Samuel Clement had big plans for a new village in the sandy hills of present day Clementon New Jersey. The village would house a saw mill,Glass Factory and a large store to attract settlers to the make Clementon their new home.The site was chose because of the areas natural elements and hilly terrain. A stage road to Camden and Philadelphia was also located nearby for easy transportation.
Jonathan Haines along with help from Thomas Stanger at first designed a 4 pot factory and furnace atop the hill facing the lake on the road to Long a coming.This was Jonathan Haines first factory venture in Southern New Jersey but soon many were to follow. The Gloucester glass works as they were now known came into existence in the year 1804. These works were the fourth in the state of New Jersey behind first Wistarburgh 1739,the Stangers in Glassboro 1775 and the second Stangers works in Port Elizabeth in 1799. Four more pots would be added in the next year.
At first (just three months) the glass works were owned and operated by Samuel Clement of Haddonfield who was not a practical glass factory owner. He employed Thomas Stanger and other German glass blowers but soon realized that owning and operating a glass factory were two entirely different entity's and quickly convinced Jonathan Haines to run the factory. Samuel named the new village after himself. Haines leased the factory from Samuel Clement and operated it quite successfully for about six years before leaving and heading South and East 30 miles to help William Coffin Sr.build his Hammonton New Jersey Glass Works
Richmond Morcom a glass historian from Wilmot Flat New Hampshire spent a great deal of time in the 1960s digging old glass works sites remains in southern New Jersey. One of the sites he spent a great amount of time at was the Gloucester glass works in Present day Clementon New Jersey. Through Mr. Morcom's diligent hard work and his passion for the glass hobby, a great deal of knowledge was salvaged for future generations of glass historians and collectors.
The glass works exact location were always a mystery. Richmond got a break in his detective work of locating the factory when a local historical buff John Fisher an Electronics engineer by trade told him of how his children used to bring home bright chunks of glass they reffered to as jewelry.The glass chunks were found on a hill a few blocks away. This hill is on present day White Horse Ave.
Mr. Fisher knew these chunks were glass house slag but was not aware of any glass factory being located in Clementon.He then was able to locate descendants of a glass blower who had worked at the Batsto and Atco window light factories who was able to confirm the exact location of the glass works on a hill near the intersection of White Horse Ave and Berlin Road.Mr fisher was an artist in his private life and drew the town based on conversations he had with the glass blower. I will show you his drawing of the village later in this post.
This location is across the street from Clementon Park a family amusement park. The park was founded by the Gibbs family in 1905. Part of the asphalt Parking lot of the current day amusement park is located where the glass Factory storage sheds were once located in 1815. These works had become quite extensive as they had 21 pot furnace's.
The site excavated was 40 x 150 feet.This small area yielded over 300 large shards of glass and thousands of smaller ones.This proved beyond a doubt that this was the site of the Glass works. Clay pots, moils ,furnace covers, ash ,lime,soda and other glass ingredients were also found in a small portion of the hill.Furnace covers of the exact same type were recovered from Fredrick Amelungs glass works during archaeological digs by the Corning museum a few years later.
Because of his tireless work at the site he was able to tell exactly what were the types of glass and bottles made at the factory.What surprised Richard the most were the Pitkin type swirled half post method types of glass he found in abundance along with moils of the same deep green colored glass in the year 1968. Other colors found were light amber deep amber,aqua and clear. He also found base remnants of Decanters unscathed meaning they were a product of the glass house and not cullet for the glass batch.
The presence of moils also indicates the glass was not merely cullet but a product of the factory.This was big news in the bottle world as previous thought was that Pitkins were a New England product only. Actually the Pitkin type flask had it's beginnings in Europe in the low country of present day Germany. It would only seem natural that the early Palatine glass workers in Southern New Jersey Pennsylvania,and New England would imitate the style of their lineal heritage. I believe that the Pitkin type half post method was introduced in all the colonial glass works in the early mid and late 1700s.
This factory was also known for having many sleigh parties when people from far away would get into a sleigh and visit the warm glass house's and purchase uncommon glassware. Mr. Morcom found piece's of glass canes,sugar bowls,wine glass stems and other expensive in the day glass items.Also found was flint glass in large amounts indicating the making of tableware. This factory seemed to have made every type of conceivable glassware imaginable.
Dr. Dyott of Philadelphia had purchased the entire out puts of the Olive Glass works in present day Glassboro, the Union Glass works in Port Elizabeth, and the Gloucester works in Clementon. Dyott was offering all types of bottles for sale. The Gloucester works main products were bottles and lots of them.Tulingtons,Dalbys,Godfreys,Essence Of Peppermint,Cologne,Capers,Mustards,vials,all of the popular bottles of the day were made here. I beleive that through my own historical work the Dyott Franklin Flasks void of any embossing long being attributed to the Kennsington glass works were actually a product of either the Gloucester or Olive Glass works. The color of the glass,the lack of embossing and the crudeness of the flask tell me these were some of the first historical flasks made in this country I believe as early as 1810.
The brilliant dark emerald green Pitkin type half post flask shown has descended down through the Clement family in Present day Haddonfield New Jersey. Bases of the exact same type of half post flask were located in large numbers by Richmond Morcom in his research at the factory site. The new term in the bottle collecting world for this type of flask is clock face type due to the round nature of the body and the flatness of the sides of the flask.