Disclosure: I was invited to visit both of these museums as part of a media tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
As a young teenager, I spent quite a bit of time with my grandparents in Cambridge.
I heard all about the area’s glass history. Can I be honest? It bored me to death.
I once even toured an old glass factory (possibly Cambridge Glass) when it was for sale. I’m not sure what became of the property, but I honestly didn’t listen to a bit of what the realtor was talking about. All I could think of was how cool the brick exposed walls, dirt floors with scattered chips of glass, and the grungy factory look would be for a music video for one of the big hair bands that were big in the 80s. Don’t judge me. As a young teen, I had three things on my mind, clothes, music, and boys. Glassware, no matter how spectacular or integral it once was to the community, was the furthest thing from my mind.
Fast forward…ahem… a few (quite a few) years and I now wish I’d paid a little bit more attention when my grandmother spoke of her favorite glass pieces and shared her knowledge of the area’s history. What I wouldn’t do to turn back the clock a couple of decades.
And now that I have my own collection of glassware, I’m more than ready to hear about the booming glass industry that was headquartered in this southeastern Ohio town.
LEARN EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GLASS MANUFACTURING IN CAMBRIDGE, OHIO
I may not be able to turn back time, but I can do the next best thing. I can learn from knowledgeable docents at The National Museum of Cambridge Glass and tour Mosser Glass to see their gorgeous showroom and tour the factory to see beautiful pieces of glass made by skilled artisans.
LET’S START WITH THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CAMBRIDGE GLASS.
Cambridge Glass Co. opened in 1902. Cambridge, Ohio was a great spot for the factory because there was plenty of coal and natural gas available which were both used in glassmaking. Cambridge Glass Co was a major employer and at one time had 750 people working around the clock.The National Museum of Cambridge Glass opened in 1982 thanks in part to the National Cambridge Collectors who sold memberships, raised money, and acquired glassware, documents, and artifacts to use on display. Today, you’ll find over 10,000 pieces of glass manufactured by the company during its years of operation.
AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CAMBRIDGE GLASS, YOU WILL:
- See the first piece of glass made by Cambridge Glass, a pitcher called “Big X”
- Hear about the founders of Cambridge Glass
- Learn how to identify Cambridge Glass
- Learn how the glassware was made and try your hand as a glassmaker
- Watch a short movie about the production of glassware
- See a small mock furnace that was made from the bricks from the factory that was torn down in 1990
- View the extensive collection and various styles of glassware that was produced by Cambridge Glass; including a Hollywood display of pieces used in movies
- See the Showroom; a dining room set with Cambridge Glass
- Etch a piece of paper using original hand-carved metal plates used to put the designs on the glass
- See some of the molds that were used to create the glassware
- Purchase authentic Cambridge Glass as well as jewelry and other pieces made from recycled Cambridge Glass
Address: 136 S 9th St, Cambridge, OH 43725
Visit their website for hours of operation & cost.
As a glass collector, I loved viewing the displays that walk you through the company’s history from the very beginning through all various shapes, colors, and trends of glassware up until the closure of the company in the 1950s.
From the National Museum of Cambridge Glass, your next stop should be Mosser Glass.
NEXT STOP: MOSSER GLASS
You could say glassmaking was in the Mosser family’s blood. Orie Mosser had served as the plant manager of Cambridge Glass and his son Thomas had started to work there as a teenager learning the glassmaking trade. When Cambridge Glass Co. closed, he decided to continue the glassmaking era in Cambridge by creating his own factory and spent several years acquiring the tools he would need to have a successful business.He started making pharmaceutical glass under the name Variety Glass, but his dream was always to make quality glassware. Mosser Glass was formed in 1971. The family-owned and operated business employ over 30 people. They ship high-quality glassware all over the U.S and across the world. A walk through the beautiful showroom highlights their products that combine innovative designs and timeless classics in an array of colors from Jade to Pink to Carnival glass to Vaseline Glass. You’ll even find some hand-decorated pieces to complement your décor. Today, Mosser makes over 300 items in 15 different colors.
Fun fact: The singer/actress Cher purchases her Thanksgiving turkeys from Mosser’s.
At Mosser Glass you may:
- Learn about the history of the plant
- See a variety of products that the company has made through the years and continue to make
- Take a tour to learn about the manufacturing process
- Shop in the retail store and get ideas of how to incorporate the glassware into your home décor
Address: 9279 Cadiz Road, Cambridge, Ohio 43725
Visit their website for hours of operation & cost.
Believe me when I say you will not want to leave Mosser’s empty-handed!
I couldn’t resist making a purchase of Mosser Glass while I was there, and I can’t wait for a return trip. As for Cambridge Glass, I’m not sure if I own any pieces in my milk glass collection that threatens to take over my home, but I did see a swan punch bowl at the museum that I would LOVE to own.
Both of these stops make Cambridge perfect for groups, a girlfriend getaway and since my husband appreciates glassware as much as I do, it would also be a great stop for a romantic getaway. Plus, the National Cambridge Glass Museum also offers hands-on activities to entertain the little ones in your family.
Check out our post on Unique things to do in Southeast Ohio. If you’d like more information on things to do while visiting Cambridge, reach out to Cambridge / Guernsey County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Have you toured either of these attractions in southeast Ohio?
© 2020, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.