Updated 27-III-2020

Somerset Glass Plant

Construction of the Somerset Glass Plant began in 1957, with the first glass flowing from its furnace in 1959. It was was built as a dedicated new facility for the high volume production of pressed glass ware, taking over this role from the nearby Kentucky Glass Plant so as to allow that facility to concentrate on its core activity of blowing soft-glass bulbs. A further expansion was made in 2010 when Somerset absorbed the smaller pressed glass operations of the Mahoning Glass Plant. For over six decades Somerset was GE's leading facility for pressed glassware for sealed beam and other reflector lamps, but its production declined sharply as these were gradually replaced by more energy-efficient light sources. The inevitable announcement of a combined closure of both Lexington Lamp Plant (with 139 staff) and its raw material supplier the Somerset Glass Plant (71 employees), was made in April 2016. Both were said to be operating at 80% below capacity, and no longer economically viable. Production was gradually phased out from the 19th June 2017, and finally came to a close on 11th August 2017. The factory was demolished by March 2018, and the legendary "GE Fields" stadium at the Western side of the 85-acre site was donated to the city of Somerset.

Entrance of GE Somerset Glass Plant

Address GE Somerset Glass Plant #7652, 116 West University Drive, Somerset, Kentucky, KY-42501, U.S.A.
Location 37.1056°N, -84.6185°E.
Opened 1957.
Closed 11th August 2017.
Products Pressed Glass components.

Factory Entrance 8 Factory Entrance 8 Aerial View, 2017 9 Aerial View, 2018 10
Batch Mixing Tower, 2018 11 PAR lens inspection 7 PAR lens packaging 6

Glass Products
1980 - US
Glass Products
1990 - US
Borosilicate Pressings
1979 - US

References & Bibliography
  1. A Century of Light, James A. Cox, published by The Benjamin Company / Rutgers, 1979, ISBN 0-87502-062-3, p.142.
  2. General Electric has been a part of Kentucky's Growth>, The Courier-Journal from Louisville Kentucky, 19th November 1961. p.167.
  3. General Electric in Kentucky
  4. Auto Headlight Glass : Visible Features of Forensic Utility, US National Bureau of Standards Report, February 1978.
  5. GE to Close Two KY Plants, 200 Jobs Lost, WKYT News, 11th August 2016.
  6. GE Plant to Begin Phaseout This Month, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 1st June 2017.
  7. The Demise of Somerset's GE Plant, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 2nd June 2017.
  8. Somerset GE Plant's Doors Close for Good Today, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 11th August 2017.
  9. GE plant deconstruction coming soon, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 17th October 2017.
  10. Razing of Somerset GE Plant should be Completed by Next April, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 21st December 2017.
  11. Razing of GE Plant is nearing completion, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 23rd March 2018.
  12. Negotiations to purchase former GE property ongoing, Bill Mardis, Commonwealth Journal, 8th August 2019.