National Heisey Glass Museum17-35 N 6th St
Newark, Ohio 43055
740-345-2932 | http://heiseymuseum.org/
National Heisey Glass Museum
With colorful molded glass around every corner, explore the history of the Heisey Company and Newark.
Located in the King House, a Greek Revival home, the National Heisey Glass Museum possesses the most extensive collection of Heisey Glass in the United States. From wall to wall, crystal clear and colorful etched glass cover nearly every open space in the museum. The first floor is arranged as a historical tour of Heisey glass. The company's earliest forays into colored glass are displayed followed by Heisey's extensive work with crystal glass products. Colors like "moonglow" and "alexandrite" capture the eye and make each piece worth a closer look. The second floor displays the various products manufactured by Heisey Glass. From dolphins and candlesticks to cigarette boxes and biscuit jars, the second floor has something for everyone.
Augustus H. Heisey founded the Heisey company and opened its first factory in 1896. Heisey was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1842 and came to the United States one year later with his family. He began his career in glassmaking in the early 1860s, and except for his years of service in the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War, he largely remained in the glass industry until his death in 1922. Heisey started small, working as a salesman for the King Glass and Ripley Glass companies. While working for Ripley Glass, Heisey impressed his boss George Duncan. Heisey would marry Duncan's daughter, Susan, and eventually share half of the company with his brother-in-law following Duncan's death.
In the late 19th century, Heisey began to formulate plans to establish his own glass company. He chose Newark, Ohio, to base his company due to the natural resources in the area and the city's active efforts to attract business. Construction on the factory began in 1895 and opened one year later employing hundreds of workers. Augustus H. Heisey would preside over his pioneering company until he was replaced following his death by his son, E. Wilson Heisey, in 1922.
Business was strong for the Heisey Company until World War II. The war adversely affected much of the industry and created difficult challenges for the company. In the years following World War II, the Heisey Company struggled with increased global competition and shifting consumer tastes. When the company closed for Christmas vacation in 1957, the family shuttered the factories marking the end of an industry giant.
The Heisey Glass molds did find a second life when they were purchased by the Imperial Glass Corporation of Bellaire, Ohio, in 1958. When Imperial Glass went out of business in 1984, the molds were saved by the Heisey Collectors of America.
Founded in 1971 by twenty collectors, the club has collected thousands of pieces of Heisey Glass. Two years later in 1973, the collectors acquired the King House and had it moved to Veterans Park to serve as a national museum for glass enthusiast and the curious to enjoy.