Cultural Revitalization Through Parks

While cities across the nation benefit from the cultural revitalization that urban parks can bring, Ariel-Foundation Park is distinct in its kind. This is due in part to the rich history and rural location of Mount Vernon. The culture of the city has deep roots in its agricultural and industrial past, and Ariel-Foundation Park was built in honor of this history. The construction of Ariel-Foundation Park has the potential to revitalize the community, attract businesses, improve property values, and increase access to health and wellness opportunities.

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Glassmaking Innovations

Glassmaking has a rich history that dates back to roughly 3500 BCE in Mesopotamia. Glassmaking is seen in many different cultures across the globe throughout time, and as you can imagine, we do not use the same process the ancient Mesopotamians used over 5,000 years ago. Innovations in the glassmaking process have been made all over the globe, from Egypt to Mount Vernon, Ohio. The process that changed glassmaking drastically was invented in 1925 here and was thus named the Pennvernon process.

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Working Conditions

You would have needed great connections to work in a glass factory in the early 20th century. Often and sometimes only through family ties, could you get a job in such a place.

Glassworkers were paid well for the time, with men receiving 18 cents/hour, and women receiving 11 (CMoG). Women were usually utilized as detail/defect inspectors of finished pieces, while men actually worked on the floor. Though there is an obvious wage gap, in this context, the work was not “equal work.”The most common age range for younger workers was 14–17 (CMoG). Young boys were often needed, even though the legislation was in place to prevent them from working. These children were sometimes taken from orphanages and exploited as sources of income for their families or for cheap work. (utoledo)

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Protective Clothing

Apron.edited The protective clothing worn by glass workers was designed to protect the body from burns, punctures, and cuts. The glass workers at the PPG plant in Mount Vernon wore denim safety sleeves that protected from heat and were reinforced with grommets, to provide ventilation and prevent glass puncture. The sleeves were held in place by alligator clips on the chest that attached both sides of the sleeves together.

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LEARN MORE   about the Ruins on the Ariel-Foundation Park main site!

Art Projects

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The information for this site was prepared by Kenyon College students Maria Brescia-Weiler, Catherine Carroll, Suzy Goldberg, Robert Jacobs, Ben Jenks, Teahelahn Keithrafferty, Ryan Muthiora, Jenny Panaguiton, Hannah Porter, and Kate Prince. Their sculptures, inspired by the site and this research, were exhibited at the Wright Center and Ariel-Foundation Park. Assistant Professor of Art Sandra Lee served as project advisor.