is one of the most ancient of all materials known and used
by mankind. The geologic glass, obsidian was first used by
man thousands of years ago to form knives, arrow tips, jewelry
etc. Manmade glass objects appear to be first reported in
the Mesopotamian region as early as 4,500 BC. glass objects
dating as old as 3,000 B.C. have also been found in Egypt.
these glasses have compositions very similar to those of modern
soda lime silicate glass. No doubt the readily available soda
ash, from fires, limestone, from seashells and silica sand,
from the beaches are the cause of this agreement. Earlier
glass coated objects have been dated to as early as 12,000
B.C. and are in the form of glazes and enamels on ceramic
pottery, used presumably to improve the water tightness of
various jugs, bottles and vases. The next pages give a time
line describing the development of glass from the earliest
crude materials to the modern day high technology glass used
in numerous applications.
BC - Containers, Touthmosis III, sand molds with sand core
and removed by scraping to be formulated
BC - In Syria & Rhodes, Greece, glass production begins,
glass recipes begin to be formulated
BC - First Glassmaking handbook, Assyrian Assurbanipal's Library
BC - Venetian glass artists begin to create vases and glass
pieces glass rolls
BC - Phoenician glassblowing flourishes to create art glass
BC - 400 AD - Roman empire causes rapid development and expansion
of glass melting, working and forming technology in the Mediterranean
AD - Glass cost rapidly declines and for the first time becomes
available to less than the aristocracy
AD - Venice glass center dominates in glass production, Murano
island is established as a major glass center. Venice
moves its glass ovens to the island of Murano to remove the
danger of fire. The city establishes draconian penalties for
any glass maker caught jeopardizing the Venetian monopoly
in clear glass by taking production secrets abroad.
- Glass telescope and microscope lenses are developed in Netherlands
and used for the first time
- France established as major power in the glass industry,
Henry IV confers exclusive rights to some Italians to produce
glass in selected cities in France
- Jean Baptiste Colbert centralized glass making in France
and established dominance flat glass and used the palace Of
Versailles as a lasting symbol of their art and technology.
- France is a dominate producer of flat glass for mirrors
and windows, Saint Gobain factory becomes the "Manufacture
Royle des Glaces de France"
- "Crystal Glass" production begins
- Industrial revolution dawns a new era in glass manufacturing.
"Synthetic" chemicals for glass making are available for the
first time. Synthetic glasses with improved properties become
- sovay process dramatically reduces cost of a main ingredient
in glass, sodium oxide.
- Siemens brothers, Freiderich, Karl, Hans, Werner and Wilhelm
patent and develop first regenerative glass furnace in Dresden,
- Technical glasses are developed in Germany, Abbe, Schott,
and Carl Zeiss. University of Jena, Jena, Germany becomes
a major glass science and engineering center. Glass chemistry
is in its infancy.
- Bausch & Lomb Optical Company founded in Rochester,
NY. Makers of lenses and other optical components.
- Mechanized forming process begin
- University of Sheffield establishes Department of glass
Technology, now called the Center for Glass Research
- Griggith theory of the strength of brittle materials first
applied to glass bulbs deliberately weakened by scratches,
dramatically improves understanding of and how to improve
the strength of glass
- Gob Feeder introduced world wide
- Individual Section (I.S.) bottle machine invented by Henry
Ingle used with the gov feeder to dramatically increase and
reduce cost of producing glass containers.
- Arthur Wood and David Gray of Corning Glass Works develop
the "399" machine later called the "Ribbon" machine to make
light bulbs. Bulbs can be made at speeds of 1000 per minute.
- William Zachariasen publishes the "Random Network Hypothesis"
of glass structure and his rules of glass formation in J.
Amer. Chem. Society
- Ford Motor Co. establishes major glass research center,
glass science becomes a major research discipline
- Pilkington Brothers patent the float glass process and introduced
in England and will ultimately revolutionized flat glass manufacturing.
- 1st silica optical fiber produced at Corning Glass Works
using chemical vapor deposition techniques to reduce attenuation
and improve signal transmission.
- Expansion of many university glass research programs across
the US in Catholic University, Penn State, Rutgers etc.
- Marcel & Michel Poulain and Jacques Lucas discover first
fluoride glass in Rennes, France.
Day - Glass research is now moving beyond oxide glass chemistries
and traditional melting processing. Entirely new processes
such as sol-gel processing, chemical vapor deposition are
being developed. New glass chemistries are being developed
all the time, especially non-oxide chemistries such as halide
glasses, chalcogenide glasses and chalcohalide glasses.