East Central Indiana became a center for the manufacture of glass when natural gas was discovered and became a cheap energy resource. The Ball family moved from Buffalo, New York to Muncie to manufacture glass mason jars. At the same time other neighboring towns also had glass factories. Dunkirk, Indiana, 15 miles from McDowell-Nearing House, was the home of Indiana Glass Company, known for both carnival glass and depression glass. Although Indiana Glass is no more, Dunkirk is now the home of Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. which manufactures Budweiser bottles. In 2009 the town hosted the famous Clydesdales.
Dunkirk is also the home of a fascinating museum, a few blocks off the main street and in an annex to the Dunkirk Public Library. The Glass Museum is a collection of over 8,000 pieces of glass from 110 factories around the world. It is open May through October, Tuesday through Saturday. Volunteers make sure all the pieces stay dusted and are knowledgable about glass manufacture.
The museum is well lighted, and the collection is housed in display cases so that everything sparkles.
This is part of a collection of over 1500 cup plates dating from the 1800′s.
Glass crowns used to adorn the gas pumps of the Standard Oil Company
This handpainted glass dinnerware set was made in Dunkirk at the Indiana Glass Company
This glass chandelier was also made in Indiana.
This museum’s variety interests not only the serious glass collectors, but also anyone who appreciates beautiful artwork lovingly cared for. It’s another jewel to be seen in East Central Indiana. We would love for you to visit!