The Process

The furnace itself is more than thirty feet in diameter and nine feet high. A metal ring with hundreds of vents and levers completely encircles it. This blowing device supplied cool air to the glass workers for their blowing operations. Even the molds for shaping the ware were made by Seneca craftsmen.

The original lehr room was sixty by sixty feet, with a roof lantern. In the room were long annealing lehrs with conveyor belts, which slowly cooled the glass until it reached a specific temperature, thereby tempering, or strengthening it. The ware was then taken to a “crack-off” machine, next, on to a man who smoothed It with an imported blue (grind) stone, then, on to be glazed, reannealed, and finally, after being graded for quality, sent on to be etched, engraved, decorated, or cut, before being polished.

The line shafts with wooden pulleys, which ran the 140-foot length of the original cutting room, were evidence of the original glass-cutting operation involving the use of a single motor that carried all the power to the cutting lathes and polishing operations. Since the speed of the individual cutting wheels could not be individually controlled, the methodology obviously lacked flexibility. Not only was fine cutting time-consuming, but there was a great deal of waste because of the vibration of the lines. Therefore, in the 1947 addition, individual components needed for a safer and more efficient operation were installed.