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Evolution of Glass-Making

When we have new double glazing installed, we take it for granted that the glass will be the most modern, technologically advanced and durable available from Glass Suppliers and glaziers Bristol. But have you ever wondered where it all began?

Humans have been making things with glass for far longer than you might think. Archaeologists have discovered glass artefacts in Egypt and East Mesopotamia that proves that manufacture was taking place as far back as 3,000 BC. During the same period in history, similar techniques were being used in Greece, Egypt and China.

As you can imagine, the process was slow, laborious and expensive. It remained a top luxury goods, not very affordable for the masses. The discovery of glass blowing, however, was a game changer in the evolution of glass making. Enjoy new glass in your home with Glass suppliers and glaziers Bristol at a site like Roman Glass.

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It is said that this method was started by Syrian craftsmen in the 1st century. Glass-blowing was faster, cheaper and easier for the first time in human history and more readily available to the common citizen. The techniques of the beginning have changed little since their invention and traditional and ancient techniques are still used today.

Glass-making became hugely popular, especially in the Roman Empire, reaching out West crossing into the swathes of Europe and the Mediterranean. Glass became one of the most important objects that was traded outside the Empire’s borders. Clear glass was found in Alexandria around 100 AD, and thus began the use of glass for architectural purposes and buildings. You could say this was the birth of a glass window.

The glass-making industry grew, particularly in Venice towards the end of the 1200s. Glass-making had started here during the Crusades between 1096 and 1270. During 1291, the industry moved to the Venetian island of Murano, which has been producing world-class glass since. Attempts were made to closely guard their secrets of glass making, but these techniques eventually escaped out into the rest of Europe.

Not until the 16th century did the manufacture of glass really become important in England. Lead glass was invented in 1674 by George Ravenscroft, which represented a significant advance in the glass-making process. It was not until the Industrial Revolution that mass production of glass got under way. A mechanical blowing machine to make bottles was invented in 1903 which could produce more than two thousand bottles per hour.

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These days we see the glass-making industry as a highly advanced and technological industry, but it has evolved over many centuries to become what it is. A modern manufacturing plant can produce millions of items of glass across a rainbow of colours with hundreds of different purposes and applications.

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