Corning Glass Works Commemorative Ashtray in Vaseline

Jun 26, 2023 | Museum Monday Treasures

Today’s Museum Monday treasure from the Museum of American Glass in WV is a commemorative ashtray in vaseline (or canary). It celebrates the Corning Glass Works in Harrodsburg, “Kentucky’s First City.” It is embossed with a faint image of a pair of eyeglasses, only visible if the ashtray catches the light just right. It is 3” in diameter and probably dates to the 1950s or 1960s.

The Harrodsburg plant was built by Corning in 1952, very quickly becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of optical glass and ophthalmic blanks used by spectacle lens manufacturers. Seventy years later, the factory continues to operate, having transformed from production of “specialty glasses to fusion-formed LCD glass in the 1980s to Gorilla® & Willow® glasses in the 2000s,” to quote from their website.

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