Gillinder Glass was founded 152 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. Today, those slippers are still made at Gillinder Glass and sold in the store.
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 (now with its gift store-The Gillinder Glass Store) on this same site 100 years later.
The historic factory is open for TOURS which include demonstrations of gathering and pressing glass by skilled employees during regular weekday production. The gift store, open seven days per week, is also host to many Special Weekend EVENTS featuring glass blowing by guest artists producing one-of a-kind signed collectibles.
Today, Gillinder Glass is owned and operated by sixth generation Charlie Gillinder. Using the knowledge and “secrets” passed down through the generations, plus state of the art equipment and robotics, 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-5A 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/.