Then: Historic Manitoba Glass Works Factory
Construction of the Manitoba Glass Works began in June 1906 in Beausejour by Joseph Keilbach and his partners Gustav Boehm, Edward Keilbach, and Carl Keilbach. It was the first glass container factory in Western Canada. By October 1906, the facility was operational, and then, in January 1907, it was incorporated.
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. Later, between 1909 and 1911, new semi-automated equipment was installed to enable the production of jars and medicine and ink bottles. At its peak, the firm employed 350 workers.
Unfortunately, the factory could not compete with larger manufacturers in Eastern Canada who held the exclusive license for fully automatic machines. The Beausejour Works was closed by 1914 but was purchased by a Montreal company that relocated its operations to Redcliff, Alberta, in response to an offer of free natural gas and land.
Photo: Manitoba Glass Factory at Beausejour (1909-1911) Source: Archives of Manitoba, John Reifschneider Collection 5, N17062.