At work with Alison: glass manufacturing

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) - Davis-Lynch Glass Company was founded in 1945. The company manufactures hand-blown, glass lamp shades.

A team of glass manufacturers works on a lamp shade. Each team member has a different role in the production of the piece.

Glass manufacturing is one of the oldest industries in the United States.

"When the Pilgrims came over in the 1600s, that's when the first glass factory was started," said Davis-Lynch owner, Bob Lynch.

Each employee has a specific task. Fred Powell, who has worked at the factory for 65 years, started in the hot metal department as a glass blower.

"I worked my way up to the shipping department, and have worked my way up to where I'm at now, the decorating department," Powell said.

Every lamp shade starts with metal workers, who melt and mold the glass. The, it goes through a slow cooling device before heading to the finishing department to get sanded or sawed.

"It can be decorated or go out with no decorations at all. Then it goes to shipping; we've shipped to different parts of the US and different parts of the world, too," said Powell.

Powell says the most difficult part of the job, is making sure each piece is as perfect as the last.

"Trying to make sure you keep the quality up. There are so many little things that can go wrong," Powell said.

Although many modern industries rely on machines for most of their labor, at Davis-Lynch, there's no substitute for hand-made.

"You take a machine and push a button, and you can make glass. But it doesn't compare to what someone can do with their bare hands," said Powell.

Lynch said, "That's one of the reasons we want to keep it going; I'd hate to see it go."