Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oldest Town on Cape Cod

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Sandwich Massachusetts is nothing if not a town rich of history. Known as the oldest town on the Cape Cod, Sandwich was founded in the mid 1600s. The small town, originally a timber exporting community, would not see a drastic change until 1825 when Deming Jarves moved to the coast.

Relocated from Boston and the New England Glass Company, Jarves selected Sandwich for the potential sea trade and shipments. The location was also opportune due to the small size and promise of growth. Not only did Jarves begin to recruit employment locally, but he also enlisted the help of glassblowers from his previous company, as well as men from England and Ireland.

In no time, the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company prospered, producing beautifully crafted pieces. The Triple Overlay was by far one of the most interesting pieces. Symbolic of the rich history and luminous potential, this lamp guided and aided the growth. As the Company flourished, so did the adjoining community. A thriving community depended on the outcome of its factory, for it was the dominating employment in the area. The Company, in its most successful stage, employed hundreds of workers. Times were good for Sandwich. Once a small, agricultural community, now the town had something to be proud of, something that influenced not only them, but far beyond. This was the case, until the company’s closure in 1888.

Glass Making literally shaped the environment around it. When The Company closed, there was nothing for the community of Sandwich. It forced the town into an economic depression, workers were forced to find other jobs or worse, leave Sandwich. Countless companies attempted to fill the place of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, but none would suffice; the use of the overlay method would never be as lucrative as when developed by the originally factory. Years passed, and no sign of hope came for the glass industry. By 1944 every last factory had been removed, leaving very little of the company that meant so much to the town.

Though Sandwich no longer produces glass, the history of its foundation resides everywhere. The glass museum pays homage to company, and houses an array of beautifully crafted pieces. Residents cherish the glass products as well, collecting them in tribute. Now, the glass products from Sandwich are a rare commodity due to their craft and history.

Sandwich and Boston Massachusetts share a fondness for glass making. Both produced some of nation’s finest glass of the time. They were innovative, curiously experimenting with new ideas. Business wise, Boston and Sandwich were almost a pair, but community-wise, they were very different. Unlike Boston, Sandwich and its glass company were one in the same; they were dependent on each other. Where Boston flourished prior to the Glass Industry, Sandwich prospered because of it.

Sandwich Glass Museum

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