ABOUT THE JAMESTOWN GLASSHOUSE

The Glasshouse

The Virginia Company was granted a charter in April of 1606 from King James I. On May 13th, 1607 the London Company established Jamestown, America’s first permanent English settlement. Today daily you can watch as glass is made in the same way as it was made back then. Visit the Jamestown Glasshouse at the Jamestown Historical Site to get a glimpse into glass-making of the past.

Glassblowing was one of the Jamestown colonists’ first attempts at industrialization and manufacturing in America. In 1608, the Virginia Company of London brought several German and Polish glassblowing artisans to Jamestown, Virginia to set-up glassworks in the new colony. This first attempt was not successful.

Blowing



Later, in 1622, the Company would again attempt to manufacture glass with Italian glassblowers, but this attempt failed also

In 1954, the ruins of the long-abandoned glass furnaces were discovered in Jamestown. Years later, an operating 17th century style glass house was reconstructed near the ruins. Today, this site has become an interpretive glassblowing facility operated by Eastern National. Modern-day artisans dressed in colonial glassblowing garb produce masterful pieces of glass, much as the colonists did almost 400 years ago.

Shaping



Today the glass furnace is heated by natural gas, rather than by wood as in 1608. Our craftsmen use tools and methods similar to those used in the 17th century. However, 17th century techniques do not prepare the glass for modern day use.

The Glass

Microwave ovens, automatic dishwashers and hot liquids will cause our production glassware to crack, break and shatter. All of our glassware carries the following warning: DO NOT USE THIS GLASSWARE IN THE AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER OR MICROWAVE OVEN. IT IS NOT FOR USE WITH HOT LIQUIDS.