Situated in the heart of Ballston Spa, NY is a museum whose mission is to preserve the history of our nation’s first major industry: Bottle making. Exhibits inside of the National Bottle Museum allow visitors to view thousands of glass bottles that were produced by strong men who toiled in intense heat for 12 hours a day, six days a week when the demand for glass containers was staggering. It was an era when vast commercial empires rose and fell. In many cases, only the bottles remain as witness to the drama.
Millions of glass bottles per year were manufactured by hand for the mineral waters of Saratoga County alone, enabling the area to participate in world commerce during the early 1800s. A glassworks set in the wilderness above the Town of Greenfield employed hundreds of workers and glassblowers from the 1840s to the 1860s. In that era, all bottles were manufactured exclusively with hand tools and lung power.
One entire wall of the museum’s first floor showcases approximately 2,000 bottles of many colors, shapes and forms. All of these bottles are accessioned into the collection to be held in trust for the public. When creating interpretive exhibits, borrowed bottles and related objects are often combined with those from the collection. In some cases, all exhibit objects may be borrowed. The museum has access to collections all over the United States, and borrowing objects from members makes frequent changes and more spectacular exhibits possible.
Bottles of the USA - one representing each state.
DemiJohns & Carboys
Albany, NY Breweries
Art Glass paperweights
antique glassworking tools
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