We’re proud to be a Christian-owned-and-operated company, and we feel we’ve been blessed in so many ways over the years, including at one critical point during World War II.
In 1940 and early ’41, we had additional storage space thanks to a recent relocation. That meant that we could buy and stock more glass. Back then, a boxcar would hold enough glass for us for six months to a year, so Lee & Cates teamed up with another company to split the cost of a full boxcar coming into Jacksonville.
We placed an order, but due to problems with the supplier, the shipment was delayed. So, because we needed to ensure that we had enough glass in stock, we bought another half-boxcar from a second supplier. That shipment was delayed too.
We then ordered a full boxcar of glass from a third supplier. Shortly after, the first shipment showed up, but the company we partnered with to buy it declined their half of the glass, so we accepted the full load.
Then, the second boxcar arrived, but our partner declined their half of the glass again, so we took the full load.
By the time the third load arrived, we certainly didn’t need it, but since we ordered it, we accepted it. As a result, we were completely overstocked with glass. Our normal inventory of 4 to 8 months had turned into 2 to 4 year’s worth!
But then came December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor. America’s entry into the Second World War. Shortages. All manufactured products went toward the war effort. All products used in daily life became rationed or simply unavailable, including glass. But, through a series of circumstances, God provided Lee & Cates Glass with enough inventory to last through the war, to serve our customers, and to stay in business.