Samuel wrote of historic events for 49 years. He was one of the greatest glass artisans of his time. He mastered every aspect a worker could possibly attain at a glass factory ultimately building 3 glass works in his lifetime and owning two of them. He began to write the diary at the ripe old age of 10 years old, With help probably from his Mother and father .He had intimate knowledge of Dr Dyott and was the single most person responsible for changing T W Dyotts heart, by recognizing the Sabbath and closing the glass factory on Sundays.
Samuel Huffsey was born at Port Elizabeth New Jersey April 8 1801
He was the son of George Huffsey junior born at Port Elizabeth Cumberland county June 11th 1777. His wife Sarah daughter of Samuel Gale of Egg Harbor New Jersey was born at Snow Hill at Maryland in 1775. His wife Elizabeth Hardy Gale was born at Snow hill. George and Margaret Huffsey parents of George were born in Amsterdam Holland.
The Grandfather Huffsey was a tanner and served his apprenticeship with a man named Ashburton at the Southeast corner of 3rd and Dock streets in Philadelphia. He was set free in 1770 and went to Mount Holly New Jersey where he married a young widow Margaret Brandingburgh , with a son named John. They had three children Hetty, Miley, and George. About 1772 or 1773 they went with other Germans to Morris River New Jersey.
George junior was married in 1799.He and his wife built a house near west creek on the old Cape May road within half a mile of the Baptist Church which burned within a month. They then went to live with her father who died in 1806 and was buried in the Baptist yard at West Creek.
The following year they moved to Port Elizabeth where he had worked for some years for Randolph Marshall. In 1809 Margaret Huffsey died and was buried in the Methodist Church Yard at Port Elizabeth. All of the places young Samuel describes here are located near the Delaware river in South Eastern Cumberland North Western Cape May County's in New Jersey.
Samuel Huffsey went to school to Mrs Gaskell until 1812 when he went to work in a glass factory as a tender for two glass blowers, Oliver Smith and Christian Hinds.
Below is a map of New Sweden as it was called in 1650. This is South Jersey today. Port Elizabeth can be seen on the eastern bank of the Maurice river. This is where Samuel Huffsey was born and where he spent the early part of his life
In december 1811 He writes "the factory burnt down" .In his next passage he states" It was rebuilt and went into blast again march of 1812".Over the next month of April Samuel tells us about Factory and who owned it. For a boy of 11 years old to keep a diary must have shown how focused even a young Samuel Huffsey must have been. The new owners were Jacob Stanger Frederick Stanger, William Shough, and Randolph Marshall.
The glass factory was located on the North West side of the Port Elizabeth Creek near the Dam.It was an 8 pot furnace and the blowers were Jacob Stanger, William Shough, Frank Stanger, Solomon Stanger, Fred Stanger, Phillip Stanger, Daniel Shough, Daniel Pfoczer.The wages for blowing 1 ounce vials per gross were $1.
The glass factory fires went out about June 1st Samuel went to school for a while and then assisted his father in the tan yard until September of the year 1812 when he went into the glass factory again as a tender. He writes "William Linthicum and John Keen we're apprentices and the five Stangers , the two Shoughs father and son were the blowers".
He mentions that in 1813 the British blockaded the Delaware Bay And annoyed the people by taking the neighborhood cattle and fowls. He could hear the guns of the ship roar. After the Army of Militia Men was sent down the depredations ceased. He writes" September 1813, the glass factory opened again with the same workman as before.after this he describes more of the daily routines that any 11 year old boy would have experienced. In an important entry in his journal he states ............
"The factory closed in June 1814 and the company dissolved with the workers going to other glass factories" He writes of the new ownership of the factory, Jacob Stanger, and William Shough retained 1 part of the factory and built a small furnace of four pots. Jacob Stanger, William Shough,and his son Daniel were the blowers, when operations commenced late in the fall of 1814. Samuel was now working as a tender and had 3 years of experience as a 13 year old. Young Sam having already left his childhood behind was about to receive a serious blow as his His father died of typhus fever and was buried Sunday January 22nd 1815.
"Samuel writes in February of 1815" with excitement that he was apprenticed to to the factory to learn the art and mystery of blowing hollow ware glass.He writes " poor delicate mother was left with 5 children my self Rebecca John Margaret and Sara. Rebecca John and Margaret we're bound out to be raised. Rebecca and John went to Jonathan Dallas and Margaret to Job Hugh. In September of 1815 he writes "Abraham Reeves was taken into the partnership" and in September of 1815 the furnace contained 6 pots. The blowers were Samuel Pzoffser, Adolph Buton, Daniel and Samuel Lutz and Stephen Reaves.
Below are three pocket flasks that would have been the type produced at Port Elizabeth.
In february of the year 1816 He writes angerly "I was discharged because of a sickness and William Linthicum was given my job and his apprenticeship was terminated despite it's penalty of 500 dollars".At this time there were 2 different furnaces that were operating under 1 factory roof. Each of these factories had 6 pots and when he recovered from his sickness he went to work for Randolph Marshall who made a stiff bargain. The blowers were Thomas Marshall, John Turner, John Keen, John Collect, Jerimiah Carter, and Samuel. The blast went out in 1816 around the first of June. He writes "This year in the summer there was a spot on the Sun and frost was experienced in every month of the summer.The crops failed the people were alarmed and corn was worth $1.75 to $2.00 a bushel."
He writes that he went back to work in September of 1816 "I continued to blow glass for Randolph Marshall at 75 cents per gross". In May 1817 when the factory was closed he went to school for a quarter year and was taught by Joseph Martin. During this summer. Samuel writes
" A new Glass Works was formed it was known as the Eagle glass works factory" It was owned by William Shough, William Riggins, and Ollie Parks. Samuel when to work for them at was paid 62 and one half cents per gross. The Eagle Glass Works were short-lived and were dissolved by the end of the summer in 1818.
By the fall of 1818 Samuel when to work at an 8 pot furnace the Olive glass works in Glassboro New Jersey. This is where young Sam now 17 would meet for the first time Dr T W Dyott of Philadelphia who was part owner of the Olive glass works .In October of 1818 his Grand father George Huffsey died and he was buried in the Methodist Church yard at Port Elizabeth.
Glass businesses were failing all over the country because of the lack of a protective tariff. In December of 1818 Samuel writes "I left Glassboro and went back to Port Elizabeth to work for Mr Dallas" so he could provide his mother with food, clothing and to be able to pay her house rent. Three of the Huffsey children we're now bound out to Mr Dallas. He was of fine character and gave all of the Huffsey children good advice and examples to live by.
In June of 1822 Samuel went to work for Captain Chance who operated a ship between Port Elizabeth and Philadelphia. By August of that same year he went to work for a widow name Saunders near Tuckahoe as a team driver.
In September of 1822 he writes "myself and John collect found themselves employed at the glass works in Hammonton which were owned by William Coffin and Jonathan Haines."The rate paid to myself was 25 cents per gross. This furnace had six pots and there was an eight-part window furnace in the same factory. Jessie Zane, John Able, William Wallace, Joseph Able, Frederick Stockley,John Keen,and William Wood ward were the other workman of this 6 pot furnace.
He writes"In December of 1822 his mother had moved from Port Elizabeth to Philadelphia".She lived on Front Street below Vine Street.
In the Spring of 1823 he writes to his mother again." Mr Haines has left Hammonton and started a new glass house in Waterford. I went to work for him blowing holloware". It is now easy to ascertain where one of the historical flasks that was assigned to Coffin and Hay in Hammonton by the Mckearins may need to revisted. He writes to his mom the following "Mr Haines is a strict buisness man" today September 28 1823 we are blowing small and large pocket bottles. Impressed in the glass is an American Coat of Arms and on the other side a bunch of grapes. As soon as the bottles are completed a man comes in a stage coach and takes them to his farm to fill them with grape Brandy" The flasks that Samuel speaks of must have been the G-II-55 Quart Eagle/Grapes flask and the GII-56 half pint Eagle/Grapes/.
The GII-55 Quart sized flask This Flask was charted to the Coffin and Hay Glass Works Hammonton New Jersey by the Mckearins. Based on Samuel Huffseys diary the flask was quite definitely blown at the Waterford glass works of Jonathan Haines between 1822 and 1825. The Waterford Glass works were located about 10 miles north and west from the Coffin and Hay glass works in Hammonton so quite likely the sand used in the metal was of the same vein. Maybe Samuel Huffsey blew this flask it is a possibility at the least.
When the fires were out for the season at the Waterford Glass works Samuel also moved to Philadelphia . He found immediate employment with a Mr Murdoch cutting grass on Hog Island in Southern Philadelphia. Samuel then writes he found work at a lumber yard on Front Street near his mothers home until August of 1823. By October of 1823 Samuel was heading back into New Jersey to work again for Mr Coffin until May of 1824
In June Samuel headed back to Port Elizabeth to visit his brother John who was still bound to Mr Dallas. After spending a couple of months in Port Elizabeth with his brother John and he traveled back to Philadelphia to his mothers home. It was here in Philadelphia just two blocks away that Samuel would meet again and then go to work for Mr T W Dyott. He writes the following entry in his diary. "He upon his return engaged with Thomas Dyott of Dyottville in Kensington Pennsylvania".
Samuel writes Dyott had two glass factories with eight pots in each one. The names of those who worked in the large one were John Sutton, Daniel and Samuel Lutz, John Collect, Christian Putz, James Hay, John Keen, Jonathan Beckett, Frederick Stockley and himself. He writes with great excitement on September 26 1824 the following.
"Lafayette visited Philadelphia today. He came down the Frankford road. The glass blowers all quit work and went to view the procession. We had made flasks for Lafayette and Dr Dyott presented one to him at a dinner held in his honor that evening in Philadelphia at the State House. Samuel writes he had a good view of the General and his son when the mile long parade procession went by."
He worked at Dyotts Kensington glass works that year until June of 1825. He writes in his diary also in March of 1825 that his friend Theopholis Holmes showed three young ladies the process of making glass.
Samuel writes further I married one of these young girls later this year. Her name was Mary A Hoffman and we were Wed on June 8 1826.
Samuel writes Today is the 50th anniversary of our Country.
Two days later on July 6 1826 He writes.. "On July 4 1826 Myself and the rest of the United States are mourning the loss of two of our past Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson"
Young Samuel must have really known the glass business quite well as He writes "Doctor Dyott had me build an 8 pot furnace during the summer of 1826. Dyottville with 18 pots is the largest glass factory in the UnitedStates. "
He writes on September 1st of 1826 the following: The blowers for the new blast were Johnson Beckett, William Beckett, Robert Wallace, himself, John Laden, John Collect, Solomon Stanger, Joseph Linthicum, Adam Baldwin and my brother John Huffsey.
He writes on September 28th Today Myself and brother started the fire in the new furnace
He write's again on October 3rd that he was receiving 40 cents a gross for small vials.
He writes on March 16 1827 "At the end of the season Solomon Stanger and he called a meeting to discuss the impropriety of blowing glass on Sundays which has always been the custom at Dyottville. Dr Dyott refused to depart from the practice. Samuel writes on April 1st of 1827 that 8 of the 30 employees had to leave Dyottville.
Samuel writes on May 3rd of 1827 "Dr George Burgin, Richard L Wood, and Joel Bodine were operating a small 4 pot furnace in Millville New Jersey." They offered him a partnership with he accepted with the understanding that glass would not be blown on Sundays. Those who left the Kensington glass factory of Dr Dyott to go to Millville with me were the following men: Johnson Beckett, and son, William Smith, David Pfoczer,William Wallace, Robert Wallace, John Collect, Joseph D. Able, Thomas Haines, Jerimiah Carter,and William Woodward.
A new eight pot furnace was erected and completed on August 20th 1827. Samuel writes that manufacturing at the new factory begin on September 1st of 1827. Sadly he writes my sister Sarah died on September 27th. In November he writes I was taken sick and the doctor advised me to close my worldly affairs. Samuel then made an agreement with Dr Burgin to sell his interest in the glass factory at the close of the blast. Samuel writes "miraculously with the grace of God I made a full recovery and began to work in January again." Samuel states in his diary that he felt it was the grace of God that saved him and he joined a local Methodist Church and he was converted by the Reverend John Woolsy and a local preacher named Josiah Shaw.
From this point on His journal is full of references in connection with his religious activities. Besides the two preachers already mentioned the Reverend Sedgwick Rustling, the Reverend Robert Gray and Reverend Charles Pitman are noted as preaching on the Cumberland County Circuit under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia conference of which the last name mentioned was the presiding elder. The Reverend Edward page,and the Reverend Joseph Askbrooke were appointed in May of 1828.
In June of 1828 He received $400.00 for his interest in the sale of his portion of the glass factory and loaned it to his mother-in-law in Philadelphia. He returned to Millville and agreed to blow glass at 48 cents per gross.He continued to work for Dr Burgin and Mr wood until the end of 1829 when he left for Philadelphia to be closer to his Mother-in law.
On June 2nd 1830 He wrote the following entry in his journal: He now worked for Dr Dyott again at Kensington but something must have gotten through to the Doctor for Glass blowing on the Sabbath was now prohibited.He joined the Old Brick Church with the Reverend Robert Petherbridge as Pastor. Samuel became a class leader and built himself a home on Wood Street.
In 1831 he mentions Michael Dyott was the owner of the Dyottville glass factory as Dr Dyott was now to busy with his new bank. Dyottville was a small town within itself wrote Samuel. The Dr was trying to raise the moral of the workers and had a school and a building where services were held on Sundays built. In June of 1832 Samuel mentions he is blowing glass at 45 cents per gross
Samuel writes in his diary in on November of 1832 "News began to spread that the other glass factory's in the country were not happy with Dr Dyotts monopoly of the glass industry in Philadelphia and the other major cities. Dr Dyott now was quite busy with other business interests.
On June 2 of 1833 Samuel writes "the Old Brick Church members chartered a ship and went down to camp meeting at Swedesboro New Jersey". In August of 1833, the Church was dedicated or probably rededicated because it was enlarged.
On June 12 of 1833 Samuel mentions the visit of Major Garland and Chief Black Hawk and some of his other Indians Wednesday afternoon. He stated "They inspected the Factory and were given some nice bottles and glass ware. The Indians were amazed that we did not burn our fingers and that little papooses were making wicker baskets.Mr Michael Dyott was forced to close the gates of the factory to keep the towns people from coming into the factory"
Samuel writes: I went back to Dyottville in September of 1833 At 45 cents per gross in the number 1 glass house where most of the boys were apprenticed blowers. In December of 1833 Dr Dyott visited the factory and called all hands together in the school house and told he and the other workers of his financial difficulties. With the exception of a few most of the workers continued to stay. Samuel writes "glass was not selling well and and real money was scarce."
Below is a map of current day Philadelphia. I have shown in red where Samuel Huffsey lived in relation to Dyotts store and the Dyottville glass works where he worked.
Off to Pittsburgh as Samuel was scared Dyottville was about to fail.He writes the following "Myself and the other workers are scared that we will not be able to return to work here during the next blast."
In July of 1834 Samuel writes "myself and Joseph Linthicum who had finally received a 100 dollar note from Dyott engaged to set off to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to blow glass for William Mculley."
Samuel wrote that he arrived in Pittsburgh at 10 A M on July 21 1834 after an elapsed time of six days from Philadelphia. None of the nine passengers had met with an accident or sickness. Samuel writes " I went to board with Peter Young, a tenant of William McCalvery in Bayrdstown, and on Saturday the 26th of July his household goods arrived from Philadelphia,he rented a part of the house.
On August 18 glass blowing had commenced. Those who worked at this new 7 pot furnace were Joseph Linthicum, His Brother John Huffsey, George Anffort, Daniel Evans, David Pzfocer, George Upperman, Benjamin Hess, John Hagna, Daniel Sheppard,James Mcgurdy,James Pzfocer, William Duffy,Joseph Davis,and Charles Spence.
The blast closed May 18 1835, and George Anffort and his brother left for Philadelphia but he contacted with William McCully to blow vials anothers season for 50 cents a gross.
Samuel wrote "The next season started August 8th. David Springer and Joseph D Able took the places of the two had left.
" The season closed May 13th 1836. Samuel states that he sold some of his household goods and then he left Pittsburgh on a canal boat on June 6th and arrived in Kensington on June 11th of 1836 .
In July 1836 Samuel opened a grocery store in his house. His brother in law Henry Faunce moved to Philadelphia from Millville New Jersey. On January 1st 1837 his old glass blowing friend John Keen was buried. Samuel broke up store keeping and Bought a market horse and wagon but then sold them in December.
He then went with his brother-in-law Joseph Linthicum to Greenbank Burlington County New Jersey to blow glass for Nicholas Sooy $0.50 per gross.
It was an eight pot furnace and the other glass blowers were: Nicholas and Charles Grenier, Bartley Rhinheart, John Collect, William Woodward, Joel Messick, William Peacock, Magar Clark, and James and Michael Early. The fire was put out May 28th 1838. this was Samuels second visit to this area in his life as earlier stated he worked for William Coffin at Hammonton and for Jonathan Haines at Waterford.
Off to Millville New Jersey to work for William Scattergood & Company
Samuel writes in October of 1838 that he went with William Scattergood & Company at Millville New Jersey to blow glass at 45 cents per gross. Samuel again names all of the blowers: William Read, Joel and Avery Messick, Daniel Barrett, Isaac and Enos Sutton, And Eatson Gale and several apprentices not named. Samuel stated that he worked in the glass house that had eight pots.
He writes on August 22nd 1839 that he worked at Bridgeton for Buck and Stratton
He writes on August 22nd 1839 that he worked at Bridgeton New Jersey for Buck and Stratton for 40 cents a gross in a seven-pot furnace. The other blowers who came with him were: Joseph Linthicum, Samuel Dotson, Thomas Read, James Cox, William Linthicum, John Crist, Hiram Duffield, Thomas Broadwater, And Thomas Kincade. During this blast Samuel writes he moved his wife and household goods to Bridgeton and lived in the same house with his uncle George Gale. His sister Margaret Faunce was buried in Kensington on April 12th 1840.
During the winter of 1840 through the spring of 1841 he again worked for Buck and Stratton at their glass Factory. The new glass blowers were Daniel And Samuel Dawson and Noah Early. On March 1 1841 the Packing house burned with about $10,000s worth of glass.
He moved back to Kensington and on July 25 and went to work for Dr Burgin at his new factory the refurbished Union Glass Works
He moved back to Kensington and on July 25 and went to work for Dr Burgin at his new factory the refurbished Union Glass Works which were located just south of the Dyottville property on Queen Street at the Delaware river. The other Blowers were Michael Christ, Henry Faunce,William Young,James Christy, Robert McGurdy, Nicholas Grenier,George Heffer, Daniel Hill, Jacob Smith and John Johnson.
In the summer of 1842 Samuel did odd jobs which evidently continued until June of 1843 when he made some tools For H B Rapp who started a small furnace in one of the factories at Dyottville.
Samuel made this flask in 1850 for Louis Kossuth .Mckearin charted this flask as the GI-112 KOSSUTH / STEAM SHIP MISSISSIPPI quart sized Calabash flask.
In the summer of 1842 Samuel bought his first pair of silver spectacles which cost him a dollar fifty in October 1843.
Later in 1843 He was making packing boxes for H B Rapp.
In June of 1844 He joined the Native American party.
Samuel writes on March 8th 1844 That his mother in law Sarah Hoffman died at the age of 78.
Samuel writes in July of 1844 That he built a seven part furnace for John M Scott and co.
In September of 1845 He blew glass again for Dr Burgin for 30 cents per gross but later the next year he quit blowing because of ill health in April of 1846.
In November of 1846 Samuel states that he was elected Tax Collector in Kensington on the new party ticket. In parentheses Samuel Writes "the saddest day of his life on September 15th 1848 "Sarah Huffsey his mother was deceased at the age of 73 years and one month and was buried in the Palmer Cemetery grounds at Kensington".His Aunt Patricia Kline died on July 23rd 1849.
On July 9th of 1850 He mentions the great fire that broke out in Philadelphia in with several lives were lost .
Samuel writes on July 28 1852 "My lifelong friend and brother-in-law Joseph Linthicum died at Millville New Jersey on July 26 1852. His friend H B Rapp died in New York City on September 3rd 1852 and was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia."
In April of 1855 Samuel mentions the collapse of a glass factory in the town of progress New Jersey ( present day Riverside) that killed 8 glass blowers and tenders. Howard Kemble makes no mention of this disaster in his glass notes on South Jersey Glass factory's. If Samuel said it happened then it happened.I found these news clips below in Newspapers days after the event occurred. Look at the ages of the deceased workers,with some of them being school children.
Samuel makes one more reference to glass making "Myself and Brother John Huffsey were now partners of the Milford and Burlington and Atlantic county glass Manufactury in 1856". From the research I have done this company was the sole agent for Crowleytown, Bulltown ,and the Milford glass houses. Samuel's last entry in his diary was on April 10 1860 when he wrote he felt tired and had a touch of consumption in his lungs. One thing I learned about Samuel was he could record all of his feelings in words briefly and to the point. Sadley he was tired and quite sick as he died just 5 days later at the age of 59. His obituary was stated in newspapers as follows: "Huffsey- On the 15 instant. Mr Samuel Huffsey,aged 59 years and 10 days. His relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral,from his late residence,Otis Late Wood Street above Girard Avenue,15th ward, on Thursday afternoon,at 3 O'Clock" In Summary Samuel worked at over 15 different glass factory's in his lifetime. He could handle any of the tasks related to blowing glass. He at least at one time was all of the following. He was a Mold Boy,Tender, Apprentice, or Master Gaffer. He could build a furnace,or build a factory.
I dont rule out that he had a hand in the design of and the making of the molds possibly. The historical flasks we all have in our collections he very well may have had a direct hand in their manufacture from Waterford, Dyottville,Coffin and Hay and Dr Burgin and Wood in the 1820s and 30s to Scattergood,Greenbank and the Union Glass works in the 1830s and 40s to Milford,Crowleytown and Bulltown in the 1840s and 50s.
Two Historical Flasks have his name on them the GI-99 S.HUFFSEY Jenny Lind/ Glasshouse and the GI-112 Kossuth / Steam Ship Mississippi so we are completely confident they were from a Glass House in which he owned or worked out of. Two other flasks the Mckearin Charted GII-55 Quart Eagle/Grapes and the GI-90 Lafayette/Eagle pint Samuel speaks directly about blowing these. Therefore he should at least be credited with having a hand in their production. I am sure countless other historical flasks this great gaffer blew should also be attributed to him,alas we will never know for sure but the odds are a heavy favorite he did!!
Samuel left us as one of the greatest early glass making pioneers, who did not have much of a childhood, who often sacrificed his own needs to help his family get through tough times. He certainly had a great influence on Dr Dyott's glass empire as he constructed Dyotts new 8 Pot Furnace in 1826,changed Dyotts thinking on the Sabbath in 1832. Samuel was a glass worker always in demand sought by about everyone who was running a factory or was in need of a top rate blower. In today's terms he would be known as a "hired hand"," a money player" as he went from glass house to glass house helping himself and his family first,and the owners second.
Sources: The Journal of Samuel Huffsey Gloucester County Historiacl Society, American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry" Mckearin Wilson,The Glass Gaffers of New Jersey,Adeline Pepper.