|City/Town: • Fort Smith|
|Location Class: • Industrial|
|Year Built: • 1917|
|Year Abandoned: • 1990's|
|Status: • Demolished|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz • James Kirkendall|
The factory district of north Fort Smith and Midland Heights is rapidly assuming the atmosphere and the rush of a live factory town. Every morning and every evening … the Eleventh and Van Buren street cars are literally packed with workman … going to or from the factory. And the two largest factory buildings in the district are not yet in operation.
Southwest American, August 26, 1917
For many past years glass manufacturing has been an important part of Fort Smith’s history. In 1917 the Tulsa Oklahoma Glass Company caught fire destroying the majority of the facility. The “Tulsa Glass Company” was renamed to “Radiant Glass Company” and was moved to Fort Smith. Radiant Glass Glass Company was Fort Smith’s first glass factory and manufactured lamp globes. In the 1950s Radiant was purchased by Thomas Industries and the plant was used to produce commercial lighting fixtures. Eventually this division of “Thomas Industries” was purchased by Southwestern Glass. Presently the factory is no longer in use and is vacant. Other Glass companies in Fort Smith were/are Harding Glass, Witherspoon Glass, Willard Glass, Porter Glass, National Glass, Arkansas Glass, Mutual Glass, Model Window, Fourco Glass, Magnolia Glass, and Magnolia Window Glass.
Sources: Fort Smith Historical Society Journal