For more than 300 years, itinerant glassworkers entertained and educated crowds on the art, science, and skill of glassmaking, and the dizzying array of wonders that could be made of glass. Known to many during their heyday, they have quickly faded from view.

This site documents the history of itinerant glassworkers, their demonstrations, and their world.

Howell Family of Chelmsford, 1937-1945. Collection of the Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass, CMGL 151522.

Want to learn more? Start with some of readers’ favorite posts:

  1. What is an itinerant glassworker?
  2. Curiosity highly gratified: 6 weird and wonderful things to see at an itinerant glassworker’s show
  3. Stepping into the spotlight: Women itinerant glassworkers
  4. Scott’s splendid glass working exhibition in miniature
  5. “Only Mrs. during the month of December”: Grace Howell’s holiday glass gig
  6. Adorable baby contests
sepia photograph of itinerant glassworkers

Mrs. and Mr. Frank. A. Owen. Glass exhibition featuring spinning wheel and glass steam engine, 1904? Collection of the Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, CMGL 131372.

Explore the timeline of itinerant glassworker history, or dive into one of the main topical areas: entertainments, experiments, models, people, places, techniques, technology, and troupes. Interested in going further afield? Try these posts on circus suffragettes and a glass eye smuggler.