Glass - History of Glass


Although glass is such a common feature in everyday life, there was a time before it existed. Traveling backwards to ancient Mesopotamia in 3500 BC, the first indication of glass creation can be found in jewelry. Beads, likely created as an accidental waste product from metal working, are the first known glass objects to ever be created.

From this point in time, the development of glass spread across the ancient world, with independent inventions in China, India, Egypt and Rome. However, the most significant advancements in its development came from Egypt around 1500 BC. Examples of colored glass vessels first appeared during the time. However, glass production remained rare, and was considered a luxury item.

The first glassmaking instructions were written in 650 BC in Egypt. However, mass production of glass didn't move forward until the invention of the glass blowing method in the 1st century BC. Glass blowing works by molding extremely hot glass in the shape of a bubble through the use of a long blowing pipe. After the creation of this new method, glass became less expensive than pottery, allowing it to be available to the working class.

The development of glass making, and the glass blowing technique continued across numerous countries for multiple centuries. Notable advancements include the development of colorless glass in the 9th century BC and the reintroduction of color through the creation of stained glass in the 12th century AD.

In more modern times, the creation of glass has been improved through the addition of chemicals like lead oxide and silica to improve the transparency and durability of the product. Joseph Paxton introduced industrial creation and use of glass for building materials in 1851. Continued development eventually allowed for glass to be available for companies and houses throughout the developed world.

Today glass, and all of its many forms, is present in almost every building, house, and room in the world. First created in the ancient world, glass continues to be a dependable, sturdy, and extremely useful material necessary for everyday life.

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