Stewart-Carey, a glass wholesaler and retailer, began as a combination glass and drug store in Greensburg, Indiana, in 1840. Founder Daniel Stewart moved his business to Indianapolis in 1863 with the purchase of Wm. Hannaman & Co., a wholesale and retail drug dealer. By 1875, the firm was known as the Daniel Stewart Company.

Stewart-Carey Glass Company workers on a horse-drawn cart carrying a plate of window glass, ca. 1900
Credit: The Indiana Album: Stewart-Carey Glass Company Collection

After Stewart’s death in the 1890s, Stewart’s sons-in-law, John N. Carey and William Scott, operated the firm until 1908 when the glass and drug divisions separated. Carey purchased the glass division, incorporating it as the Stewart-Carey Glass Company, and Scott continued to operate the drug division, which later became the Kiefer-Stewart Drug Company.

Stewart-Carey continued as a wholesale distributor of flat glass (plate glass) products for the next 30 years, adding a contract glazing department in the late 1930s that provided glass installation for new construction projects. The firm continued to grow during the 1950s and 1960s, adding several new divisions and services. During its zenith around 1980, annual revenues peaked at $10 million ($31.6 million in 2020), and the company employed over 125 workers, operating seven Indiana outlets (including four in Indianapolis).

Stewart-Carey Company glass truck at the Illinois Building, 1957
Credit: The Indiana Album: Stewart-Carey Glass Company Collection

Descendants of the founder sold the company in 1984. The new owners cut employment and shifted the firm’s emphasis to commercial remodeling as well as residential glass and mirror work. Large-scale construction projects were deemphasized, and sales of automotive glass, paint, and wallpaper were discontinued. These changes did not save Stewart-Carey from filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 1984. The firm ceased operations in September 1987.

Three men at the Stewart-Carey auto repair shop, ca. 1960
Credit: The Indiana Album: Stewart-Carey Glass Company Collection
Revised February 2021
 

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