Gillinder Glass was founded 156 years ago by William T. Gillinder. Born and raised in England, William T. relocated to the colonies where he opened his first glass factory in Philadelphia in 1861. In 1876, Gillinder built an operating glass plant in the nation’s Centennial Exhibition, a major component of the first Worlds Fair held in the United States (in Philadelphia). This glass plant, visited by a large portion of the 10 million visitors (about 20% of the population of the United States at the time) was an instant success and launched the popular trend of acquiring and collecting Gillinder glass as both utilitarian pieces and works of art. It is reported that over 100,000 glass slippers were sold as souvenirs of the fair.
In 1912, three Gillinder brothers, grandsons of William T., purchased a glass plant in Port Jervis, formerly known as the Orange County Flint Glass Works. The plant opened as Gillinder Brothers in January 1913 and continues on this same site today.
The gift store, which opened in 1997, closed its doors on September 1, 2017 to make room for a testing lab for a new account that the factory recently acquired.
Today, Gillinder Glass is operated by sixth generation Charlie Gillinder. Using the knowledge and “secrets” passed down through the generations, plus state of the art equipment; the company specializes in products produced to technically enhance illumination and color. In fact, approximately 50% of all airport runway lights in the US, a substantial portion of aircraft lights (including the Black Hawk Helicopters and the mammoth C-17 Galaxy Transports), plus commercial and industrial lighting fixtures feature Gillinder Glass products manufactured in the plant in Port Jervis.
Read more about us on pages 31-35 in Orange Magazine: http://www.orangemagazineny.com/archive/022012/.
We no longer offer factory tours.