Pairpoint Manufacturing Company – Glass- Massachusetts

PAIR OF PAIRPOINT ETCHED VASES WITH BRASS FITTINGS. American. 1st quarter-20th century. Floral and checkered etching

p4A ItemID F7929909
AMETHYST COMPOTE WITH ETCHING. American, 1st quarter-20th century. Possibly Steuben with etching by Pairpoint

p4A ItemID F7929882
Pairpoint brass table lamp, with reverse painted shade

p4A ItemID F7926140
Pairpoint American Brilliant Cut Glass and Silver plate Punch Ladle

p4A ItemID F7923862

Pairpoint Manufacturing Co.

The seaport city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, once famous as a whaling center and featured as the home port in Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, also hosted a thriving glass industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Foremost among its glass factories was the Mt. Washington Glass Works, originally founded in 1837 in South Boston (in the vicinity of a small hill known as “Mt. Washington”.) It relocated to New Bedford in 1870, where it produced a wide range of pressed glass, fine cut and engraved glass, lighting and other products. At the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia the company displayed a 17-foot high crystal fountain illuminated with 120 gas jets that “presented a spectacle of fairy beauty almost beyond imagination,” to quote a visitor to the fair.

Then, from the late 1870′s to the 1890′s, Mt. Washington introduced a series of brilliant, innovative and exotic glass formulae and decorative treatments that established New Bedford as the Art Glass Headquarters of the country. “Bronze glass” suggested the iridescent shimmer of excavated ancient glass. Amberina shaded imperceptibly from ruby red to rich amber. Burmese glass, with its delicate salmon pink and translucent yellow colors, suggested the splendor of a Burma sunset. Examples of Burmese glass were sent in 1886 to both President Grover Cleveland and Queen Victoria and created an instant sensation. Other outstanding art glass lines by the company included Pleachblow, Crown Milano, Royal Flemish, Cameo, Pearl Satin and Coraline glass, to name just a few.

In 1880 the Pairpoint Manufacturing Company was established in New Bedford to supply Mt. Washington with attractive silver-plated metal mounts. The company thrived and in 1894 they merged with their “parent” company and continued many of its art glass creations. Large quantities of translucent white glass were produced for colorful enamel decoration, and in the early twentieth century the company’s distinctive decorated lamp shades gained international popularity. Pairpoint continued to prosper through the 1920′s and early 1930′s, when bold color and a Scandinavian design ethos prevailed. By 1939, however, foreign competition resulted in the closing of the factory. Successor firms, including the Gundersen Glass Works and Gundersen-Pairpoint, continued production in New Bedford until 1957. Today an offshoot of the original company, Pairpoint Crystal, Inc., operates in Sagamore, Massachusetts, on nearby Cape Cod.

Reference Note courtesy of the Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass Society.

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