As the water flowing through canals in upstate New York shaped the industry and culture of the region in the last 150 years, so have innovations at Corning helped shape important technological developments, from Thomas Edison's first electric light bulbs to flat screen televisions.

Both played an important role in shaping Corning Incorporated, then the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company, which moved to Corning 150 year ago via the New York waterways, according to The Corning Museum of Glass. The separate, not-for-profit museum is retracing that historic journey with GlassBarge, "a 30’ x 80’ canal barge fitted with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment," the museum website states.

Simply put: "GlassBarge is the 2018 signature event for the Erie Canal Bicentennial, and helps to emphasize the continued role of New York’s waterways in shaping the state’s industry, culture, and community," according to the Eventbrite listing.

The Corning Museum of Glass

GlassBarge is stopping near us on its way to the Erie Canal and the Finger Lakes before it ends its journey in Corning for a community celebration Sept. 22.

How can you experience this moving tribute to local history? Here are five things you need to know:

1) You'll want to get free tickets. GlassBarge is offering free 30-minute glassblowing demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 17 at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401. Seating is limited. Click here to reserve tickets.

2) You also can tour the Lois McClure. "This canal boat is a replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat," according to the Hudson River Maritime Museum website. "This replica was created by studying two shipwrecks located in Burlington Harbor, Vermont." You can find more details on the maritime museum's website here.

3) GlassBarge is being towed by an historic tug from the South Street Seaport Museum. When GlassBarge reaches the Erie Canal, the historic tug, W. O. Decker, will join the flotilla. Built in 1930, the tugboat originally was named Russell I after the Newtown Creek Towing Company's owners.

4) You'll see glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass. Watch these master artisans bring molten glass to life before your eyes. The Museum’s Hot Glass Demo Team has a diverse background; you can see their profiles here.

5) More questions? You can call 1-800-723-9156 or email

The Corning Museum of Glass