It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Itinerant Glassworkers: Videos & Websites
Introduction to library resources on itinerant glassworkers, also called fancy glassblowers, traveling glassmakers, etc. More information is available through the library catalog or by using the Rakow's Ask a Librarian service.
This event includes a talk on the history of itinerant glassworkers, a presentation by flameworker Bandhu Dunham, and a modern take on an itinerant glassworker demonstration. Presenters and demonstrators: Bandhu Dunham, Steve Gibbs, Eric Goldschmidt, Rebecca Hopman, Caitlin Hyde, and David Sandidge.
Most itinerant glassworkers would have been flameworkers. Watch a functional, preserved 19th-century wooden lampworking table, complete with a leather bellows, in action.
The above video was made by Bandhu Scott Dunham and explains the inspiration for and process behind his series of kinetic sculptures. Dunham was inspired in part by handbills and advertisements for itinerant glassworkers.
Call Number: Corning Museum of Glass. Seminar on Glass. 1994. Tape 7
Publication Date: 1994
The curators of The Corning Museum of Glass speak about the Museum's recent acquisitions. Virginia Wright speaks about itinerant fancy glassblowers (17 minutes, about 45 minutes into the DVD).
There are a number of academic databases and websites with additional primary and secondary sources. While it would be impossible to include them all, here is a short list of additional places to consult:
This database offers access to "fully searchable facsimiles of 15,000 broadsides printed between 1820 and 1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between 1749 and 1900." The Rakow Library does not currently offer access to this database. Please contact your local public or university library to inquire about access.
The CHS has transcribed a number of books, articles, route books, periodicals, etc. related to circuses. Several of these include references to glassworkers including the Woodroffe brothers, W. L. Jukes, Alfred Seabury, and Oliver Locke.
This database offers access to more than 125,000 books, pamphlets, and ephemeral works from before 1700. The database includes at least one early handbill (16--?) for an itinerant glassworker performing in Oxford, England. The Rakow Library does not currently offer access to this database. Please contact your local public or university library to inquire about access.
This site digitally recreates P.T. Barnum's American Museum, "the pre-eminent cultural institution of 19th century America," and includes a number of primary sources related to Barnum, the museum, and its associated acts. The Woodroffes and other itinerant glassworkers performed at the museum throughout its existence, and for at least part of that time two glass steam engines were on display.
See a modern interpretation of a 19th century glass steam engine in The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass. Bandhu Scott Dunham's series of kinetic sculptures was partially inspired by the steam engines created by itinerant glassworkers.
Search Library Collections and More
Find Answers to Your Glass Questions
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative library service that allows you to borrow materials through your local library.