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Museum to showcase Mt. Pleasant glassware

| Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 2:12 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Borough has always been synonymous with quality glass manufacturing, and even though the famous glass factories' furnaces have long since been cool, the history of the glass and the pride in its workmanship remain.

Wishing to showcase some of this quality glass from Bryce, Lenox and L.E. Smith, a group of volunteers from the town are in the process of putting together a glass museum to highlight some pieces made over the decades from these well-known glass-makers.

“A glass museum in Mt. Pleasant is long overdue,” project coordinator and historian Cassandra Vivian said. “It will celebrate Bryce Glass, Lenox Glass, and L.E. Smith Glass, but the possible expansion into other glass companies in the region is also a possibility.”

The new museum will be located in the In-Town-Shops in Mt. Pleasant. It will feature glassware that has been donated to the group or loaned to them for the purpose of display and will include an impressive display from one of the area's big names in glass.

“Harley Trice, great-great-grandson of James Bryce, is willing to work with us and donate large quantities of his families' wares,” Vivian said, adding that she hopes others will bring their pieces of glassware to share with the public.

The group is also hoping to have other items, like desks, display cases and shelving donated to them to create a more professional appearance as they plan to expand if there is an interest in their project.

“We can incubate a small museum, but the future should hold a much bigger museum, one that is a showcase for glass in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Vivian said. Vivian also hopes to have visits from area residents and ex-employees of the famous glass houses who can lend their information and expertise to the museum.

“I believe that there are many ex-workers or sons and daughters of workers from the glass industry in this region that hold a wealth of information about the glass industry and will be more than happy a museum is created,” Vivian said.

“There will be no fee for this exhibit, but we hope to receive funding through donations, memberships, endowments, grants and a lot of prayers,” Vivian said.

Mayor Gerald Lucia said the museum will be a welcome addition to the borough.

“Mt. Pleasant is known for its glass and a museum like this might really be of interest to a lot of people,” he said.

The group is welcoming any donations or items that can be displayed. A fledgling museum opened this week and will be open through Dec. 31. If interest is shown in the new endeavor, plans are being made to have it become a permanent exhibit somewhere in the borough.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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