Glass and Glass Making


Who invented Glass? Historians tend to agree that Glass was invented in c. 2500 BC and the first known use of Glass was in Ancient Mesopotamia during the Ancient World period of inventions (3500 BC - 600BC). The Ancient Mesopotamian glass initially took the form of glazes that were used for coating stone beads.

Definition of Glass: Glass is defined as a hard, brittle transparent solid transparent substance that is made by fusing together sand or silica with lime, soda, potash or lead oxide. It is colored by metallic oxides and used for making window panes, mirrors, drinking vessels, lenses and various ornaments.


Facts about who invented Glass


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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 glass.

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 Mesopotamian Inventions.

Fact 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 alkali.

Fact 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 Roman Empire.

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 craftsman.

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 leadlights.

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.

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