Globe from 1800s returns to Lyndeborough
Thursday, September 26, 2013
LYNDEBOROUGH – Sometime between 1868 and 1888, Edward Ross – who’s thought to been an apprentice glassblower at the Lyndeborough Glass Factory – created a glass globe to prove his ability.
Ross’ grand-niece by marriage, Beverly Shea, recently gave that globe to the Lyndeborough Historical Society.
Shea, now in her 80s, grew up in Lyndeborough. With no one in her family interested in the globe, she said, “I thought it should come back here.”
The society will have a display case made for the globe after which it will be on display at the Tarbell Library. In the meantime, it has been placed in storage.
The inside of the 10-inch globe is covered with the type of pictures found on Valentines or other greeting cards of the period.
Shea said she was told that Ross made a form and somehow used egg whites to hold the pictures in place, after which he blew the globe around the form. There is a cork seal on the bottom where the blower’s pipe was attached.
“I was told that an apprentice had to make something fancy to prove he could do it,” Shea said.
Glassblowers also were allowed to use any glass left over after a day’s work to make objects for themselves. Those items are now highly sought after by collectors.
The glass factory made what was considered the finest glass in the region, creating mostly bottles of various kinds and sizes, including patent medicine bottles and canning jars.
Edward Ross, who died in 1949, gave the ball to his nephew, Ernest, who was married to Edith Sherman, Shea’s aunt, who passed the ball on to Shea.
Edith Ross was for many years the Lyndeborough postmistress.
According to the town history of 1905, Edward Ross was the son of Samuel Ross, a glassblower born in Scotland. He came to America at the start of the Civil War and served at Gettysburg with the Connecticut Volunteers. He moved to Lyndeborough in 1873.
He and his wife, Sarah, had 11 children, most of them born in Wellington, Conn. Edward was the youngest and apparently never married.
Shea said she recalled a “kind of glass show” many years ago in Lyndeborough. “There were two other balls there,” she said, “smaller than this one. I don’t know what happened to them.”
When a display case has been made, the glass globe will be presented to the town with appropriate ceremonies.