1911 - Chicago’s Johnson-Carlson Cut Glass Company meets with Warsaw Chamber of Commerce to establish a glass-cutting business. Their Chicago factory could not keep up with demand and they found Warsaw a well-located place.
1912 - Warsaw Cut Glass opens for business in July. The building is constructed of rejected paving bricks from Warsaw’s street department. The long, narrow building features many high windows to allow as much natural light as possible (there were no electric lights). One main shaft drives two floors of cutting and 55 workers (the shaft, and the original leather belts, are in use today). Oscar Hugo is Master Cutter and Factory Manager.
1914 - At 14 years of age, Jackson Dobbins joins the company as an apprentice under Oscar Hugo.
1929-1933 - The Great Depression. Demand weakens and the supply of lead crystal plunges. Johnson-Carlson closes the factory for roughly one year.
1933 - Johnson-Carlson sells Warsaw Cut Glass to Oscar Hugo. Hugo and Jackson Dobbins are the two remaining cutters.
1957 - After running the business for 45 years, Hugo sells the business to Dobbins. Dobbins runs the ever-busier company with the help of his wife and step-daughter.
1980 - As Dobbins’ health begins to decline, he seeks an apprentice to carry on the rich tradition. He finds few are willing to take the time to master the technique. Finally a worthy candidate is found and Randy Kirkendall begins to learn the art of hand-cut glass. At Dobbins’ passing, Kirkendall and his wife Linda purchase Warsaw Cut Glass and continue to operate it at its original location.