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Lawrence Finn Handbills

Identifier: MS-0234

Scope and Contents

This small collection consists of four handbills advertising demonstrations offered by Lawrence Finn, an itinerant glassworker. The handbills were acquired from different sources and placed together as a collection. They promote shows offered in London, New York City, and Augusta (presumably in Georgia). In his demonstrations, Finn created figurines, spun glass, and other small glass novelties for live audiences. The handbills not only describe Finn's shows, but also provide the locations, times, and admission prices.


  • Circa 1815-1843

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Lawrence Finn was an English itinerant glassworker who immigrated to the United States and practiced his trade in a number of American cities. As an itinerant glassworker, Finn traveled from one location to another and offered flameworking shows for audiences.

There is very little information about Lawrence Finn outside of the advertisements for his performances. Given the length of his career, it is possible there were two Lawrence Finns, a father and son or uncle and nephew who practiced the same trade.


1.3 Linear Feet (1 flat box)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some handbills are matted.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Glass Working Exhibition, 1815 received from Lionel and Philip Robinson in 1956.

Inimitable Mechanism, Circa 1815-1820 received from James Burmeister Rare Books. Accession 2021.006

Exhibition of Fancy Glass Working, 1828 and Exhibition of Fancy Glass Working, Circa 1840-1843 received from Howard S. Mott Rare Books.

Related Materials

The Glass Working Exhibition and Inimitable Mechanism handbills each arrived with an associated circle of fiberglass, presumably made by Finn. They were transferred to the Museum's registrar to be added to the glass collection. The fiberglass associated with the Glass Working Exhibition handbill is missing and thought to have been lost in the 1972 flood. The fiberglass associated with the Inimitable Mechanism handbill may be found in the Museum's glass collection as Accession 2014.4.2.

Another Lawrence Finn handbill may be found in the John Clyde Hostetter Collection on the 200" Disk, 1831-1943. MS 0072. The Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York.

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2021.

Lawrence Finn Handbills, Circa 1815-1843
A Guide to the Collection
Colleen McFarland Rademaker
May 4, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA