Wheaton Arts Center’s Museum of American Glass

by Alice Magdziak • May 20, 2015 • Cumberland, Third StateComments (0)1865

When you’re in the glass business like Ed is, you’ve got the inside scoop on New Jersey’s rich glass-making history.  The rest of us have to go to Millville and visit the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center’s gorgeous Glass Museum to learn all about it.

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The sand off the coast of southern New Jersey made glass-making extremely popular in New Jersey for many years.  Artisans from all over came to work in the glass factories here.  That meant that some of the most beautiful and artistic glass pieces were made here.  The Millville Rose was famous for its delicateness and life-like qualities.  There are many examples of the Millville Rose in the museum.

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One of the most striking exhibits I saw was the uranium (or “vaseline”) glass.  It glows eerily under black light and was very popular in the depression era.

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Along with artistic glass, you can also learn about commercial uses for glass and how it was produced. These glass insulators were very important for early telegraph electric lines.  Soon, it was discovered that ceramic insulators were better because they didn’t grow and contract during hot and cold weather requiring less maintenance.  Now, glass insulators are collector’s items.

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I was amazed at all the towns in New Jersey that had glass-making facilities at one time!

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I don’t want to give all the interesting tidbits away so enjoy this photo gallery and make a plan to enjoy the museum and the rest of the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. Admission is free this month for the “Millville in May” celebration.

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