Rare WH Glenny Son & Co Fruit Jar Buffalo NY Info






This Glenny fruit jar was on ebay recently, and sold for $270 w/shipping. It would have taken a Kline stopper.

Sadly, it didn't come to my home. But before the bidding closed, I found some info about the WH Glenny & Co. import company.



Glenny was a big import company in England, with locations in the US too, as early as 1875.


The above was listed in the Buffalo, New York City Directory for the year 1875. George Watkins eventually managed the NY branch.


The successful establishment and management of such a business as that of W. H. Glenny & Company, in this city, is a task requiring so much commercial ability that the guiding mind in control must be possessed of rare qualifications, and a sketch of George Benton Watkins's career supports that view.

Born in Utica, New York, August 12, 1852, of sturdy English descent, the youngest of ten children, his mother having died in his early infancy, he lived with an uncle on a farm until twelve years old. It was now that the elements of his future success began to manifest themselves. The farm could not hold him, and with the two-fold purpose of taking advantage of the more advantageous educational facilities and opportunities afforded in the city for making his own way in the world, he returned to his father's home.

He attended the Utica high school, graduating there from at sixteen. While at school, in the early mornings he delivered papers and in the afternoons worked in the newspaper office.

Having secured a position in the leading crockery store of the place, with characteristic energy he applied himself to master the details of the business. His advancement in five years to the leading position in the store is an index of his success.

His ambition still unsatisfied, he looked for a position offering larger opportunities. This was secured with the firm of W. H. Glenny Sons & Company, Buffalo, New York, one of the largest importing houses in the country, their receiving, packing and shipping departments, with its force of twenty men and ten boys being placed under his supervision. Strict attention to business and untiring energy brought further preferment and soon he was in charge of their wholesale department.

In 1876 the financial embarrassment of a Rochester house, largely indebted to Glenny Sons & Company, necessitated the sending of a representative here to look after their interests. Mr. Watkins was chosen, and so well did he fulfill his trust, the local firm was enabled to pay all of their indebtedness and continue their business.

While attending to the company's interests here, Mr. Watkins was impressed with the desirability of Rochester as a point for the establishment of a permanent business. He suggested the idea to Mr. Glenny, who, after mature deliberation, decided to open a store and did so under the style of W. H. Glenny & Company, with Mr. Watkins as manager. From its earliest inception the business here has been under the entire control of Mr. Watkins. Established on the broad basis of equity and integrity, its growth has been one of continuous success.


In 1886 the elegant commercial building, which the firm at present occupies at 190, 192 and 194 East Main street, was erected and its seven floors are required for the constantly increasing trade.

In 1891 Mr. Watkins was admitted to partnership, a well merited reward for his faithfulness and success. Of a retiring disposition, he is seldom identified with public interests, though often sought after. He is a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce, was for five years director of the Y.M.C.A., and for ten years has been trustee and treasurer of the First Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Watkins was married at the age of twenty-one to Carrie, daughter of Sanford Peckham of Madison county, New York. He is a Republican and resides at 626 East Main street.

Source: Rochester and the Post Express: A History of the City of Rochester From the Earliest Times : The Pioneers and Their Predecessors, Frontier Life in the Genesee Country, Biographical Sketches - Post Express Printing Co - 1895


[This is not a complete history of the Glenny Co. by far. Perhaps someone else will pursue the research and share it with us someday.]

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