The Museum of American Glass exhibit rooms and sections are arranged in chronological order. After entering the gracious museum lobby, visitors proceed to the Early Glass Room which sets the stage for telling the history of American glass.
The first attempt at glassmaking in the New World was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. Three later ventures were tried in New York, Philadelphia and Salem, Massachusetts. It was not until 1739 that the first successful glass factory was established by Casper Wistar in Alloway, New Jersey. The Wistar factory operated until about 1782. Wistar defied English policy forbidding all manufacturing in the Colonies. America was to supply raw materials for England and furnish a market for English goods. After the Revolution, the number of glass factories steadily increased, meeting the needs of the new nation. The glass exhibited in this room tells the story of Wistarburg, the first successful glass factory in America and the importance of early American glass in building our nation.