The Museum of American Glass: A celebration of America’s first industry.

I really meant to sell ALL of the EAPG and American Brilliant pieces from our Janvier Road bungalow.
I really did.
I mean, who needs old-fashioned, elaborately patterned glassware from 100 or more years ago?

Someone who holds them in her hand for the first time in decades, and watches as they sparkle and shine in the light, that’s who.

Someone who suddenly senses the artistry and skill of the person who lovingly created these pieces, one at a time, working close to furnaces (“glory holes”) that reach 2,000 degrees farenheit.

Someone who suddenly comes to appreciate their spectacular beauty, history and superb quality – attributes that are next to impossible to find today.

Even carrot sticks would look tastier in an American Brilliant Cut Celery Dish!

This American Brilliant Cut Glass dish once turned humble celery sticks into haute cuisine!

But books and websites can tell you only so much about these precious relics from an earlier time. You really do need to get up close and personal.

So off I went to The Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, NJ.

Entrance to Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center, Millville, NJ

Entrance to Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center, Millville, NJ

What a fascinating place it is!
My visit inspired this shameless plug for one of the Philadelphia and Atlantic City area’s best-kept secrets. (See below for a list of museums in other areas of the country.)
Tucked into rural Cumberland County, New Jersey, and just a minute or two from the City of Millville (more on that in a minute), “Wheaton Village” is a forested wonderland of glass workshops, boutiques and galleries and the spectacular Museum of American Glass. There’s even a store that features Christmas decorations all year long!

But my focus was that museum.
With more than 7,000 objects from the 17th Century to the present, it’s an absolute must for those who love vintage and antique glass.
And if you don’t love vintage and antique glass?
You will, by the time you leave.

Naturally, I made a beeline for the EAPG and American Brilliant rooms.
I was hoping to spot some patterns of the nappies, celeries and other pieces I unpacked from the attic.
And sure enough, there was my EAPG Duncan & Miller water carafe!

And my EAPG Imperial creamer!

Imperial EAPG creamer

Imperial EAPG creamer

And some Brilliant items I wish I owned!

Quaker City's

Quaker City’s “Melrose” pattern

There are rooms devoted to antique bottles, EAPG and American Brilliant – as well as modern pieces by renowned glass artists. You’ll even find the world’s largest bottle!

EAPG from the late 19th Century

EAPG from the late 19th Century

Breathtaking American Brilliant cut glass

Breathtaking American Brilliant cut glass

There’s even a section devoted to quirky carnival glass!

Carnival Glass Hatpin Holders

Carnival Glass Hatpin Holders. Click on the photo to see the detail.

Wheaton is a celebration of America’s — and New Jersey’s — first industry.
Thanks to New Jersey’s abundant natural resources (sand, silica, wood and soda ash), glassmaking was a no-brainer for the early settlers.
In 1789 Caspar Wistar founded the first glass factory in nearby Salem County. And by 1888, Dr. Theodore Corson Wheaton had established a pharmaceutical glass bottle company in Millville. From there, the industry spread throughout the nation.

Glassmaking in action.

Glassblowing demonstration at Wheaton Village

Glassblowing demonstration at Wheaton Village

Throughout the day, there are demonstrations of glassblowing, and you can watch a glassblower create a beautiful wine goblet. You can even interact with resident glass artists at workshops held throughout the year.

But wait! There’s more!
(Required language in a shameless plug!)
Just a mile or two down the road is the adorable City of Millville’s Glasstown Arts District, where you can take a pontoon boat ride down the serenely beautiful Maurice River (that’s “Morris” to the locals), take in a show at the restored Levoy Theatre, or wine and dine on High Street, then stroll among the plentiful art galleries, bookstores and — of course — antique shops. And you can spend the night at the Country Inn by Carlson® just at the entrance to Wheaton Village.

If you’re interested in learning more about antique and vintage American glass, or if you just want something different to do with the family, consider a visit to a glass museum like Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center!

If you love learning about antiques as much as I do, follow the blog so you won’t miss the next article.
And enjoy the hunt!

Other well-known glass museums in North America
The Corning Museum in New York
Museum of Glass, Seattle
Ohio Glass Museum & Glass Blowing Studio
Huntington Museum of Art
Historical Glass Museum, Redlands, California

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About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JanvierRoad
This entry was posted in Antiques, Glass, Why Are Antiques Important? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Museum of American Glass: A celebration of America’s first industry.

  1. Summers Shull says:

    I have a piece that I can not find out information on. Can you help me. I love your site. I started looking here about Wexford Crystal. I have been collecting it for some time. The piece I’m asking about I thought was the star of David collection. I have collected that too. I wish I could post a picture here.

    • sarathurston says:

      I have a piece in this pattern, and here’s what I found out about it:

      EARLY AMERICAN PRESCUT aka STAR OF DAVID
      Line No. 700 is the true EAPC pattern produced by Anchor Hocking from 1960 to 1999, although most pieces were discontinued by 1978. The sugar, creamer, cruets, vases and shakers with plastic tops were made as late as 1997. There are slight differences in the later productions; such as the sugar lid. The pattern was named EAPC in remembrance of the Early American Pressed Glassware after a surge of depression glass colored wares. The reason it is called Star of David is because the pattern is comprised of one or more centralized eight-pointed stars similar to the Jewish Star. The Jewish Star is made of two overlaid equilateral triangles that form a six-pointed star. However different, the effects of the EAPC star cuts gives a dimensional effect that mimics the an overlaid look. The pattern is also referred to as Star and Fan or Pressed Star and Fan
      .
      All the pieces in this pattern have the star on them with the exception of the cup and double candle. EAPC was one of Anchor Hocking’s most popular kitchen patterns. Many of the pieces of EAPC were sold for a very limited time (in some cases only a year). These pieces are quite difficult to find. The cocktail shaker is the most difficult piece to find, followed by the oil lamp. The 11-3/4 inch paneled bowl and the 11 inch plate with swirled dividers are scarce too. There is a bud vase and a sherbet that sells for a tremendous price but few collectors will pay high prices for small pieces in this pattern.(3)

      This is an excellent site for all kinds of glass questions:
      http://glassloversglassdatabase.com/patterns/EAPC.html

  2. Pingback: Is it Pressed Glass or Cut Glass? | Janvier Road: Where old becomes exciting and new

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  4. Andrea Frary says:

    Great post about the glass museum at Wheaton Arts. Just sorry as a NJ resident to see it as being mentioned only as being located Philadelphia area, instead of Cape May or Atlantic City NJ.

    • sarathurston says:

      Thanks for your comment! The reason I emphasized Philadelphia is because this time of year so many people are driving to the shore towns anyway — Millville isn’t so far off the direct route. And the market is so much larger, and may not be aware of Wheaton/Millville’s existence.

    • sarathurston says:

      BTW, I did add “Atlantic City.” 🙂

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