Stained Glass Windows for Mausoleums were Big Business for Rudy Bros. Co.

Rudy Bros. Co. Sign from their Pittsburgh Studio (2015 Photo by S. H. Smith within Glass Exhibit at Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA)

Rudy Bros. Co. Sign from their Pittsburgh Studio (2015 Photo by S. H. Smith within Glass Exhibit at Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA)

This sign was saved when the Pittsburgh building that housed the Rudy Brothers Stained-Glass studio was demolished. It is now displayed in one of two Rudy Brothers exhibits at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. The Glass Exhibit includes this sign, Rudy artwork, photos and descriptions about the company.

The Special Collections Gallery at the Heinz History Center displays a 10-foot by 9-foot Rudy Bros. Stained-Glass window from a Pittsburgh Industrial Building; the subject of a future post. With H. J. Heinz utilizing the Rudy Brothers to decorate his company buildings, home and mausoleum, other industrialists in Pittsburgh followed. Do any of my readers know the extent that York industries decorated their company buildings with stained-glass? If so, how much was designed and fabricated at J. Horace Rudy’s local Rudy Brothers studio; located at 601 North Hartley Street, in York, PA.

I did some Rudy Brothers research at the Detre Library, housing the Archives Division of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, within the Heinz History Center. Stained-glass windows for mausoleums grew to become big business for Rudy Bros. Co.; peaking during the 1920s. One piece of Rudy Brothers correspondence dated May 19, 1919, in the collections of the Archives, mentions the Community Mausoleum in York, PA.

The Community Mausoleum at Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, PA marks its 100th year in 2015; it was dedicated on July 18, 1915. The focal point, as one enters the mausoleum, is this stained-glass window depicting the Resurrection, with Christ emerging from the Tomb.

Rudy Brothers Stained-Glass Window in Entrance Chapel of Community Mausoleum at Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, PA (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

Rudy Brothers Stained-Glass Window in Entrance Chapel of Community Mausoleum at Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, PA (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

The May 19, 1919, correspondence from Rudy Bros. Co. was to the Allen County Mausoleum Co., in Toledo, Ohio. This is a sales letter; providing a few Mausoleum firms where they provided the stained glass windows:

Gentlemen:

We have been informed by a mausoleum builder that you have in course of erection a Community Mausoleum and will require a number of leaded Art glass windows. Should you desire designs and estimates for this work we should be pleased to take the matter up with you, either in person or by letter.

We are specialists in this line and have furnished memorial mausoleum windows for many of the prominent businessmen of the country, such as H. J. Heinz (now deceased), Goodyear Rubber Co. (G. M. Stadelman) and others. We mention a few Mausoleum firms for whom we have designed and furnished windows:

The W. W. Leland Co., Harrison Granite Co., Harrington, Gould & Hoagland, Tayntor Granite Co., all of New York City.

Smith Granite Co., Westerly, R.I., Geo. Dodds & Sons, Xenia, O., Campbell & Horrigan Co., Pittsburgh and others.

Community Mausoleums in which we furnished the windows.—Harrisburg, Pa., Easton, Pa., Frederick, Md., Hanover, Pa., Lancaster, Pa., York, Pa., Norristown, Pa., Wilmington, Del. and others.

We guarantee that our windows, in design and manufacture, are unexcelled in artistic merit.

Respectfully submitted,

RUDY BROS. CO.

It appears that the Rudy Bros. location in Pittsburgh primarily cultivated business with the manufacturers of private mausoleums while the Rudy Bros. location in York cultivated business with the companies building community mausoleums. No Rudy Bros. records were found regarding them supplying the stained-glass windows for the Keystone Mausoleum in Mt. Rose Cemetery in Spring Garden Township, York County, PA.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America.” Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.

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