Dithridge Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also Adon Street, part of which was originally named Dithridge Street.
Dithridge Street
Neighborhood North Oakland
Origin of name Edward Dithridge

Dithridge Street is named for Edward Dithridge (1804–1873), Pittsburgh glass manufacturer and inventor, who laid out the streets and lots in this area in the 1850s.[1][2][3][4][5]

Dithridge is primarily known for his work in the glassmaking industry. He began working as a glassblower at the Fort Pitt Glass Works at Washington and Franklin Streets in Pittsburgh (today the site of Epiphany Church) as early as 1839. The works had been constructed in 1827 by R. B. Curling & Company. Dithridge became a partner in the company by 1850 and the owner in 1861, renaming the company Edward Dithridge. His son, Edward D. Dithridge, Jr., became partner in 1867, and the firm was renamed Dithridge & Son. The company specialized in chimneys for oil lamps, promoting their superior heat-resistance.[6][7] Dithridge Sr. held several glassmaking patents,[8][9] including many specifically relating to lamp chimneys.[10][11][12][13] Another of his patents described a medical application of glass.[14]

David Challinor joined the Edward Dithridge company in 1863. He had earlier received the "recipe" for silvering glass as payment for a debt and was the first person west of the Allegheny Mountains to know the technique.[6] Three patents of Dithridge Sr. make use of silvered glass.[15][16][17]

On his deathbed in 1873, Dithridge Sr. advised his sons to "never change the formula." The firm, soon renamed Dithridge & Company, continued under Dithridge Jr. and was employing several hundred workers in two or three factories by the late 1880s. In its later years, the company diversified into lamp globes and shades, salt shakers, condiment sets, jewelry boxes, and so on. The original glassworks at Washington and Franklin was razed in 1890 when a new plant was built in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, and the offices moved to the Fidelity Building on Fourth Avenue four years later. By 1903, Dithridge & Co. had been absorbed by the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass and Glass Company (Pilabrasco), the descendant of which, Kopp Glass, continues in business today.[6]

Bob Regan suggests that it was Edward Dithridge's industrial inventiveness that put his name on Dithridge Street: "For example, many Pittsburghers who developed patents are honored by having streets named after them. These include . . . Dithridge (bouquet holder), . . . ."[4] (Compare Aiken Avenue, Oliver Avenue, Ward Street, and Wood Street, which Regan also claims were named after inventors.) However, in reality the street bears his name because he was the one who laid out the streets in this part of Oakland.

The area that is today bounded by Bellefield Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Forbes Avenue, and Neville Street was originally the southern part of Bellefield, the farm of Neville B. Craig.[2][3][18][5] Dithridge bought this land around the year 1850[19][3][18][5] in partnership with a man named Henry Reis[19] or Rice.[5] (Annie Clark Miller misnames him William Dithridge.)[3] They soon laid out streets and lots for a small village to be named East Pittsburgh,[3][18][5] not to be confused with today's borough of East Pittsburgh. (One source says this was done by Robert Curling and Henry Reis,[2] but the Hopkins atlases label this part of Oakland "Dithridge & Rice[20][21] or "Dithridge & Reis,"[22][23][24][25][26] indicating that they were the ones who officially filed the plan.) Dithridge himself lived here for a time, in a house at the southeast corner of Fifth and Bellefield Avenues where the Mellon Institute stands today, though by 1862 he had sold this house and much land to Henry Lloyd.[27][1][2][28][3]

Clifford C. Ham writes, "Although this street may be named for an early glassmaker, more likely it was named after the Oakland contractor who built the Henry estate, on the current site of Mellon Institute."[29] But these were the same man, Edward Dithridge.


  1. 1.0 1.1 George T. Fleming. "The old Sixth Ward: Recollections of the Hill District—two wards numbered sixth distinguished—boundaries of the old ward outlined—famous factories that have passed—Faber's and Price's foundries—the Fort Pitt Chimney Works and other industries: The old Sixth residential in character—well-known streets described—a famous spring: The McCallin livery stable at Elm and Wylie—market baskets delivered at your door—the Barckleys at Gum street—other anecdotes of the time." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Aug. 24, 1924, fifth section, [p. 2]. Newspapers.com 85851867. [view source]fleming-sixth-ward
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Fourth street road: Orchards and gardens were numerous where now is heard the sharp clang of the cable car: Landmarks which are being swept away by recent progress: Changes of the last half century." Pittsburg Dispatch, Oct. 28, 1894. Cut and pasted in [Pennsylvania county histories], pp. 67–70 (Internet Archive pennsylvaniacoun05unse_0), an untitled scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the State Library of Pennsylvania, call number S–R 974.8 P38611 v. 5. [view source]fourth-street-road
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Annie Clark Miller. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923, p. 52. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 55. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 James D. Van Trump. Life and Architecture in Pittsburgh, 2nd ed., pp. 100–101. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh, 1985, ISBN 0-916670-10-4. https://phlf.org/education-department/libraries-archives/james-van-trump-database-project/life-and-architecture-in-pittsburgh/. [view source]van-trump
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jay W. Hawkins. Glasshouses & Glass Manufacturers of the Pittsburgh Region, 1795–1910, pp. 170–176. iUniverse, New York, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4401-1494-6. [view source]hawkins
  7. History of Pittsburgh and Environs, vol. 3, p. 539. American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1922. Google Books k_kMAAAAYAAJ, QMtaAAAAYAAJ; HathiTrust 011262563; Internet Archive historyofpittsbu03flem. [view source]history-pgh-environs-3
  8. Edward Dithridge. "Improvement in annealing glassware." U. S. patent 38,930, June 16, 1863. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00038930, https://patents.google.com/patent/US38930A. [view source]dithridge-annealing
  9. Edward Dithridge. "Pot for glass-making." U. S. patent 31,011, Jan. 1, 1861. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00031011, https://patents.google.com/patent/US31011A. [view source]dithridge-pot
  10. Edward Dithridge. "Lamp-chimney." U. S. patent 95,667, Oct. 12, 1869. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00095667, https://patents.google.com/patent/US95667A. [view source]dithridge-chimney
  11. Edward Dithridge. "Design for a lamp-chimney." U. S. design patent 2,726, Aug. 6, 1867. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=D0002726, https://patents.google.com/patent/USD2726S. [view source]dithridge-design
  12. Edward Dithridge and Edward D. Dithridge. "Improved lamp-chimney." U. S. patent 33,428, Oct. 8, 1861. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00033428, https://patents.google.com/patent/US33428A. Reissue 4,182, Nov. 22, 1870: http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00004182, https://patents.google.com/patent/US4182A. [view source]dithridge-improved
  13. Edward Dithridge. "Improvement in molds for making lamp-chimneys." U. S. patent 124,343, Mar. 5, 1872. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00124343, https://patents.google.com/patent/US124343A. [view source]dithridge-molds
  14. Edward Dithridge. "Improvement in surgical instruments for the relief of the piles." U. S. patent 115,285, May 30, 1871. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00115285, https://patents.google.com/patent/US115285A. [view source]dithridge-surgical
  15. Edward Dithridge. "Improved bouquet-holder." U. S. patent 53,279, Mar. 20, 1866. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00053279, https://patents.google.com/patent/US53279A. [view source]dithridge-bouquet
  16. Edward Dithridge. "Design for a reflector." U. S. design patent 2,727, Aug. 6, 1867. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=D0002727, https://patents.google.com/patent/USD2727S. [view source]dithridge-reflector
  17. Edward Dithridge. "Improved process of manufacturing silvered glassware." U. S. patent 70,325, Oct. 29, 1867. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00070325, https://patents.google.com/patent/US70325A. [view source]dithridge-silvered
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance. An Atlas of the Oakland Neighborhood of Pittsburgh 1977, p. 2. 1977. Historic Pittsburgh 31735070289149; https://ucsur.pitt.edu/files/center/1977/oakland%20PNA%201977.pdf. [view source]pna-oakland
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Home matters: Beautiful building sites." Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, July 14, 1851, [p. 3]. Newspapers.com 85648467. [view source]beautiful-building-sites
  20. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1882-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1882
  21. Atlas of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1889. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1889-volume-2-atlas-pittsburgh; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1889-vol-2
  22. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 1. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1898. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1898-volume-1-plat-book-pittsburgh-east. [view source]hopkins-1898-vol-1
  23. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 1. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1904. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1904-volume-1-plat-book-pittsburgh; included in the 1903–1906 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1904-vol-1
  24. Atlas of Greater Pittsburgh. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1910. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1910-atlas-greater-pittsburgh; 1910 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1910
  25. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1914. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1914-volume-2-plat-book-pittsburgh. [view source]hopkins-1914-vol-2
  26. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 1. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1923. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1923-volume-1-plat-book-pittsburgh; included in the 1923 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1923-vol-1
  27. S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]beers
  28. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  29. Clifford C. Ham. Marilyn P. Ham, ed. Historic Oakland: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Articles from The Oakland Newspaper: 1989–1995, p. 15. Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Pittsburgh, 2007. [view source]ham