Fact File: Who invented Glass? Invention *** Date of Invention: c. 2500 BC *** Name of Inventor: Unknown *** Historical Period: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** Category: Science *** Country of Origin: Ancient Mesopotamia ***
Who invented Glass? The history of
this amazing product includes facts and info about Obsidian, Fulgurite, casting
and core forming techniques, the invention of faience, the art of glassmaking
and glassblowing, stained glass windows, Venetian and Murano glass, Broad Sheet,
Crown, Eyeglasses, Cristallo, Blown plate, Prince Rupert's Drops, lead crystal,
plate or cylinder, toughened, tempered, safety and Bullet proof glass.
Fact 1: Who invented Glass? The name of the inventor of Glass is unknown but it is believed to have been invented
c. 2500 BC by the Mesopotamians.
Fact 2: Who invented Glass? Obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic
glass, was used for to make tools, knives, arrowheads and jewelry in 12,500BC in
the late Stone Age, long before the Mesopotamians learned how to make
Fact 3: Who invented Glass? Another very special and unique type of glass
called Fulgurite was also used by the ancients. Fulgurite is formed by a
lightning strike onto sandy soil or quartzose sand creating naturally occurring
hollow glass tubes.
Fact 4: Who invented Glass? Mesopotamian craftsmen then discovered the
art of mixing sand, soda, and lime to make glass.
Fact 5: Who
invented Glass? The Ancient Mesopotamian glass first took the form of glazes
that were used for coating stone beads and amulets. Also refer to
6: Who invented Glass? Various methods were developed to shape ancient glass
such as casting and core forming. Casting consisted of heating materials in open
molds and the core forming technique involved encasing a solid metal rod or core
material in glass to form vessels.
Fact 7: Who invented
Glass? The Sumerians of Mesopotamia also invented a new material called
faience to create a glaze layer over a silica core. Faience is a strong greenish
blue dazzling glass-like material, consisting of crushed quartz, lime and
8: Who invented Glass? The Ancient Egyptians are also strongly associated
with glass faience that they used to make magnificent vessels, furniture, tiles,
jewelry, scepters and figurines. The glass faience was easier to work with than
harder precious and semi-precious gemstones and ancient Egyptian artisans became
so adept at crafting faience glass beads that they were difficult to distinguish
from authentic emeralds.
Fact 9: Who invented Glass? It was a slow, painstaking process to create
glass in small, melting furnaces. The technique of Glassblowing was invented the
Babylonians of Mesopotamia in the middle of the 1st century BC by developing a
glassmaking method that involved inflating molten glass into a bubble with the
aid of a blowpipe or blow tube. The invention of Glassblowing made glass
production easier, faster and cheaper.
Fact 10: Who invented Glass? The Roman author and naturalist Pliny the
Elder credits the discovery of glassmaking to the Phoenicians in his work
entitled Naturalis Historia (Natural History). However the sea-faring
Phoenicians were great merchants and traders with Rome but they also had close
contact with the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and copied many of their
ideas. The Phoenicians therefore probably copied the art of glassmaking
and glassblowing from the Mesopotamians and established large glass workshops to
manufacture the valuable commodity.
Fact 11: The Phoenicians traded their valuable and stunning glass
products to the Romans. The Romans were the first to use glass for windows in
villas owned by extremely wealthy patricians. The Romans then spread the
knowledge of glassmaking and glassblowing across all of the countries in the
Fact 12: Glassmaking and glassblowing flourished across Europe during the
Middle Ages. Stained glass pictorial windows in churches and monasteries in
Europe date back to the 7th century creating windows of "inestimable beauty".
Transparent glass began to be made from about the eighth century BCE.
Fact 13: The manufacture of Venetian glass was established in the
thirteenth century Byzantine craftsmen who fled from Constantinople when the
city was sacked in 1204 during the time of Crusades.
Fact 14: Venice became glassmaking center of the western world due to the
vibrant colors and transparency and the decorative techniques of their
Fact 15: Glass factories were established on the Venetian island of
Murano and Murano glassmakers held a monopoly on high-quality glassmaking for
centuries and still produce beautiful items to the present day.
Fact 16: In 1226 a type of hand-blown glass called "Broad Sheet" was
first produced in Sussex, England. To create "Broad Sheet" molten glass was
blown into an elongated balloon shape, the ends were then cut off and the
resulting cylinder shape was cut and flattened on an iron plate and used as
Fact 17: The first type of Eyeglasses were
produced by monks in Italy between 1285-1289 and the process was documented by
the English Franciscan friar Roger Bacon c.1267.
Fact 18: In 1330 glassmakers from Rouen, France invented "Crown glass"
creating a thin, lustrous, highly polished "table" of glass. Crown glass was
made by blowing a sphere of molten glass, opening the end opposite the blow tube
while it was still molten and spinning it out into a circular sheet.
Fact 19: In 1450 an Italian glassmaker called Angelo Barovier,
created cristallo, a colorless, transparent crystal glass or Venetian crystal
that is till used to create magnificent chandeliers that are still manufactured
to this day.
Fact 20: In the 1500's a method of making mirrors was developed by Murano
glassmakers who covered the back of glass with a fusion of mercury and tin
amalgam which obtained a near-perfect, undistorted and flawless reflection.
Fact 21: Other important inventions that required the use of glass
included the Microscope which was invented by
Zacharias Janssen in 1595 and the invention of the
Telescope by Hans Lippershey in 1608.
Fact 22: The first glass factory in America was built in Jamestown,
Virginia in 1608, located "in the woods neare a myle from James Towne".
Fact 23: In 1620 an expensive process called "Blown plate" was developed
in London by hand-grinding broad sheet glass. "Blown plate" was used to make
mirrors and lanterns rather than windows.
Fact 24: A form of toughened, almost indestructible, tear-drop shaped
glass beads, called Prince Rupert's Drops or Dutch Tears, were invented in the
Netherlands during the 1600's.
Fact 25: In 1674, an English glassmaker called George Ravenscroft
invented clear lead crystal glass in which lead oxide was added during the
manufacturing stage to replace calcium oxide. Items made from lead crystal were
cheaper than the cristallo produced in Venice.
Fact 26: In 1773 plate or cylinder glass was introduced and the
manufacturing process was streamlined during the Industrial Revolution to
produce a high quality relatively inexpensive plate glass with a reduced ripple
effect in which the reflection was still somewhat distorted.
Fact 27: The history of glasses or spectacles moved on when Benjamin
Franklin invented Bifocals in 1784.
Fact 28: In 1874 the invention of Prince Rupert's
Drops inspired Francois Barthelemy Alfred Royer de la Bastie to invent and
patent a toughened or tempered glass by controlling
thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength.
Fact 29: In 1902, Irving Wightman Colburn (1861 - 1917) invented a
process for the production of continuous flat sheet glass which made the mass
production for window panes possible.
Fact 30: In 1903 Edouard Benedictus invented safety glass, used for
Bullet Proof Glass that shattered into
tiny, relatively harmless fragments rather than large, dangerous shards.
Fact 31: In the same year, 1903 Michael Joseph Owens (1859 - 1923)
invented an automated glass bottle making machine an important development in
the glassmaking industry.
Fact 32: In 1904 the Belgian Emile Fourcault invented Drawn glass in
which sheets of molten glass were drawn through a slot in a tank, up over
rollers and into a cooling chamber.
Fact 33: In 1959 a British engineer, Sir Alastair Pilkington, invented
the float glass process for commercial manufacturing of plate glass.
Fact 34: In modern times a brand of specialized toughened sheet glass,
known by the trade name 'Gorilla Glass' developed and manufactured by Corning
Inc. in 2007 as a protective cover offering scratch resistance and durability to
many handheld devices with touch screens such as
Smartphones and Tablets.
Fact 35: Corning Inc. have also developed a new type of flexible
ultra-thin product, as thin as a sheet of paper, for the future. It is called
Willow Glass and designed can be "wrapped" around mobile devices and smart
watches making them bendable.