Chelmsford Historical Society
German Glass Blowers in Chelmsford

by Dorit Lammers

glassGerman Glass Blowers in Chelmsford tells the story of the Hirsch family, a group of German immigrants who arrived in America in the early 1800s. This wonderful book, sponsored by the Chelmsford Historical Society, Massachusetts Cultural Council and German Cultural Club of Lowell details the early history of glass making and glass blowing from Egyptian times through the demise of the Chelmsford glass manufacturing and move to Suncook, NH.

"Window-glass making in America had come a long way when Francis G. Hirsch and his son signed their contract with the Chelmsford Glass Company. The beginning of glass production in America was a lengthy and laborious endeavor. It took many years before settlers could exchange their animal hides and oiled paper for windowpanes. When the first settlers arrived in the early sixteen hundreds, America was a rough country. Settlers had to summon all their strength just to provide for their basic needs. They cleared land, erected shelter and planted crops. They ate from pewter plates, used their hands to pick up food and drank from a shared pitcher that went around the table. It was a simple life. Eating utensils were brought over from England. Glassware, still a. luxury item even in England, was much too fragile to be transported across the ocean in the small and crowded sailing vessels. Most of the early colonists in America considered themselves lucky if they had a roof over their head and food on the table."

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