Founded in 1837 in South Boston as the Mount Washington Glass Company, Pairpoint is the oldest operating glassworks in the country. Examples of Pairpoint’s timeless designs can be found in the decorative arts collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. High-end retailers including Tiffany’s, Shreve, Crump & Lowe, and Artisans in Glass also feature Pairpoint glass and crystal. Entire books are devoted exclusively to the history of Pairpoint and it is as popular and coveted today as it was back at the turn of the century.
In 1880, not long after the Mt. Washington Glass Company moved from Boston to New Bedford, it merged with Pairpoint Manufacturing. Pairpoint was a silver and metalworks company founded by Thomas Pairpoint, the world famous British silversmith and designer. The new Pairpoint Company began designing extraordinary pieces. Many of the company’s earlier lines are highly collectible, and Pairpoint's “puffies” are among the most sought after examples. These metal-based lamps feature ornate, polychrome glass shades and fetch thousands of dollars at auction.
Enthusiasts travel hundreds of miles to the Pairpoint factory and showroom to see Pairpoint’s richly colored Cranberry glass. Hand-blown vases, stemware, decanters, perfume bottles, pitchers, cream and sugar sets, lamps, candlesticks, bottles, and paperweights are among the many items made at the factory alongside the Cape Cod Canal. In addition to Cranberry, colors include sapphire blue, cobalt blue, gold ruby, Pairpoint ruby, rosaria, vaseline, opal, amethyst, camellia, auroria, and amber.