2014 NIA Hall of Fame Inductee
Ralph Gray Hemingray knew nothing of the
insulator collecting hobby, but was one of the early pioneers in the production
of glass insulators. He was very influential in improving the glass insulator and
the manufacturing processes for them.
The Hemingray Glass Company was formed by
the partnership of Robert Hemingray, senior partner, and Ralph Gray, partner, in
1848 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was
initially called Gray & Hemingray until the passing of Ralph Gray in 1863.
The company went through several names until in 1870 it was called the
Hemingray Glass Company. While the
largest glass insulator manufacturing company, a variety of other glass objects
were also produced including oil lamps, jars, bottles, etc.
Ralph Gray Hemingray was born March 31,
1852. He was the first born son of
Robert Hemingray and had two brothers, all of which were active in the glass
company. Ralph was listed as
superintendent in1874, Vice President in 1880, and President in 1898.
It was Ralph that oversaw the new plant being built in Muncie, Indiana
beginning in 1888.
Ralph Hemingray was holder of several
insulator related patents including a patent for a glass batch mixer and
multiple patents for glass presses. However,
the most famous of all was the patent for drip points issued to Ralph Hemingray
and James C. Gill on May 2, 1893.
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