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Ellen Paul Denker

[Johann Friedrich]

(b Hettlingen, nr Hannover, Germany, June 26, 1741; d Baltimore, MD, Nov 1, 1798).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He was associated with his brother’s mirror-glass factory in the town of Grünenplan before his venture to make table wares and utility glass in America began in 1784. With backing from investors in Bremen, Germany, Amelung brought 68 glass craftsmen and furnace equipment to the USA. He purchased an existing glasshouse near Frederick, MD, along with 2100 acres. The factory, which he named the New Bremen Glassmanufactory, had been founded by glassmakers from Henry William Stiegel’s defunct operation in Manheim, PA. It was well situated in western Maryland, not far from Baltimore, which offered a fast-growing market. Many settlers in the area were Germans, who were expected to be supportive of the enterprise. During the following decade Amelung built housing for his 400–500 workers. It is believed that he built four glasshouses.

Although Amelung’s craftsmen made window glass, bottles and table glass, the most important group of objects associated with the factory are the high-quality, wheel-engraved presentation pieces (e.g. sugar bowl, ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of drinking glass created in the 18th century with a coin embedded in a knop in the stem. In 1892 a new type of ‘coin glass’ was introduced by the Central Glass Company of Wheeling, WV: coins were used to make moulds that would leave impressions of the coin on glass. This glass, which took the form of drinking glasses, butter dishes, cake stands etc., was produced for five months, whereupon the Treasury declared that the process constituted counterfeiting, and the moulds were destroyed....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Modern term for a type of 18th-century American mirror, sometimes given as a courting gift and often hung in hallways for last-minute grooming; early examples were imported (sometimes from the Netherlands), but thereafter most were made in New England. The frame typically consisted of painted glass strips, often in a metal moulding; some were surmounted with a crested area containing a picture....

Article

Gordon Campbell

American glasshouse established in Philadelphia in 1773 as the Kensington Glassworks; in 1831 the company was acquired by Dr T. W. Dyott and was thereafter known as the Dyottville Glass Works. The factory produced flint-glass table ware and a variety of bottles (notably cylindrical whiskey bottles in the third quarter of the 19th century); it specialized in pictorial flasks, some with historical themes. Dyott withdrew from the company on being declared bankrupt in 1838, but the firm continued to produce glass (including coloured glass from the 1840s) until the end of the century.

T. W. Dyott, J. Sergeant and M. Carey: An exposition of the system of moral and mental labor: Established at the glass factory of Dyottville, in the county of Philadelphia: Embracing a description of the glass factory, together with the system of industry therein pursued, with the report of the committee chosen to investigate the internal regulations of the place...

Article

Damie Stillman

Architectural and decorative arts style that flourished in the USA from shortly after the acknowledgement of independence in the Treaty of Paris (1783) until c. 1820. The term is derived from the period surrounding the creation of the federal constitution in 1787 and was in use in a political sense by that year. Essentially it was a form of Neo-classicism, strongly influenced by manifestations of that style in England and, to a lesser extent, in France; but at times certain more conservative qualities inherited from the previous Colonial period are also present. The inspiration of European, and especially English, Neo-classical architecture was to be expected in a society grounded in that of 18th-century England; but an added impetus was the association often cited at the time between the fledgling American republic and the ancient Roman one.

Although a few indications of European Neo-classical influence are found in the American colonies before the Revolution began in ...

Article

(b Geneva, Jan 29, 1761; d Astoria, NY, Aug 12, 1849).

American politician and glassmaker of Swiss birth. Gallatin is best known for his public roles as Secretary of the Treasury under President Jefferson and President Madison, but he was also an important glass manufacturer. He moved to America in 1780, and in 1797 founded the New Geneva Glassworks in Western Pennsylvania. The factory began production in ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

[Heinrich Wilhelm ]

(b Cologne, May 13, 1729; d Charming Forge, PA, Jan 10, 1785).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1750 and became associated with iron manufacturing through his marriage in 1752 to Elizabeth Huber, whose father owned an iron furnace in Lancaster Co., PA. At Elizabeth Furnace, near Brickerville, PA, Stiegel built in 1763 his first glasshouse, where window glass and bottles were made. Several of the craftsmen employed there had probably come from Caspar Wistar’s operation in southern New Jersey. Beginning in 1762 Stiegel was involved with other investors in the creation of Manheim, PA, a village for his workers. In 1764–5 he built there a glasshouse, and produced, in addition, some tableware.

In anticipation of the demand following the levying in 1767 of a tax on imported glass, and despite generally poor economic conditions, Stiegel opened in 1769 a second glasshouse at Manheim, the American Flint Glass Manufactory, for the production of fine tablewares in lead glass and coloured glass (...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

(b Hilspach [now Hilsbach], Germany, Feb 1696; d Philadelphia, PA, ?April 1752).

American glass manufacturer of German birth. He moved to Philadelphia in 1717 and learnt to make brass buttons, for which he quickly became famous and from which he earned an ample income. Wistar was the first person to make glass profitably in America. He bought 2000 acres of land on Alloways Creek in Salem Co., NJ, and brought four German glass blowers to his ‘Wistarburgh’ factory, which opened in 1739.

The major products of the factory were window glass, a wide variety of bottles and vials, and such scientific equipment as electrical tubes and globes used to generate static electricity in experiments in the 1740s and 1750s. Table wares in colourless, bottle-green and pale blue glass were produced regularly, though sparingly. Free-blown covered bowls, small buckets or baskets, tapersticks, candlesticks, mugs and tumblers, some made with part-size moulds, have been attributed to Wistar through historical association and through laboratory analysis. Decoration, using certain ...