Whitney Glassworks

Glassboro, New Jersey, USA


The Disappointed Tourist: Whitney Glassworks, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Because that is why the town is called GLASSboro. Kristin Q.

Long before it was a college town, Glassboro was a glass town. In 1779 German immigrant Solomon Stanger purchased 200 acres to establish a factory for the manufacture of glass. Known as the “Glass Works in the Woods” a town grew up around the burgeoning industry. The factory changed hands and therefore names numerous times throughout the years, including becoming the Heston and Carpenter Glass Works, before taking on the name Whitney in 1835. By the mid 19th century, Whitney was one of the largest and most successful glass factories in South Jersey allowing Glassboro to become a thriving community home to a blacksmith, wheelright, carpenter, shoemaker, and mason. The glass industry declined in the 20th century, leading the main factory to be closed in 1920. Glass left Glassboro entirely in 1929. The site of the former factory is currently home to the Heritage Glass Museum, the firehouse, Angelo’s Diner, the Comic Book Store, and the Glassboro Public Library. The lot is now slated for development by Nexus into commercial storefront and apartment buildings similar to Rowan Blvd.