Thursday, June 6, 2013

Glass-making in Jamestown

The first glass-making in the colony was at the behest of Capt. John Smith, during the fall of 1608 when a number of Dutch and Poles, onboard in the second Supply ship of Capt. Newport, were sent to give their try at glass-making. A glass-house was erected about a mile from Jamestown. Some specimans of glass was produced under the supervision of Capt. John Smith and when he returned to England, he carried specimans with him in his cargo. After Capt. Smith left the colony, nothing more was heard of glass manufacture in Virginia until 1621, when an effort was made to re-establish it on a permanent footing. In 1621, the Virginia Company entered into a contract with Capt. William Norton, who had decided to emigrate to the colony with his family and who agreed to carry over with him four Italians skilled in glass-making and also two servants, the expense of transporting 6 persons to be borne by him, while the Company was to furnish their general equipment. Within three months of his arrival, Capt. Norton was required to erect a house for the manufacture of every variety of glass.  Source: Works of Capt. John Smith, p. 441.

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