The Early History of Glassmaking
The glass is one of the materials which is highly used by all nations although no one claimed that he discovered
the way of doing it, but the first objects crafted entirely of glass were beads from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt dating from about 2500 BC. Other glass vessels found were far older than that.
Because of its breakable nature, it was not easy to find big glassware, but earliest glassware that still survives
consists of pieces used to contain fine cosmetics and oils and was probably made in Mesopotamia.
Egyptian made the glass vessels by applying a layer of molten glass over a sand core. Egyptian used glass to
decorate other jars and were often decorated with threads of glass applied to their surfaces. by pressing it into the surface. Similar glass vessels, made by the same methods, were produced in Mesopotamia at about the same time.
Syrians developed the glassblowing technique in the 1st century BC. This technique uses an iron tube more than a meter long with a mouthpiece at one end and a knob for holding a blob of semi molten glass at the other.
The glass was shaped by blowing it into a mold. Workers could also blow a bubble in the glass and swing the
bubble from the end of the tube or roll the glass on a table to form a shape.
Glassblowing still is used in a lot of nations now and reminds you with musicians who are blowing their
instruments, the difference is that they produce nice silent bottles instead. Decoration was and still using nice glass pieces in patches which gives colorful shades.
The Romans also adopted a technique known as millefiori glass working. Thin rods of colored glass were laid in carefully arranged bundles while still very hot so that they would fuse together to make one piece. It could then be cut into slices, all with exactly the same surface pattern. The slices were laid on a sand core and heated until they fused together to form a continuous shell. By this time glass was also being produced in parts of the Roman Empire that are known today as England, France, Germany, and Spain.
The craft of glassmaking transfered to the West with the declination if the Roman empire. Islamic craftsmen was professional in glass decoration specialyy that they were using figureless decoration construction. That was one of the reasons that, by the 13th century the enameling of glass had been perfected in Syria.
The Development in Glass Industry
The glass was the material which is used in every window in the cathedrals and monasteries in Europe by the 12th century. These windows consisted of small pieces of glass of different colors held together by strips of lead that often outlined the main design.
The Venetians provided the link between the ancient and modern glassmaking arts. They developed a clear glass similar to crystal. By the 16th century Venice had attained a dominant position in Europe's glass industry.
However, the use of glass for ordinary windows remained largely restricted to churches and castles for many
centuries. By the 17th century the country of Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic, became the second
most productive glassmaking center in Europe.
Late in the 17th century an englishman invented the lead glass. As lead glass came to be known It became a
favorite type of glass for tableware among Europeans. The ability of lead glass to bend light rays at different
angles made high-quality microscopes and telescopes possible. That was the step that helped humans to see
more about the space and see more planets and stars.
Americans took the lead in many technology and glass was a famous material that must travel with the pioneers. The first glass factory was built in 1608 at the Jamestown colony in Virginia.
Henry William Stiegel, who established a glass factory in Pennsylvania in 1763, made the first American glassware that was good enough to compete with European imports. Another pioneer in American glassmaking was John Frederick Amelung, who founded the New Bremen Glass manufactory in Maryland in 1785. He produced the most sophisticated glass that had been made in America up to that time.
In the early 19th century, as new glass factories were founded in the East and the Midwest, a number of technical improvements were introduced. One important advance was the development of hinged metal molds, used to make bottles and fine tableware. In the middle of the 19th century the Pittsburgh area became the most important glassmaking center in the United States.
In 1903 J.H. Lubbers invented a machine for blowing glass mechanically. Two years later Irving W. Colburn
patented a process for the production of continuous sheets of glass drawn directly from huge tanks that could be fired for long periods of time.
After the invention of cars and fast transportation, the glass became the useful material used to prevent air from
striking the driver's face. After lots of severe injuries in car accidents, the glass industry had to find a new
developed glass which can bare the compacts. The invention of transportation airoplanes also needed glass with special treatments as the pressure up in the sky is different than that inside the plane, this could break the
glass. The submarines also needed special glasses.
In the 1960s laser glass, chemically toughened glass for use in making dinnerware and springs, laminated glass, and photo chromatic glass were developed. Photo chromatic glass, which turns darker when exposed to light and clears up when the light source is dimmed, is used in eyeglasses that become sunglasses in the appropriate setting. Titanized glass was developed in the early 1970s to lengthen the life of returnable glass bottles and other containers that could be reused continuously. Titanizing glass involves spraying bottles with a titanium compound while the bottles are still red-hot. The durable coating that forms on the bottles reduces friction and lessens tiny cracks that develop on bottles that are transported regularly and passed through cleaning and filling plants innumerable times.
By 1990 fiber optic glass pipes that could maintain the brightness and intensity of light and transmit it over long
distances in laser communication systems had been improved. Glass capable of storing radioactive wastes safely for long periods of time had also been developed.
Without this special treated and invented glass the space will not be reached as the heavy non transparent metals are not helpful enough to show us what is behind.