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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Glass Company Site (Beausejour)

The Manitoba Glass Works in Beausejour is the site of the first glass container factory in Western Canada. Construction began in June 1906 by Joseph Keilbach and his partners Gustav Boehm, Edward Keilbach, and Carl Keilbach. The facility became operational in October 1906 and it was incorporated by January 1907. Glass-blowers from Poland and the United States, aided by local labour, used silica sand to produce bottles for breweries and soft drink companies in Winnipeg, serving the prairie market. By 1907, the plant produced 15,000 to 20,000 bottles per week. Between 1909 and 1911 new semi-automated equipment was installed to enable the production of jars, medicine and ink bottles. At its peak, the firm employed 350 workers.

The factory could not compete with larger manufacturers in Eastern Canada who held the exclusive licence for fully automatic machines. The Manitoba Glass Company was purchased by a Montreal company which then relocated its operations to Redcliff, Alberta in response to an offer of free natural gas and land. The Beausejour works were closed by 1914. No buildings remain at the site but the concrete foundations can still be seen. It is a provincially-designated historic site.

Manitoba Glass Factory at Beausejour (1909-1911)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, John Reifschneider Collection 5, N17062.

Manitoba Glass Company site

Manitoba Glass Company site (March 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Location (lat/long): N50.05303, W96.52311
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Recollections of Beausejour and the Manitoba Glass Works 1909-1911 by John Charles Reifschneider
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 21, Number 4, Summer 1976

Memorable Manitobans: Josef Albert “Joseph” Keilbach (1854-1942)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba

Sources:

“Beausejour and its glass factory,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 February 1907, page 29.

Companies Office corporation documents, Manitoba Glass Manufacturing Company Limited, Archives of Manitoba.

Manitoba Glass Company Site, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 January 2016

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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