John S. Giles, a Civil War veteran and lawyer, founded the Safe Glass Company in Bowling Green, Ohio in January, 1890.
Safe Glass manufactured handmade glass jars for fruit packers and soon patented many new designs, most notably the vacuum “Giles Jars” of the early 1900’s.
Sealing the glass jars of the day was difficult, however. The cork stopper was a common closure but unsatisfactory for processed food packers. The solution was an innovative French closure shown at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The Safe Glass Company began marketing the new “band cap,” and its wide acceptance prompted the company to become a cap manufacturer.
In 1905 the Safe Glass Co. merged with the J. A. Landsberger Co., a metal cap manufacturer in San Francisco, to form the Hermetic Closure Co.
Glass making operations were discontinued and the new company moved to Chicago. A merger with the Phoenix Cap Co. of New York in 1911 formed the Phoenix-Hermetic Co.
Phoenix-Hermetic pioneered in closure design, capping machinery, cap sealing, metal forming and lithography. Innovations included the development of the modern continuous thread (CT) cap in 1922. In an effort to better describe the business, the company changed its name in 1932 to The Phoenix Metal Cap Company.
The first Phoenix plastic caps were compression-molded in 1939. Production of these caps was limited, however, due to resin costs and war-time resin restrictions. In 1959 the first injection-molding machine was purchased by Phoenix. Demand for the new, thermoplastic caps was so great that an expanded injection-molding facility was established in Naperville in 1965.
To reflect its new commitment to thermoplastics, the company name was changed to Phoenix Closures in 1966. By 1986, the fifth addition to the Naperville plant was completed. Phoenix celebrated 100 years of service to five generations of Americans during its 1990 centennial.
Our Next 100 Years
The years following our 100th anniversary have been hallmarked by innovation. In the past 20 years, Phoenix has been awarded over 35 patents related to closure design and application. These achievements have resulted in substantial recognition and product successes for our customers through revolutionary closure designs.
Our commitment to our customers’ success has not been limited to closure design. The Technical Services group insures that our customers are able to achieve the most efficient operations of their capping lines. Our new 250,00 square foot facility in Greencastle, Indiana focuses on creating high efficiencies for our stock closures and allows us to re-organize our manufacturing allocation. We continue to strive to provide our customers with innovative and cost-effective products to guarantee market penetration.