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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This glass bottle is one of the few surviving products of the Franklin Glass Factory Company, which operated in Warwick, Massachusetts, from around 1813 until 1815. The factory never entered full production. Franklin Glass began amidst the War of 1812, which disrupted importation of English glass. Stepping into the gap were a number of American entrepreneurs, among whom was Ebenezer Hall of Warwick. Hall was determined to set up a glass factory and worked hard to make it a success. Miscalculations, disasters, and poor planning combined to make the venture a complete failure. For example, the local clay proved to be inadequate for the seasoned fire-clay containers needed to properly fuse glass making materials, thus the company had to import clay from Pennsylvania at high expense. A series of setbacks led the company's officers to seek funds by issuing more stock, but the company never reached full production and the money ran out just as the War of 1812 ended. That brought a new trade relationship with Britain, which led to a flood of inexpensive, high-quality glass. Marginal American producers like Franklin Glass could not compete. By 1819 the last of the company was liquidated, to the great loss of local investors, many of whom had mortgaged their farms to invest in the venture.
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