Glorious Glass: Wallaceburg the Glass Town of Canada

Creator(s): Wallaceburg and District Museum

When southwestern Ontario's lumber industry began to decline at the end of the nineteenth century, many communities scrambled to find other viable business options. In Wallaceburg, a local ship owner who had grown up in Bristol, the British centre of glass manufacturing, suggested using large local sand deposits to start a glass industry. Even though it was eventually discovered that the sand was unsuitable for glass manufacturing, the community rallied around the idea of a glass factory with overwhelming financial support.

The Wallaceburg and District Museum

The glass industry may have left town, but its spirit is still strong in the community, a community that most citizens still recognize as ""The Glass Town of Canada"". When the factory closed in 1999, the Wallaceburg and District Museum began to collect manufactured pieces of glass, glass blown artefacts, whimsies, factory documents pictures and personal narratives. This Community Memories exhibit showcases the collections of the museum, which now has thousands of glass pieces in a collection that anchors a state-of-the-art permanent exhibit detailing the history of glassmaking in Wallaceburg.

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