Today's families can explore the history of these products - along with the art of glassmaking - at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York. The museum has a family exploration series one Sunday each month focusing on a different culture.
On April 24, you'll learn about glassmaking in ancient Rome and you can even try to repair a broken reproduction of an ancient gladiator cup, or make your own Roman coins to take home. On May 22, American glassware is the theme, with gallery hunts, food and music, and a craft-making session. On June 26, explore Czech culture by visiting the museum's major summer show, Czech Glass, and learning about the Czech designers and artists who created new sculptural forms in glass in the post-Second World War and Communist eras.
Other family-oriented shows at the Corning Museum include Do It stations, with hands-on exhibits about the science of glassmaking; a Hot Glass Show, where glassmakers shape colourful objects out of molten glass; walk-in workshops where you can frost a drinking glass or blow a holiday ornament; and You Design It: We Make It, where glassmakers create an object using a child's drawing for the design.