33¢ Free-blown Glass
Issue Date: June 29, 1999
City: Corning, NY
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Glassmaking was one of the first industries to be transported from Europe to the New World. In 1608, the London Company of Virginia set up a glass factory in Jamestown. Various hardships, like famine and worker scarcity, caused the venture to fail several times. The first successful American glassmaker was Caspar Wistar. His plant in New Jersey operated from 1739 to 1780. A second important name in American glassmaking is Henry William Stiegel. Both Wistar and Stiegel were founders of distinctive American glass styles.
Few glass manufacturers survived the Revolutionary War. One that did was the New Bremen (Maryland) Glass Manufactory, founded by John Frederick Amelung. Items created by Amelung’s shop are among the finest produced in the United States. Amelung glass includes bowls, bottles, and goblets that are engraved with mottoes, monograms, crests, and wreaths.
Perhaps the most famous art-style glass items crafted in the U.S. today are created at the Steuben Glass Company in Corning, New York. Established in 1903 by Englishman Frederick Carder, most Steuben pieces are entirely handmade, and either completely unadorned or copper-wheel engraved. Steuben products have become classics of 20th century glassmaking.