Exhibit features Mt. Pleasant's glass legacy
By Linda Harkcom
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
The Mt. Pleasant Glass Exhibit opened recently at the In-Town Shops on Main Street in the borough.
The exhibit, which will remain open through year's end, was created by the newly formed Mt. Pleasant Cultural Trust to highlight the legacy of the area's glass industry — something trust members said is of primary value to the area's overall history.
Featured there are glass-making tools, books, photographs and other documents celebrating various aspects of the local industry, as well as glass and porcelain products from the three, world-famous Mt. Pleasant glass factories: Bryce Brothers Glass Co. Inc., Lenox Glass and L.E. Smith Glass Co.
The exhibit may eventually grow into a full-fledged glass museum based upon the level of public interest, said trust member Cassandra Vivian.
If the exhibit is well-attended, it will prove there is interest within the community for a museum honoring the town's glass heritage, she said.
“If everyone who worked at one of the glass factories would become a member at $25 a year, we could open the museum because it would pay for the day-to-day maintenance of a museum,” Vivian said.
Tammy Collins of Scottdale was one of more than 20 visitors to the exhibit on its opening day last Friday. She was a former Lenox employee.
“It's beautiful. It's a good representation of all the work they have done over the years,” Collins said. “I think a glass museum is a great idea. So many people in this area worked at those plants and it's an important part of our heritage.”
The exhibit is made up of pieces that are on loan from various community members as well as from those outside the community.
Pittsburgh's Harley Trice is the great-great-grandson of James Bryce, the founder of Bryce Brothers.
Trice said he has loaned and given the group a number of items from his personal collection for the exhibit from his ancestor's company which manufactured hand-blown glass in Mt. Pleasant from 1896 to 1965.
As gifts, Trice said he has given reprints of more than six vintage photos of the Bryce factory in Mt. Pleasant and its employees there.
He added that he has lent the group items from the company such as a bronze stamp used to put the Bryce Brothers hallmark on cardboard shipping boxes, a hand-lettered display sign, a six-page memo on Bryce Brothers stationary, an 18th century European print of glassmakers and a book of reprints of four Bryce Brothers catalogs from 1950 to 1965.
Trice said he has also lent examples of pressed glass made by the several Bryce companies in Pittsburgh from 1850 to 1882, including those featuring a Tulip & Sawtooth pattern, and a dozen pieces of blown glass made at the Bryce Brothers' Mt. Pleasant glass company, several of which with original labels still attached.
“I am making this loan in the hope that it will help generate interest in the creation of a major permanent exhibition to celebrate the glass-making heritage of Mt. Pleasant,” Trice said.
Mary D. Shaw of Mt. Pleasant celebrated her 81st birthday at the glass exhibit opening. Shaw said she worked in the show rooms of all three Mt. Pleasant glass manufacturers.
“I am just so thrilled that I have been able to live to see this. I think it is wonderful,” she said.
Shaw said she loaned the exhibit at least 20 pieces from her personal collection which included items she said her late father, Joseph Kamawalsky, made during the 55 years he worked for L.E. Smith Glass.
Vivian said that, in addition to the exhibit, the Mt. Pleasant Cultural Trust will soon set up a small boutique which will include books on glass and glassware by Peter O'Rourke, a local glass cutter who has created pieces for the White House.
Exhibit hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For tours, to donate or loan glassware and glass-related items or for further information, contact Vivian at at 724-542-4949 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Top pitching prospect Taillon’s time with Pirates must wait a bit
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Stocks dip on gloomy data from Asia
- ACC Tournament manages to deliver an inherent history lesson
- Worker for Latrobe-based Xcoal on ill-fated flight
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Robert Morris faces familiar foe in NEC championship game
- Pittsburgh Symphony struggles to increase revenues, reduce costs