John Morgan & Sons, Brooklyn New York

John Morgan 1832-1915

THE MORGAN SUMMARY, 1832 - 1985

During 2016 with significant help from Peter Roseti, what was to be a quick summary of the lighting of John Morgan & Sons, became a family history project that to date has uncovered close to fifty Morgan family members, all related one way or another to George and his three brothers! There were four generations of Morgans that worked in glass from the beginning in 1835 right up until 1985.

William and Sarah Morgan had 4 sons all born in Wales in the early 1800s. George, William, Thomas and John. Mother Sarah was born in 1794 and William most likely around that period also. While George was the first to pursue stained glass in America, once William, Thomas and John joined him, the company became known as Morgan Brothers.

They prospered until the late 1800s when the name John Morgan & Sons began to appear on some their windows and in a city directory of 1892. With John's retirement in 1890 and the deaths of William in 1876, George in 1895 and Thomas in 1896, John Morgan's 3 sons, John C, Thomas and George Peter, already skilled glass workers, were the only ones to carry on the stained glass business.

After John's death in 1915, John Chauncey and Thomas continued on as John Morgan & Sons making windows until at least 1925. In 1916 George Peter Morgan broke away starting a new business, Morgan & Company. George Peter Morgan's son John Paul Morgan. worked at the business, as did his son in turn, John Powell Morgan. John Powell ran the business until his retirement and it was finally sold in 1985.

THANKS

I would like to thank Pete Roseti for his continual digging. Pete's wife Doreen Morgan Roseti is George Peter Morgan's Great grand Daughter. Pete's digging quickly expanded in scope to become a search for anything Morgan! His best line, "If I still have a shovel, I'll keep digging". His photos and family stories are poignant in that they show a family that continued to be blessed with a strong work ethic, right up until the end. Pete was at the shop in 1985 cleaning it out when the business was sold to Charles Flickinger. He recalls there were piles of old documents, feet high, that would have been treasure for us had they not found their way to the dump. A total heartbreak.

Extreme thanks to Susan Bibeau who came through with the wonderful photos of the Morgans including John and his wife Elizabeth. Thanks to to Ken Gnos, great Grandson of William Peterson, Ken provided photos and invaluable information about Peterson and the financial workings of the Company. Appreciation is also extended to Andrew Kelly, Charlotte Glassen, and also Paul Crist for his ground breaking book that we all refer to on an almost daily basis!

MORGAN BROTHERS

George Morgan, courtesy Susan B.

George Morgan arrived in America during 1835 at the age of 12. Immigration records show him sailing unaccompanied. An account of him coming to America and his career were given in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 1895 as part of a tribute by his wife Caroline.

"As far back as 1835 he left his home among the Welsh mountains and emigrated to this country. At that time he was only 11 or 12 years of age, yet he walked the entire distance to Liverpool, about 200 miles. In landing in New York, he had a scanty wardrobe and only a few shillings. He at once sought work and apprenticed himself to a painter. During his apprenticeship he found congenial employment with a glass staining establishment. By close study and diligence he rapidly advanced in the art of designing and manufacturing stained glass windows and in a short time started in business for himself in Brooklyn and New York. He was successful from the first. In an eminent degree of fine taste, judgment, skill and energy,and while striving to perform good work he had the satisfaction of knowing his designs and efforts and products were appreciated. Having acquired a very fair fortune he retired from business in 1873, leaving his establishment in charge of three brothers and from that time to his death he devoted his time pleasantly in traveling and painting and to his beautiful home in Brooklyn. In company with his wife, who survives him, he twice visited his native land. He died on March 1, 1895."

Records show that George was undertaking major projects in Stained Glass windows at the age of 24 and in later company advertising, the foundation year of 1849 appears.

It is known that George's brother John Morgan arrived in 1855 when George was already established as an early window maker and it is probable that George summonsed John and his remaining brothers William and Thomas to join him in Brooklyn.

Federal Census records show their mother Sarah in Brooklyn during 1860 with John, Thomas and William. the sons now employed in stained glass. George is now married to Caroline, and living in New York City, he is also employed in stained glass. It's 1860 and stained glass, especially ecclesiastical windows are in big demand as churches continue to be built.

Marriage came later to William, Thomas and John, clearly it seemed they had their hands full growing their business.

Very early on there was a close relationship with Patrick Keeley, a church designer and architect with over 600 churches to his name (see: Jean Farnsworth, Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia). Edward Furey of the The Keely Society informs us that one of those early projects, design and construction of Keely's first Church, additionally involved the furnishing of Sanctuary windows by George Morgan for the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Brooklyn. While the church was torn down in 1957 and later rebuilt, the windows have long since been lost to time with only the original Vestry Case from the 1848 building remaining. However, this was to be the start of a long business relationship between them.

So by 1860, all 4 brothers were in Brooklyn fully engaged in the stained glass business, and apparently doing rather well. The company was named Morgan Brothers. This was a period when churches were still being built in large numbers; demand for stained glass was high and competition was fierce, not only from domestic studios but European ones too.

Recent communication with Elizabeth Alleva, Assistant Archivist at the Archdiocese of New York forwarded 2 letters, both from 1851 referring to the windows of a new project, the construction of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, in Albany, NY. Our thanks to the Archdiocese for permission to show them here.

  • George Morgan To Bishop McClosky
  • Patrick Keely To Bishop McClosky-1
  • Patrick Keely To Bishop McClosky-1


The first letter is from George Morgan to John McCloskey, Bishop of Albany, February 1851; John Cardinal McCloskey Collection, Collection 003; Box 2, Folder 14. Archives of the Archdiocese of New York, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.

The second letter from Patrick Keely to John McCloskey, Bishop of Albany, February 15, 1851; John Cardinal McCloskey Collection, Collection 003; Box 2, Folder 24. Archives of the Archdiocese of New York, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.

So, this early relationship between Morgan and Keely clearly was to both of their advantages. Domestic manufacture of stained glass windows, was in its infancy and a relatively small number of studios existed in the 1840s-1850s.
Interestingly, Keeley employed a draftsman, Thomas Houghton who eventually partnered with Keely, and married Keely's daughter. Houghton also built the row of Brownstone houses on Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn where Thomas Morgan and his wife Charlotte lived at 1173, and others of the Morgan family also lived in this row at various times, so the Keely connection proved important.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York

At the age of just 50, George retired from Morgan Brothers in 1873. Just 3 years later in 1876, brother William Morgan was tragically killed during an installation at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. A Brooklyn Daily Eagle report indicated he fell from a scaffold while superintending the decoration of a transept. Another report mentions that the accident occurred at the Rose window which is not in the transept so there is some confusion on the circumstances of the event. The rose window facing Fifth Avenue was originally made by Morgan Brothers and was in place during the completion of the Cathedral in 1878 and final dedication a year later. The Morgan rose window was later replaced in 1940 by one produced by Charles Connick of Boston.

Due to George's early start and reputation for quality work, the Morgan Brothers became a celebrated maker of painted glass windows in the Northeast. While they were a company of glass painters, it is not yet known whether they ever made windows of Opalescent Glass in the manner of Tiffany and LaFarge. It is entirely possible however, given their leaded lighting which was to follow. Their work gained high acclaim and was almost all entirely Ecclesiastical in nature.

A small, undated catalog of several examples of their windows appeared c. 1902 under the name of John Morgan & Sons. These images appear courtesy of Rakow Library.

So far, we have no earlier catalogs issued during the Morgan Brothers Era. After George Morgan's death in 1895, a window was dedicated to him. As a gift from his wife Caroline, it was created by his brother John Morgan. It is in St. Barnabas church in Brooklyn.
Dedication was in November of 1895.

Jean Farnsworth
ISBN-10: 0916101436
There are still many windows from the Morgans surviving today. In the book, Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia (ISBN-10: 0916101436), Jean Farnesworth includes photos of examples and their locations. While most still reside where they were originally installed, large numbers of churches continue to be demolished or re-purposed into buildings now serving other uses. However, many windows of all makers have thankfully been saved from destruction, and one or two firms specialize in warehousing them for subsequent re-sale.

Adrian Hamers is one such company that carries many windows by both American and European Studios. Here is an example of a Morgan window they have and close up of the signature.

  • Thomas Gleeson Window
  • Thomas Gleeson Window
  • Thomas Gleeson Window
  • Thomas Gleeson Window
    Image © 2017 Andrew Kelly All Rights Reserved.
  • Thomas Gleeson Window
    Image © 2017 Andrew Kelly All Rights Reserved.
  • Thomas Gleeson Window
    Image © 2017 Andrew Kelly All Rights Reserved. In Remembrance of Thomas Gleeson of Bridgeport,Connecticut and son of Thomas Gleeson of Colligan, County Waterford, in Ireland
Andrew Kelly from County Waterford, Ireland has kindly contributed to the story of the Morgans with news of windows portraying faces of his ancestral family members, the Gleesons.

"In 1883/4 a number of stained glass windows were installed in a small church in County Waterford, Ireland. The windows were produced by J. Morgan & Co., New York. They were commissioned by a Fr. Joseph Gleeson of Saint Patrick's Rectory, 50 Charles Street, Waterbury, Connecticut in memory of his ancestors. What is unique about the windows is that the faces on some of the Saints are portraits of the Gleeson family members. The one in particular I have sent is of Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick is always depicted wearing a flowing beard and as you can see this Saint Patrick is clean shaven. The re-construction of the church in 1883/4 was under the instruction of a Dublin architect, Walter Glynn Doolin. He was responsible for many churches in Ireland at that time. The inscription on the windows is in old Irish and reads 'In Remembrance of Thomas Gleeson of Bridgeport,Connecticut and son of Thomas Gleeson of Colligan, County Waterford, in Ireland' This window is signed, J Morgan & Sons NY"

JOHN MORGAN & SONS

John Morgan
John Morgan, courtesy Susan B.

1890 sees John Morgan retiring from business at the age of 58 having spent 35 years in the flat-glass business. Just 2 years later in 1892, a recorded reference to the company of John Morgan & Sons appears in the directories. However, windows have recently surfaced from 1883 signed John Morgan & Sons, so unless there is an earlier directory entry for them, it would appear that the company were doing business under that name years before they formally registered. It seems likely that John and his brothers Thomas and George were addressing the transition to the next generation, in today's parlance, an exit strategy, fortuitously as it happens because of George's passing in 1895 and then Thomas's also, just one year later in 1896.

John Morgan's name on the company was then, a move perhaps to realign and consolidate future ownership to his sons. While leaded lighting lovers and collectors have all along associated him with the lighting products, he is, at best likely to have only had a distant involvement with lighting, due to his retirement.

Competition from abroad had long been a contentious issue that was continually fought by the New York makers of stained glass and those in Chicago. Jean Farnsworth, in the excellent Book, Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia states "John Morgan, along with two other stained glass artists, Richard Lamb and Francis Lothrop petitioned the U.S. House of Representatives to retain the higher tariff on imported stained glass windows (as established in 1890) and not reduce this tariff."

The year was 1893 and indicates that even though John Morgan was retired at this point, he still retained a keen interest in the glass business by cosponsoring such a Bill.

Of the 4 original sons that came to America to work in glass, George, William, Thomas and John, only John Morgan's sons had a continuing career in glass. George and Caroline Morgan had no children, the late William Morgan's sons, William J. Morgan, Stephen L Morgan and Augustus Morgan chose careers outside of the stained glass business, Thomas and Charlotte Morgan's 2 children, Charlotte E. became a teacher, and Thomas C. Morgan an Engineer.

This left John Morgan's sons, John Chauncey Morgan, George Peter Morgan and Thomas, already well established stained glass craftsmen in the firm, to carry on the family business. Their brother Llewellyn instead pursued a career as a Mechanical Engineer and his wife Elinor, became a newspaper editor.

1915, John Morgan passed away in Brooklyn at the age of 83.

In his will, dated 3 years earlier, John requests " All my interests in the Glass Staining business and bent glass work I give to my three sons John C. Morgan, George Morgan and Thomas Morgan".

John Morgan & Sons Continues

Evidence of the John Morgan & Sons window business continues through at least 1925. In 1921, Tariffs once again entered the picture.

The case for retaining the existing Tariff on imported stained-glass was not always supported by certain Church elders and those in the Church that influenced the purchase of windows. Some held firm in their belief that European windows, in particular those from Germany like Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich, were superior to domestically produced windows. 1921 saw a well documented movement by manufacturers and their agents to press for continued import tariffs to be levied on European windows and sheet glass entering the country.
Walter West of the Decorative Glass Workers' Protective Association led the charge, representing workers in Local 520 of New York City and vicinity. Documenting many fine points to support the increased tariff. The full text of the hearings from the Committee on Finance in the U.S. Senate is a long but fascinating read into the dynamics of the economy both here and abroad.
The case presented by West was as follows:

"I want to say that in all these years and especially the last 20-some years, on account of price, we have been unable to compete with any of the European houses, particularly the German and Austrian houses. England's best work is 25% cheaper than ours. But so far as Austria and Germany are concerned , and all the firms in Germany and Austria, it is a total impossibility - there is only one solution to the problem, and that is a tariff based on the American valuation plan."

Following is a chart that accompanied the 1921 Hearings showing the comparison between Domestic and German labor rates for glass workers.

This 1921 document was one of the last times reference was made to John Morgan & Sons. In support of the Bill, copies of references of praise for John Morgan & Sons' work were included as part of the hearing. Examples are included here:

The Bill was expected to pass the following year.

So far, it can only be assumed that Chauncey and Thomas continued as principals of John Morgan & Sons from the 1920s. Demand for painted flat glass was still strong in the 1920s but we have no details of how long John Morgan & Sons remained active. The company was still listed in the Brooklyn Telephone Directory of 1940. The hard stop for both individuals was that same year when records show they both died, leaving us with no information regarding the 1920-1940 period, the disposition of the business, its assets if indeed there were any, plus valuable records of their work that would have provided a clue. John Chauncey Morgan was 76 and Thomas was 69.

LEADED SHADES

John Chauncey Morgan
John Chauncey Morgan, courtesy Susan B.
With John Morgan long since retired and his remaining brothers George and Thomas deceased back in 1895 and 1896, the Sons, John Chauncey, George Peter and Thomas were managing the entire window and lighting business from 1896 until 1915 when John Morgan died. As previously stated, the entire business was willed to them.

Duration of the Morgan's leaded shade production, like most of their peers was relatively short. Their early painted shades, made of brass channel can be assumed to appear in the 1903-4 period where adoption of the copper foil method was exclusively held by Tiffany Studios. The early painted shades continued to be offered at least through 1908. Once this patented technique entered the public domain in 1903, copper foil examples started to appear from Morgan and all their competitors. It is likely Morgan's leaded shade business dried up soon after the 1907 crash and by 1908-1909 it was no longer feasible to produce, at least in it's current form. This was to be addressed by William Peterson's patent, Modern Stained Glass which is described in detail in the next tab.

Paul Crist, in Mosaic Shades Volume 2, includes details of just two advertisements the company placed in trade journals which flagged the existence of the company's lighting. Had these adverts not been placed, once can imagine that we would still be wondering who made these wonderful lamps. With a paucity of their lighting advertising, coupled with the lack of, so far at least, any early product catalog prior to 1907 makes dating of their offerings somewhat speculative.

It was assumed by this author that the company must have been a small one featuring those examples covered in Crist's book. Fortunately, a catalog of their hanging lamps from around 1907-8 has surfaced to give us a different view.

What the 1907-8 catalog shows us from the extensive range is that this was likely not the work of a small handful of crafts people. The 34 pages cover a range of work that includes some 392 shade styles, covering the gamut of designs of great sophistication to designs of the simplest form such as bent panel sconce shades and other simplistic ceiling fixtures. Their superb metalwork continues to impress, especially in its use on their bent glass Arts and Crafts chandeliers and table lamp bases.

  • H0096-L160719635_original

Larger chandelier versions of patterns already documented appear, such as the 24" diameter Black Eyed Susan and Grape. Still to surface include the fruit basket designs in 18" and 24". Several other floral chandeliers have also yet to surface.

Another acknowledgement to the changing economics of complex and costly leaded designs in favor of less expensive alternatives, are evident in this 1907-8 catalog. Large chandelier variations of the previously seen table and floor lamps in familiar grape styles and painted floral designs, although offered in this catalog, are sharing pages with a comprehensive growing range of bent panel styles. The in-house expertise in bent panel work was seen early on in their leaded designs was now becoming all the more prominent in their range. As time will illustrate, the company was soon to refocus on a course where the specialty of glass bending and simpler construction methods would carry them for the next 70 years.

The early 1900s saw increased availability and embrace of electricity. Lighting, an additional line of business, became an automatic and obvious choice for many well established stained glass studios. In some cases it provided continuity of employment for experienced window crafts people who may otherwise have been let go during periods when orders for stained glass windows may not have been forthcoming.

Diversification into stained glass lighting, is likely to have began in early 1900s, probably before 1904. Certain examples of Morgan's early lamp work are constructed of lead came or brass channel and not copper foil. The Copper foil method was essentially locked up by the patent holders, Tiffany Studios having purchased the patent from Bray. This patent expired in 1903 and therefore in the public domain, so the Bray technique was adopted by Morgan and most other competitors. It was immediate, far reaching and is the method still in use today by both professional artists and hobbyists alike. Suddenly constructing curved surfaces in stained glass became feasible where the previous method of using lead came or brass channel always proved cumbersome and limiting.

Painted Bent Glass Shade Examples

The following set of slides shows an interesting mix of painted decoration, bent glass and in most cases the examples are constructed with lead came which would suggest they are early designs. However, the extracts from the 1907/8 catalog still show them being offered, plus additional patterns that have yet to surface.

  • John Morgan Inverted Fruit Basket Hanger
  • John Morgan Fruit Basket Hanger
  • John Morgan Inverted Pansy Hanger
  • John Morgan Painted Floral
  • John Morgan Painted Pansy
  • John Morgan Painted Pansy
  • John Morgan Lamp Base
  • John Morgan Painted 19
  • John Morgan Painted 19
  • John Morgan Painted 19
  • John Morgan Painted 19
  • John Morgan Painted 19
  • John Morgan 24
  • John Morgan 24
  • John Morgan 24
  • John Morgan Bent Glass Painted Fruit Hanger
  • John Morgan Bent Glass Painted Fruit Hanger
  • John Morgan Bent Glass Painted Fruit Hanger


Chunk Glass / Crystal Chip Examples

One frequently used decorative element on stained glass windows of the period included embedding small chunk glass pieces in the design. While typically found frequently in windows, borders in particular, it appeared for a time in leaded shades. This chip technique, sometimes referred to as Dalle De Verre, creates small chunks out of glass blocks with a Dalle hammer or glass saw, then after the sharp edges are removed, they are leaded into the pattern. John LaFarge and Tiffany Studios used this technique often in their magnificent windows, Tiffany went on to feature it in lighting too as did other window makers but it was certainly costly from a labor standpoint, so seldom seen in a movement that was leaning in the opposite direction. The John Morgan Grape shades are well known for incorporating dozens of these chunks into their grape shades, but they appear in other designs too including flower centers, and a line of small globes. Morgan coined the term 'Crystal Chip' to describe the technique. The following images show some examples.

  • Morgan Crystal Chip from 1907/8
  • Morgan Crystal Chip
  • Morgan Crystal Chip
  • Morgan Black Eyed Susan - 24
  • Morgan Black Eyed Susan - 18
  • Morgan Grape Floor Lamp
  • Morgan 20
  • Morgan Sconce
  • Morgan Sconce
  • Morgan Crystal Chip from 1907/8
    First appearing in the catalog, and shortly after, a real example surfaces, see next slide.
  • Morgan Crystal Chip
    Each globe measures approximately 8” in diameter and hangs from a 8 ½” tall solid brass or bronze fixture with a dark patina. Including the heavy iron chain and the original ceiling hooks these fixtures are 29 1/2” long. Photo © eBay Seller WWolst12
  • Morgan Crystal Chip
    © unknown. Another undocumented example.
  • Morgan Black Eyed Susan - 24"
    Chunk Flower centers in this 24" diameter version of the more commonly seen 18". One of these has yet to appear. Likely rare becasue of it's extreme cost.
  • Morgan Black Eyed Susan - 18"
    Great Example which has multi-colored flower centers in glass chunks.
    Photo © Colin Hansford 2011. Property of a New York Collector.
  • Morgan Grape Floor Lamp
    24" diameter Grape Floor Lamp profusely decorated with chunk glass grapes in bunches.
    Photo © Colin Hansford 2011. Property of a New York Collector.
  • Morgan 20" Grape Table Lamp
    Inside photo of the shade with grape decoration.
    Photo © Colin Hansford 2011.
  • Morgan Sconce
    Catalog entry for a sconce that has chunk flower centers.
  • Morgan Sconce
    Photo © Colin Hansford 2011.

MODERN STAINED GLASS

W. J. Peterson
W. J. Peterson, courtesy Ken Gnos

While we have been aware of William Peterson and his patent for several years, it was not until Ken Gnos, William Peterson's great grandson, made contact with fellow Morgan researcher Pete Roseti that we now have a better idea of his contributions within the Morgan's business. It it is with thanks to Ken that we have been able to use his family photographs, a diary page and company ledgers to expand on our knowledge of Peterson and his contributions.

William J. Peterson was born in 1865 of German parents. From Peterson's diary it would appear he started work with the Morgans at an early age. According to Peterson, he recalls being present at the accident in St. Patrick's Cathedral which claimed the life of William Morgan. As a long time employee of the Morgans he held different positions over time. As a skilled glass stainer and later a shop foreman, he also kept at least some of the firm's books. From at least the early 1880s through the 1920s and perhaps beyond he was a very important person central to the success of the Morgans.

The firm's ledger pages span some of the firm's transition years, from 1895 through the early part of 1916. After annual sales of $19k in 1898 to a peak of $52k in 1905 there was a gentle decline down to $20k in 1914. The peak year of 1905 would approximate to over $1.5m in today's dollars.

In 1895, Peterson assumed at least some financial duties which included the keeping of this ledger. Importantly, that's the year the ledger starts and it coincides with the death of founding father, George Morgan who died in March 1895.

One year later in 1896, Thomas died. With John Morgan retired many years earlier the business is run by the 3 sons, John Chauncey Morgan, Thomas Morgan, George Peter Morgan and William Peterson.

Business grew steadily in the years following, until the granting of Peterson's patent in 1909 for their line of painted lamps, to be known simply as "Modern Stained Glass". Peterson's approach was a complete departure from their line of leaded shades. The method is a more complex variation on the long established reverse painting technique used by several other makers of the period.

Many of the high end leaded shades from the 1904-1908 period were complex, expensive to make and expensive to buy. The 1907 crash made them hard to sell and sales largely faded out by 1909-1910 in favor of Peterson's line.
While sales of their leaded shades declined, their huge and comprehensive range of bent glass lighting remained strong and their cost was largely still in reach for many buyers. This lighting no doubt sustained the company during years of great change.

In 1910, the first Modern Stained Glass catalog was published.
The designs were very grand and examples cost up to $135. This was close to what a complex leaded shade sold for so it's reasonable to assume they sold poorly. Examples of any of the models in the 1910 catalog have yet to surface. Some significant changes followed featuring far less ambitious designs. These simpler offerings appeared in catalogs for 1911, and 1913. By 1913, there was no painted lamp costing more than $45 and the designs were very pedestrian.

Sales of the Modern Stained Glass lighting improved until in 1915, the ledger shows sales for both Regular and Painted lamps.
The regular line of bent glass lighting produced around $6000 versus that of the Modern Stained Glass Line which reached $7500.
Worth noting is that there was greater incentive to sell the painted shades; commission was set at 6% versus 4% for the regular lighting.

In March of that same year 1915, John Morgan died and the business was willed to the 3 sons.
It would appear that 1915 was the last full year that Peterson was maintaining the ledger.

1916 - 1985 MORGAN & COMPANY

W. J. Peterson
George Peter Morgan, 1868-1951

In early 1916, George Peter Morgan separated from his brothers John Chauncey and Thomas. William Peterson and George Peter embarked on a partnership together as Morgan & Company. In a September 1916 trade article announcing the new company, their address is given as 19 Union Avenue. In the article, they had launched an additional line of lighting named Snoflake. As trends turned away from stained glass, it is likely the snoflake line was a reaction once again to an ever changing market demand. They focussed both on painted and bent glass lighting.

The partnership was an obvious choice given their working relationship and experience. It is not evident how large their range of lighting fixtures was. No catalog has surfaced yet, but it is known that they were relied upon by a wide range of customers for special projects. The company is well remembered by many people and organizations large and small who needed glass bending and other restoration work done.

John Morgan & Sons remained at 17 Union Avenue in Brooklyn. From what we currently surmise, John and Thomas carried on with the window business, still under the name of John Morgan & Sons. Evidence that they were in business beyond 1926 has yet to be found, yet the name John Morgan & Sons last appeared in the 1940 directories. There remains more research to do on what happened after 1926.

William Peterson died in 1947, and was already retired, but the 1940 census shows him living in Hempstead as a Glass Cutter so, likely he was still active with Morgan and Company during the 1940s.

The news article that ran in a trade journal during late 1916 (left) shows Morgan & Company promoting a new range of bent panel lamps, to be named Snoflake.

While there is no mention of a new patent, we can assume that these shades would have used the patent previous granted for William Peterson back in 1909. The bulletin refers to the new factory location at 19 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, just next door to John Morgan & Sons at Number 17. Eventually Morgan & Company were to move to 443 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn.

The two story business at 443 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn consisted of the retail shop on the ground floor and the workshops on the upper floor. George Peter worked at his business right up until his death in 1951 at the age of 83, he was actually working in the shop on the second floor when he died. Morgan & Company ran for another 34 years.

John P Morgan
John P. Morgan Sr.1901-1976

George Peter and wife Mary had 2 sons, George Morgan Jr. who was 18 when Morgan & Company was started, and brother John P. Morgan was just 14. While we know that John P. Morgan worked for his father, Pete Roseti discovered that George Morgan Jr. however, did not, choosing banking as a career after serving in WW1.

Exactly when George's son John P. Morgan Sr. (right) started working there is unknown, but he and his wife Josephine went on to produce a son, John Powell Morgan in 1932. John P. Morgan Sr. died in 1976.

John Powell Morgan

John Powell Morgan
John Powell Morgan 1932-1992

John Powell started working at the business from the late 1940s, possibly 1948 or 1949, and would have been in his teens at that time. John Powell was the last of the Morgan line to be involved in glass.

From known samples in the family, Morgan & Company produced bent glass lamps of relatively simple but elegant design. The days of traditional, complex leaded glass lighting were long gone and it seemed that George Peter Morgan saw the future in bent glass quite early on and planned for it to continue.

Despite this being a small business, Morgan & Company were very busy in the 1950s and 60s making lighting fixtures and building a local business that supported not only new fixtures but provided specialist repair services that were increasingly difficult to come by. The 1970s saw a huge boom in stained glass especially in restaurants and no doubt these opportunities sustained the business until its conclusion.

The Morgan & Company business continued with John Powell at the helm until 1985 when he retired and the business was sold to Charles Flickinger who carries on the specialty of glass bending up until the present day.

After the business was sold, John Powell Morgan moved to Florida. He died in 1992.

  • John Powell In The Shop.
  • Morgan Company Bent Panel Lamp © Pete Roseti, 2016
  • Morgan Company Bent Panel Lamp © Pete Roseti, 2016
  • Morgan Company Panel Hanger © Pete Roseti, 2016
  • Statement © Pete Roseti, 2016