Glass­works

-an early mem­ber of Burling­ton’s busi­ness com­mu­nity

Stanstead Journal - - CLASSIFIEDS -

OnJuly 12, the pub­lic can learn about Burling­ton’s first man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness. “The Cham­plain Glass­works: A Roller Coaster Ride for Burling­ton’s First Man­u­fac­tur­ing Com­pany (1827-1850)” will be the first in this year’s Sec­ond Satur­day se­ries pre­sented by the Ver­mont His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. The pro­gram will fea­ture L. Diana Carlisle and her re­search on what was Burling­ton’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ter­prise at the time.

“In 1827 in Burling­ton what could be more en­tic­ing for en­ter­pris­ing busi­ness­men and in­vestors look­ing for a start-up ven­ture than the fas­ci­nat­ing busi­ness of glass mak­ing?” noted Ver­mont His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s Pub­lic Pro­grams Co­or­di­na­tor Amanda Gustin. “Com­merce had taken over the lake and the port of Burling­ton af­ter the War of 1812, the Cham­plain and Erie Canals had opened re­sult­ing in new cities and new mar­kets, es­pe­cially in the West.”

At the time, win­dow glass was a needed com­mod­ity, and thus the Cham­plain Glass Com­pany, Burling­ton’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ter­prise at the time, was founded. But glass blow­ing was risky busi­ness— fires and more fires, tar­iffs, com­pe­ti­tion for mar­kets and for skilled work­ers, bankruptcy, then suc­cess­ful re­or­ga­ni­za­tion, and on it went. Us­ing in­for­ma­tion sources such as com­pany ledgers, weekly pay­rolls of barter and pay, sto­ries of the man­age­ment, the work­ers and their fam­i­lies, in­sur­ance maps and news­pa­per re­ports, this is the story of the com­pany and its chang­ing lead­ers as told by ex­pert his­to­rian L. Diana Carlisle.

The So­ci­ety’s Leahy Li­brary at the Ver­mont His­tory Cen­ter is also open on sec­ond Satur­days, of­fer­ing thou­sands of books, maps, pho­tos and other col­lec­tions that doc­u­ment all as­pects of Ver­mont’s re­mark­able his­tory. pm; Wed­nes­day evenings un­til 8:00 pm; and sec­ond Satur­days 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The pre­sen­ta­tions are free with the cost of ad­mis­sion to the gal­leries.

Photo cour­tesy

Burling­ton Glass Com­pany blown glass bowl from the 1800s.

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