Location: Between Second and Third Streets at Spa Creek
You may be surprised to discover that not all the businesses in Eastport were maritime-related. This glass factory would never have been successful if it weren't’t located here on Spa Creek. Read on to see why.
The private home at the corner of Severn Avenue and Second Street was once the head office for one of Eastport's largest businesses. The Annapolis Glass Works -- later the Severn Glass Company -- produced china, glass and pottery from 1885 to 1902.
Eastport had access to three things a glass company needed: sand, water, and skilled workers. Sand arrived on barges floated down the Severn River. Workers melted the sand in large brick furnaces to form molten glass. Glass blowers blew the molten glass into molds and then cooled the bottles in ovens. The finished products were then delivered to market by horse-drawn carts.
Not all the businesses in Eastport were directly maritime-related. Back in 1885, three Annapolis businessmen established the Annapolis Glass Works at Site 5, on the block between Second and Third Streets. Under the management of Charles Murphy, the glass works produced china, glass and pottery. It was the first and largest non-maritime business established on the peninsula, and employed many workers who lived in Eastport.
The company struggled financially during its early years. By 1891, it was under new management as the Severn Glass Company. The business closed in 1902. The private home on the corner of Severn Avenue and Second Street served as the glass company office.
While it wasn’t a maritime business, it was important for the glass works to be on the waterfront. Sand is one of the raw materials needed to make glass. Sand, gathered from the head of the Severn River about eight miles away, was delivered here by barge.
Large oil-fed brick furnaces melted the sand into glass. Remnants of the underground ventilators for these furnaces still exist but are not visible. The large brick ovens were located near Second Street. You can still see the chimney.
Old prints like the one at left, provided by The Corning Glass Museum, depict production at other East-Coast glass works typical of this era. Working in teams, the glass blowers were assisted by young apprentices. Bottles were blown into molds and then removed to annealing ovens where they slowly cooled. They were then stored in the ware sheds, packed and delivered by horse-drawn carts. The Annapolis Glass Works employed as many as eight glass blowers at a time.