Sandwich Glass- Thanks to the Sandwich Glass Museum
I have written on many glass companies but The Sandwich Glass Company might be the most elusive. It was founded in 1825 by Deming Jarvis. The location of the company was 50 miles from Boston on Cape Cod and Jarvis had purchased 20,000 acres of land so that he would have plenty of wood for his furnaces. The company was in the town of Sandwich, but I bet you had figured that out, right?
Jarvis was very good to his workers and hired the most talented craftsmen from around the world. He often built houses near the plant for his employees so that they could be near their work. The plant may have produced the best glass during the period from 1830-1860 and at that time he employed over 500 men. Can you imagine this? At the peak of Sandwich production, they were making 6,000 tons of glass daily. The glass that the company made at first was free thrown and hand cut, but they soon changed to molded pressed glass. This type of glass was made in three piece molds and often had rough seams. The purpose of this method was to make it look like cut glass which was very popular at that time. (Hint if it was molded and not three pieces, it wasn't a molded piece of Sandwich Glass.)
This story has a sad ending. In 1888, the employees decided they wanted to have a union but Jarvis said "If the fires go, out they will never be re-lit". His workers thought he was bluffing, but he closed the plant on January 2, 1888 and never reopened it. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I hope the same fate isn't in store for Walmart.
There are several books written on Sandwich Glass and I will list three here: A Guide to Sandwich Glass, Whale lamps and Accessories by Lloyd C. Nickerson and Joan E. Kaiser, The Glass Industry in Sandwich by Raymond E. Barlow and Joan E. Kaiser and Price Guide for Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Glass Industry in Sandwich by Raymond E. Barlow. It would be wise if you are a member of the Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Club to have at least one of these in your personal library for identification purposes. There are many fakes out there, so be careful.
Original Sandwich Glass isn't cheap, with lamps bringing up to $3,000 plus and really rare items often commanding $50,000 or more. I think you can see why it is best to study this glass before jumping in head first.
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