GlassBarge

GlassBarge

About GlassBarge

Glassmaking innovations in Corning have shaped the modern world, from the first electric light bulbs for Thomas Edison and the invention of optical fiber for telecommunications, to the glass used in modern flat screen displays. And that story all began with a voyage on New York State’s waterways.

In 1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning, via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Incorporated. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this pivotal journey, CMoG launched GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment—in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 17, 2018. It then traveled north on the Hudson, then westward along the Erie Canal before it made its way to the Finger Lakes. It stopped at ports in Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Albany, Little Falls, Sylvan Beach, Baldwinsville, Fairport, Lockport, Buffalo, Medina, Brockport, Pittsford, Seneca Falls, and Watkins Glen. A ceremonial last leg of the trip took place on land, and concluded in Corning with a community-wide celebration, Harvest Homecoming, on September 22.

In addition to sharing the story of glassmaking in Corning, the GlassBarge tour emphasized the continued role of New York’s waterways in shaping the state’s industry, culture, and community. GlassBarge was the 2018 signature event for the statewide celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial. The GlassBarge journey was also celebrated back in Corning with a re-installation of the Crystal City Gallery, which shares the story of how Corning became one of the premier centers for glass cutting in the United States.

Partners

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum invited people aboard the Lois McClure to learn about what life was like on board a canal barge in the 19th century. The South Street Seaport Museum was on hand to talk about their historic tug that moved GlassBarge along the waterways.

GlassBarge was enabled through the generous support of grants from I LOVE NEW YORK, Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism; the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA); and the New York State Canal Corporation through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.