Albert Lewis, Business 1951, Owner and Chairman of Glass Inc.From the coal mine, to caddie master, U.S.M.C., to owner and chairman of Glass Inc. International Albert Lewis leads an extraordinary life.
The second child of Albert & Clara Lewis of Morgantown, Albert was born during the depression. As a boy, he sought work to help support the family. Knowing early on a life in the mines was not for him, at 11 years old, he took a job as a caddie at the Morgantown Country Club. By the time he entered the Marines near the end of WWII, he was both caddie master and greenskeeper.
After his time in the U.S. Marine Corp., he went home to Morgantown and entered the WVU School of Business where he earned his business degree. Concurrently doing four years of ROTC, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corp, in the United States Army in 1951. Within two weeks of graduation, he was called to active duty during the Korean War. After doing some additional training in cryptology, he was assigned to Ft. Hood, TX. Within months, he became the company commander of his unit, then going on to be adjutant to the battalion commander. Also, during his first years at W.V.U., he met and married his wife of over 71 years, Doris.
Back to Morgantown, after the Army, he went to work for Sterling Faucet, then on to Houze Glass Company in 1956. Here he was given the opportunity to develop glass fiber technology for commercial and military applications, especially for the Naval Research Office. His department at Houze was purchased by Aerojet General and the family moved to Southern California. The 1960’s were all about lighter weight, fire protection, and better acoustics in conjunction with the space race. He developed a new glass material for use in the aerospace industry.
In the late 1960’s the opportunity came for him to start his own business in glass research & development. Albert took that chance and has not looked back. In 1968, he founded Glass Inc. International and is currently Owner/CEO. It provides glass fiber technology, research, engineering, and consulting services to the glass industry worldwide. Lewis and his team have built 30 glass and glass fiber manufacturing facilities throughout the world. In addition, he has developed an in-house precision casting foundry to supply those customers with proprietary equipment and spare parts.
Albert holds 25 U.S. Patents on glass technology and glass chemistry. Currently, there are 13 patents pending. Additionally, he holds the same patents internationally. The most recent being the development of high temperature glass fiber which has better acoustical and fire protection properties for us in the aircraft industry. By far, this is the most exciting research for Albert. The capabilities of this glass fiber product have been proven to be life saving for the passengers and crew in the event of an aircraft fire.
Regardless of his success within the glass industry, Albert counts his greatest achievement is the ability to give back to the place that gave him the opportunity to learn, W.V.U. With the establishment of the Helen Lewis Medical Research Foundation, he is committed to help W.V.U. in any way possible to further their development and growth.
Al and his wife along with their three daughters and families currently live in Southern California.
Albert, a lifelong Morgantown Mountaineer, genuinely believes you can take a boy out of West Virginia, but you can never take West Virginia out of the boy.