An Exposition Of The System Of Moral And Mental Labor Established At The Glass Factory Of Dyottville
By Jerry Dauphinais
To get an in depth grasp of the manufacture of glass in the early 1800's, no better source is available than one produced by Dr. T. W. Dyott. Thought to have been ghost written by his associate, Stephen Simpson, it's very long title is "An Exposition of the system of moral and mental labor, established at the glass factory of Dyottville, in the country of Philadelphia". This nearly 100 page document, produced in 1833, was produced for, and distributed to, members of the Pennsylvania legislature. Dr. Dyott was petitioning for incorporation of the village of Dyottville to perpetuate what he considered his noble experiment. The Exposition is a very detailed account of how Dyott believed that educating and molding young boys, would allow them to elevate themselves to be productive and useful. Many of the boys were orphans and he saw his system of moral and mental labor benefiting them and society. At the time, it's understood that the glass industry was rife with foreign workers with destructive habits which were detrimental to the production of goods. Alcoholism, gambling and profanity were the norm. Dyott's Utopian system hoped to correct these issues and were not allowed at the factory. Education and structure were the key in Dyott's eyes. The Exposition covers all of Dyott's efforts in this regard and makes evident how much money he was willing to put into his vision. Dyottville was his idea of a model glass making establishment benefiting the workers and of course, it's proprietor. And there in came the rub! Other glass producers saw this as a monopoly and feared having to duplicate Dyott's efforts and lobbied against the incorporation. For Dyott's efforts, he was able to reduce the cost and selling price of his goods which further infuriated his competitors. The Exposition reflects the report by seven prominent Philadelphians that read the presentation and did their own on-site investigation. Needless to say, the incorporation was never granted. Dr. Dyott's vision of Dyottville's continuation past his eventual demise was not fulfilled. For glass scholars, this work presents great insight and details of the workings of glass manufacturing. Among the info presented are the size of the establishment at 300+ acres, 300 or more workers, 50 buildings, all trades employed there, pay scales, wares produced at Dyottville and so much more! Helen McKearin used the Exposition extensively as a source material for her book "Bottles, Flasks and Dr. Dyott" which is worth hunting down to read. In the end, Dr. Dyott's Exposition is a gift to collectors wanting to understand the circumstances under which the glass we cherish was produced. Thanks TWD!
Below are pages from one of the very few ORIGINAL 1833 booklets from the Jerry Dauphinais collection that Thomas Dyott had printed for members of the Pennsylvania Legislature.
On page 15 in the booklet towards the bottom, Dyott speaks of the early New Jersey Glass works in Glassboro New Jersey which he became interested in during the war. This marked the beginning of his involvement in the glass making industry.
Below is a pamphlet that Dyott had distributed throughout the city of Philadelphia