The History of Dependable Glass

Anyone walking down Columbia Street in Covington will pass along the front of Dependable Glass Works, look in the window and see some pretty interesting items made of glass from glass for the home from entertaining items for serving guests to glass shelves, counter tops, table tops and shower doors.

In the design studio area, there are hundreds of samples of glass in various textures that Dependable Glass works can fabricate upon request.  In the back room,  the walls are covered with framed mirrors in various sizes and shapes.

Click on the images to make them larger. 

The showroom is impressive, but it only represents a small percentage of what goes on inside the fabrication plant at Dependable Glass Works where they cut, laminate, insulate and temper glass for both residential and architectural customers.

Round glass table tops

There’s a display in the front showroom of circular glass that can be used for table tops. Part of the fabrication process at Dependable Glass is cutting, polishing and shaping the edges.

In the plant there is a very large computerized cutting table that allows Dependable to cut shapes.   Down the street in their second location at E. Gibson and Lee Lane they have a “water-jet” cutting table.  The water-jet cutting table can cut glass thicknesses of up to 10” in any shape.  They even produce glass cut in the shape of the state of Louisiana. 

Big Louisiana

Small Louisiana

 “The heartbeat of the operation is the beveler” Foxworth stated. It is the machine that produces beveled edges, from a choice of several styles.  Beveled glass edges are what makes a lot of glass products especially attractive.  One of the employees who specialize in the beveling process has been with the company for 45 years.  

Getting the edges smooth and clear calls for not only the right equipment but for the workers to use extreme skill and precision.  Sometimes Dependable will hand polish the glass instead of machine polish if required.  

Business Began 52 Years Ago

Norman Foxworth grew up in Covington and graduated from Covington High School in the class of 1962.  He’s worked in the glass industry his entire life.  He started out working for his family in the auto and plate glass business and then founded Dependable Glass Works in 1967.  Since then Norman has become widely known as an innovator in the glass fabrication business. 

These company photos were taken in 1979, forty years ago

Dependable Glass Works in 2019
His current location in Downtown Covington has historic significance as it is believed to be one of the assembly plants where they produced the Higgins boat during World War II.    After moving to the location  Norman began tooling it up for manufacturing glass, and growing his auto and plate glass window business.

He purchased beveling machines, polishing machines, and cutting machines.  In 1998 he introduced Safety-Plus impact resistant glass to the area. They also laminate glass which ranges from hurricane resistant to bullet resistant to large missile testing.   In 2008 he started producing “insulated glass”.  He took a part of his laminating facility and created a fabrication line for insulated glass windows. 

 In 2018 Dependable Glass Works opened a tempering department in North Covington.  This requires a special  building because of the “tempering oven” required to temper glass. This allowed Dependable to broaden its fabricating capacity with in-house services.  They can temper small size glass 6” x 6” inches up to 120” x 60”.  Tempered glass is used in flooring, handrails and shower insulations.  The furnace heats the glass to a set temperature which strengthens the glass to minimize breakage.

The majority of what they fabricate at Dependable Glass Works is customized for the resident or architect/designer.  Whether it be size, color or texture,  art glass, flooring  or counter tops,  Dependable Glass Works has become the largest stocking dealer of textured glass in Southeast Louisiana and imports containers of specialty glass from Europe and Asia.  

Often architects and designer contact Dependable when they are trying to create something special, such as when they are called upon to mix and match textures and colors, laminate objects in glass such as marbles, Mardi Gras doubloons, or old black and white negatives and interlayers designs.

Some of his orders call for fairly large pieces of glass, so much so that he had to install a heavy duty crane in his facility. 

 Dependable Glass Works has some high profile clients including Tiger Woods, Britney Spears – Children Hospital project, and the Bill Clinton Library.  The company has placed its work in the Superdome in New Orleans, outside the Superdome in the Saints fan ticket holder display, and in retail stores, casinos,  hotels and office buildings  across the country. 
Whenever the need arises, Dependable Glass Works fabricates glass and mirrors for custom-installations, even antique mirror glass and antique reproduction glass, which looks like glass from the 19th century but has the stability of glass from the 21st century.

The 1960’s  glass company has grown into a multitude of special services, employing over 35 people. They open their doors sometimes at 5:00 am in the morning and work til about 3:30 pm in the fabrication department.  The staff is cross trained so that they can work in multiple departments within the company.

Dependable Glass Works trucks deliver glass all over the Southeastern United States.  The Covington-based company is meeting the needs of a wide variety of personal, architectural and commercial applications for the 21st century.   And yet, to onlookers visiting downtown Covington, it is still a quaint Columbia Street retail shop as well.

Foxworth looks over some oval pieces about to be polished.

An array of textured glass waiting for orders

Here are some photographs of the neat things on display in the front showroom.

Hunk of glass, green