Mt. Pleasant museum speaker looks at economic role of glass in region
When Tom Felt bought three sets of Heisey candlesticks in 1977, it was the beginning of a lasting love of glass.
This passion for glass bore a collection of glass that is now the nucleus of Museum of American Glass, located in Weston, W.Va., for which Felt is an archivist. Felt will share this love story with glass at 7 p.m. Thursday during the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum's Speaker Series.
Felt said that glass played a major role in the economy all throughout the Ohio River valley.
“We had the natural resources necessary for making glass — coal and other natural fuels,” he said. “We also were well positioned geographically. We could ship our goods almost anywhere, especially along the three rivers. The result is that this region had a large cluster of glass manufacturers.”
Felt said that this area was an innovator in the glass industry.
“Glass-making originated in ancient times. It remained unchanged for centuries,” he said. “The U.S. led the way in technical innovations, introducing machine made, pressed glass. Many European glass makers came here and introduced many artistic innovations as well.”
Felt is sad at the decline of the glass industry, but says that thrown glass and studio glass offers a glimmer of hope of preserving the skill for the future.
He said that nostalgia prompts many people's interest in the glass of their childhood.
“Many people are interested in the glass of the 1950s,” Felt said. “Many glass-makers were at their peak then.”
Felt parallels the Museum of American Glass, founded in 1998, and the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum.
“We're both small museums,” he said. “The Museum of American Glass originally was 900 square feet. Now, it is nearly 10,000 square feet and has glassware from all over the country. The Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum has that same potential for growth. Both museums began as grassroots initiatives to preserve this region's heritage. Both museums can benefit from name recognition. Once people come in the door, they'll see something that will delight them.”
The Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum is located at 402 Main St., the site of the former Lenox plant. Admission is a suggested donation of $3.
Barbara Starn is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Hempfield woman donates music inspired by WWI ‘doughnut girls’
- Jewish congregations dwindling, forced to mull viability of worship sites
- Facelift approved for historic La Rose building in Greensburg
- Hempfield woman seriously injured in crash
- Former Jeannette coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
- Purple Heart recipient Krinock to lead July Fourth parade in Latrobe
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data
- Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
- State Supreme Court rejects latest Foxley Farm appeal in Ligonier Township dispute
- Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport
- Former Mt. Pleasant sex offender to stay behind bars while wife hunts for home