Glass, which was discovered in the Middle East, has been around for thousands of years. It is believed that glass was discovered in the 2000s or 3000s BC. Although we know it was discovered in the Middle East, the Egyptians could have discovered it or maybe the Phoenicians, it originated in Mesopotamia. In the ancient times it was a luxury, as making it was slow work and costly. It was compared to gold in the Bible. (Job 28:17) The furnaces that were used to melt the glass were small, holding hardly enough heat to properly melt the glass.
When the art of making glass reached the Egyptians, they used the method of core-forming. A core of clay and dung is shaped, and then is wrapped in molten glass. Being rolled on a smooth surface then shapes it. In the 100s BC, on the Phoenician coast, the blowpipe was discovered. A blowpipe is a tube used to blow melted glass. It is not known who discovered it though. After it’s discovery, the making of glass prospered and spreaded to Italy along with all countries under Roman jurisdiction. Glass turned into an object that was easy to come across as a result of this increase, and was no longer considered a luxury.
Because of good contacts with Byzantium, the manufacturing of glass was revived in Venice by the time of the crusades. In Murano, a Venetian island, Soda Lime glass (also known as cristallo) was developed. Some of the most graceful and delicate glassworks in the world come from the Venetian glass blowers. The Venetians made efforts to keep the technology secret, but it soon spread through Europe despite.
The uses of glass and developments in glass manufacturing increased so rapidly after the year 1890, it became almost revolutionary. In the late 1950s the science and engineering of glass as a material was much better understood, and Sir Alastair Pilkington introduced the new production method of float glass production. Float glass is made my letting glass become solid on a molten metal. This is the way 90% of flat glass is made today.
“History of Glass.” Rohmer + Stimpfig. 3 May 2006 http://www.glassonweb.com/glassmanual/topics/index/history.htm
“The History of Glass Making.” Kinsale Crystal. 3 May 2006 http://www.kinsalecrystal.ie/history.htm