Monday, April 02, 2007

A Milking Marathon

Every hotel lobby, visitor center and highway rest area for 100 miles around sports an attractive flyer extolling the marvels of the Greentown Glass Museum, luring knowledge-hungry visitors from all corners of the globe to this amazing attraction. Housed in a spare room of the best looking building in Greentown, Indiana - the taxpayer funded City Hall - the Museum is perhaps the most audacious example of milking the past yet encountered.
Focused on the wares of the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company, there are thousands of pieces of low cost colored molded glass artifacts ranging from drinking glasses to bird baths on display. With a current population of about 2,500 souls, the Glass Age appears to have represented the zenith of Greentown prosperity. Astonishingly, all this hoopla is leveraged on a small factory, established in 1894, which burned to the ground after nine short years and was abandoned in 1903, one hundred and four years ago! P. T. Barnum would have been proud.

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