Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, encouraging participation, and networking.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wistarburgh Glass and teh GSSC

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the Pennsville Historical Society hosted a lecture on the current Archaeological findings at the site of the Wistarburgh Glass Works in Salem County.  The speaker was Bill Liebknecht, and he brought a large map, several types of artifacts, and gave an excellent power point presentation.

Glass was on my mind recently after my trip to the Grist Mill Antique Center in Pemberton where several beautiful collections of various kinds of glass were on display, including a fascinating display of green glass that glowed under fluorescent lighting.

So intrigued was I by this story of a German immigrant, Caspar Wistar,  establishing this first successful glass factory in South Jersey, that I bought a book from amazon.com which I now eagerly await.

Needless to say, Wistarburgh being the earliest glass works in the colonies, I have no intention of ever trying to collect any Wistarburgh glass wich is highly sought after and extremely rare.  But I can afford to learn about it.  

Glass is such a mysterious and fascinating material, created from the most common, material, sand, and transformed by fire into this beautiful translucent material through the living breath of glass blowers.  One very interesting fact I learned at the lecture was that New Jersey sand was particularly well suited to glass making because it is wind blown and all the particles are the same size which makes them heat and melt at the same rate.  Sand of different size particles can't melt at an even rate which is a big problem.  I'd like to know more about this and may have to make another expedition to the Wheaton Village where glass blowing actually takes place and wonderful displays of glass are offered.  

It was delightful to visit again with Bonnie Beth Elwell, the brilliant and devoted President of the Genealogical Society (http://gsscnj.org/) of Salem County.  She is a marvelously warm, charming and talented local historian and genealogist. 

Just spent the morning reading the Elmer Times which I always get at the GSSC meetings and enjoy for days afterward, especially Bonnie Beth's column Ancestor's Attic.  Even before Wheaton, I plan to visit Elmer and check out the history book store at the Elmer Times Co.. 
21 State Street, Elmer, NJ 08318
 (856) 358-6171http://www.elmerboroughnj.com/ElmerTimes.html

Happy Valentines' Day to all you History Lovers!
Jo Ann

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