Salt Maker: Boston and Sandwich Glass Works (American, 1826–88)


American Decorative Arts

This vibrant blue table salt is a rare marked product from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Works, founded in 1825 by Deming Jarves. The company was an innovator in pressed glass, and the term "Sandwich glass" is generically applied to pressed glass produced in a variety of factories. Shaped like one of the side-wheeled steamboats that sailed the country's waterways during the mid-nineteenth century, this salt reflects the steamboat's growing importance in American life. By the end of the 1820s, hundreds of steamboats plied their way along the Great Lakes, the Hudson River, and, most importantly, the Mississippi, making it easier, cheaper, and faster than ever to transport goods and people along the country's waterways. The name on this salt, "LAFAYET," also represents America's obsession with one of its most beloved Revolutionary War heroes. In 1824–25 the Marquis de Lafayette made a grand tour of the United States. People were thrilled to have a chance to see one of the last living heroes of the American Revolution. Only a few weeks after Lafayette's landing in New York City, people could purchase souvenirs of this momentous visit, including "the head of LaFayette, in miniature, engraved by [Asher B.] Durand, and an admirable likeness, stamped on watch ribbons, ladies' belts, gloves, etc." The public's taste for Lafayette memorabilia did not abate when the Marquis left for France in 1825. The Boston and Sandwich Glass Works's books first record the production of this salt in 1827. It was highly popular and was soon copied by the Stourbridge Flint Glass Works in Pittsburgh.


Pressed lead glass


1 9/16 × 3 7/16 × 1 7/8 in. (4 × 8.7 × 4.8 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Francis P. Garvan, New York, by 1930; by gift to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • John Stuart Gordon, American Glass: The Collections at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 90–91, 118, no. 46, fig. 46A
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 260–62, no. 151, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



"LAFAYET" on both paddlewheels, "B & S / GLASS" on the sterboard, "SANDWICH" on base

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