GLASS EVOLUTION

 

If the history of something is obscure, it is said to be “as old as the world”.  Even though, glass making history is lost in the mists of time, its present time ultra-modern technology speaks of its tremendous ancient past.

In any case, glass history goes side by side with the evolution of human race.  The new material made from sand, melted with fire, first appeared along the Mediterranean coasts about 5,000 years BC.  The oldest fragments discovered show certain technology:  glass wrapped around a sand core.

Conquests, population migrations, glass craftsmen brought back as prisoners, are all part of the history of glass making technology.  Cut, molded, gilded between two layers, melted slowly to produce “mosaic” glass, is known as a rich development, producing wonderful articles, decorative or utilitarian (glass packaging) over thousands of years, until the invention of the “Blow Pipe”.  This invention, most probably Phoenician, which is not older than 2,000 years, gave rise to hollow glass.  This new discovery was a turning point in glass history.  Although, the secrets of its manufacturing were enviously guarded, by the time competition grew and that encouraged the spirit of invention, including cutting, engraving and coloring.

Around Year 1000 AD, differences grew between North (of the Alps) and South (Mediterranean), due most likely to import difficulties, and Soda Ash disappeared from glass making process in the North and was replaced by Potash (forest tree ash), leading towards the changes in glass making process.

In 1903, did compressed air come to relieve human’s lungs of blowing.  Plants were built in which machines multiplied manual production several time more than ever before.  Since then, glass manufacturing technology has kept improving and innovating.  Progress and research have been continuous, bringing improvements to machines and equipment.

The latest development in glass making has been electronic automation.  Today, the whole industrial production is equipped with specific software which completely controls various production lines.