Crystal City, Missouri

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Crystal City is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,523 at the estimated 2009 census.[1] It was 4,247 at the 2000 census.

Crystal City and its neighbor Festus are often collectively known as the "Twin Cities"; however, they are incorporated separately.



Crystal City is located at 38°13′18″N 90°22′57″W / 38.22167°N 90.3825°W / 38.22167; -90.3825 (38.221699, -90.382510)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²) of it is land and 0.27% is water.

The Plate Glass Factory

Around 1843 an Eastern company conducted a search in this area of Missouri looking for land with valuable minerals.

In 1868, mineralogist and geologist Forrest Sheppards located silica deposits near the mouth of Plattin Creek, where it flows into the Mississippi River. Samples sent to England determined the St. Peter Sandstone found in the area was of superior quality for glass manufacturing. What followed was an enthusiastic pursuit of development, and The American Plate Glass Company was founded by Captain Ebenezer B. Ward of Detroit, Michigan in 1871.

In May 1872, with Captain Theodore Luce as superintendent, the American Plate Glass Company attempted the first plate glass at a new site at the mouth of the Plattin Creek. It consisted of one box furnace of unknown description. Plagued by investment and quality problems, death and sickness, the factory failed after a short time.

In 1876 the Crystal Plate Glass Company built four gas-fired furnaces and produced plate glass. The glass was made on large square tables, ground with sand, smoothed with emery and polished with rouge.

Before glass was actually produced, brush was cleared and homes were built for the workers and their families moving to this new town, originally called New Detroit. As the town grew, the residents sought their own identity, and the name of the town was changed to Crystal City. American Plate Glass Company was sold in 1877 to the Crystal Plate Glass Company of St. Louis.

By 1886 a railroad had been built to connect the glass factory with the Iron Mountain Railroad at Silica, Missouri. Originally a narrow gauge line, it had been widened to standard gauge.

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