During the post-agrarian growth of Sandwich, Massachusetts the glass blowing industry kept the town growing and was for a time the primary source of industry in the area, yet by the early 1900s, this history was all but forgotten. However. the Sandwich Glass Museum was built to remind the visitors of its importance.
Sandwich was settled in 1637 and as such is the oldest town in Cape Cod. During its early years, the town was a mainly agrarian community, until a visionary entrepreneur brought the glassmaking industry to the area in 1825. Banking not on the nearby coastal sands but the canals that could translate to efficient transport of their product, the glass companies of Sandwich thrived. Over almost a century the town’s factories churned out vases, light bulbs, lamp glass, among myriad other products. The main production facility changed hands a number of times over the years, and smaller rivals arose and fell in the area, but by the 1920s the breakable industry had dried up.
Luckily the Sandwich Historical Society was on hand to pick up the pieces. The preservation group began putting on displays of the town’s glassworks as early as 1925 and their exhibitions eventually grew to become the Sandwich Glass Museum. Now the museum displays products and information from the history of Sandwich and the glass industry as a whole. Rare pieces of glass are on display for collectors to marvel at while elaborate glass sculptures are there to wow the layman. There are regular glassblowing demonstrations, right in their own on-site furnace. A lucky few are even offered the chance to press some glass straight from the furnace.
There is not much china in the Sandwich Glass Museum, but bulls are probably still not welcome.
Know Before You Go
Parking is free, with ample overflow parking. There is an admission charge, but there are senior and military discounts, for both active and retired.
Right down the street is the historic Dexter Grist Mill, another free attraction.