During the 17th and 18th century, most itinerant glassworkers traveled and demonstrated on their own; a few did so with a partner (often a family member). This began to change in the mid-19th century, when troupes like the Original Bohemian Troupe of Fancy Glass Workers formed. These groups often included a mix of family members and unrelated individuals. The trend took hold most strongly in the United States and, beginning around the time of the Centennial Exposition in 1876, it seems as though most demonstrators performed as part of a group rather than on their own.

Troupes morphed frequently: glassworkers came and left, formed their own troupes, spent a season or more with a circus or at a museum, or reunited with old troupe members under a new name. In the 20th century this changed again — more glassworkers demonstrated on their own and troupes were primarily made up of family members.

Read more about troupes.