This is the homepage of the New Jersey Antique Bottle Club. Here you will find club information and the most up to date show contracts for South River, Millville, and Hammonton antique bottle shows. We are a nonprofit antique bottle and glass collector’s organization of about 50 members. Our mission is to promote the hobby of antique bottle and glass collecting and the history associated with the manufacture of blowing and pressing glass by traditional methods. South Jersey is noted for its many nineteenth-century glass houses and works. America’s first successful glassworks was founded by Caspar Wistar in 1739 on Alloway’s Creek in Salem County. This works operated successfully for 40 years. We interpret American glass as an art form that is produced by skilled craftsmen. Some of these craftsmen still blow drink today, and we are committed to preserving this vanishing art form. Our club hosts three shows a year where members can display and trade antique bottles.
The process of etching the surface of the glass with hydrofluoric acid. The acid-etched decoration is produced by covering the lens with an acid-resistant substance such as wax, through which the design is scratched. The object is then immersed in hydrofluoric acid, or a mixture of dilute hydrofluoric acid and potassium fluoride is applied to etch the exposed areas of glass. Acid etching was first developed on a commercial scale by Richardson’s of Stourbridge, England, which registered a patent in 1857. An effect superficially similar to weathering can be obtained by exposing glass to fumes of hydrofluoric acid to make an allover matte surface.
The process of making a glossy, polished surface by dipping the object, usually of cut glass, into a mixture of hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids. This technique was developed in the late 19th century.
The process of acid-etching a trademark or signature into glass after it has been annealed, using a device that resembles a rubber stamp to apply the acid.
(from Greek) The name was sometimes given to globular or pear-shaped objects with a narrow neck and mouth. The function of these objects is uncertain. The word was initially applied to a device, invented in the second century B.C., in which a closed, water-filled vessel, when heated, was made to rotate by jets of steam issuing from one or more projecting, bent tubes. Most surviving aeolipiles, however, are Islamic; they are believed to be containers.
In glassmaking, a soluble salt consisting mainly of potassium carbonate or sodium carbonate. It is one of the essential ingredients of glass, generally accounting for about 15-20 percent of the batch. The alkali is a flux, which reduces the melting point of the primary constituent of glass, silica.
(Spanish), almorratxa (Catalan) A rose water sprinkler with many spouts, made in northern Spain between the 16th and 18th centuries.
A type of Art Glass that varies in color from amber to ruby or purple on the same object. This shaded effect is due to the presence of gold in the batch. The purpose is amber when it emerges from the lehr, but partial reheating causes the affected portion to become red or purple. Amberina, developed by Joseph Locke (1846-1936) at the New England Glass Company in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, was patented in 1883.
A rare type of English wineglass with a drawn stem. Diamond-point engraving decorates the bowl with verses from the Jacobite hymn followed by the word “Amen,” and with emblems associated with the Jacobite uprising of 1715. See alsoJacobite glass
The process of slowly cooling a completed object in an auxiliary part of the glass furnace, or in a separate oven. This is an integral part of glassmaking because if a hot glass object is allowed to cool too quickly, it will be highly strained by the time it reaches room temperature; indeed, it may break, either as it cools or at some later date. Highly strained glasses break quickly if subjected to mechanical or thermal shock.
The South Jersey Page
Southern New Jersey is a region rich in glassblowing history. From the Wistarburg Glassworks in the 18th century to the Clevenger family in the 20th century, many individuals and companies have produced a variety of glass items which are highly valued by collectors today.
A natural phenomenon called the Devil’s Fire, the appearance of bluish flames in the swamps of southern New Jersey, has inspired glass blowers in the stateAlso from this Jersey Shore newsletter is an article on the history of the swan, chicken, and rooster as the ornament in blown glass.
Fire Insurance Maps of New Jersey Glassworks
Ernest Hexamer created a series of insurance maps of Philadelphia beginning in 1857. The charts below were built in the period 1866 to 1896 and are in the collection of the Philadelphia Free Library. Below you will find links directly to the individual maps and information.
New Fislerville Glass Works
The New Fislerville Glass Works is New Jersey’s newest Glassblowing Hot Shop dedicated to glassblowing classes
and glassblowing rentals. Fislerville was what the town
of Clayton was called before 1864.
A Short History of Batsto Village
Historic Batsto Village, a nationally recognized historic site, is located in Wharton State Forest in Southern New Jersey. The Village has changed and survived during several different periods of American history. Archeological investigations have also discovered evidence of Prehistoric life in the Batsto area. Evidence shows land use dating back several thousand years.
Early Iron Years:
Charles Read is credited with building the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River in 1766. Batsto had the natural resources necessary for making iron. There was bog ore which was “mined” from the banks of the streams and rivers, wood from the forests became the charcoal for fuel, and water became the power for manufacturing. John Cox, a Philadelphia businessman, became part owner in 1770 and full owner by 1773. The Iron Works produced household items such as cooking pots and kettles. During the Revolutionary War years, Batsto manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. Manager Joseph Ball became an owner of Batsto Iron Works in 1779.
In 1784, William Richards, uncle of Joseph Ball, became a principal owner of The Iron Works. This began the Richards’ era at Batsto which would last for 92 years. William was ironmaster until he retired in 1809. Son Jesse was in charge until his death in 1854; and he was followed by his son Thomas H. By the mid-1800’s, iron production declined, and Batsto became a glassmaking community known for its window glass. Soon the glass business was also finished, and Batsto was in receivership.
Joseph Wharton, a Philadelphia businessman, purchased Batsto in 1876 at a Masters Sale. Wharton continued to buy property in the area surrounding Batsto. He made improvements on the mansion, and on many of the village buildings. He was also involved in a variety of forestry and agricultural endeavors. Joseph Wharton died in 1909. From his death until 1954, the Wharton properties in the Pine Barrens were managed by the Girard Trust Company in Philadelphia
New Jersey purchased the Wharton properties in the mid 1950’s. The state began planning for the use and development of the property. The few people still living in the Village houses remained as long as they wanted. It was in 1989 that the last house was vacated. Today Batsto Village is a New Jersey Historic site and is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.
Read a bit more about how New Jersey almost let this vital property slip through its hands – from the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc. newsletter, Fall 2010.