The Sandwich Glass Museum documents the history of glassmaking on Cape Cod. It also offers the opportunity to see a glass blowing exhibition and special displays and events throughout the year.
What is the Sandwich Glass Museum?
A county treasure, the glass museum is a glance at history in the oldest town on Cape Cod. Run by the Sandwich Historical Society, it is designed to educate and preserve the history of glassmaking on the Cape, as well as to inspire all generations through live glass blowing.
History of the Glass Museum in Sandwich, MA
Deming Jarves chose Sandwich for his glass factory not as you would expect because beach sand was close by (as it turns out beach sand is not appropriate for glass making) but rather for the harbor and the readily available lumber to stoke the furnaces.
He brought in master glass blowers from Ireland and England as well as local New England artisans.
Mr. Jarves perfected the glass pressing process and the cup plate became a Sandwich standard. By the 1840s and 1850s, Sandwich was mass-producing a wide variety of colored glassware.
After the Civil War, the market shifted to the midwest and Sandwich Glass began a new phase of production with a more upscale product. A national strike by glass workers finally closed the company in 1888.
Several other companies have operated in the area over the years but none came near to duplicating the success of the original.
what is it like inside the Glass Museum Itself?
The Museum itself is beautiful—light, bright, and filled with color.
The Levine Gallery traces the history of lighting. You can enter a darkened room and one by one light up the different lamps. It is beautiful and gives a very good idea of how the world must have looked after dark before the advent of the incandescent light bulb.
The museum’s collection itself consists of more than 5,000 pieces produced by The Boston and Sandwich Glass Co. between 1825 and 1888.
See bowls and vases, trays and lamps and the most wonderful collection of cup plates in every color under the sun.
You will be enthralled by the displays of red, blue, yellow, and green glass as well of loads of beautiful clear glass. The wonderful purples and pinks it is all just eye candy.
There is a small but well stocked store at the completion of your self-guided tour.
What is there to do at the Sandwich Glass Museum?
When you buy your entrance ticket, be sure to check when the next glass blowing demonstration will take place. That is absolutely something you do not want to miss!
You can also watch a video in their theater. It is 23 minutes long and tells the story of the growth of the glass business as well as the history of the area.
Christmas and Other Special Exhibitis to Check Out
There is always a special exhibit going on at the museum. At Christmas stroll through the charming town of Sandwich and stop in to see the multiple Christmas Trees adorned with incredible glass ornaments.
Josh Simpson “Visions of our Galaxy” was showing when we were there but is now gone.
When is the Glass Museum Open?
The museum is open year round, with the exception of the month of January (as of Jan 2022). During the winter (Febuary & March) the museum is open to the public Wednesdays thru Sundays from 9:30am to 4:00pm.
During the Summer season starting April 1st, the museum is open daily from 9:30am-5:00pm. Be sure to double check the opening times and dates if visiting in the fall or at Christmas in case of closures.
How long does it take to go through the museum?
While you can spend as little or as long as you might like there, it is recommended to plan for an hour and a half to give time for the film, seeing the glass blowing, and spending time admiring the exhibits and shop.
Where is the Glass Museum located?
Sandwich Glass Museum is located at 129 Main Street in Sandwich, MA. (USA). You’ll find it in the quaint downtown area across from Town Hall at the corner of Main Street (Rte 130) and Tupper Road.
Is parking available?
Parking for the museum is available onsite near the entrance on Tupper Rd.
How much is admission to the Glass Museum?
Prices for tickets are:
- $12 General Admission Adults (aged 15+)
- $11 Seniors 65+
- $2 for kids aged 6-14
- Free for Children 5 and under
- Group rates and bus tours available by calling
Is the Glass Museum Suitable for Children?
While the glass blowing will be fascinating for children, I think that walking through many exhibits of glass may be a little too much for the young ones. Consider your family dynamic and your children’s energy level before heading inside.
Or perhaps split your group into two, with those interested spending time at the museum while the others hit up the Sandwich Boardwalk for some beach fun!