QUESTION: What New Jersey attraction have what they claim is the largest handblown glass bottle in the world?
A) Space Farm, Sussex, NJ
B) Wheaton Village, Millville, NJ
C) Thomas Edison National Historic Site, West Orange, NJ
D) Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ
Last week, we began an examination of the Omrod Antique Shoppe. Please note that the "pe" at the end of Shoppe was added for a whimsical sense of authenticity. Today, we are going to discuss one of the cooler objects displayed in the store that definitely gets lost in the miniature clutter - an extremely tiny purple bottle, displayed under an equally notable clear vase cover. The blog research team has done extensive research in the effort to establish whether this is, indeed, the smallest handblown glass bottle in the world. Turns out it is not the easiest record to ascertain. So we will go with it being super small - around the size of a penny.
The art of hand blowing glass was developed during the First Century B.C. at the same time that the Roman Empire was being established in the Italian peninsula. The first glass came from Phoenicia in the modern Middle East, and spread quickly thanks to the Romans, who saw it as a relatively light and durable form of storage. Different techniques have been experimented with over the millennia since then, with the hand blowing methods of old persisting today if not out of necessity than as part of the studio glass movement of the 1960's. There are those who might question whether there's much functional use one can get out of a glass bottle too small to pick up (please don't try!), but there can be no question that it is a perfect compliment to our tiny antique shoppe.
ANSWER: B) Wheaton Village in Millville is a glass-blowing extravaganza. They have cool shops, live glass blowing demonstrations, and a museum in which their seven-foot tall glass bottle is displayed. Space Farm, Edison and Batsto Village are all worth checking out, too, for many reasons on all parts. But for glass, Wheaton is where it's at.