Wellsboro Glass Historical Association

about us

Wellsboro Glass Historical Association

preserving history

Photo of the Wellsboro Glass Historical Association board of directors

In January 2021 a group of passionate and creative folks founded the Wellsboro Glass Historical Association. We seek to build community pride and a deeper understanding of Wellsboro’s important role in glass manufacturing. The goal of our group is to acquire, preserve and present this history and its associated artifacts. The ultimate goal of the WGHA is to operate a museum which will house the 2 ribbon machines currently in storage, as well as all of the items that have been donated. Our hope is to educate the general public about the important contributions Wellsboro PA made to glass manufacturing history, and encourage the next generation of innovators to consider their own creative potential.

Photo of Ryan Root standing next to ribbon machine

bringing them home

The ribbon machines were scheduled for demolition. Saddened by the end of this era, Ryan Root posted this Facebook message on December 24, 2019:

“These are a couple pictures that my good friend Robbie in Kentucky sent me of the Ribbon Machines S-1 & #9 that are gonna be decommissioned and scrapped late next month. If I was a millionaire I would ship them back up here and put them on display in Wellsboro.”

Many replied with nostalgic comments, memories of their time working with the machines, and the camaraderie that had been built up around them. Unbeknownst to Root, his post was the beginning of a new Christmas miracle.

Former plant engineer Grant “Skip” Cavanaugh saw the messages and started making phone calls. Eventually he made contact with key people, only to discover that the ribbon machines had already been sold as scrap and were ready to be dismantled. In an emergency call to Growth Resources of Wellsboro (GROW), Cavanaugh persuaded them to grant a loan and help him fund a rescue mission. Just minutes before the demolition crew was to begin their work on the S-1 and #9 machines, arrangements were made to save them from the scrap heap.

Thanks to the efforts of Root, Cavanaugh, and GROW, these two historical landmarks arrived back home in Wellsboro on a bright and sunny June 15, 2020.

The Wellsboro Glass Historical Association would like to thank the following contributors for items that have been donated as well as for providing the content describing the history of glass making in Wellsboro PA:

Skip Cavanaugh, Ryan Root, Thomas Reindl, Josh Fox, Tracey Fox, Anja Stam, Clare Ritter, Ellen Bryant, Steve Conard, Joan Zuchowski, Carrie Heath, Mary Wise, Pat Davis, Sarah Vogt, Tom Gamble, Judy Sheer Watters, Jennifer Borneman Lusk