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American Glass


Mint Museum Randolph



Boston & Sandwich Glass Company,

Sandwich, Massachusetts, 1825-1888.

Covered Salt, 1830-40, lead glass.

Gift of Mrs. Ralph Philip Hanes in honor of her aunt, Mrs. Paul Chatham.


Steuben Glass Works,

Corning, New York, 1903-.

Pair of Goblets, circa 1925, glass.

Gift of Mary Brandwein.



     The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries represent a time of extraordinary growth for the American glass industry. Companies such as Boston & Sandwich Glass Company in Sandwich, MA; Steuben Glass Works in Corning, NY; and Libbey Glass Company in Toledo, OH, began operation and soon developed notable reputations for producing fashionable wares that were coveted by many middle- and upper-class consumers. American Glass showcases approximately forty-five objects by these and other American glass companies to illustrate the variety of forms and styles that prevailed during this period. Glass-manufacturing techniques are another focus of the exhibition, with representative examples of pressed, cut, blown, and molded glass. This exhibition has been organized by The Mint Museum and is on view in the Bridges and Levine Galleries at Mint Museum Randolph. 



American Glass Manufacturing Techniques



This technique, first invented by American John P. Bakewell for furniture knobs, involves the use of a plunger to press glass into a mold. To learn more about pressed glass, read this brief history on antique pressed glass from the Early American Pattern Glass Society.



Cut glass reached its popularity in the late 1800s during the American Brilliant Period when American producers made efforts to compete with European glass manufacturers. This time-consuming and expensive technique involves cutting facets into the otherwise smooth glass by holding and pressing the piece against rotating metal or stone wheels to produce the desired pattern. To find out more on cut glass, read this article on American cut glass from Collectors Weekly or visit the American Cut Glass Association's article section.



Glassblowing is the process of taking molten glass on the end of a hollow pipe and inflating it with one's breath. This ancient technique dates back over two thousand years.  This article from Antiques & Fine Arts Magazine contains more detailed information on 19th century blown glass.



Molded glass involves a similar technique to traditional glassblowing. Rather than being freely blown, the molten glass is blown into a mold. American glass manufacturers used molds as an inexpensive way to achieve a similar look to cut glass. Learn more about American molded glass from this Collectors Weekly article.



Online Resources on Featured Glass Companies


Atterbury and Company


Beatty-Brady Glass Company


Boston & Sandwich Glass Company 


Bryce, Higbee & Company


Cambridge Glass Company


Challinor, Taylor and Company


Coventry Glass Works

Edris Eckhardt

Fenton Art Glass Company


Fislerville Glass Works


Frederick Carder


Gillinder and Sons


Hobbs, Brockunier and Company


J. Hoare and Company


Libbey Glass Company  


Lustre Art Glass Company


Mount Washington Glass Company



New England Glass Company


Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Company


Steuben Glass Works


T. G. Hawkes and Company


Tiffany Furnaces


Willington Glass Works



Selected Resources Available in The Mint Museum Library





Created by Nicole Jacobson, volunteer at The Mint Museum Library