with the loss and merging of companies and now only two glass factories remain in Jeannette.

pennsylvaniaJeannette also was home to other notable companies such as The Pennsylvania Rubber Works in 1903 and The Elliott Company (as it is known today) in 1914. These two companies helped to increase Jeannette’s footprint as an industrial strength. Products such as sports balls, gas masks, steam engines, and the first diesel-engine turbocharger became the fruits of their success.

Today Jeannette still thrives due to its industrial history. The city hosts a considerable amount of annual parades and community actives. The Jeannette Community Day, one of the largest annual events, displays how Jeannette continues to thrive as a community and their outlook towards the future.

Oakford Park Flood

Greensburg, Penn., July 5 – A cloudburst of immense proportions struck at the Summer resort called Oakford Park at 4 o’clock this afternoon and created a flood that caused great loss of life and property. It is known that at least 20 persons lost their lives, and rumors place the number of dead at more than 100, but up until a lat hour tonight only 3 or 4 bodies have been recovered, having been washed to the banks of the little creek that runs parallel with the park.

A telephone message from Jeannette received at midnight says from fifty to seventy-five men, women, and children perished by the cloudburst at Oakford Park today. The majority were drowned or their lives beaten out against the rocks in Brush Creek, but quite a number were electrocuted.

Today at least 800 persons were at the park seeking relief from the heat. At 3 o’clock rain began to fall in torrents in the vicinity of the park and spread over territory covering probably ten miles….(READ MORE)

Related Articles: Twenty Known Dead in Flood 100 Years Later*
Please contact John Howard at (724)787-9070 to purchase historical pictures of Jeannette.