Manitoba Provincial Heritage Site No. 41

Manitoba Glass Company Site
Cemetery Road West,

Manitoba Glass Company Site
Designation Date: September 27, 1989
Designation Authority: Honourable Bonnie Mitchelson,
Minister of Culture, Heritage and Recreation
Present Owner: The Town of Beausejour

This is the site of the first glass container factory in Western Canada. It was built in 1906 by Joseph Keilbach and his partners. Glassblowers from Poland and the United States, aided by local labour, used silica sands to produce bottles for breweries and soft drink companies in Winnipeg, serving the Prairie market. Semi-automatic machines were soon installed to increase production. After it was taken over and enlarged by Winnipeg businessmen between 1909 and 1911, the new company expanded its production to include jars, and medicine and ink bottles. At its peak it employed 350 workers.

The factory could not compete with Eastern Canadian manufacturers who held the exclusive licence for fully automatic machines and operated with much larger capital. As a result, it was purchased in 1913 by a Montreal company which then relocated its Western operations to Redcliff, Alberta, in response to an offer of free natural gas and land. The Beausejour works were closed in 1913–14.