glassboro: what's in a name?

GLASSBORO DATES ITS 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, PENNSYLVANIA.  GLASSBORO WAS CHOSEN MAINLY FOR THE AVAILABILITY OF OAK TREES TO FUEL THE FURNACES, BUT ALSO FOR AN ABUNDANCE OF CLAY AND SAND.  DRAWBACKS WERE THE LACK OFNAVIGABLE STREAMS 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 & FLASKS SHAPED LIKE CABINS, EARS OF CORN, FISH, INDIAN QUEENS, AND PINEAPPLES.

HERITAGE GLASS MUSEUM 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 THE 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.