Museum of Connecticut Glass


Connecticut Glassworks

Fund Raising


Upcoming Events

Contact The Museum

Board and Officers

Museum History



The West Willington Glassworks 1814-1872

In 1814, a stock company was formed by John Turner, Ebenezer Root and Frederick Rose, all presumably from Coventry, CT and Roderick Rose, Stephen Brigham Jr, Elisha Brogham and Spafford Brigham, all of Mansfield, CT. Abiel Johnson Jr was also said to have been part of the organizing group which was clearly competing against the Pitkin Glassworks, The John Mathers Glassworks and the Coventry glassworks.

They remained the owner until 1828 when Gilbert, Turner & Company acquired the glassworks as well as the Coventry works. This company operated the Willington glassworks until 1847.

There was a Hartford agent named Lee, Hopkins & Butler who advertised Willington porters in 1829. In 1847, Gilbert, Turner and Company sold the works to a group of six men. Harvey Merrick, Elisha Carpenter, William M. Still, William & Francis Shaffer and James McFarlane.

The first output of glass bottles consisted of inkwells, snuffs, demijohns, chestnuts and flasks including some pitkin types. There were reportedly a few rare sealed bottles as well. As far as we know, there were no marked bottles or flasks prior to 1849. From this date to 1872, demijohns dominated the sales with wines, some bitters and even a booze bottle cabin figural. Perhaps the most famous of the wares are the Willington gothic cathedral type pickle jars of varying sizes and colors. They also produced base-embossed cylindrical bottles (there are 9 variants known), varying sizes of berry bottles in olive amber and olive green colors, and of course, the popular Liberty Eagle marked flasks in 1/2 pint, pint & quart moulds. The Willington glassworks also produced utility bottles, insulator types, rolling pins and assorted tableware. The colors of the glass were similar to Pitkin's & Coventry's but the shades of greens are among the most beautiful glass ever produced in this country.

The Willington Historical Society has many members with interest in the local glass and Connecticut glass also. They have regular meetings with guest speakers and presentations. A glass display and historic museum are in the works.