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Cape Cod Glorification of Glass

For three decades in the 19th century, Sandwich boasted of glassworks that were not only the largest in the country but were the source of such new and extraordinarily beautiful wares that they created history in the industry. The first melt was on July 4, 1825.

The first pressed and lace glass originated here. By 1850, the establishment was in its prime, with five hundred skilled workers turning out 100,000 pounds weekly from its four large furnaces, and a long line of products to its credit.

Deming Jarves, the genius behind the enterprise, presented Daniel Webster with a glass bowl in 1841, then the largest piece of flint glass made by machinery in the world. The most distinctive achievement of the plant was its colored glass, made from a secret formula, and never equalled. The varied output included such articles as rum decanters, overlay lamp-founts and shades, bull’s-eye sugar bowls, white dolphin candlesticks, cruets, goblets, and the much sought basket bank with a dime dated 1830 sealed inside.

An ill-advised strike in 1888 closed the factory, and it was never re-opened. For a quarter of a century, glass went into obscurity. Then the antique hunter began to call the work treasures. The mad hunt was on. So Sandwich is once more a paradise for glass collectors. A few bits of broken, colored glass can still be found among the ruins of the old plant.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 03/14/06
Categories: HistorySandwich
Keywords: sandwich, sandwich glass, glass, history


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