GLASSBORO DATES IT’S ORIGIN WITH THE PURCHASE OF 200 ACRES  IN 1779 BY SOLOMON STANGER TO CREATE A “GLASS WORKS IN THE WOODS”. THE STANGERS HAD MIGRATED FROM GERMANY AND WORKED FOR A TIME AT WISTARBERG IN SALEM COUNTY AND STIEGEL IN LANCASTER COUNTY PA. GLASSBORO WAS CHOSEN MAINLY FOR THE AVAILABILITY OF OAK TREES TO FUEL THE FURNACES, BUT ALSO FOR A ABUNDANCE OF CLAY AND SAND. DRAWBACKS WERE THE LACK OF A  NAVIGABLE STREAM AND IMPROVED ROADS FOR SHIPPING. THE STANGERS INITIAL GLASSMAKING VENTURE ENCOUNTERED FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES AND WAS SOON ACQUIRED BY COLONELS THOMAS HESTON AND THOMAS CARPENTER. THE STANGERS MOVED ON TO ESTABLISH GLASS WORKS AT PORT ELIZABETH, MARSHALLVILLE AND NEW BROOKLYN, BEFORE RETURNING TO GLASSBORO  AT THE OLIVE, TEMPERANCEVILLE, WARRICK AND HARMONY GLASS WORKS..

IN 1805 EBENEZER WHITNEY, A SEA CAPTAIN FROM A CASTINE MAINE SHIPBUILDING FAMILY, ARRIVED IN GLASSBORO. HE WAS  INJURED AFTER HIS CARGO OF WINE WAS WRECKED OFF CAPE MAY AND HE WAS TOO ILL TO CONTINUE TO PHILADELPHIA. HE WAS NURSED AT THE HESTON TAVERN BY THE THE DAUGHTER OF THOMAS HESTON. SMITTEN, HE MARRIED HER WITHIN A YEAR AND SETTLED IN GLASSBORO. HE WAS A TAVERNKEEPER AND NEVER ENGAGED IN GLASSMAKING. HE DIED IN 1823 LEAVING FIVE YOUNG CHILDREN. THE  THREE SONS WORKED IN LOCAL GLASS WORKS AND BY 1838  AT THE AGE OF 24, THOMAS THE ELDER SON, PURCHASED THE HARMONY GLASSWORKS .

THE RENAMED WHITNEY BROTHERS GLASSWORKS WENT ON TO PUT GLASSBORO ON THE MAP. IT PROSPERED FOR THE NEXT 80 YEARS BECOMING ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE, PROSPEROUS  AND BEST EQUIPPED GLASS INDUSTRIES IN THE NATION. AT THEIR PEAK THEY EMPLOYED OVER 1000 AND OWNED HUNDREDS OF WORKERS HOUSES AND THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF TIMBER. IN 1885 THEY FILLED AN ORDER OF 7.5 MILLION WARNER’S SAFE CURE BOTTLES. ITEMS PRODUCED AT WHITNEY ARE NOW SOUGHT BY COLLECTORS WORLDWIDE INCLUDING  FLASK SHAPED LIKE CABINS, EARS OF CORN, FISH , INDIAN QUEENS, PINEAPPLES

OUR BUILDING SITS ON LAND ONCE OCCUPIED BY THE STANGER FAMILY’S HARMONY GLASS WORKS(c.1813) AND LATER TO BECOME THE WHITNEY BROTHERS GLASSWORKS(c.1838). THE WHITNEY WORKS COVERED SOME FIVE ACRES BORDERED BY HIGH STREET, COLLEGE AVE, MAIN STREET AND ACADEMY STREET. AFTER THE WHITNEY WORKS CLOSED IN THE 1920’S THIS PROPERTY WAS SOLD AND IN 1926 OUR BUILDING WAS ERECTED BY THE GLASSBORO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY. BY 1931 THIS BANK FAILED AND THE BUILDING WAS THEN OCCUPIED BY A DEPRESSION ERA EMERGENCY RELIEF ORGANIZATION, A LUMBER COMPANY AND FROM 1963 TO 1979, THE GLASSBORO PUBLIC LIBRARY.

EXACTLY 200 YEARS AFTER THE FOUNDING OF GLASSBORO, SEPT. 23, 1979 ,THE HERITAGE GLASS MUSEUM WAS FORMED. IT WAS AN OFFSPRING OF THE SOUTH JERSEY BOTTLE  &  GLASS CLUB WHICH WAS CREATED BY A GROUP OF COLLECTORS SOME 10 YRS EARLIER. THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF MARILYN PLASKET, WARD CAMPBELL, J.E.PFEIFFER, FRANK CIBO, CHRIS SEIBERT, WILLIAM DALTON, DELORES HARRIS, JAMES LYNCH  AND THOMAS STEWART, THIS FOUNDING COMMITTEE WAS ABLE TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY AND LEASE OUR  HISTORIC BUILDING FROM THE BORO FOR ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR.