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‘How It’s Made’ to Feature Island Mould and Machine

Oldest commercial shop in U.S. to be on TV show

April 11, 2013
By CASEY JUNKINS - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A French-Canadian film crew spent nearly 15 hours at Tom and John Weishar's Island Mould and Machine Co. shop to produce about 5 minutes of footage to be shown on the Science Channel tonight.

Not bad for the mould shop that began in a garage on Wheeling Island in 1939 before moving to its current location on Joan Street in the Fulton section of Wheeling in 1947.

"We are the oldest commercial mould shop in the United States," said Tom Weishar, who serves as the company's president, while his brother John works as its vice president.

Article Photos

Photo by Casey Junkins
Moulds made by Wheeling-based Island Mould and Machine Co. have been used to make glass all over the world.

The show, "How It's Made," will feature the Weishars at 9 p.m. tonight.

"They weren't really interested in a lot of the modern, computerized things we do. They wanted to focus on the work we do by hand," John Weishar said of the film crew.

The first mould the company ever made was of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a piece the brothers proudly display in one of their cases.

Fact Box


Wheeling-based Island Mould and Machine Co. will be featured on TV's "How It's Made" at 9 p.m. today on The Science Channel.

There is also a museum next to the shop to show a giant collection of glassware that glassmakers have produced with moulds made by the Weishars.

"Times certainly have changed," John Weishar said. "Now, we can do things with computers that once seemed impossible."

Joseph Dewey Weishar, Tom and John's grandfather, founded the business in 1939. The founder earned a reputation for producing superior crafted moulds, landing many contracts with well known factories such as Cambridge Glass Co., Westmoreland Glass Co. and Imperial Glass Corp. After graduating from high school in 1940, Joseph J. Weishar, the brothers' father, started working at the company.

As time progressed, things changed, and the next generation of Weishars have taken over bringing newer and more sophisticated ways of producing mould equipment. The company creates moulds for everything from 30" light shades to cups to pharmaceuticals to solar energy panels.

"Our work can be seen in New York, Washington, D.C. - all around the world, really," John Weishar said.

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