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"L" is for Laurens Glass

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"L" is for Laurens Glass. When deposits of silica, important for glassmaking--were found a few miles north of Laurens, a group of local businessmen organized Laurens Glass Works in 1910. Skilled glassblowers were brought in from Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1913, the company was reorganized by Albert Dial and shortly thereafter obtained the first license in the country to manufacture Coca-Cola bottles. It remained one of the few suppliers of Coke bottles until after World War II. After the war Laurens Glass expanded—opening plants in North Carolina and Louisiana. As the soft drink industry switched to non-glass containers, the company’s main product became food jars. Beginning in 1968, the company went through a series of mergers, but the corporate headquarters remained in South Carolina. In 1996, Laurens Glass closed its plant in Laurens.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.