Monday, July 24, 2006
Glo Hill History
"By 1952, Montreal's streetcars were being replaced by buses. Post War modernisation was happening. Fueled by growth created during WWII, businesses sprouted up to serve those who had returned safely.
The late 40's and 50's were a time of respite for many who had lived through the War. Fear and anxiety following the War were tempered by social gatherings and 'cocktail parties' that became so popular. An evening of Bridge or getting together for drinks with neighbours was common. Young Canadian housewives, their husband's returning heroes, began to take enormous pride in their homes. Entertaining and becoming a good hostess were the goals of many.
In 1946, Sol Globus officially registered his business, The Glo-Hill Corporation, in Montreal. Sol, his two brothers (Paul and Leo Globus), and his Brother-in-Law (Harry Hill) sensed the change that was on its way and took adantage of it. Together, the Globus Brothers and Harry Hill became 'Glo-Hill'.The Globus Brothers were of Belgian descent, their family having arrived in Canada at the beginning of the 1900's. The young brothers began their business in Montreal as cutlers and manufactured lovely carving sets and cutlery.Later, the business grew and began offering chrome holloware pieces used in home entertaining: serving trays, Cocktail items and kitchen tools of various sorts.Situated right on the river in Montreal, Glo-Hill's factory was well-placed to take advantage of materials available from factories located along the Eastern Seaboard. Bakelite was imported from the USA and glass components were supplied straight out of Pennsylvania, a state that had become expert in glass manufacture (McKee, Glasbake, Jeannette Glass). Glo-Hill also partnered with Canadian manufacturers to provide materials for their products. Baribocraft, a Montreal company that was started by the Baribeau family, supplied exquisitely finished wooden items for Glo-Hill. Baribocraft wooden carving boards lined the inside of chrome trays that were styled and manufactured by Glo-Hill.What sets Glo-Hill apart from others is their exquisite designs. Paul Globus was considered the 'stylist' for Glo-Hill and it was his ideas that became the popular Glo-Hill designs we still see today.Glo-Hill became available to Canadians through many retail outlets. It was not unusual for Glo-Hill to be available both at high-end jewellery stores (some of the items they manufactured truly were 'upper-crust') and also available to anyone at local department stores.
During a brief interview with Sol Globus during the summer of 2004, Mr. Globus remembered his time at Glo-Hill fondly. Now 93, he admitted the Company did well. He spoke with pride of the 160 employees who once worked manufacturing his products. As with many things, Glo-Hill began to lose its popular edge and by the 1970's the company was on its last legs."