An unusual product for a window glass factory

While tableware was usually the product of lead glass manufacturers, a group of rare and highly valued pitchers, decanters and sugar bowls was made at remote window glass factories for local consumption.

New York State Sugar Bowl (53H)

With its brilliant aquamarine glass and characteristic form this sugar bowl is typical of northeastern New York state or neighboring New England. The bowl flares from a slightly kicked up base to a curved shoulder beneath a galleried rim. A closer look at the domed lid reveals a folded rim and a drawn knop containing a swirl of amber. Similarly sized tiny bubbles are scattered throughout both the lid and the bowl.

Abundant natural resources led manufacturers to establish window glass factories along the edge of the Adirondack mountains, in Redford near Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain, in tiny Cleveland on the shore of Lake Oneida, and in Redwood near Watertown at the east end of Lake Ontario. The area was rich in raw materials including wood for fuel and fine quality sands that led to glass of a distinctive brilliance.

From its opening in 1831, the Redford Crown Glass Company shipped window glass down Lake Champlain, the Champlain Canal and Hudson River to New York City, where it received awards "for richness of lustre and brilliancy of surface (as well as thickness and strength)." Later it was used in Girard College in Philadelphia and the state capitol of North Carolina.

Tableware from Redford and other window glass factories arrived in New York City almost a century later. In 1929 it was prominently featured at the Girl Scout's Exhibition as part of the first major exhibit of American Glass. Belonging to George S. McKearin, these New York State pieces were later acquired by the Corning Museum of Glass.