The History of Glass

The History of Glass

In the 3,500 years since glass was first discovered it has been used to create incredibly stunning and highly practical objects and now forms an essential part of our everyday lives.

1.6 Million Tonnes of Glass were recycled in the UK in 2010.

3500 BC The first evidence of manmade glass objects were found in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia, modern-day Syria.

1600 BC Manmade vessels were produced in Mesopotamia for the first time during the early Bronze Age.

650 BC First glassmaking manual was written and found on the tablets from the library of the Assyrian Kin Assubanipal.

250 BC Babylonian glassmakers developed new techniques and discovered that molten glass can be blown into shapes which enabled glass vessels to be produced more easily.

50 BC The Phoenicians use glass to create art.

100 AD There was a rapid expansion of glassmaking during the Roman Empire as glass become more commonly available and spread throughout Europe.

1226 Broad sheet glass was first produced in Sussex, England.

1271 During the Middle Ages Venice become a major centre for glass production in Western Europe.

1330 French glassmakers first produced crown glass in Rouen, France.

1590 Glass telescope and microscope lenses are developed for the first time in the Netherlands.

1608 America�۪s first glass house was founded by settlers in Jamestown, Virginia.

1620 Brown plate glass was first manufactured in London.

1678 Crown glass was first produced in London. Due to its superior quality it dominated manufacturing until the 19th century.

1688 Polished plate glass was first produced in France. The glass was cast and then hand polished.

1773 The English began polished plate glass production at Ravenshead. By 1800 a steam engine was used to carry out the grinding and polishing process.

1800s Synthetic chemicals become available for the first time as the industrial revolution brings a new era in glass manufacturing.

1834 Improved cylinder sheet production was introduced by Robert Lucas Chance and used extensively until the early 20th century.

1843 English inventor Henry Bessemer creates an early form of float glass. This proved to be an expensive method and not widely used.

1847 James Hartley introduces rolled plate glass. This type of glass was commonly used in the design of extensive glass roofs such as within railway stations.

1875 The University of Jena becomes a major glass science and engineering centre as glass chemistry begins.

Each year, the UK produces an estimated 4 million tones of glass.

1888 Machine rolled glass was introduced which allowed patterns to be created.

1903 French artist and chemist Edouard Benedictus invented laminated glass as the result of a laboratory accident.

1913 Flat drawn sheet techniques where first developed in Belgium and introduced in the UK in 1919.

1938 Pilkington enhanced the polished plate process to incorporate a double grinding process.

1950s Glass science becomes a major research discipline as the Ford Motor Co established a glass research centre.

In 2010, Approximately 1.3 million tonnes of domestic flat glass was produced.

1959 Sir Alastair Pilkington introduces float glass to the UK, a revolutionary new process of flat glass manufacture.

1984 The first fluoride glass is discovered by Marcel and Michel Poulain and Jacques Lucas in Rennes, France.

2007 Michael J. Owens is induced into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1903 Owens developed an automated glass bottle making machine which is regarded as one of the most importance developments in the history of glassmaking.

2012 A new type of ultra-thin glass has been developed that has the ability to warp round devices and is as this as a sheet of paper.

The History of Glass

shared by jamesmunro on Jul 10, 2012 in History


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A timeline showing the history of glass and how it has evolved from the first manmade objects discovered in Mesopotamia to the paper-thin wrap around glass of today.
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