History of Glass

Archaeological findings indicate that glass was first made in the Middle East, sometime in the 3000's B.C. In the beginning, glass manufacturing was slow and costly. Glass melting furnaces were very small and were not able to produce enough heat to melt glass properly. In ancient times, glass was a luxury item and only few people could afford it.

An unknown person discovered the blowpipe in the 1st century B.C. on the Phoenician coast. Glass manufacturing flourished in the Roman Empire and spread from Italy to all countries under Roman jurisdiction. Due to the mass production, glass become an usual object and was removed from the list of luxuries.

By the time of the Crusades, glass manufacture had been revived in Venice as a result of good contacts with Byzantium . Equipment was transferred to the Venetian island of Murano , where Soda Lime glass, better known as "Cristallo" was developed. Venetian glass-blowers created some of the most delicate and graceful glass the world has ever seen. Despite their efforts to keep the technology secret, it soon spread around Europe.

After 1890, glass applications and manufacturing developments increased so rapidly as to be almost revolutionary. The science and engineering of glass as a material was much better understood, and in the late 1950's Sir Alastair Pilkington introduced a new revolutionary production method (float glass production), by which 90% of flat glass is still manufactured today by this method.

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