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Glass History

The following texts have been written by the class BFS 2 b from the vocational college in Rheinbach in December 2005: Anne, Anja, Barbara, Eva, Jana, Jing, Mirjam, Tobias, Sara and Sarah

The discovery of glass:

Natural glass comes from high-temperature phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes or the impact of meteorites, or other origins. The historian Pliny argued that phoenician merchants discovered glass and how they produced glass.

Starting to blow!

A major breakthrough in the glassmaking was the discovery of glassblowing 27 BC, only in the last century bc the Romans then began blowing glass inside moulds.

Early hollow glass production

Egyptian craftsmen started to make glasspots in several technologies. The first three glasspots wich were found are from Pharaoh Thoutmosis 3. In the 9th century BC the glasmaking was recived in Mesopotamia. Over the following 500 years, glas production centred on Alessandria, from where it is thought to have spread to Italy. The first handwritten dates on how to make glass are received in stone tablets from the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.

The Roman connection

The Romans also did much to spread glssmaking technology. During the reign of the emporer Augustus, glass objects began to appear throughout Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland. Roman glass has even been found as far afield as China, shipped there along the silk routes. With cast glass began the important buildings in Rom and the most luxurious Villas of Herculaneum in Pompeji.

Craftsmen went to the eastern and western, they began to migrate. The glassware gradually acquired more distinct characteristics. Alexandria in the east was the important glassmaking area. They produced luxury glass objects. The Portland vase is an example of Alexandrian skills. Cologne was the hub of glassmaking, there they had mainly eastern techniques. The slowed progress in field of glassmaking was in the 5th century. Germanic glassware became less ornate. The craftsmen were not developing the decorating skills they had acquired.

The early Middle Ages:

By the archaelogical excavations they know how people produced glass from the ancient to early Middle Ages. By the significate change around the year 1000 (glass was produced with the ashes as a product of burning trees), the glass production became easier.

Sheet glass skills

In the 11.- 13. century developed the production from glass sheets. At the beginn would the sheets were blown and afterwarts cut of from a cylinder into a flat sheet. Later would be the technik refined and still flater. At the Middle Ages would the glass than always luxury and ever coulored through the glass receive in the building, churchs and homes wealthy people and would be with coulors glass decorated.

Also France took a step into the glass industry.They invited Venetian glass craftsmen because of their skills and their know-how. That was not easy for the Venetians that their secrets were disclosed. The French court made a deal with the Venetians, they had to produce glass and then they were allowed to become French after a while and they didn`t have to pay taxes for the rest of their life.

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