The Mount Washington Glass Company was founded in South Boston in 1837. Deming Jarves established the firm for his son, George D. Jarves to run. The elder Jarves had founded and was already in control of his own glasshouse, the Boston Sandwich Glass Co. The younger Jarves was in his twenties and never expressed much interest in the business or production matters of his glass company. That is why there were many changes in leadership in the early years of this company.
William L. Libbey, a known colored-glass innovator of the 1800s, received his training here, and eventually bought the company in 1866. He moved the company out of its failing Boston plant to New Bedford, Massachusetts. He left in 1872 for the New England Glass Company, and Mount Washington was placed in the hands of Frederick Shirley. He is credited with creating the company’s most popular glazes, such as Burmese. Shirley rejuvenated the company and it continued to produce fine art glassware and tableware well into the 1900s.