Glass has been around since the beginning of time (Glass Online, 2001). Glass is made naturally when rocks melt as a result of high temperatures such as in volcanic eruptions, and also comes from extraterrestrial sources. Man-made glass was produced dating back to around 3500 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The basic components of sand were originally contained in glazes used on pottery and it is thought that sand may have got into the kilns used for firing and combined with soda to form a colored glaze. The oldest glass vessels date back to the 16th century BC and were found in Mesopotamia. Hollow glass-making evolved around this time in Egypt and glass making was also emerging independently at this time in Mycenae (Greece), China and North Tyrol.
History of different types of glass and how they are made
After 1500 BC, craftsmen in Egypt began developing methods of producing glass pots by dipping a core of compacted sand into molten glass and turning the mould. The still soft glass-covered mould was then rolled on a slab of stone to smooth or decorate it. Over the next 500 years, glass production was centered in Alessandria, and spread from there to Italy. Instructions on how to make glass have been found on tablets from the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal dating back to around 650 BC.
Glassblowing emerged between 27 BC and 14 AD in the Sidon-Babylon area developed by Syrian craftsmen (Glass Online, 2001). The Romans spread glass making through their conquests and trade relations, and glass objects appeared in Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland and even China during the reign of emperor Augustus.
Romans discovered how to make clear glass by adding manganese oxide and began using it in architecture around 100 AD. As the empire was divided, eastern and western forms of glass emerged and with the decline of the Roman Empire, glass production declined also. Toward the year 1000 AD, the difficulty of ...