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 glass blowing demonstrations on June 21 and 22 at Riverfront Park in Troy. Seating is limited, so click here for tickets in Troy. On June 23 and 24, GlassBarge will be at the Waterford Canal Welcome Center, 1 Tugboat Alley, Waterford; click here to reserve tickets for Waterford. (If one session is sold out, look to the right on the ticket website to find the dropdown menu for another session time.)

2) You also can see the Lois McClure, which is a replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat, according to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. "The Lake Champlain sailing-canal boat was built as an 'experiment' and designed to be able to sail from distant lake ports to the canal on the power of the wind," according to the museum's website. "Upon reaching the canal, the masts were lowered and centerboard raised and the now transformed vessel could directly enter the canal."

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

Support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY/ New York State’s Division of Tourism. Also, GlassBarge is enabled through the generous support of grants from I LOVE NEW YORK, Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism; the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA); and the New York State Canal Corporation through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.