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Cut Glass Industry

Dorflinger cut glass

For many years Wayne County was known nationally and internationally for its cut glass. In 1862 Christian Dorflinger came to White Mills from Brooklyn, NY, bought the Captain Aaron Flower property ( now the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and Glass Museum).

Mr. Dorflinger started the glassware factories in 1865 and Dorflinger Glass, blown and cut at White Mills, was furnished over a long period of time for the White House, for U. S. ships, the royal houses of Europe and the elite everywhere. The business reached its peak in 1903, employing 700 men.

Jacob Faatz opened the Honesdale Glass Company at the mouth of Carley Brook in the area know at Tracyville in East Honesdale. The factory failed after three years and went through several owners before James Brookfield in 1849 made it a success. At one point this factory was named the Anthracite Glass Company because it was the first to use anthracite coal to make glass in the County. But in 1861 the dam on one of the feeder ponds for the D & H Canal gave way and the water rushed down Carley Brook and destroyed the factory.

In 1882 the Hawley Glass Company was built on Crystal Street, Hawley along with several company houses, which were rented to the factory’s workers. Five gallon, quart and pint bottles and jars were hand blown individually. Along with other buildings the flood of 1942 swept the company’s buildings down stream.

Louis W. Rickert (1909-1960) learned the art of cutting glass under Christian Dorflinger. When Dorflinger’s company closed in 1921, Louis was one of three men of White Mills who did not go to work at Corning Glass Company, N.Y. He worked for other cut glass companies in Honesdale and Hawley. In the early 1950’s he built his own shop next to this homestead in Indian Orchard and taught himself the intricate art of glass engraving. Louis Rickert cut until his death in 1960.

These were just a few who contributed to the glass industry of Wayne County.

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