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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation

List of Deals

The history of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation dates to 1903 when Alexander H. Kerr established a home-canning supplies business. The company, with offices in Portland, Oregon, was called the Hermetic Fruit Jar Company.

The earliest Kerr Jars were made for Kerr, which was actually a jobbing company, by Illinois Pacific Glass Company and Hazel Atlas Company.

Home-canning operations in agricultural sections of the United States gave the company the largest volume of business on record in 1931.

During World War II, at the encouragement of the U.S. government, Americans began canning and preserving food in an attempt to help the war effort.

Kerr Glass went public in January 1970 with an 853,000-share initial public offering. The deal consisted of 800,000 shares sold by the company, with principal stockholders selling the remaining 53,000 shares. Of the company’s proceeds, about $13 million was used to partially retire about $60 million of short-term bank debt, and the remainder was added to working capital.

Kerr Glass owned and operated seven glass plants in various locations throughout the United States by 1975. Its products were sold nationally by employees of the company from its twenty-seven sales offices.

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