I posted this week’s Throwback Thursday photo earlier today looking for an answer as to where this photo was taken. The hint was that the photo was in conjunction with a recently completed new development in Alexandria that I had posted about previous.

History Girl was 100% right on Twitter that there was a factory called the Old Dominion Glass Factory about the time of the photo.


The answer to the hint is the 1111 Belle Pre Apartments on Henry Street between Madison and Montgomery (Thank you Paul! (see below).

Alexandria was a HUGE manufacturing center from 1899 to 1915 and led most of the Commonwealth in producing goods. See also this fascinating report from Alexandria Archaeology (PDF file).

Via Mornings On Maple Street

The Belle Pre Bottle Company, situated on the west side of Henry Street between Madison and Montgomery Streets, was organized in 1902 by a group of Washington businessmen. It owned a patent on a type of milk bottle and was one of the largest producers of such bottles in the U.S. Beset by financial setbacks in 1912, Belle Pre declared bankruptcy and subsequently auctioned off its equipment.

Finally, the Alexandria Glass Company, begun about 1900, was located on the northwest corner of Henry and Montgomery Streets. Purchased by the Old Dominion Glass Company in 1916, fire completely devastated the glass works despite the vigorous efforts of the firemen. As a result of this blaze, 175 men and boys lost their jobs, and company officials estimated the damage at $75,000. – Alexandria Gazette, February 2, 1917.

This photograph would be more appropriate for the cover of Huckleberry Finn than Oliver Twist. But buddies Ashby and Frank probably shared few light moments at the factory. This is one of two Lewis Hine photos at the Alexandria Glass Company that I have researched. At the end of this story, see the link to my research on Robert Kidd, which includes a telling description of the often harrowing working conditions for “carrying-in boys.”

The 1111 Belle Pre Apartments have a homage to the old Belle Pre Factory on their site which led me to make these two posts. See this photo.

Belle Pre Bottle - Belle Pre Bottle Company Alexandria Virginia

Two boys at glass factory - circa 1911 in Alexandria Virginia

Via the Library of Congress, I am looking to see if you can name the glass factory where this photo was snapped. Put your answer in the comments below.

The only hint I will give you is it has to do with a new development I have posted about previously on this blog. I’ll post the answer to this later today along with the fascinating history from Alexandria Archaeology.

At least one of the three beds of crocus bulbs located in the grass of John Carlyle Square Park has popped out. The intent of the crocus bulbs in John Carlyle Square Park is to outline the former locations of the glass factory remnants located under the park with an early spring flower that will bloom as a reminder of the site’s history for a very short period of time, before dying back and leaving the uninterrupted lawn panel.

These bulbs typically last three to four weeks. If you see anyone on the grass walking their dog, playing sports, or partaking in some other endeavor, please kindly let them know about the bulbs and ask them to be careful around them.

Crocus Bulbs - John Carlyle Square Park 3

Crocus Bulbs - John Carlyle Square Park 2

Crocus Bulbs - John Carlyle Square Park 1

Much to many people’s surprise, the crocus bulbs that were planted last fall in John Carlyle Square Park in Carlyle survived the extreme winter we recently experienced.

You see, when the park was designed, there were several historical interpretation features included in the plan to celebrate the history of the old historic glass factory which is located under the park on the Duke Street side.

Some of these references are the glass material included in the pavers and the glass block wall of the seating nook in the northwest corner of the park. Another feature is the crocus planting. The intent was to outline the former locations of the glass factory remnants with an early spring flower that will bloom as a reminder of the site’s history for a very short period of time, before dying back and leaving the uninterrupted lawn panel.

There have been folks seen using the park for various reasons and trampling on these bulbs. While these blooms are out, if you see anyone throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball, throwing a frisbee, etc, please let them know what the bulbs are for. Thank you for your help.

Crocus Bulbs - John Carlyle Square Park 2