Mt. Washington/Pairpoint Glass Logos Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass

The Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass Society focuses on Mt. Washington Glassworks and its sucessors, the Pairpoint Companies who began manufacturing fine art glass in the mid-19th century. The Society promotes connoisseurship, study, research, history and preservation of the art glass wares made by Mt. Washington and Pairpoint.…




1837 Deming Jarves founded small glass house in South Boston, MA
1852 First appearance of name Mt. Washington Glass Works
1852-1876 Continued under several managements: Timothy Howe, William L. Libbey
1870 William L. Libbey moved business to New Bedford, MA. Bought New Bedford Glass
1876 Reorganized as Mt. Washington Manufacturing Glass Company
1880 Pairpoint Manufacturing Co. established in New Bedford
1894 Mt. Washington merged with Pairpoint Manufacturing Co. Retained corporate identity
1938 Gundersen Glass Works, Robert M. Gundersen
1952 Gundersen - Pairpoint Glass Works
1957 Pairpoint Glass Co. moves to Wareham, MA, Robert Bryden
1958 Pairpoint Glass Co. leases facilities in Spain, Robert Bryden
1970 Pairpoint Glass Works, Sagamore, MA

History of Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass

The seaport city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, once famous as a whaling center and featured as the home port of Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick, also hosted a thriving glass industry in the late 19th and early 20th 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.

From the late 1870s to the 1890s, 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 Peachblow, Crown Milano, Royal Flemish, Cameo, Pearl Satin and Coraline glass, to name just a few.

In 1880, the Pairpoint Manufacturing Company (named after its first superintendent, Thomas J. Pairpoint, who was considered one of the greatest silver designers in England and America) was established in New Bedford to supply Mt. Washington with attractive silver-plated metal mounts. The companies thrived and in 1894 they merged and became known as the Pairpoint Corporation. Large quantities of translucent white glass were produced for colorful enamel decoration, and in the early 20th century the company's distinctive decorated lampshades gained international popularity. Pairpoint continued to prosper through the 1920s and early 1930s, 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 Glass Works, Inc., operates in Sagamore, MA, on nearby Cape Cod.

Buy the Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass book

In 2005, the Antique Collectors' Club, with the assistance of Old Dartmouth Historical Society-New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art, along with the support of the MWPGS, published the definitive book on Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass: Kenneth Morley Wilson's Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass: Encompassing the History of the Mt. Washington Glass Works and Its Successors, the Pairpoint Companies.

The MWPGS has a limited number of books available for $89.00 per copy, including shipping. If you wish to order a copy, please send a check for $89.00 to:

Joseph Heyman
130 Indian Springs Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Please make your check payable to the Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass Society (MWPGS). Include your name, address and email contact information.

Membership Application

Download and fill out the membership application. Mail the application to

Mt. Washington & Pairpoint Glass Society
Mr. Harold March, Treasurer
10 Seminole Rd.
Canton, MA 02021