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Full text of "Reminiscences of glass-making"

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REMKISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 



BY 

DEMING JARVES, 



SECOND EDITION, ENLAKOED. 




NEW YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY IIURD AND HOUGHTON, 

401 Broadway, cok. Walker Street. 

1865. 






J ^ 



\rIoS 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by 

Demino Jarves, 

in the Clerk's OESce of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 



RIVERSIDK, CAM bridge: 
PRINTED BY n. 0. UOUOHTOS AND COMPANT. 



1 H£: GETTY CEN : 
LIBRARY 



PREFACE. 



The articles upon the history and prog- 
ress of Glass Manufacture herein presented 
to the public were originally published in 
the columns of a village newspaper. 

They are the result of investigation upon 
these topics made in the few leisure mo- 
ments gained from the engrossing cares of 
business, and consequently make no pre- 
tension to anything of literary character or 
execution. 

The object of the writer has been to 
gather, in a condensed form, whatever of 
interesting information could be gained from 
authentic sources, in regard to a branch of 
manufacture which has attained a position 
among the useful and elegant arts scarcely 
rivalled by any other of those which mark 
and distinguish the progressive character of 
our country. 



IV PREFACE. 

It is believed that they present, in a con- 
densed and convenient form, much valuable 
information, useful alike for reference and 
instruction. Aside from historical or me- 
chanical facts, there is much of romantic 
interest attaching to the progress of this 
department of art. The partiality of friends 
interested in the topics herein presented, 
rather than his own opinion of their value, 
has induced the writer to present the arti- 
cles in a more permanent form. 

Boston, March 17, 1854. 



The above was the Preface to a small 
pamphlet in 8vo. of the " Reminiscences of 
Glass-making," printed for private circulation 
in 1854, and now enlarged into a more per- 
manent form, and brought down to the pres- 
ent year, in order to meet the demand for 
information which has unexpectedly sprung 
up from those interested in the manufacture 
of Glass in America. 

Boston, January, 18C5. 



ui:mimsc'1-:xci:s of (iLAss-MAiviN(.;. 



It may bo safely asserted tliat no department 
of art lias, from its earliest period, attracted so 
much attention and investigation, none involved 
so extensive a range of in(juiry, or been produc- 
tive of more ingenious, interesting, and beautiful 
results, than the manufacture of glass. 

The question of the origin of glass goes back 
to the remotest antiipiity. and is involved in almost 
entire obscurity. All that modern writers on the 
subject are enabled to do, is to glean hints and 
indistinct statements in reference to the sidjject, 
from the very brief and unsatisfactory accounts 
of the ancients. These, however, throw but a 
feeble light upon the j)recise point of the origin 
of the manufacture; and little is proNcd beyond 
the fact of its great antiquity. 

That the subject held a very prominent place 
in the technoldgical literature of the ancients 
is clearly j)roved ; Pliny, Theophrastus, Strabo, 
1 



2 KEMINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

Petronius Arbiter, Berzelias, Neri, Merrit, Riin- 
ket, and otliers, referring constantly to it. The 
writings of all these demonstrate the deep in- 
terest existing upon the subject at their various 
times, but still fail to present us with any con- 
nected or detailed account of the rise and prog- 
ress of the art. 

When it is considered that the elements in- 
volved in the manufacture of glass are derived 
from the earth, — - not one of its components 
being in itself transparent, but earthy, opaque, 
and apparently incapable of being transmuted 
into a transparent and brilliant substance, — 
when it is considered that from these a mate- 
rial is produced almost rivalling the diamond in 
lustre and refractive power, and sometimes so 
closely resembling the richest gems as to de- 
tract from the value of the costliest ; can it be 
wonderful that in the earliest agfes the art was 
invested with a mysterious interest attaching to 
no other mechanical department '? 

From the earliest periods, up to the eighteenth 
century, the art, from the peculiar knowledge and 
skill involved, could only minister to the wants 
or pleasures of the luxurious rich. The rarity 
of the material rendered the articles greatly valu- 
able, as tasteful ornaments of dress or furniture ; 



KEMIXISCEXCKS OF GLASS-MAKING. 3 

indeed, it is well known that the g^lass of \\'nice, 
at one period, was as higlily valued as is the 
plate of the present day ; and the passion for 
possessing specimens, promised in England, at 
least, to excite a spirit of speculation fully rival- 
ling that exhihited in the tulij) mania, so ridicu- 
lous, as well as ruinous, in Holland. 

It has heen reserved for the present age, how- 
ever, to render the art of glass-making trihutary 
to the comfort of man, — to the improvement of 
science, — and hv its moderate cost to enable the 
poorest and humblest to introduce the light and 
warmth of the sun within, while excluding the 
storms and chilly blasts ; to decorate his table 
with the useful, and minister to his taste, at a 
cost barely more than that of one of his ordinary 
days' labor. That which once was prized and 
displayed as the treasure and inheritance! of the 
wealthy, and which, with sacred carefulness, was 
handed down as of precious value, may now be 
found in the humblest dwellings, and is procured 
at a charge which makes the account of the for- 
mer costliness of glass to partake almost of the 
character of the fabulous and visionary. 

That the art of "lass manufacture is destined 
to greater progress and higher triumphs cannot 
for a moment be doubted ; and the time will 



4 REMIXISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

arrive when, from increased purity of materials 
and progressive chemical development, the pres- 
ent position of the art will fall comparatively into 
the shade. It is no undue stretch of the imag- 
ination to conceive that lenses shall be perfected 
whose purity will enable the astronomer to pene- 
trate the remotest region of space ; new worlds 
may perhaps be revealed, realizing all that the 
" moon hoax " promised — 

" The spacious firmament on high, 
With all the hlue ethereal sky 
And spangled heavens " 

be read as a book, and man perhaps recognize 
man in other worlds than his own. It may be 
that in its triumphs it is destined to concentrate 
the rays of the sunlight, and make the eye to 
pierce into the secrets and deep places of the sea, 

"Full many a fathom deep." 

Man may be enabled to read the wonders and 
the hidden works of the Almighty ; it may be, 
that the power of the traditional lens of Archi- 
medes upon the fleet of Marcellus shall be real- 
ized, in the absorbing and igniting, and perhaps 
useful power of some feature of its progress; 
and in its sphere, the art become fruitful in prac- 
tical results, rivalHng the highest attainments in 
the department of scientific progress. It is no 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 5 

visionary speculation to lu'llcvc, tliat, l)y the aid 
of nwicliinery, it n)ay be readily rolled into sheets, 
as is iron or lead now in use. It will minister 
more and more to the necessities and comfort 
of mankind, and contribute larocly to the n)any 
and various manufacturincf purposes of the iig;e. 
That its practical adaj)tations are not already 
known or exhausted, cannot he douhted ; ;nid 
its aj)plicahilit\\ in some (■heaj)er form, for ves- 
sels of large size and certain shaj)e, and (strange 
as it may seemj for tesselated and ordinary floor- 
ing and pavements, are among the results which 
we think yet to he demonstrated in its progress. 

An elegant writer, in a late nund)er of " Har- 
per's Magazine," says : — 

'• Tlie importance of glass, and the infinite va- 
riety of objects to which it is applicable, cannot 
be exaggerated ; indeed, it would be extremely 
difficult to enumerate its j)roperties, or estimate 
adecpiately its value. This, then, transjiarent 
substance, so light and fragile, is one of the 
most essential ministers of science and philoso- 
phy, and enters so minutelv into the concerns of 
life that it has become indispensable to the daily 
routine of our business, our wants, and our j)leas- 
ures. It admits the sun and excludes the wind, 
answering the double purpose of transmitting 



6 EEMIXISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 



light and preserving warmth ; it carries the eye 
of the astronomer to the remotest regions of 
space ; through the lenses of the microscope it 
developes new worlds of vitality, which, without 
its help, must have heen but imperfectly known ; 
it renews the sight of the old, and assists the 
curiosity of the young ; it empowers the mariner 
to descry distant ships, and trace far off shores ; 
the watchman on the cliff to detect the operations 
of hostile fleets and midnight contrabandists, and 
the lounger in the opera to make the tour of the 
circles from his stall ; it preserves the light of 
the beacon from the rush of the tempest, and 
softens the flame of the lamp upon our tables ; 
it sup|)lies the revel with those charming vessels 
in whose bright depths we enjoy the color as 
well as the flavor of our wine ; it protects the 
dial whose movements it reveals ; it enables the 
student to penetrate the wonders of nature, and 
the beauty to survey the marvels of her per- 
son ; it reflects, magnifies, and diminishes ; as 
a medium of light and observation its uses are 
without limit, and as an article of mere embel- 
lishment, there is no form into which it may not 
be moulded, or no object of luxury to which it 
may not be adapted." 

In contrast with the foregoing, we will make 



RF.mXISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 7 

one more extract, from an Enolisli writer of an- 
cient (late. Ilolinslied, in liis '• Chronicles. " pub- 
lished during the reign of Elizabeth, says : — 

" It is a world to see in tliese our days, 
wherein gold and silver aboundeth, that our 
gentility, as loathing these metals, (because of 
the j)lenty,) do now generally choose rather the 
Venice Glasses, both for our wine and beer, 
than any of these metals, or stone, wherein be- 
fore time we have been accustomed to drink ; 
but such is the nature of man generally, that 
it most coveteth things diflicult to be attained ; 
and such is the estimation of this stuff, that 
many become rich only with their new trade into 
Murana, (a town near to Venice,) from whence 
the very best are daily to be had, and such as 
for beauty do well near match the Crystal or the 
ancient Murrhina Vase, whereof now no man has 
knowledge. And as this is seen in the gentility, 
so in the wealthy conmionality the like desire of 
glasses is not neglected, whereby the gain gotten 
by their purchase is much more increased, to the 
benefit of the merchant. Tiie pooiest endeavor 
to have glasses also if they may ; but as the 
Venetian is somewhat too dear for them, they 
content themselves with such as are made at 
home of ft'in and burnt stone ; but in fine, all 
go one way, that is to the shades, at last.' 



EEMIXISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 



PROPERTIES OF GLASS. 

Glass has projjerties peculiarly its own ; one 
of which is that it is of no greater bulk when 
hot, or in the melted state, than when cold. 
Some writers state that it is (contrary to the 
analogy of all other metals) of greater bulk 
when cold than when hot. 

It is transparent in itself; but the materials 
of which it is composed are opaque. It is not 
malleable, but in ductility ranks next to gold. 
Its flexibility, also, is so great that when hot it 
can be drawn out, like elastic thread, miles in 
length, in a moment, and to a minuteness equal 
to that of the silk-worm. Brittle, also, to a 
proverb, it is so elastic that it can be blown to 
a gauze-like thinness, so as easily to float upon 
the air. Its elasticity is also shown by the fact 
that a globe, hermetically sealed, if dropped upon 
a polished anvil, will recoil two thirds the dis- 
tance of its fall, and remain entire until the 
second or third rebound. (The force with uiiich 
solid balls strike each other may be estimated at 
ten, and the reaction, by reason of the elastic 
property, at nine.) Vessels, called bursting- 
glasses, are njade of sufficient strength to be 
drawn about a floor ; a bullet may be dropped 



i:i:minisci:ncks oi' (jlass-making. 9 

into one witlioiit fracture of tlie «r]ass ; even tlie 
stroke of a nwillet snlVieiently heavy to drive a 
nail lias failed to break surli olasses. In a 
\\<»r(l, ordinary blows fail to produce an impres- 
sion upon tn'tides of this kind. If, hou'ever, a 
])iece of (lint, cornelian, diamond, or other hard 
stone, fall into one of these glasses, or he shaken 
therein a few moments, the vessel will fly into a 
myriad of jiieces. 

(ilass of the class called Prince Ruj)i'rt Drops 
exhibits another striking;; pro|)erty. Let the small 
j)oint be broken, aiul the \vh(»le flies with a shock 
into powder. \\ riters have endeavored to solve 
the philosoj)hy of this j)luMiom('non ; some by 
attribntinn' it to percussion puttin<r in motion 
some subtle lluid with which the essential sub- 
stance of gkiss is permeated, and thus the attrac- 
tion of cohesion being overcome. Some denom- 
inate the fluid electricity, and assert that it exists 
in glass in great (piantities, and is capable of 
breakin<j "lass when well annealed, 'i'hese writ- 
ers do not appear to have luiined anv eoncliision 
satisfactory to themselves, and fail to afford any 
well-defined solution to the mvstery. 

Another j)henomenon in connection with glass 
tubes is recorded in the " Philosophical Trans- 
actio^js," No. 47(3 : — 



10 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

" Place a tube, say two feet long, before a fire, 
in a horizontal position, having the position prop- 
erly supported, say by putting in a cork at each 
end supported by pins for an axis ; the rod will 
acquire a rotary motion round the axis, and also 
a progressive motion towards the fire, even if the 
supporters are declined from the fire. When the 
progressive motion of the tube towards the fire 
is stopped by any obstacle, the rotation is still 
continued. When the tubes are placed in nearly 
an upright position, leaning to the right hand, 
the motion will be from east to west ; but if they 
lean to the left hand, their motion will be from 
west to east ; and the nearer they are placed to 
an upright position the less will be their motion 
either way. If the tubes be placed on a sheet of 
glass, instead of moving towards the fire they 
will move from it, and about the axis in a con- 
trary direction from what they did before ; nay, 
they will recede from the fire, and move a little 
upwards when the plane inclines towards the 
fire." 

Glass is used for pendulums, as not being 
subject to affections from heat or cold. It is, as 
is well known, a non-conductor. No metallic 
condenser possesses an equal power with one of 
glass. In summer, when moisture fails to col- 



RF.MIN'ISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKIXO. 11 

lect on a metallic surface, open o^lass will nrntlier 
it on the exterior ; tlie slif^htest breath of air evi- 
dently atVeetiiig the glass with moisture. Dew 
will alVect the surface of glass while apparently 
nniiilhiential upon other surfaces. 

The pr(ij)erties of so-called " nuisical glasses " 
are strikingly singular. Cilass howls, ])artly filled 
with wjiter, in various quantity, will, as is well 
known, emit musical sounds, varying with the 
thickness of their edges or lips. When ruhhed, 
too, with a wet finger, gently, the water in the 
glass is plaiidy seen to tremble and vibrate. 

Bells manufactured of glass have been found 
the clearest and most sonorous ; the vibration of 
sound extending to a greater degree than in me- 
tallic bells. 

Glass resists the action of nil acids except the 
"fluoric." It loses nothing in weight by use 
or age. It is more capable than all other sub- 
stances of receiviniT the hiirhest deirree of polish. 
If melted seven times over and properlv cooled 
in th(^ fm-nace, it will receive a polish rivalling 
almost the diamond in brilliancy. It is caj)able 
of receiving the richest colors procured from 
gold or other metallic coloring, and will retain 
its original brilliancy of hue for ages. Medals, 
too, eudjedded in glass, can be made to retain 
forever tb.cir original purity and appearance. 



12 REMIXISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 

Another singular property of glass is shown 
in the fact, that when the furnace, as the work- 
men term it, is settled, the metal is perfectly 
plain and clear ; but if by accident the metal 
becomes too cool to work, and the furnace heat 
required to be raised, the glass, which had before 
remained in the open pots perfectly calm and 
plain, immediately becomes agitated or boiling. 
The glass rises in a mass of spongy matter and 
bubbles, and is rendered worthless. A change 
is however immediately effected by throwing a 
tumbler of water upon the metal, when the agita- 
tion immediately ceases, and the glass assumes 
its original quiet and clearness. 

All writers upon the subject of glass manu- 
facture fail to show anything decisive upon the 
precise period of its invention. Some suppose 
it to have been invented before the flood. Nervi 
traces its antiquity to the yet problematical time 
of Job. 

It seems clear, however, that the art was 
known to the Egyptians thirty-five hundred 
years since ; for records handed down to us in 
the form of paintings, hieroglyphics, &c., demon- 
strate its existence in the reign of the first Osir- 
tasen, and existing relics in glass, taken from the 
ruins of Thebes, with hieroglyphical data, clearly 



KKMIXISCENCES OF GI.ASS-MAKINT.. 13 

place its anti(|nitv at a point fifteen centuries 
prior to the time of Christ. 

Mr. Keniict Loftiis. the first Euroj)e;in who 
has visited the; aiicieiit ruins of Warka, in Meso- 
potamia, writes thus : '• Warka is no douht the 
Erech of Scripture, the second city of Nimrod, 
and it is the Ordioe of the Chaldees. The 
mounds witliin the walls allord suhjects of hi^rh 
interest to the historian ; they arc filled, or I may 
say composed, of coflins piled upon each (»ther 
to the lieirrht of fortv-five feet." 

" Tiie colTins are of haked clay, covered w ith 
green glaze, and embossed with the figures of 
warriors, &c., and witliiu are ornaments of gold, 
silver, iron, copper, and yA^ys." 

Layard, in his discoveries among the ruins of 
Nineveh and liahvlon, in chapter Sth, says; •• In 
this chaiid)cr were found two entire glass bowls, 
with fraii'ments of otiiers. Tlie iilass, like all 
others that come from the ruins, is covered with 
pearly scales, which, on being removed, leave 
prismatic, opal-like colors of the greatest brill- 
iancy, showing, under different lights, the most 
varied tints. This is a well-known effect of aire, 
ari.^ing from the decomposition of certain com- 
ponent parts of the glass. These bowls are 
probably of the same period as the small bottle 



14 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

found in the ruins of the northwest palace dur- 
ing the previous excavations, and now in the 
British Museum. On this highly interesting 
relic is the name of Sargon, with his title of 
King of Assyria, in cuneiform characters, and 
the figure of a lion. We are therefore ahle to 
fix its date to the latter part of the seventh cen- 
tury B. c. It is consequently the most ancient 
known specimen of iransjparent glass." 

In chapters 22d and 25th, he gives us the 
form of many glass vessels from the mound of 
Babel, similar in form to the modern fish-globes, 
flower-vases and table water-bottles of the pres- 
ent day — the latter being reeded must have 
been formed in metallic moulds — and pieces 
of glass tubes, the exterior impression exactly 
like our modern patch diamond figure. 

Of the several specimens of glass brought 
to England by Mr. Layard, one, the fragment 
of a vase, when examined, was of a dull green 
color, as though incrusted with carbonate of cop- 
per. This color was quite superficial, and the 
glass itself was opaque and of a vermilion tint, 
attributed to suboxide of copper. The outer 
green covering was due to the action of the 
atmosphere on the surface of the glass, and the 
consequent change of the suboxide into green 



ULMINISCENX'IIS OF GLASS-MAKING. 1') 

carbonate of copper. Tins specinuMi is interest- 
ing^, as showing- tlie early use and knowledge of 
suhoxide of copj)er as a stain or coloring agent 
for glass. The ancients enij)loyed several sub- 
stances in their glass, and colored glazes for 
bricks and jxifterv, but of wbieh there remains 
no published record. But tliese glasses and 
other ancient works of art pro\'e that tliey were 
familiar with the use of oxide of lead as a flux 
in their vitreous glasses, and with stannic acid 
and Naples yellow as stains or ])igments. 

Other writers believe that glass was in more 
general use in the ancient than in comparatively 
modern times, and afiirm tliat among the Egyp- 
tians it was used even as material for coffins. It 
is certainly true that so well did the Egyptians 
understand the art, that they excelled in the imi- 
tation of precious stones, and were well acquainted 
with the metallic oxides used in coloriu"- ehiss : 
and the specimens of their skill, still ])reserved 
in the British Museum and in ])rivate collections, 
prove the great skill and ingenuity of tlieir work- 
men in mosaic similar in aj)j)earance to the mod- 
ern ])aper-weights. Among the specimens of 
Egyptian glass still existing is a fragment repre- 
senting a lion in bas-relief, well executed and 
anatomically correct. Other specimens are found 
inscribed with Arabic characters. 



16 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

All writers agree that the glass-houses in 
Alexandria, in Egypt, were highly celehrated 
for the ingenuity and skill of their workmen, 
and the extent of their manufactures. 

Straho relates that the Emperor Hadrian re- 
ceived from an Egyptian priest a numher of 
glass cups in mosaic, sparkling with every color, 
and deemed of such rare value that they were 
used only on great festivals. 

The tombs at Thebes, the ruins of Pompeii 
and Herculaneum, and the remains of the villa 
of the Emperor Tiberius, go not only incident- 
ally to establish the antiquity of the art, but also 
prove the exquisite taste and skill of the artists 
of their various periods. 

The first glass-houses, well authenticated, were 
erected in the city of Tyre. Modern writers upon 
the subject generally refer to Pliny in establish- 
ing the fact that the Phoenicians were the in- 
ventors of the art of glass-making. The tradi- 
tion is that the art was originally brought to 
light under the following circumstances. A ves- 
sel being driven by a storm to take shelter at the 
mouth of the river Bel us, the crew were obliged 
to remain there some length of time. In the 
process of cooking, a fire was made upon the 
ground, whereon was abundance of the herb 



KKMINISCKNCKS Ol-" tlLASS-MAKIXU. 17 

" kale. " That plant iMiniing^ to aslios, the jsahue 
pro[)erties heeaiiie incoijxMated with tlie sand. 
This causing vitrititatioii, the coinpoimd now 
calK'd iilass was the result. Tlic latt lu'coinina" 
known, the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon es- 
sayed the work, and l)r<»n<:;ht the new invention 
into practical use. This is the tradition : but 
modern science demonstrates the false philoso- 
phv, if not the incorrectness, of Pliny's account; 
and modern manufacturers will readily detect the 
error, from the impossibility of meltin«i;" silex and 
soda by the heat necessary for the ordinary boil- 
ing" purposes. 

It is a well-authenticated fact, however, that 
there were whole streets in Tyre entirely occu- 
pied by glass-works ; and history makes no njen- 
tion «»f any works of this character at an earlier 
period than the time mentioned by Pliny. 

That Tyre possessed peculiar advantages for 
the manufacture, is very clear from geographical 
and geological data, the sand uj)on the shore at 
the mouth of the river Belus being j)ure silica, 
and well adapted to the manufacture. The ex- 
tensive range of Tyrian commerce, too, gave 
anijile facilities for the exportation and sale of 
the staple ; and for some ages it nmst have con- 
stituted almost the only article, or at least the 
2 



18 REMINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 

prominent article, of trade. Doubtless the rich 
freights of " the ships of Tyre," mentioned in 
Scripture, may in part have been composed of a 
material now as common as any of its original 
elements. 

From Tyre and Sidon the art was transferred 
to Rome. Pliny states it flourished most exten- 
sively during the reign of Tiberius, entire streets 
of the city being then occupied by the glass 
manufactories. From the period of Tiberius 
the progress of the art seems more definite and 
marked, both as relates to the quantity and mode 
of manufacture. 

It was during the reign of Nero, so far as we 
can discover, that the first perfectly clear glass, 
resembling crystal, was manufactured. Pliny 
states that Nero, for two cups of ordinary size, 
with handles, gave six thousand sestertia, equal 
in our currency to about two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars ; and that rich articles of glass 
were in such general use among the wealthy 
Romans as almost to supersede articles of gold 
and silver. The art, however, at that period, 
seems to have been entirely devoted to articles 
of luxury, and from the great price paid, sup- 
ported many establishments, — all however evi- 
dently upon a comparatively small scale, and 
confined, as it would appear, to families. 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 19 

Uj) t(t this period, no evidfiice appears to 
prove tliat any otiier than colored articles in 
glass-\\;ire were made. It is clear, too, that 
the I'lirnaces and nieltinfr-pots then in use were 
of very limited capacity, the latter heing' of cru- 
cible shape ; and it was not until the time of 
Nero that the discovery was made tiiat muHled 
crucii)les or pots, as at the present dav, were re- 
quireil in order to make crystal glass. (W ithout 
them, it is well known, crystal glass cannot be 
perfected.) It aj)pears, further, that a definite 
street in the ('i(y of Rome was assioiied to the 
manufacturers of this article; and that in the 
reign of Severus they had attained such a posi- 
tion, and accumulated wealth to such a degree, 
that a formal tax was levied upon them. Some 
writers take the ground that this assessment was 
the primary cause of the transfer of the manu- 
facture to other places. 

That the peculiar ])roperty of the manufacture 
at this period was its clear ami crystal appear- 
ance is abundantly evident ; and this, and the 
great degree of perfection to which the manu- 
facture of white or crystal-like glass was carried, 
are by many writers thought to have been proved 
from classical sources, — Horace and Virgil both 
referring to it, the one speaking of its beautiful 



20 EEMI^^SCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

lustre and brilliancy, the other comparing it to 
the clearness of the waters of the Fucine Lake. 
The decline of this art in Ronme is clearly- 
defined by various writers ; and its gradual 
introduction into Bohemia and Venice is plainly 
marked out. At this latter place the art flour- 
ished to a remarkable degree, and being marked 
by constant progress and improvement, enabled 
Venice to supply the world without a rival, and 
with the beautiful manufacture called " Venice 
drinking-cups." The beauty and value of these 
are abundantly testified to by many authors, 
among whom is Holinshed, referred to previ- 
ously. The manufacture of these and similar 
articles were located, as stated in the " Chroni- 
cles," at Murano, a place about one mile from 
the city, where the business was carried on, and 
assumed a high position in the order of the arts. 
And from thence we are enabled to date its 
future progress and gradual introduction into 
Europe, Germany, England, and the Western 
World. 

It is not strange that the strict secrecy with 
which the business was conducted in these times, 
should have invested the art with an air of ro- 
mance ; and legends, probably invented for the 
purpose, created a maximum of wonder among 



KF.MINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 21 

the uninitiated. The govcriiiiKMit of Venice also 
a(M('(l, hy its course, to tlie j)(>j)nlar notions re- 
fj^arcHii^ the hi<^h mystery of tlie art, conferring-, 
as it (lid, the title of '• Gentleman " (no idle title 
in th(t>e days) on all who hecame accomplished 
in the manufacture. Howell, in his " Familiar 
Letters," dated from Venice in lG!21,says : " Not 
without reason, it being a rare kind of knowledge 
and chemistry, to transmute the didl bodies of 
dust and sand, for they are the only ingredients, 
to such pellucid, dainty body, as we see crystal 
glass is." 

That the art had greatly improyed in the 
hands of the Venetian artisans cannot be 
doubted. The maimfacture was carried to a 
degree far beyond any preyious period ; and the 
more so, because sustained by the goyernmental 
protection and j)atronage. Venice being then 
in the height of her commercial glory, she her- 
self being '• Queen of the Sea," ample facilities 
existed for the exportation of her manufactures 
to every part of the known ^vorld ; and for a 
long period she held the nutnopoly of supplying 
the cities of Europe with crystal glass in its 
various dej)artments of ornament and utility. 

A French writer, who pui)li>hed an elaljorate 
work in tweUe books upon the subject of glass 



22 EEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

manufacture/ after it had been introduced into 
France, gives an interesting account of tlie rise 
and progress of the art in that country, the en- 
couragement it received, and tlie high estimation 
in which it was held. After stating- that it was 
introduced into France from Venice, he says : — 

" The workmen who are employed in this 
noble art are all gentlemen, for they admit none 
but such. They have obtained many large priv- 
ileges, the principal whereof is to work them- 
selves, without derogating from their nobility. 
Those who obtained these privileges first were 
gentlemen by birth ; and their privilege running, 
that they may exercise this art without derogat- 
ing from their nobility, as a sufficient proof of 
it, which has been confirmed by all our kings ; 
and in all inquiries that have been made into 
counterfeit nobilities, never was any one attainted 
who enjoyed these privileges, having always 
maintained their honor down to their posterity." 

Baron Von Lowhen states, in his "Analysis 
of Nobility in its Origin," that, " So useful were 
the glass-makers at one period in Venice, and so 
considerable the revenue accruing to the republic 
from their manufacture, that, to encourage the 
men engaged in it to remain in Murano, the 
Senate made them all Burgesses of Venice, and 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 23 

allowfd iu)l)k's to iiiarrv tlioir (l;m<^ht(Ms ; uliere- 
as. if a ii<il)l('man marries tlie (hmnlitcr of any 
oiIkt trailL'siuaii, the issue is not reputed noltle." 

From this statement a valuable lesson can he 
drawn, viz., that a strict j)arallel is constantly 
ohservahle between tiie profjress of this art and 
the intellectual and social elevation of its pos- 
sessors. 

Those engajjed in it now do not indeed occupy 
the same social position ; still it is probable that 
in foreI<in lands the blood of noble ancestors still 
runs in their veins ; and even in oiu* own demo- 
cratical land, with all the tendencies of its insti- 
tutions, workers in <ilass claim a distinctive rank 
and character amonn^ the trades ; and in the 
prices of labor, and the estimate of the compara- 
tiwi skill involved, are not controlk'd by those 
laws of labor and c(»mj)ensation which <^(i\('rn 
most other mechanical professions ; and similarity 
of taste and habit is in a dej^ree characteristic of 
the modern artisan in this dej)artment, as in the 
case of those who, for their accomplishment in 
the art, were ennobled in tiie more remote period 
of its j)ro<i^ress. The same writer says : — 

'• It must be owned those fjreat and continual 
heats, which those gentlemen are exposed to from 
their fiirnaces, are prejudicial to their healtli ; for, 



24 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

coming in at their mouths, it attacks their lungs 
and dries them up, whence most part are pale 
and short-lived, by reason of the diseases of the 
heart and breast, which the fire causes ; which 
makes Libarius say, 'they were of weak and in- 
firm bodies, thirsty, and easily made drimk,' — 
this writer says, this is their true character : but 
I will say this in their favor, that this character 
is not general, having known several without 
this fault." 

Such was the character and habits of noble 
glass-makers four hundred years since ; and 
whether their descendants still retain their blood 
or not, the habit of drinking, believed at that 
time necessary as consequent upon the nature of 
the employment, is, at the present day, confined 
to the ignorant, dissolute, and unambitious work- 
men. The habit will, doubtless, ere long be 
done away. Still, so long as the workmen of the 
present day cling to their conventional rules, — 
act as one body, the lazy controlling the efforts 
of the more intelligent and industrious, — so long 
will the conduct of the dissolute few affect the 
moral reputation of the entire body. Tiiey must 
not forget the old adage, that " One bad sheep 
taints the whole flock." The spirit of the age 
in no degree tends to sustain the old saying, that 
" Live horses must draw the dead ones." 



RKMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 25 

The writer already referred to, (l\vellii)ii with 
great interest upon the social j)ositioii of those 
then eiiiiaiied in the art, g^oes on to say : — 

"Anthony de Brossard, Lord of St. Martin 
and St. lirice, gentleman to ( liarles d'Artois, 
Connt of Ell, a piince of n(»h]e Itlood royal, find- 
ing this art so considerahle, tiiat nnderstaiiding 
it did not derogate from their nohility, ohtained a 
grant in the yenv 1453 to estahlish a glass-house 
in his cctuntry, with prohihition of any other, and 
several other privileges he had annexed to it. 
The fariiily and extraction of this Sieur de l^ros- 
sard was considerable enough to bring him here 
as an example. The right of making glass being 
so honorable, since the elder sons of the family 
of l^ro^sard left it otl, the younger have taken it 
up, and continue it to this day. Messieurs de 
Caqueray, also gentlemen of ancient extraction, 
obtained a right of glass-making, which one of 
their ancestors contracted by marriage in the 
year 11 (iS, with a daughter of Anthony de Bros- 
sard. Lord of St. Martin, that gentleman giving 
half of bis right for part of her fortune, which 
was afterwards confirmed in the C'hand)er of Ac- 
counts. Messieurs \ alliant, an ancient family of 
gentlemen, also obtained a grant of a glass-house 
for recompense of their services, and for arms a 



26 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

Poignard d'Or on azure, which agrees with their 
name and tried valor. Besides these faniihes, 
who still continue to exercise this art, there are 
the Messieurs de Virgille, who have a grant for 
a little glass-house. Messieurs de la Mairie, de 
Suqrie, de Bougard, and several others, have 
been confirmed in their nobility during the late 
search in the year 1667- 

" We have, moreover, in France, several great 
families, sprung from gentlemen glass-makers 
who have left the trade, a^mong whom some have 
been honored with the purple and the highest 
dignities and offices." 

Enough is recorded to show in what esti- 
mation the art was held in France by the gov- 
ernment and people of that period ; and it is 
in nowise wonderful that an art invested with 
so much distinction, conducted with so much 
secrecy, and characterized with so great a de- 
gree of romantic interest, should have given rise 
to strange reports and legends, hereafter to be 
referred to. 

The writer referred to above states that there 
were two modes of manufacturing glass. One 
he denominates that of the " Great Glass- 
Houses," the other the " Small Glass-Houses." 
In the large houses the manufacture of window- 



im:miniscknci:s of glass-making. 27 

glass, and bottles for wine or otlier licjiiors, was 
carried on. He states : — 

"The gentlemen of the Great Glass-IIouses 
work only twelve hours, luit that without resting, 
as in the little ones, and always standing and 
naked. Tiie work passes through three hands. 
First, the gentlemen aj)i)rentices gather the glass 
and prepare the same. It is then handed to the 
second gentlemen, who are more advanced in the 
art. Then the master gentleman^ takes it, and 
makes it perfect by blowing it. In the little 
glass-houses, where they make coach-glasses 
drinking-glasses, crystals, dishes, cups, bottles, 
and such like sort of vessels, the gentlemen labor 
but six hours together, and then more come and 
take their places, and after they have lahored the 
same time they give places to the first ; and thus 
they work night and day, the same workmen 
successively, as long as the furnace is in a good 
condition." 

Every glass-maker will perceive, from the 
foregoing description, that the same system 
prevails at the ])resent time, as to the division 
of labor and j)eriod of labor, so far at least as 
" blown articles " are concerned. The names, 
too, then given to glass-makers' tools are re- 
tained to the present day, and, with slight dif- 



28 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

ference, the shapes of the various tools are the 
same. 

At the hest, the manufacturers of glass in 
France were for a long period much inferior to 
the Venetians and Bohemians ; but after the 
introduction of window-glass, from Venice, the 
making of crystal glass greatly extended and 
correspondingly improved. 

In the year 1665 the government of France, 
desirous of introducing the manufacture of win- 
dow-glass, offered sufficient inducement in money 
and privileges to a number of French artists 
(who had acquired the process at Murano, at 
Venice) to establish works at Tourtanville. At 
these works the same system of blowing was fol- 
lowed as that used in the Venetian glass-works. 
A workman, under this system, named Thevart, 
discovered the art of casting plate-glass, and ob- 
tained from the government a patent for the term 
of thirty years. He erected extensive works in 
Paris, and succeeded in what was then deemed 
an extraordinary feat, casting plates eighty-four 
inches by fifty inches, thereby exciting unbounded 
admiration. 

The credit of the invention of casting plates 
of glass belongs to France, and the mode then 
adopted exists at the present day, with but slight 



KKMINISCENCKS Or GLASS-MAKING. 29 

variation. iMimcc monopolized the niaiiufaetiire 
over one liundrecl years before it was introduced 
into any other country. 

Writers generally agree tliat the niainif;u'ture 
of glass was introduced into England in the veiir 
15^7. " Friars' Ilidl," as stated by one writer, 
was converted into a manufactory of window- 
glass, — other writers say, for crystal glass, 
(called hv the English " flint," from the fact 
of the use of flint-stones, which, by great labor, 
they burnt and ground.) In 157"5, Friars' 
Hall Glass-Works, with forty thousand billets 
of wood, were destroyed by fire. 

In 1635, seventy-eight years after the art was 
introduced into England, Sir Robert Mansell in- 
trttduced the use of coal fuel instead of wood, 
and obtained from the English government the 
monopoly of importing the fine Venetian drink- 
ing-glasses, an evidence that the art in England 
was confined as yet to the coarser articles. In- 
deed, it was not until the reign of \\ illiam III. 
that the art of making Venetian drinking-vessels 
was brought into perfection, — quite a century 
after the art was introduced into Enj^land ; an 
evidence of the slow progress made by tiie art 
in that country. 

.As France was indebted to Venice for her 



30 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

workmen, so also was England indebted to the 
same source. Howell, in one of his " Familiar 
Letters," directed to Sir Robert Mansell, Vice- 
Admiral of England, says : " Soon as I came to 
Venice, I applied myself to dispatch your busi- 
ness according to instruction, and Mr. Seymour 
was ready to contribute his best furtherance. 
These two Italians are the best gentlemen work- 
men that ever blew crystal. O^ie is allied to 
Antonio Miotte, the other is cousin to Maralao." 
Although Sir Robert procured workmen from 
Venice, they were probably of an inferior char- 
acter, and a space of fifty years elapsed before 
the English manufactories equalled the Venetian 
and French in the quality of their articles. 

Evelyn, in his "Diary," states: "On the 
proclamation of James II., in the market-place 
of Bromley, by the sheriff" of Kent, the com- 
mander of the Kentish troops, two of the King's 
trumpeters, and other officers, drank the King's 
health in a flint wine-glass three feet tall." 

In the year I67O, the Duke of Buckingham 
became the patron of the art in England, and 
greatly improved the quality and style of the 
flint-glass, by procuring, at great personal ex- 
pense, a number of Venetian artists, whom he 
persuaded to settle in London. From this ])e- 



REMINISCEXCES OF GLASS -MA K1N(;. ."!! 

riod. /. r.. al)Oiit the coiniiwiiceiiKMit of tlic cii^li- 
teciitli crntiiry, the I'^iii^lish nlass iiiaimfi'ctoiics, 
aided by the liberal bounties ii;ranted tlieni in ea^h 
upon all olass exported by tbeni or sold for ex- 
port, became powcrfid and successful rivals of 
the Venetian and tla; I-'rencli manufactories in 
foreifj^n markets. The clear bounty i^ranted on 
each pound of glass exported from l^nj^Jand, 
\\lii(Ii tbe government paid to tbe manufactiwer, 
was not derived from any tax by impost or ex- 
cise previously laid, for all such were returned 
to the manufacturer, together with the bounty 
referred to ; thereby lessening the actual cost 
of tbe manufacture fi'om twenty-five to fifty per 
cent., and enabling the Knglish exj)orters to 
drive off all competition in foreign markets. 
This boinity provision was ann idled during the 
Premiership of Sir Robert Peel, together with 
all the excise duty on the home consumption. 
In I673 tbe first plate-glass was manufactured 
at Lambeth, under a royal charter ; but no great 
progress was made at that time, and the works 
for tlic purpose were doubtless very limited. One 
hundred years later, /. c. 177'3, a Company was 
formed, under a roval charter, called the '• Gov- 
ernor and Company of the British Cast Plate- 
Glass Manufactory," with a capital of eighty 



32 EEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-ilAKIXG. 

shares of five hundred pounds each, their works 
being at Ravenshead, in Lancashire. These 
works have been very successfully conducted, 
and, according to a late writer, are rivalled by 
none, excepting those at "St. Gobain," in France. 
Since the excise duty on plate-glass has been re- 
pealed, its manufacture has increased to a won- 
derful extent ; the quantity used in the construc- 
tion of the Crystal Palace, for the World's Fair, 
being probably many times larger than that man- 
ufactured twenty years since in the kingdom of 
Great Britain in any one year. 

An English paper states that Roger Bacon, 
at sixty-four years of age, was imprisoned ten 
years for making concave and convex glasses, 
and camera-obscura and burning-glasses. 

It is to many persons matter of great surprise 
that the manufacture of plate-glass has never 
been introduced into this country. The whole 
process is a simple one. The materials are as 
cheap here as in England or in France. Ma- 
chinery for the polishing of the surface is as 
easily procured, and water-power quite as abun- 
dant, as in either country. The manufacture, 
with the materials so ready to the hand, and 
these together with the skill, labor, and demand, 
increasing every year, is most certain to real- 



REMIXISCEXCKS OF GLASS-MAKING. 38 

ize a fair retnunerating profit and steadv sale. 
Bc'sst'iiiaii lias lately introduced a new method 
of casting plate-glass, wliieh, should it equal the 
inventor's exjiectation, will reduce the cost, suj)er- 
scde the old plan, and eventually, of course, in- 
crease the consutn])tion. 

CURIOSITir.S OF GLASS-MAKING. 

We gather from the ancient writers on glass- 
making, that tlie workers in the article had. at a 
very early period, arrived at so great a degree of 
proficiency and skill as to more than rival, even 
before the period of the Christian era, anything 
within the range of more modern art. The 
numerous specimens of their workmanship, still 
preserved in the j)uhlic institutions of Eur()j)e, 
and in the cabinets of the curious, prove that 
the art of combining, coloring, gilding, and en- 
graving glass was perfected by the ancients. 
Indeed, in fancy coloring, mosaic, and mock 
gems or precious stones, the art of the ancients 
lias never been excelled. Among the numerous 
specimens it is remarkable that all vessels are 
round ; none of ancient date are yet found of 
any other form. And no sj)e('imen of crystal 
glass of ancient date has yet been found. 

Among tiie numerous antiques yet preserved, 
8 



34 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

the " Portland Vase " must hold the first place. 
Pellat, m his work on the incrustation of glass, 
states : " The most celebrated antique glass vase 
is that which was during more than two centu- 
ries the principal ornament of the Barberini 
Palace, and which is now known as the ' Port- 
land Vase.' It was found about the middle of 
the sixteenth century, enclosed in a marble sar- 
cophagus within a sepulchral chamber, under the 
Monte del Garno, two and a half miles from 
Rome, in the road to Frascati. It is ornamented 
with white opaque figures in bas-relief upon a 
dark blue transparent ground. The subject has 
not heretofore received a satisfactory elucidation, 
but the design and more especially the execution 
are admirable. The whole of the blue ground, 
or at least the part below the handles, must have 
originally been covered with white enamel, out 
of which the figures have been sculptured in the 
style of a cameo, with most astonishing skill and 
labor." The estimation in which the ancient 
specimens of glass were held, is demonstrated 
by the fact that the Duchess of Portland became 
the purchaser of the celebrated vase which bears 
her name, at a price exceeding nine thousand 
dollars, and bore away the prize from numerous 
competitors. The late Mr. Wedgewood was 



KEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 35 

perniittt'd to take a mould iVoin the vase, at a 
cost of tut'iity-fivc luiiulri'd dollars, and he dis- 
posed of many copies, in liis rich china, at a 
price of two hundred and fifty dollars each. 

The next specimen of importance is the vase 
exhumed at Ponij)eii in 1839, which is now at 
the Museimi at \aj»les. It is ahont twelve 
inches hi;L;h, ei<^ht inches in width, and of the 
same style of manufacture with the ''Portland 
Vase," It is covered with figures in bas-relief 
raised out of a delicate white opa(pie ii^lass, over- 
laying a transparent dark blue ground, the figures 
being executed in the style of cameo engraving. 
To ertect this, the manufacturer must have pos- 
sessed the art of coating a body of transparent 
blue glass with an equal thickness of enamel or 
opal-colored glass. The difliculty of tempering 
the two bodies of glass with ditlerent specific 
gravities, in order that they may stand the work 
of the sculjjtor, is well known by modern glass- 
makers. Tliis sj)ecimen is considered by some 
to be the work of lloman artists ; by others it is 
thought to be of the Grecian school. As a work 
of art it ranks next to the " Portland Vase," and 
the fii^ures and foliaire, all elegant and express- 
ive, and representative of the season of harvest, 
demonstrate most fully the great artistic merit 
of the designer. 



36 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 



THE ROYAL CLARENCE VASE. 

William Hone, in his "Day-Book" for 1831, 
says, " This superb glass vase, designed by John 
Gunby, and exhibited at the Queen's Bazaar, Ox- 
ford Street, London, is an immense basin of cop- 
per, and its iron shaft or foot clothed with two 
thousand four hundred pieces of glass, construct 
a vase fourteen feet high and twelve feet wide 
across the brim, weighing upwards of eight tons, 
and capable of holding eight pipes of wine. Each 
piece of glass is richly cut with mathematical 
precision and beautifully colored; the colors are 
gold, ruby, emerald, &c. ; the colored pieces 
being cemented upon the metal body and ren- 
dered air-tight. The exterior is a gem-like sur- 
face of inconceivable splendor ; on a summer 
afternoon it forms a mass of brilliancy. The 
vase, by illumination of gas alone, glittered like 
diamonds upon melted gold. Mr. Reingale says 
the human mind, in all of its extensive range 
of thought, is not able to conceive a splendid 
glass vase cut in a more elaborate and novel 
w^ay. At the first sight one is confounded with 
astonishment, and knows not whether what we 
see is real, or whether on a sudden we have not 
been transported to another globe. To England 



nF-MrMSCEN-CES OF GLASS-MAKING. 37 

is due the lioiior of its produetion, and it cotnes 
from tbe liands of one of its minierous (cele- 
brated artists, Mr. Giiiiljy. The precious metal, 
g^old, fjlitters in all its glory, intermixed, or 
rather united with extraordinary beauty of cut- 
ting and rich and sj)lendid enamelled painting. 
One is at a loss whether most to admire the 
shape, the gorgeous brilliancy, the sparkle of the 
gems, the beauty of the cutting, the enamelling, 
the general conception, or the inmiense bulk of 
this magnificent and astounding work of art," 

The ''Scientific American " states, "The troup 
of glass-blowers at Hope Chapel furnish a very 
interesting evening's entertainment for those who 
are fond of practical things. A steam-engine, 
most beautifully constructed of dirterent colored 
glass, is worked by steam all the time. The 
nature of the material affords an oj)j)()rtuiiitv to 
see all the several parts moving at once, and it 
is really a very curious sight, even to an en- 
gineer, and one that will well repay a visit." 

Among the numerous specimens of ancient 
glass now in the British Museum, there are 
enough of the Egyptian and Roman manufac- 
ture to impress us with jjrofound respect for the 
art as pursued by the earlier workers in glass. 
Among them is a fragment considered as the 



38 KEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

ne plus ultra of the chemical and manipulatory 
skill of the ancient workers. It is described as 
consisting of no less than five layers or strata of 
glass, the interior layer being of the usual blue 
color, with green and red coatings, and each 
strata separated from and contrasted with the 
others by layers of white enamel, skilfully ar- 
ranged by some eminent artist of the Grecian 
school. The subject is a female reposing upon 
a couch, executed in the highest style of art. 
It presents a fine specimen of gem engraving. 
Amonof the articles made of common material 
are a few green vases about fifteen inches high, 
in an excellent state of preservation, and beauti- 
ful specimens of workmanship. In the forma- 
tion of the double handles and curves, these vases 
evince a degree of skill unattained by the glass- 
blowers of the present period. 

The cases in the Egyptian room at the Mu- 
seum contain several necklaces, small figures, 
scarabsei, and other objects, which would appear 
to an ordinary observer to be composed of pre- 
cious stones. They are, in fact, at least most 
of them, formed either of glass throughout the 
whole substance, or of materials covered with a 
glass coating. The manufacture of articles of 
this description presupposes a market for them ; 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 39 

and tile desire uj)Ou tlie j)art of tlie less affluent 
nieuibers of society to j)Ossess, at a cheap rate, 
oriKiineiits in imitation of their snperiors, neces- 
sarily leads to the conclusion that, even at the 
most ancient of the periods I have mentioned, 
the Ejjvptifins had made a remarkable advance 
in the customs of civilized life. The Museum 
cases also exhibit networks of glass bugles, w ith 
which the wrapj)ers of mummies were often 
decorated ; and there is abundance of evidence 
to show that wine was frequently served at table 
in glass bottles and cups. Alexander the Great 
is said to have been buried at Alexandria in a 
coflin composed wholly of glass. 

The specimens taken from the tombs at Thebes 
are also numerous. Their rich and varied colors 
are proofs of the chemical and inscntive skill of 
the ancients. These specimens embrace not only 
rich gems and mosaic work, but also fine exam- 
ples of the lachrymatory vase. Some of the 
vases are made from common materials, with 
very great skill and taste. The specimen of 
glass coin, with hierogly pineal characters, must 
not be omitted ; as also a miniature efligy of the 
Egyptian idol " Isis " ; a sj)ecimen of which 
proves that the Egyptians must have been ac- 
quainted with the art of pressing hot glass into 



40 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

metallic moulds, an art which has been consid- 
ered of modern invention. English glass-makers 
considered the patent pillar glass a modern inven- 
tion until a Roman vase was found (it is now to 
be seen in the Polytechnic Institution in London), 
being a complete specimen of pillar moulding. 
Pillat states in his work that he had seen an 
ancient drinking vessel of a Medrecan form, on 
a foot of considerable substance, nearly entire, 
and procured from Rome, which had the appear- 
ance of having been blown in an open-and-shut 
mould, the rim being afterwards cut off and 
polished. This is high authority, and, with 
other evidences that might be cited, goes far to 
prove that the ancients used moulds for pressing, 
and also for blowing moulded articles, similar to 
those now in use. 

Pompeian window-glass, of which panes have 
been discovered as large as twenty by twenty- 
eight inches, has proved, on examination, to 
have been cast in a manner similar to that now 
followed in making plate-glass, except that it 
was not rolled flat, as now, by metal cylinders, 
but pressed out with a wooden mallet, so that its 
thickness is not uniform. 

A glass has been discovered at Pompeii, about 
the size of a crown piece, with a convexity, which 



RKMINISCENCF.S OF GLASS-MAKING. 41 

leads one to snj)j)()se it to be a ina<ifiiifyiiiLr !('"«• 
Now, it has been said tliat tlie aiicicDts ui'ie not 
aware of tliis power, and the invention is i^iven 
to Gahleo by some, to a Dntelinuin, in 1(>J1. by 
others, while a compound microscope is attributed 
to one Fontana, in the seventeentli century. But 
without a magnifyinrr ghiss, liow did tlie (Jreeks 
and Romans work those fine gems wliich the hu- 
man eye is unable to read without the assistance 
of a glass ? There is one in- the Na])les Royal 
Collection, for example, the legend of which it 
is impossible to make out, uidess by aj)plying a 
magnifying power. The glass in question, with 
a stone ready cut and polished for engraving, 
are now to be seen in the Museum of Najdes. 
S|)ecimens of colored glass, pressed in beauti- 
ful forms for brooches, rings, beads, and similar 
ornaments, are numerous. Of those of Roman 
production many specimens have been found in 
Etiirland. Some of these were taken from the 
Roman barrows. In Wales "lass riniis have 
been found ; they were vulgarly called '• snake 
stones," from the popular notion tiiat tliey were 
produced by snakes, but were in fact rings used 
by the Druids as a charm with which to impose 
upon the superstitious. We find, too, that the 
specific gravity of the specimens referred to 



42 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

rano-es from 2034* to 31^00, proving oxide of 
lead to have been used in their manufacture ; 
the mean gravity of modern flint-glass being 
3200. 

From what we gather from the foregoing 
facts, we are inclined to the belief that, in fine 
fancy work, in colors, and in the imitation of 
gems, the ancient glass-makers excelled the 
modern ones. They were also acquainted with 
the art of making and using moulds for blown 
and pressed glass, and forming what in England 
is now called patent pillar glass. All these oper- 
ations, however, were evidently on a very limited 
scale, their views being mainly directed to the 
production of small but costly articles. Although 
in the time of the Roman manufacturers vases 
of extra size were made, requiring larger cruci- 
bles and furnaces than those used by the glass- 
makers of Tyre, yet it is evident that they pro- 
duced few articles except such as were held 
sacred for sepulchral purposes, or designed for 
luxury. And while they possessed the knowl- 
edge of the use of moulds to press and blow 
glass by expansion, it does not appear that they 
produced any articles for domestic use. If it 
were not thus, some evidences would be found 
among the various specimens which have been 
preserved. 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 43 

LEGENDS OF THE GLASS-HOUSE, ETC. 

Enough has been adduced to sliow tlic pecu- 
liar estimation in uliirli tlie art of •^^lass-iiiakiiif];' 
was formerly held, and the privilej^^es conferred 
on it !)y the various g^overnments of Enrojx', 

The art was thus almost invested with an air 
of romance ; and a manufacture commanding so 
much attention on the j)art of the governments 
was regarded with a ijreat share of awe and 
wonder. 

It is not strange that, in this state of things, 
various legends should have hcen identiticd with 
the manufacture and its localities. Among these 
legends was that which ascribed to the furnace- 
fire the j)ro|)erty of creating the monster called 
the Salamander. It was believed, too, that at 
certain limes this wonderful being issued from 
his abode, and, as oj)j)ortunitv (»flrered, carried 
back some victim to his fiery bed. The absence 
of workmen, who sometimes departed secretly 
for foreign lands, was always accounted Wtv by 
the hypjithesis that in some unguarded moment 
they had fallen a prey to the Salamander. Vis- 
itors, too, whose courage coidd sustain them, were 
directed to look through the bve-Iiole to tlie iute- 
rioi; of the furnace, and no one failed to discover 



44 . REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 

the monster coiled in his glowing bed, and glar- 
ing with fiery eyes upon the intruder, much to 
his discomfiture, and effectually as to his re- 
treat. Some gallant knights, armed cap-a'pie, 
it is said, dared a combat with the fiery dragon, 
but always returned defeated ; the important fact 
being doubtless then uid-cnown or overlooked, 
that steel armor, being a rapid conductor of heat, 
would be likely to tempt a more ready approach 
of the fiibled monster. 

There was another current notion, that glass 
was as easily rendered malleable as brittle, but 
that the workmen concealed the art, and the life 
of any one attempting the discovery was surely 
forfeited. An ancient writer on glass, " Isido- 
rus," states that, in the reign of Tiberius, an 
artist, banished from Rome on political consid- 
erations, in his retirement discovered the art of 
rendering glass malleable ; he ventured to return 
to Rome, in hopes of j)rocuring a remission of 
his sentence, and a reward for his invention ; 
the glass-makers, supposing their interest to be 
at stake, employed so powerful an influence with 
the Emperor (who was made to believe that the 
value of gold might be diminished by the discov- 
ery), that he caused the artist to be beheaded, and 
his secret died with him. " Blancourt " relates 



RKMIXISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 45 

that, as late as the time of Louis XIII., an in- 
ventor liavinfT prcseiiti'd to Cardinal Hicliclieu 
a specimen of malleable g^lass of his own manu- 
facture, he was rewarded hy a sentence of per- 
petual imprisonment, lest the "vested interest" 
of French glass manufacturers might be injured 
by the discoveiy. Even at the present day the 
error is a popular one, that if the art of making 
glass malleable were made known, it would liave 
the effect of closing nearly all tlie existing glass- 
works ; while the truth is, that quite the reverse 
would be the result. \\'henever the art of mak- 
ing glass malleable is made known, it will assur- 
edly multiply the manufacture to a tenfuld de- 
gree. 

It was formerly the custom for the \\orkmen, 
in setting pots in the glass-furnace, to protect 
themselves from the heat by dressing in the 
skins of wild animals from head to foot ; to this 
"outre" garb were added ^lass goggle-eyes, 
and thus the most hideous-looking monsters 
were readily presented to the eye. Show was 
tlien made of themselves in the neighborhood, 
to the infinite alarm of children, old women, and 
others. This always occurred, with other mys- 
terious doings, on the occasion of setting the pot, 
or. any other important movement attendant on 



46 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

the business. The ground was thus furnished 
for very much of the horrible diablerie con- 
nected with tlie wliole history of the manufac- 
ture. 

A belief was long prevalent that glass drink- 
ing vessels, made under certain astronomical 
influences, would certainly fly to pieces if any 
poisonous liquid was placed in them ; and sales 
of vessels of this kind were made at enormous 
prices. Another idea pervaded the community, 
that vessels of a certain form, made in a pecu- 
liar state of the atmosphere, and after midnight, 
would allow a pure diamond to pass directly 
through the bottom of the vessel. Various arti- 
cles, such as colored goblets, were thought to 
add to the flavor of wine, and to detract mate- 
rially from its intoxicating quality. 

All these, and many other popular notions, 
added greatly to the mystery and renown of 
glass manufacturers. We close this number 
with an extract from " Howell's Familiar Let- 
ters." " Murano," says he, " a little island 
about one mile from Venice, is the place where 
crystal glass is made, and it is a rare sight to 
see whole streets where on one side there are 
twenty furnaces at work. They say here, that 
although one should transfer a furnace from Mu- 



RF.MINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 47 

rano to VcMiice, or to atiy of the little assembled 
islaiuls about hero, or to any other part of tlie 
eartli beside, to use tlie same materials, the same 
workmen, tlie same fuel, and the selfsame in<jre- 
dients every way, yet they cannot make crystal 
glass in that perfection for beauty and lustre as 
at Murano. Some impute it to the circumam- 
bient air, which is purified and attenuated by the 
concurrence of so many fires, that are in these 
furnaces night and day perpetually, for they are 
like the vestal fires, never going out." 

There is no manufacturing business carried on 
by man combining so many inherent contingen- 
cies, as that of the working of flint glass. There 
is none demaTuling more untiring vigilance on the 
part of the daily superintendent, or requiring so 
much ability and interest in the work. Unlike 
all other branches of labor, it is carried on by 
night and day, is governed by no motive power 
connected with steam or water, and has no anal- 
ogy to the production of labor by looms or ma- 
chinery. 

The crude material of earth being used, each 
portion requires careful refining from natural im- 
purities, and when compounded, being dejjendcnt 
upon combustion in the furnace for its conq)lc- 
tion, (wliicli combustion is effected by change of 



48 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

the atmosphere beyond the power of man to di- 
rect, but exercises a power to affect the heat of 
the furnace acting" for good or for evil,) much re- 
sponsibiUty rests upon the furnace-tenders ; con- 
stant care on their part is required. A slight 
neglect affects the quality of the glass. A check 
upon the furnace in founding-time will spoil 
every pot of metal for the best work. Over- 
heat, too, will destroy the pots, and the entire 
weekly melt will be launched into the cave, at a 
loss of several thousand dollars. Even with the 
utmost care, a rush of air will not uncommonly 
pass through the furnace and destroy one or 
more pots in a minute's space. And when the 
furnace has yielded a full melt, and is ready for 
work, many evils are at hand, and among the 
ever-jarring materials of a glass-house, some one 
becomes adverse to a full week's work ; vigi- 
lance is not always the price of success. 

Again : no branch of mechanical labor pos- 
sesses more of attraction for the eye of the stran- 
ger or the curious, than is to be witnessed in a 
glass-house in full play. The crowded and bee- 
like movements of the workmen, with irons and 
hot metal, yet each, like the spheres of his own 
orbit, presents a scene apparently of inextricable 
confusion. 



KEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 49 

It is a (liHicult ta^k to (lescril)e the curious 
and iiitt'K'stin^' operations of the glass-blowers; 
for the present we may say, tliat there is no 
other eniplovinent so largely dependent upon 
steadiiu'NS of nerve and eaini self-j)ossession. 
The jiowi'r of manipulation is the ii'siilt of long 
experience. I'lie business of the glass-blower is 
literally at his '* Hngers' ends. " It is most inter- 
esting to witness the progress of his labor, from 
the lir.^t gathering of the liipiid metal from the 
pot, and the passing it from hand to hand, until 
the slia|)eless and aj)parently uncontrollalile mass 
is converted into some elegant article. Equally 
interesting is it to witness with what dexterity 
lie coimnan<ls, and w ith \\ hat entire ease he con- 
trols the melted mass ; the care, also, with wliicli 
lie swings it with force just enough to give it 
the desired length, joins it to other pieces, or 
with sjiears cuts it with the; same ease as j)aper. 
The whole jirocess, indeed, is one filled with the 
most fascinating interest and j)o\ver. 

Ol all the articles of glass manufacture, none 
command a greater degree of attention than the 
article called the salver, and no other develops 
so j)leasing and surj)rising ellects in its j)rocesses. 
When seen for the lirst time, the change from a 
shapeless mass, the force with which it Hies open 



50 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

at the end of the process, changing in an instant 
into a perfect article, all combine to astonish and 
delight the beholder. 

Mystery is as much a characteristic of the art 
now as at any former period ; but it is a mys- 
tery unallied to superstition, — a mystery whose 
interpreter is science, — a mystery which, in- 
stead of repelling the curious and frightening the 
ignorant, now invites the inquiring and delights 
the unlearned. 

By the following, we find that the romance 
of glass-making has not yet died out. We co])y 
from the "Paris Annual of Scientific Discovery," 
for 1 863, the following : — 

" It would appear there is yet some secret in 
glass-making unknown to the world at large, 
as the manufactory of Mr. Daguet, of Soletere, 
France, is known to be in possession of an un- 
divulged method, which enables them to make 
glass of a purity which all other manufacturers 
are not able to rival. A railway, recently con- 
structed and running past Mr. Daguet's works, 
has so affected the glass-pots, by the tremor occa- 
sioned by the locomotives and trains, that work 
has had to be suspended. For this Mr. Daguet 
brought an action, during the past year, against 
the railway company for damages ; but when the 



RKMINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 51 

case caiiie (ui for tiial. tlie court lield tluit it 
would !)(' iiii|)os>il)l(' to assess damaiics iiidcss it 
wcrt' made co;;iiizant of the secret, and its ])e<Mi- 
iiiarv advaiita<j;e to Mr. Dag'iK^t. Tlie latter de- 
clined iinpartiiit]^ this, and the court refused to 
proceed further." 

We have shown that ^lass, while it has con- 
trihuted so larfjely to the material well-heiiig 
of mau, lias also administered profusely to the 
pleasure of woman. The belle enjoys the re- 
flection of her beauty in its silvered face. — a 
pleasure peculiarly her own, as we all know, — 
and if we may believe poesy, the mermaid, her 
rival of the coral ijroves in the fathon)less ocean, 
looks with equal satisfaction uj)on her did)ious 
form, as seen in her hand-ndrror. And what 
would Cinderella be to the nursery without her 
glass slij)})er ! 

But leaving- poetry to its own prolific devices, 
where would science find itself without the aid 
of glass ? The astronomer's and cheuiist s voli- 
tion would be gone. Suns, planets, and stars 
would have no exact existence to us, and their 
laws be unknown. The seaman would blunder 
his way on the ocean, lucky if he guessed aright 
his course, and cursing his '" stars, " when he did 
not. In short, glass is the indisj)ensable serxant 



52 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

of science in almost all its forms, and where it 
does not discover it protects. Its loss would 
throw back the world into antediluvian igno- 
rance, not to mention the countless eyes it would 
deprive of sight, of their intellectual food, and 
freedom of way. 

MANUFACTURE OF GLASS IN THE UNITED STATES, 
ETC. 

The last number of our series of articles upon 
this highly interesting- subject — interesting both 
as concerns the various features of the manufac- 
ture, and as indicative of the progress of the art 
in the successive ages of the world's history — 
closed the sketch of the rise and progress of the 
manufacture of flint g^lass. Our sketch has cov- 
ered the ground so far as time would allow, from 
the introduction of the art into Egypt, through 
its transfer to Tyre and Sidon, and from thence, 
in its order, to Rome, Venice, France, and finally 
into England. 

The reader will notice that this progress, like 
that of many others, is almost identical, for a 
time at least, with the gradual extension of con- 
quest, and especially with this, as connected with 
the extension of the Roman sway. 

We now reach the period of its introduction 



iii:Mixisci:Nci:s of glass-making. 53 

into the Western continent, and propose pivinn;' 
an outline of its firadual exten^ion and cliarac- 
teri^tics in our own land. 

Our opportunity of research as t<) the jx-riod 
of the introduction of "his^ manufacture into tliis 
country, induce the helief that the first efVort was 
made some years hefore the American Revolu- 
tion. 

Tliis attemj)t was hy a company of Germans, 
who selected the town of Quincy, in this State, 
as the place in which to estahlish the manufac- 
ture. 

We are accpiainted with little heyond the fact, 
that such an attempt was made ; their success, or 
the leniith of time during- which they carried on 
the work, are matters ecjually beyond our knowl- 
edge. Some specimens of their articles still ex- 
ist, showing- mainlv that they engagetl in the 
manufacture of what is called black metal only ; 
these also are of the rudest style of the art. 

The place in Quincy in which their manufac- 
tory was established acquired the name liom 
them of " Germantown," whicii name it retains 
to the present time. The site of their manufac- 
tory is nttw occupied, we believe, by the institu- 
tion called ''The Sailors' Snug Harbor." 

A Connecticut pajx-r states a patent was 



54 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

granted by that State, in 17^7? for twenty- 
years, to Thomas Darlhig, for the exclusive 
privilege of making glass. This Act appears 
to have become void, because of the patentee 
not fulfilling its conditions, and at various times 
after this special grants were made to others to 
introduce the manufacture of glass. 

The Historical Society of Brooklyn, N. Y., 
has in their cabinet " a glass bottle, the first one 
manufactured at a glass-works started, in 1734^, 
near the site of the present glass-works in State 
Street. This enterprise, we are informed, was 
brought to an untimely end for want of satid, — 
that is, the right kind of sand." From this we 
infer, it must be a flint-glass bottle, as the sand 
suitable for green or black glass abounds on 
their shore. 

Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary 
struggle, we think about the year 178'5? the 
late Robert Hewes, a well-known citizen of Bos- 
ton, made, probably, the first attempt to estab- 
lish a window-glass manufactory on this conti- 
nent. This manufactory was modelled upon the 
German system. Mr. Hewes carried his works 
to the fuel, and erected his factory in the then 
forest of New Hampshire. The writer well 
remembers, when a boy, hearing Mr. Hewes 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 55 

relate, tliat wlu'ii biiililiii^ his ^lass-works tiie 
tracks of bears were fre(]iieiitly seen in tiie 
inorniii«j in and ar(»un(l liis works. 

From the best inlorniation in our possession, 
we tiiink tliat to Mr. Robert Ilewes must be 
conceded the first attempt to establish window- 
glass making in tiie I nitcd States, or in the 
western world. Tiie aim of Mr. Ilewes was 
doubtless to sup|)ly tiie most imjKUtant and 
necessary article made of glass, and called for 
by the immediate wants of the people, viz., win- 
dow-glass. It ended, however, in disappoint- 
ment to tile ])rojector, probably from tiie fre- 
quent error of carrvinii" sucii works into the 
interior, to the vicinity of fuel, or from lack of 
skill on the part of the workmen. 

This attempt was followed, about the year 
17^7, by Messrs. Wlialley, Ilunnewell, and 
their associates, and by tiie workmen Plumi)ack 
and Cooper, who erected a large factory in l^ssex 
Street, Boston (where Edinboro' Street now is), 
for the purpose of making the Crown \\ indow 
Glass. Tliis was witliout success, until a (ier- 
mau, of the name of Lint, arrived in the year 
18()c3, and from tiiis j)eriod there was great suc- 
cess in tiie mamifactiire. for tiie State of Massa- 
chusetts, to encourage tlie iiiaiinfacture of win- 



56 EEMINISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

do^A'-glass, paid the proprietors a bounty on every 
table of glass made by them. This was done to 
counteract the effect of the bounty paid by Eng- 
land on the exportation of glass from that king- 
dom. The State bounty had the effect to en- 
courage the proprietors and sustain their efforts, 
so that by perseverance many difficulties were 
overcome, and a well-earned reputation supported 
for the strength and clearness of their glass ; a 
glass superior to the imported, and well known 
throughout the United States as " Boston Win- 
dow-Glass." This reputation they steadily sus- 
tained, until they made glass in their new works 
at South Boston, in the year 1822. Their char- 
ter from the State was highly favorable to the 
stockholders ; among the privileges it granted 
an exclusive right to manufacture for fifteen 
years, and to manufacture glass without their 
consent subjected the offender to a fine of five 
hundred dollars for each offence. Their capital 
was exempt from taxation for five years, and the 
workmen exempted from military duty. 

From the founding of this establishment may 
be dated the founding of all the Crown and 
Cylinder, Window and Flint Glass -W^orks in 
the Atlantic States. Indeed, this may be con- 
sidered the fruitful parent tree of the many 
branches now so widely spread abroad. 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 57 

Tlio \V(in(l<Mfiil iiivstcry attarlied to tlic art of 
g^lass-iiiakin*^ sociiis to liaxc followed its iiitro- 
diK-tion into this (•oiintrv. The glass-lilowcr was 
considert'd a iiiaijician, and myriads \isit('(l the 
ncwlv-crcctcd works, and coniing- away with a 
souK'wliat in)prov('d idea of an unnientionahle 
place and its occupants ; and the man wlio could 
conjjjound the materials to make glass was looked 
upon as an alchemist who could transmute base 
metal into pure gold. 

The fame of the works spread into a neigh- 
boring- State, and in 1810 or 1811 a company 
was formed in Utica, to establish glass-works in 
that ])lace, and (piite a number of workmen in 
the Essex Street Works were induced to leave 
their emj)lov and break their indentures from the 
ofler of increased wages ; while, however, on 
their Nvay, and just before they reached the 
State line, they, with the agent, were arrested, 
brought back, and expensive lawsuits incurred. 
The Utica Works were abandoned, and, we be- 
lieve, never revived. 

Subsequently another company was formed in 
New \'ork, being influenced by a fallacious view 
of the silicious sand. This comj)any erected their 
works at Sandy Lake, a locality abounding both 
in silex and fuel. A few years' trial convinced 



58 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-3IAKING. 

the proprietors tlie place was ill chosen, and, 
after the experience of heavy losses, it was 
abandoned. 

A Doctor Adams, of Richmond, Virginia, 
made large offers of increased wages to the 
workmen of the Essex Street Works, who were 
then induced to abandon their place of work 
and violate their indentures. They succeeded in 
reaching Richmond to try their fortune under 
the auspices of the Doctor. A few years' ex- 
perience convinced them of the fallacy of in- 
creased pay ; for, after very heavy losses, the 
works were abandoned and the workmen thrown 
out of employ. The proprietors of the Essex 
Street Works had engaged workmen in the 
mean time, at a very heavy expense, from 
England — a most difficult task, for the English 
government made it a penal offence to entice 
workmen to leave the kingdom at that period. 

In 1811 the proprietors of the Essex Street 
Works erected large and improved works on the 
shore at South Boston. To supply the workmen 
enticed away, and also to meet the wants of their 
factory, an agent was sent to England to procure 
a set of glass- workers. By the time they readied 
this country the war with England broke out, 
and the enterprise was thus defeated ; fur it 



KF.MINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 59 

bccaiiu* (lilViciilt to procure fuel and the various 
means for carrying on tlie Essex Stri'et \\ Orks. 

The niakinoc of \vin(lo\v-g;lass in lioston led to 
the introduction of the manufacture of flint-i>las8, 
arisin*^ from the excess of \vin(io\v-<'lass blowers, 
brou<i;ht into the country by the enterprise of the 
Boston Window-Glass Com])anv ; many among 
the numhcr from l"^nrope hatl work«'d more or 
less in Hint-glass works (no unusual thing in 
England), for a good flint-glass blower, with 
manual strength, can fill the part of a window- 
glass blower, and exceedingly well. 

Among the number was a iNIr. Tliomas 
Caines, now living at South Boston, having 
retired from the business with an indej)en(lent 
property, the honest fruit of his skill and in- 
dustry ; he may he truly considered as the father 
of the flint-glass business in the Atlantic States. 

Mr. Caines proved comjietent to the task, not 
only as a first-rate workman, but j)ossessed the 
art of mixing" the materials and beinjj able to 
sustain all the othi'r departments appertaining 
to the business. He prevailed upon the jiro- 
prietors to erect a small six-|)ot flint furnace in 
part of their large unoccuj)ied manufactory in 
South Boston. 

At that time the articles of flint-glass imported 



60 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

by tlio oartlieiiware trade were confined to a very- 
few articles, such as Geniian straw tumblers, 
cruets, salts, and plain decanters of cheap fibric ; 
of the finer articles, to cut finger tumblers, sham 
diamond cut dishes, and Kodney decanters ; a 
quality of glass and cutting that would not at 
the present day connnand one-fifth of their then 
cost. 

War having interrupted the importation of 
glass, tlie manufactory supplied the then limited 
demand, and gave full employ for their factory. 

Contemporaneous with the South Boston en- 
terprise, a company was formed and incorporated 
under the title of the Porcelain and Glass Manu- 
facturing Company. Their factory was located 
at East (yambridge, then called (^raigie's Point. 
Their china department was directed by a Mr. 
Bruitan, but for want of ])roper materials it 
proved an entire failure. Their glass-works 
were under the direction of a Mr. Thompson, 
who built a small six-pot furnace, similar in size 
to the one at South Boston. Thompson brought 
out a set of hands, at a heavy expense?, to work 
the furnace, but the result jiroved he was in no 
way (pialified for the task, nor possessed of the 
least practical skill or knowledge of the business, 
and of course proving an entire failure. The 



HKMINISCF.XCr.S OF GI.ASS-MAKIXC. 01 

nttiMnj)t to nuike jwrcelaiii and ^lass was abaii- 
(loiicil l»v the c'oinpanv. 

Jii ISl.O, hdiMc of tlic workiiicii Icti llic South 
Boston Factory and hired of the Poicclaiii ( 'oni- 
j»an\' their six-j)ot riirnace, and coninieneed tlie 
makino- of fhnt-«ilass nnih'r the firm of I^Miniet, 
Fisher tV Fhiwers. 1 liey succeech'd for a time 
very well, and turned out i^lass suitahle for tin; 
trade ; hut want of «'oMeert (d" action nrexcnted 
a successful icsidt. and (hey dissohcd without 
loss. The Porcelain ( "onijiany, discouraged hy 
so many failures, a<.;reed to wind up their con- 
cern, and in Novendjcr, IS 17, they disposed of 
their entire |)ro|)erty at j)uhlic auction. 

As one manufactory dies out only to "ive 
place to another, so the present New I'.noland 
Glass Company was formed, and became the 
purciiasers of the Porcel.iin Works. That com- 
pany, from ISI7, to the pre>eiit time, haxc pui"- 
sued the husiness with signal success ; he;4iMnini>; 
with the small ca|)ital of forty thousand dollars, 
they have from time to time increased it, until it 
amounts at the jncsent time to half a million of 
dollars. Tiiey commenced husiness with a small 
six-pot furnace, holdinj^ seven hundred jxiunds to 
each j)ot ; employed, all told, about forty hands, 
and the yearly product did not exceed forty thou- 



62 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

sand dollars. They now run five furnaces, aver- 
aging ten pots to each, capacity of two thousand 
pounds to each pot. They employ over five 
hundred men and boys, and the yearly ])roduct 
is not less than five hundred thousand dollars. 

In 1820 some of their workmen left them, 
built a factory in New York City, and conducted 
their business under the firm of Fisher & Giller- 
land. In 1823 Gillerland dissolved the connec- 
tion and built, on his own account, a manufactory 
in Brooklyn, N. Y., which he conducts at this 
period with great skill and success, and is con- 
sidered the best metal mixer in the United States. 

In 1825 a Flint-Glass Manufactory was estab- 
lished by individual enterprise in Sandwich, Mass. 
Ground was broke in April, dwellings for the 
workmen built, and manufactory completed ; and 
on the 4th day of July, 1825, they commenced 
blowing glass — three months from first break- 
ing ground. In the following year it was pur- 
chased of the proprietor, a company formed, and 
incorporated under the title of Boston and Sand- 
wich Glass Company. Like their predecessors, 
they commenced in a small way ; beginning with 
an eight-pot furnace, each holding eight hundred 
pounds. The weekly melts at that period did 
not exceed seven thousand pounds, and yearly 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. C3 

product seventy-five thousand dollars ; nlvinor 
employment to from sixtv to seventy hands. 
From time to time, as their husiness warranted, 
tliev increased their capital until it reached the 
present sum of four Imndred tlioiisaiid dollars. 
Their weekly melts have increased from seven 
thousand pounds to much over one hundred 
thousand pounds ; their hands employed from 
seventy to over five hundred ; their one furnace 
of ei<rht pots to four furnaces of ten ])ots ; and 
yearly product from seventy-five thousand dollars 
to six hundred thousand dollars. 

In 18^20 another secession of workmen from 
the New England Glass Company took place, to 
embark on their own account their savings of 
manv vears in the doubtful enterj)rise of estab- 
lishing flint-glass works in Kensington, Pliiladel- 
phia, under the title of the Union Flint-(ilass 
Company. The proprietors, being all workmen, 
were enthusiastic in the project, hapj)y in the be- 
lief that thev could carry it on successfidly, work 
when convenient, and enjoy much leisure. All 
was then to them sunshine. Ere long they real- 
ized the many inherent evils attendant on flint- 
glass works ; the demon of discord ajipeared 
among them, and they discovered, when too latj, 
that thev had left a place of comfort and ease 



64 EEMIXISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

for a doubtful enterprise. Death thinned their 
ranks, and the works, after passing into other 
hands for a short trial, have years since ceased 
to exist. 

From 1S20 to 184<0 very many attempts were 
made, by corporations and firms, to establish the 
manufacture of flint-glass in the Atlantic States, 
but almost with entire failure. The parent tree, 
the old South Boston concern, foiled ; the works 
were revived from time to time by at least five 
different concerns, and all ended in failure ; and 
for years the works remained closed, till the 
present occupant, jNlr. Patrick Slane, hired the 
premises, and by his enterprise and great indus- 
try has greatly enlarged the works, and is now 
carrying on a large and active business. In 
his factory we learn the old system among the 
operatives he does not allow to have a foothold, 
and the individual industry of his hands is not 
cramped or limited by the oppressive system of 
the old school operative. 

As a record of the past and a reference for 
the future, we find, in reviewing the various 
attempts to establish flint-glass works in the At- 
lantic States, that it would not be just to place 
the names of those identified with them before 
the reader ; for many were deluded by the pro- 



rkminisci:nci:s of glass-making. C5 

jcctors with promises (tf tlie most flattcrinnf suc- 
cess, hut reahzed only (Hsappoiiitmeiit and loss. 

In enumerating'- all the concerns, companies, 
and corporations that lia\e hecn en^'a^ed in the 
manufacture of (lint-glass in the Atlantic States, 
we lind the nundjer to be forty-two ; of which 
ninnher two concerns have retired, and ten are 
now in oj)eration, viz., two at East Cand)ri(lge, 
three at South Boston, one at Sandwich, three 
near New York City, and one at Philadelphia ; 
leaving two concerns wj)0 retired with pntjierty, 
and twenty-eight out of the forty-two concerns 
entire failures, involving the parties interested in 
lieavy loss, the fate of the existing ten to be de- 
termined by future events. 

Before closing, we may allude to the rej)eated 
failure of permanently establishing window- and 
bottle-glass Morks in this vicinity. The primary 
cause has been in the construction of the furnaces, 
no improvement for centuries having taken j)lace, 
but the old defective plan being adhered to by 
workmen from Europe. A casual observer must 
see they are defective, and consume double the 
quantity of fuel really required for the weekly 
melts. The rate of wages for experienced work- 
men, about threefold over the German rates, lias 
heretofore checked success, but at the present 

5 



66 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

time is more than compensated by machinery 
and materials. 

The manufacture of plate-glass offers a profit- 
able and inviting- field that should be improved. 
The consumption in this country is large and 
increasing yearly. Materials are cheaper than 
in Europe, and as the most essential part is per- 
formed by machinery and motive power, this will 
more than equalize the extra rate of wages that 
may be taxed upon a new undertaking. 

We have recorded the rise and progress of 
the Glass Manufiicture in the Atlantic States, 
showing- its course from its introduction in 1812 
to the present period, i. e. 1852, covering a space 
of time of just forty years. 

We now turn to the introduction of the manu- 
facture in the Western States, for the account of 
which we are indebted to Mr. Thomas Bakewell, 
of Pittsburg, Penn. Mr. Bakewell advises us, 
that, prior to the year 1808, glass-works were 
established by a company of Germans, near 
Fredericktown, Maryland, under the direct con- 
trol of a Mr. Amelong, for the purpose of man- 
ufacturing glass in all its branches. We have 
not ascertained the precise year in which Mr. 
Amelong commenced the manufacture ; but pre- 
vious to the year 1808 the establishment was 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. C7 

broken uj), and tlio workmen dispersed. Most 
of them reached Pitt^h^r^•, Penn., and a jiart of 
them were en«ifafj;ed by Col. James O'liara, in 
the estal)lishment of the first \vin(h»\v-2^1ass fac- 
tory in the Western States. Tlie same faet()ry 
is in operation to the present (hiy, and others of 
the Freih'rirktuwn company were instruiiieiital 
ill introducini^ the same hranch of the glass hnsi- 
iiess into Pennsylvania, at New (reneva, upon 
the property of the late Albert Gallatin. Others 
of the number, j)reviouslv mentioned, established 
themselves in Baltimore, and in all of the places 
noticed. Some of their descendants still continue 
the business. 

There are at this time ten window-glass fac- 
tories in the vicinity of Pittsburg, and fifteen in 
the river towns, — in all twenty-five works, — 
nianufactming over !2!20,0()0 hoxes of w iiidow- 
glass of 100 feet each annually. 

We now proceed to examine a more interest- 
ing toj)ic, viz., the rise and progress of the fiint- 
glass business in the West. We have shown that 
most of the workmen, on the breaking up of the 
glass-works in Fredericktown, migrated to Pitts- 
burg, attracted there, doubtless, by the coal mines. 
Some of these persons were successful in estah- 
lishing the manufacture of window-glass, while 



68 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

a portion of the workmen, in the spring of the 
year 1808, attempted to establish a flint-glass 
manufactory upon part of the premises now oc- 
cupied by Bakewell & Pears, extensive flint-glass 
manufacturers. The persons engaged in the 
enterprise, however, were deficient, both in the 
requisite knowledge and capital ; the effort proved 
abortive, the parties quarrelled, and the establish- 
ment, in an incomplete condition, was ofi'ered for 
sale. 

In the Auo^ust following-, a Mr. Bakewell and 
his friend, Mr. Page, being on a visit to Pitts- 
burg, were induced to purchase the concern, 
under the representation of one of the owners 
that he possessed the information and skill requi- 
site for the proper pursuit of the business, hav- 
ing been engaged (as he stated) in the business 
before he left England. Mr. Bakewell had 
scarcely entered upon his new pursuit before he 
discovered that the qualification of the person 
alluded to had been entirely misrepresented, and 
that to succeed he must rely upon his own ex- 
perience and diligence in the attainment of the 
peculiar knowledge indispensable to the success 
of his undertaking. In this the fortune of his 
family and friend were, of course, deeply in- 
volved, and he therefore set himself to the ac- 



REMINISCEKCES OF GLASS-MAKING. G9 

coninlisliinoiit (tf liis t.isk most maiifullv. Tliose 
oiilv wlio have practical t'Xj)tM-ieiice of th« cliar- 
actcr of the undertaking- can fiillv appreciate tlie 
various and almost insurmountalile dillicultics to 
be encountered and overcome before success could 
be attained. 

His first difTicultv arose from want of skill 
in the workmen, and the inferiority of the mate- 
rials employed in the manufacture of flint-n;lass. 
So little were the resources of the West devel- 
oped at that day, that Mr. Bukewell liad to pro- 
cure his pearlash and red lead from Philadelphia, 
the pot clay from BurlinjTton, N. J., — the whole 
beinor transported over the mountains in wacrons 
to Pittshurij. The only sand then known was 
the vellow kind, ohtained in the vicinity, and used 
at this time only for window-ijlass. For many 
years Mr. Bakewell ohtained the saltpetre needed 
from the caves of Kentucky, in a crude state, 
which article he was ohlic^ed to purifv. until the 
period of 1 SI.), when the re(jiiiied supply was 
ohtained from Calcutta. 

The few wt)rkmen then in the country were 
not well instructed in the makiufi; of u^lass arti- 
cles, after tlie glass was prepared, to which was 
added the great evil (which has too usually pre- 
vailed among the imported workmen) of a deter- 



70 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING." 

mination to prevent the instruction of appren- 
tices by the most arbitrary and unjust means, 
and, so far as it was in their power, endeavoring 
to prevent competition, by not only controlling 
the hours of work, but the quantity of manufac- 
ture ; in fc\ct, doing the least amount of work 
possible for the largest amount of pay that could 
be coerced from the proprietors. Experience, 
however, showed Mr. Bakewell how to con- 
struct his furnaces, or, at least, to improve 
on the old ; and he discovered better materials 
in his immediate vicinity, and succeeded in 
making purer glass than he had before made. ^^ 
The oppressive acts of the workmen, in the 
mean time, compelled Mr. Bakewell to resort 
to England for new workmen, at a time when 
the prohibitory laws there in regard to mechan- 
ics leaving- England were in full force, — an 
undertaking requiring great secrecy, and at the 
risk of long imprisonment if detected. 

Such were some of the embarrassing circum- 
stances with which Mr. Bakewell had to contend. 
Of the full force and extent of these, those, only 
can conceive who have been under like necessi- 
ties and circumstances. But a brighter day was 
dawning upon his exertions, and at length his 
arduous and untiring labor was crowned with 



nF.MINI.SCF.NCF.S OF GLASS-MAKING. 71 

tlu' desired Miccess. (lood clay was iiidcincd 
from Ilollaiul, and purer materials discovered ; 
competent workmen were eitiier imported or 
instructe<l, and the Hint-glass manufaetnre was 
firmly estaMislied at Pittsburg-. I'rom tins first 
estahlislnnent tliere originjjted, in a few years, 
many other <ilass-u<»iks, erected chieHv hv per- 
sons wlio had acquired the art with ^Ir. IJake- 
well, or h.id obtained the requisite means while 
in his employ. We may well consider Mr. 
Bakewell as the father of the flint-glass busi- 
ness in this country ; for he commenced the 
work in 1808, and by untiring ellbrts and in- 
dustry brought it to a successful issue. 

For tiie skill, judgment, labor, and persever- 
ance devoted by him to the j)rogtess of the art, 
he truly merits the "Artium Magister" so often 
bestowed on those least worthy of its dignity 
and honor. Theory in Science too often re- 
ceives the meed which practical j)rogress in its 
walks so richly deserves. Mr. Bakewell lived 
to realize an ample fortune as the fruit of his 
industry, and his sons still carry on a profitable 
business on the premises originally occuj)ie(l by 
their father. By father and sons this has cov- 
ered a s])ace of f>rty-four years, a length of 
time rarely finding a business in the sanie family 



72 KEMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

in America. May the factory be always occu- 
pietl and conducted by a Bakewell. 

The furnace built by Mr. Bakewell in 1808 
contained only six pots, twenty inches in diame- 
ter, which were replaced in 1810 by a ten-pot 
furnace of a larger capacity, and in 181 4 an- 
other furnace was added to the works, of like 
capacity. 

In 1809 another concern sprung up, and 
carried on the business on a limited scale ; 
in 1812 another succeeded, making three con- 
cerns carrying on the business; and in 1810 
another company was formed, but failed in a 
few years. 

There are now in Pittsburg nine concerns 
manufacturing flint-glass, running thirteen fur- 
naces and one hundred and live pots. There are 
also three concerns at Wheeling, running five 
furnaces and forty-five pots. There are also at 
Wellsville, Steubenville, and Cincinnati one or 
two factories each, besides several manufactories 
for green glass jars, and one for the making 
of porter bottles ; one also for mineral-water 
bottles. 

The first glass-cutting works were opened in 
1809 by a German of the name of Echbaum, 
who had settled in Pittsburg some years pre- 



RF.MIXISCEXCF.S OF GLASS-MAKING. 73 

viously. Mr. Bakewrll also carried on ijlass- 
cnttiii<jf, and among- liis workmen was an I'^iiQ^- 
lishman who had served as a soldier in Canada, 
l>ein<T taken as a jirisoner in one of the hattles 
on the Lakes in IS 13. He proved not only a 
good iihiss-cutter, but an exceUent mechanic, 
in various branches ; but still a dissipated and 
idle man, and of course of but little service in 
the manufactory. 

One of the amusing incidents connected with 
the mar)ufaetnre occurred when General Clark 
(then Ciovernor of Missouri) took a party of 
Osage Chiefs to Washinjjton. On their way 
they visited Bakewell's Glass-Works, and their 
attention was greatly excited ; they watched with 
great curiosity the process of making various 
articles, and the mode of affixing the handle to 
a glass pitcher quite disturbed the equanimity of 
the head chief, who, after shaking hands with 
the workmen, said, throiiiih the interpreter, 
"That man must have had some intercourse 
with the Great Spirit." 

The following, from Sii;ma s pen, shows a 
decanter-stopper can be made to point a moral 
or illustrate a satire : — " Mr. Flint, in his " Ten 
Years in the Valley of the Mississippi,' tells a 
pleasant story of an Indian who told him he 



74 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

had hig diamond^ for whidi he had given trader 
much heaver. A time was appointed, and Mr. 
Flint visited the wigwam to examine the dia- 
mond, which, after considerable mystery, was 
brought forth from its place of concealment, and 
proved to be a broken glass decanter-stopper. 
When an individual, eminent for his talents and 
learning, has been justly decorated with the de- 
gree of LL.D., and finds the same mark of dis- 
tinction bestowed upon others who are remark- 
able for neither, he cannot fail to perceive an 
amusing resemblance between his diploma and 
Kunkerpot's diamond." 

IMITATION OF MUSLIN-GLASS. 

Here is a simple and ingenious means of 
giving to glass the appearance of delicately 
wrought muslin : — 

The process, which comes to us from Ger- 
many, consists in spreading very smoothly a 
piece of lace or tulle, and covering it with 
some fatty substance by means of a printer's 
roller. The glass being carefully cleaned, the 
cloth is laid upon it so as to leave in fat a 
print on the surface of all the threads of the 
fabric. 

The glass is then exposed about five minutes 



RF.MIXISCKXCES OK GLASS-MAKING. 75 

to the vapors of liydrofluorlc acid, wliicli roii«T)i. 
ens tlie spaces l)etuc('ii the lines, and leaves the 
polish on the surface under the f;it. 

A "lass thus ])repared hecnnies like a M'il, 
protecting" from exterior indiscretion persons 
wlio, from their apartment, desire to luck com- 
modiously outside. 

We recall here that the manipulation of hy- 
droflu(»ric acid requires great prudence. This 
acid is so corrosive that a drop of its vapor con- 
densed produces upon the hand a lively inflam- 
mation, and may even lead to o-raver accidfiits. 
Breathing the emanations should therefore he 
avoided with the greatest care. 

No art has heen characterized, in the course 
of its ])rogress, by so much of wonder and 
undefined belief in the supernatural, as that of 
the manufacture of glass in its various modes 
and articles. 

The old glass-works in Wellsburg, ^'a., \^"ere 
pulled down a few years since with a tremen- 
dous <'rash. Tlu'V \Nere erected in ISIG. and, 
with the exception of the establishments at 
Pittsburg, were the oldest west of the n)oun- 
tains. The beginning of their career was |)ros- 
perous, but the last owners have in\aiiably 



76 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

sunk money in carrying on the works, and to 
prevent further losses they have now heen finally 
destroyed, and the ground turned into a potato- 
patch. 

[From the " Scientific American."] 
ETCHING AND ORNAMENTING GLASS. 

The hardest glass may be etched and frosted 
with a peculiar liquid acid, and also with this 
acid in the condition of vapor. When powdered 
fluor spar is heated with concentrated sulphuric 
acid in a platinum or a lead retort, and connected 
with a refrigerator by a tube of lead, a very 
volatile, colorless liquid is obtained, which emits 
copious white and suffocating fumes. This is 
hydrofluoric acid, a dilute solution of which at- 
tacks glass with avidity, while neither sulphuric, 
nitric, nor muriatic acid has the least effect upon 
it. In a diluted state it is employed for glass 
etching, for which purpose it is kept in a lead 
vessel, because it has very little affinity for this 
metal. The vapor of this acid is also used for 
the same purpose. The glass to be operated 
upon is first coated with a ground of wax, and 
the design to be etched is then traced through 
the wax with a sharp instrument. In a shal- 



RF.Mixisci:\ci:s of glass-making. 77 

low li'.ul l)ai>iii some powdered fluor spar is then 
j)lac('d. and a siifTR-icnt (jiiaiitity <»r suljdmiie acid 
poured iij)oii it to convert it into a thin jiasto. 
The ghiss to ho etclied is now j)laced in the 
basin, to which a gentle heat is ajtplied, when 
the vapor of the acid is disenga<;ed and attacks 
the traced lines iVoni which the wax has l)een 
removed. The operation is conijjleted in a tew 
nnnutes, the glass is removed, and the wax 
cleaned oil with warm oil of turpentine. All 
those parts which have remained covered with 
the wax are now clear as before, while the 
other parts drawn by lines to represent figures 
have a frosted appearance. Any ])erson can 
produce figures on glass with this acid, but, 
for reasons before stated, it is dangerous to 
use. 

In October, 18o9, a patent was granted to 
Jan\es Napier, of Glasgow, Scotland, for a very 
simj)le method of ornamenting glass with fluoric 
acid. Instead of drawing patterns and figures 
on the glass with the use of varnish and a graver 
to prepare the glass for etching, the glass is pre- 
pared by simply transferring pictures fronj j)rints, 
which can be performed by almost any pei-;on. 
The method is, to take a 'print, lithograj)h, or 
picture made with printer's iid\, and fi,\ the 



78 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

printed surface to the glass by any ordinary 
paste made from starch. All the air must be 
carefully excluded from between the print and 
glass. When perfectly dry, liquid hydrofluoric 
acid about the specific gravity of 1.14 is applied 
for about three minutes, when it is washed in 
water to remove the paper and the acid, and the 
figure of the print is then found upon the glass. 
The printed portion of the paper may also be 
cut in outline and pasted on the glass, then 
transferred. Glass that is " flashed " on the 
surface with another color may be treated in 
this manner, when a portion of the flashing or 
surface will be removed, and the picture will 
remain in color. 

COLORED GLASS. 

The distinguished French chemist, M. Che- 
vreul, who has devoted so much attention to the 
subject of color, has lately published a memoir 
on painted windows, in which there are many 
points which deserve the attention of artists and 
others who are interested in the manufacture of 
colored glass. It has often been much noticed 
that old stained glass windows have a much 
richer effect than modern ones, and M. Chevreul, 



REMIXISCEN'CES OF GLASS-MA KING. 79 

speaking of this siijK'iidi itv. attrilmtes it to what 
nuKk'rns reyard as (Icft'cls. In the (irst placo, 
iiuic'h of the ancit'iit glass is of iiiu'<jiial tliick- 
iiess, and si> pi'i'sonts convex and coneaNf jtarts, 
wliirh refract the lii^ht dilVerentK' and produce an 
agreeable elfect. In the next j)hice the old col- 
ored glass is not a colmless gla^s, to which has 
been added the particnlar coloring material, sncli 
as protoxide of cobalt, &c. Old glass contjuns 
a good (\vn\ of oxide of ii'on. which colors it 
green, and to this njnst he attributed the peculiar 
effects of anticpie glass, colored by cobalt and 
manganese. M. Chevreul appears to think that 
modern stained glass is too transparent to j)ro- 
duce the best effects. M. Kegnault, the chemist, 
has recommended that all this kind of stained 
glass should be cast, to avoid the monotonous 
effect of j)lain surfaces on the light ; and also 
that foreign substances should he mixed with the 
glass to diminish its transparency. 

Many attempts have been made to color with 
ruby or other colors gas shades, so as to throw 
on surrounding objects the color of the glass ; but 
in no case has the ray of light passing through 
colored glass, to refract the shade, been suc- 
cessful. 

But when a ray of solar light is passed 



80 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

through a colorless prism, it is refracted, and 
forms, when thrown on a wall or screen, a broad 
band of colored light, — red, orange, YflJt)w, 
green, blue, indigo, and violet, — which is known 
as the prismatic or solar spectrum. 

ARTIFICIAL DIAMONDS. 

We find a report in French journals that M. 
Gannal has succeeded in obtaining crystals^ hav- 
ing all the property of the diamond, through 
the mutual reaction of phosphorus water and 
bisulphide of carbon upon each other for the 
space of fifteen weeks. 

Tlie crystals were found to be so hard that 
no file would act upon them. They cut glass 
like ordinary diauionds, and scratched the hard- 
est steel. In brilliancy and transparency they 
were in no way inferior to the best jewels, and 
some possessed a lustre surpassing that of most 
real stones. 

For reference we record the cost of materials 
for flint-glass, say in ISiO to 1845, as fol- 
lows : — 



Litlierage, or red lead, cost . 


C-^ cts. per lb. 


Pearlash, . . . . 


6 " " 


Nitre, . . . . . 


G " " 


Silex, 


0^ " " 



REMINISCENCF.S OF GLASS-MAKING. 81 

Present price, ISGl*: — 

Red lead, .... 21 cts. per lb. 

Peailasli, . . , . 17 " " 

Nitre, G " " 

Silex, . • . . . OJ" " 

We now refer to the early introduction of tlie 
manufacture of glass into Enfrland. The I'^ncr- 
lish iiianufacturers. like ourselves, had to struoole 
with tlie vari(jus evils incident to the iiitrothiction 
of a new art. I-'rance and (rerinanv. from (heir 
lonir exj)erience in the making- of i;lass, were 
enahlcd for a loni;: time to undersell the EnoHsh 
manufacturer in his own market. 

To foster and j)rotect this hranch of national 
industry, the English government imposed a 
heavy tax on all foreign glass imported into 
their dominions. This measure secured to the 
English manufacturer the entire trade, hoth 
with their colonies and with the home market, 
thus ffivinof such snhstantial encouragement to 
the enterprise, that, in a few years, the mami- 
facture was so much increased as to admit of 
exportation. 

To stimulate the exportation of various arti- 
cles of English production, the government, in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century, granted 
bounties, from time to time, on linens, printed 
6 



82 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

cottons, glass, &C., &c.. Until the bounty on 
glass was allowed, the exportation of glass from 
England to foreign countries was very limited ; 
for the French and Germans, as has before been 
stated, for various reasons could undersell the 
English ; but the government bounty changed 
the aspect of affairs, and shortly the English 
manufacturers not only competed with the Ger- 
mans and French for the foreign market, but 
actually excluded them from any participation, — 
the government bounty being equal to one half 
the actual cost of the glass exported. 

An Act of Parliament levied on flint-glass 
an excise duty of ninety-eight shillings sterling 
on all glass made in England, which excise was 
paid by the manufacturer, being about twenty- 
five cents per pound weight, without regard to 
quality ; but if such glass was exported, the ex- 
cise officer repaid the tax which it was presumed 
the manufacturers had paid, and a clear bounty 
of twenty-one shillings sterling was paid by the 
government to the exporter on each hundred 
weight of flint-glass shipped from England, being 
equal to five cents per pound. Under such en- 
couragement the export increased from year to 
year to a very great extent, so that the excise 
duty of ninety-eight shillings sterling on the 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 83 

amount consumed at lioiiu' did not equal the 
amount paid out in I)(>unty. In the year lSl'-2, 
fifty-second George III., an Act was j)assed re- 
ducinoc tlie excise duty to forty-nine shillings, 
and the exj)ort hounty to ten shillings sixpence. 
In IS15 the Act was renewed, and again in 
1816. In 18^25, sixth George IV. chaj). 117, 
an Act was passed revising the former as to the 
mode of levying the excise duty and hounty, so 
as to j)revent frauds on the revenue, which had 
hitherto heen practised to a very great extent. 
This act remained in force until the Premiership 
of Sir Robert Peel, when both excise and hounty 
were abrogated, and the English manufacture 
stands on the same footing in foreio^n countries 
as those of other nations. By the protecting 
liand of the English government the flint-glass 
manufactories multiplied with very great rapid- 
ity, underselling all other nations, and not only 
rivalling, but far excelHug them in the beauty, 
brilliancy, and density of the articles manufac- 
tured. 

The greatest stimulus ever given to the glass 
manufacture of Enoland was the abolition of the 
dutv on it in 181-5. That abolition has pro- 
duced a somewhat paradoxicid result. W hile 
the quantity of glass made has increased in the 



84 EEMIXISCEXCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

proportion of three to one, the number of manu- 
facturing firms has diminished in the proportion 
of one to two. In ISM there were fourteen 
companies engaged in the manufacture. In 1846 
and 1847, following the repeal of the duty, the 
number had increased to twenty-four. The glass 
trade, after the removal of the heavy burden im- 
posed upon it, seemed to offer a fair opening for 
money seeking investment. The demand for 
glass vras so great that the manufacturers were 
in despair. Glass-houses sprang up like mush- 
rooms. Joint-stock companies were established 
to satisfy the universal craving for window-panes. 
And what was the result 1 Of the four-and- 
twenty companies existing in the year 184<7, 
there were left, in 1854^, but ten. At this time 
there are but seven in the whole United King- 
dom. Two established in Ireland have ceased 
to exist. In Scotland, the Dumbarton Works, 
once famous, were closed in 1831, by the death 
of one of the partners, afterwards reopened, and 
again closed. The seven now existing are all 
English. 

The manufacture of the finer kinds of glass 
was introduced into England not many years ago 
from Germany, and German operatives were 
employed at very high wages. We understand 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 85 

tliat tlie English glass is now superior to the 
Ciernian. 

'I'here is only one plate-jrlass factory in the 
United States. It was commenced only two 
years ago near New York, and we nnderstand 
that it lias met with encouraging- success. 

Soon after the introduction of the husiness 
into this country, a very great improvement in 
the mode of manufacture was introduced. Pal- 
lat. in his admirahle work on glass, alludes to 
the American invention in oidy a few words, and 
passes it hy as of hut slight importance ; hut it 
has hrought ahout a very great change, and is 
destined to exert a still greater ; in fact, it has 
revolutionized the whole svstem of the flint-jjlass 
manufa('ture, simply hy moidd machines for the 
purpose of pressing glass into any form. It is 
well known that ohiss in its melted state is 
not in the least degree malleahlc. l)Mt its ductility 
is next to that of gold, and hy steadv pressure it 
can he forced into anv shap<'. The writer has in 
his possession the first tumhler made hy machin- 
ery in this or any other country. Great improve- 
ment has of course taken place in the machin- 
ery, insonmch that articles now turned out hy 
this process so closely resemhle cut-glass that 
the practised eye only can detect the dilVerence. 



86 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

Still, the entire field of improvement is not oc- 
cupied, and greater advances will yet be made. 
The tendency, in this particular, has been so to 
reduce the cost of glass that it has multiplied 
the consumption at least tenfold ; and there can 
be no reasonable doubt but that, at this period, a 
much larger quantity of flint-glass is made in 
this country than in England. The materials 
composing glass are all of native production, and 
may be considered as from the earth. The pig" 
lead used is all obtained from the mines in the 
Western States ; ashes from various sources in 
other States ; and silex is also indigenous. The 
materials consumed yearly, in the manufacture, 
are something near the following estimate : — 

Coal, for fuel, .... 48,000 tons; 

Silex, 6,500 " 

Ash, Nitre, &c., . . . 2,500 " 

Lead, 3,800 " 

for the flint manufacture. How much more is 
consumed by the window-glass manufacturers, 
the writer is without data to determine. 

We have recorded the progress of improve- 
ment in the manufacture of glass, and now, 
relevant to the subject, we propose to examine 
the various improvements in working furnaces 
and glass-houses. To this end we present to 



RFMINISCKNCKS OF GLASS-MAKFXG. 87 

our readers the drawing- of a fiirnnce for flint- 
glass,^ with tlie interior of a glass-house as used 
by the Venetians, at the highest point of the art, 
in the sixteenth century. 

The workmen in glass will see, that, as com- 
pared with the factories of the present day, the 
Venetians in their instrumentalities were sub- 
jected to many difficulties, — they were op- 
pressed hv the furnace smoke, and in no way 
protected from the heat of the furnace, or ena- 
bled to breathe fresh atmosj)herIc air ; in fact, 
the impression prevailed in those days that the 
external air, drawn into the glass-house, was 
detrimental to the business, and therefore it 
was most cautiously guarded against. 

Tlie drawing- is taken from an ancient work 
on glass, and although limited in the view, 
shows the general j)lan. The factory wall was 
conical, and rose like a large chimney, with a 
few windows for the admission of li<jht. Ex- 
posed to the he.'it of the summer sun of Venice, 
and of the furnace within, neither the comfort 
nor health of the workman was secured. The 
construction of the annealing department shows 
two tiers of pans, the use of which must have 
been attended with great loss of materials. 

^ See drawing No. 1, at end of book. 



88 REJIINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKIXG. 

Yet, with all the perceptible inconvenience, no 
material chang-e in construction was made for 
centuries. The same plan was adopted in 
France and England, and it is only within the 
present century that any change has taken 
place in the latter country. In fact, in the 
year 18£7 ^^ Englishman erected a glass 
foctory on the same plan in the vicinity of 
New York, which, from its defective construc- 
tion for this climate, soon passed out of use. 

The Germans, however, departed from the 
Venetian plan so far as to place the furnace in a 
large and well-ventilated building, but without 
a furnace-cone to carry off" the heat and smoke ; 
still a decided improvement was thus effected 
over the system in use in France and England. 

The j)lan referred to shows to the practical 
workmen of the present day the excessive waste 
of fuel arising from the construction of the fur- 
nace ; for the same expenditure of fuel in the 
American furnace would melt ten times the ma 
terial produced from the Venetian. 

It is admitted that the American glass-house 
is far in advance of the European ones at the 
present day, in the particulars of capacity, venti- 
lation, comfort of the workmen, and economy in 
fuel. An impression is very prevalent that glass- 



KKMINISCENCES OF GI.ASS-MAKIXG. 89 

making is :m uiiliciiltliv occupatiDii. It may 
have boen thus in funiier times ; but, as a mat- 
ter of fact, no mcc'liauical em|)loyment is more 
healthy. Dissipated as glass-makers have been 
in former days, and careless of tiieir lu'iilth as 
they are at j)resent, no better evidence can be 
adduced to prove the (jcncralbi healthy character 
of the employment than the fact that the (ilass 
Manufacturings Company in Sandw ich. aveiniiini^- 
in their employment three huii(hed hands, had 
not a man sick through tin; influence of the em- 
ployment, or one die in their connection, for the 
space of twenty years. 

Drawing- No. "-Z^ represents the j)lan adopted 
in the French flint-jilass furnaces. These at one 
period were worked by noblemen only, — the 
labor of the furnace-tender jmd taker-in being 
performed by s^frvants, as before stated. The 
apparel and general style; of dress, as indicated 
by the drawing, shows that more attention was 
paid to the fashion of the day than to comfort. 
The f(»rrn of the furnace being similar to the 
Venetian shows it to ha\e been sidject to the 
same nnnecessary waste of fuel ; but it would 
appear that the French manufacturers had taken 
one step towards improvement, in using the waste 
fuel of the furnace to anneal their glass. The 

i Sec dniwing No. 2, at end of book. 



90 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

Venetians had a separate furnace to anneal their 
glass, supported by independent fires, as used at 
the present day. 

The place marked D, over the crown of the 
furnace, is the door of the annealing oven ; but 
the drawing is so imperfect that the artist does 
not show by what flues the smoke escapes, or in 
what way the glass was drawn from the anneal- 
ing oven ; for only the external view of the fur- 
nace is given. But it is fair to presume that the 
plan was the same as still exists in France, and 
as adopted by a French company now working 
a flint-glass factory in Williamsburg, near New 
York ; viz., — the taker-in, so called, mounts 
by steps to door D and places the articles in 
iron pans, which are slowly drawn over the fur- 
nace and through another door on the opposite 
side, to allow the glass vessels to cool gradu- 
ally. The use of this plan is sustained by writers 
who describe the tools used to carry the glass 
articles into the upper oven to cool. In con- 
nection with the drawings of the ancient glass- 
furnaces, we deem it proper to give a drawing 
of glass-makers' tools ^ in use at that period, so 
that the glass-makers of the present day may 
observe with what instruments their noble pred- 
ecessors in the art performed their labor. 
1 See drawing No. 3, at end of book. 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 91 

In many of these tools we perceive tlie same 
general cliaracters as mark those iti use now. In 
some, improvements have been effected ; while 
others aie (jiiite obsolete. It is quite curious 
to observe the etymology of many of the tech- 
nical terms of the art in use at the j)resent day. 
The name of the present jjolislicd iron table, i. c. 
the MAUVF.R, is derived from the practice of the 
Italians and French in using slabs of polished 
marble. The iron now called they)//;?///, from the 
Italian pontcfjlo. The tool now called percdlm^^ 
from the word porccllo. In fact, nearly all the 
technical terms in the glass manufacture, aj)per- 
taining to the tool or furnace, are derived from 
the Italian. By referring to the drawing, we 
see that the tool marked A is the bluw-iron, 
that marked B the pnnty-iron. Their character 
plainly indicates that the work made on them 
must have been confined to small or light arti- 
cles. C, the scissors, D, the shears, correspond 
to those used at the present day. The tool 
marked E was used to finish part of their work. 
F and G were thi'ir large and small ladles, — 
the small used to take ort tiie then called alkalic 
salt, showing that they were troubled with an 
excess of this in their time. The shovel, then 
called stockle, marked II, was used to carry 



92 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

glass articles to the annealing oven, forks not 
being then in use. The crooked iron I was 
used to stir up the metal in the pots. The tool 
L was used to form or hold large articles, their 
punty-iron not having sufficient strength. The 
tool M was used to carry flat articles to the an- 
nealing- ovens. The tool N was used in refininof 
their alkalic salts, and served to take oJ3" the 
salt as crystallized in course of its manufacture. 
The workmen of the present day will see that, 
as hefore remarked, many tools are not altered 
in form, while in others there is a decided im- 
provement, — in none more than in the tool E. 
Tool D is exactly like those now in use ; but 
many new tools have been introduced since that 
period, rendering most of the old tools useless. 
Improvements in the form of glass-furnaces, 
construction of the glass-house, tools, &c,, have 
been very gradual, — more so, in fact, than in 
almost any other art, when we consider that a 
period of about four hundred years has elapsed 
since tlie furnaces, tools, &c., herein referred to, 
were in use, and that they remained very much 
the same until the present century. It is indeed 
no undue arrogance of claim to say that the 
very many improvements in furnaces, working 
machinery, tools, &c. (such as enable the nianu- 



KF.MIXISCENCKS OF GLASS-MAKING. 93 

facturer liero to nirlt with tlie sanu? fiicl double 
tlie (jtiantity of ^lass tliat can at present lie done 
in the liluropean runiacc^.) arc cniiicly owing" to 
the j)i"ouress of tin' art in this coiintrv. liy tlie 
perfection of our niaehines douhle the pfoduet 
can be obtained ; and aUhough tlie glass -maker 
is j)aid at least three times the waf^es usually 
paid in (lerniany or 1' ranee, we can, in all the 
articles wliere the value of the materials ])re- 
dominates, compete successfully with imj)orters of 
foreign glass ; but when the labor on glass con- 
stitutes its chief value, then glass can be im- 
ported cheaper than it can be manufactured in 
this country. Kssentiallv, however, we may 
say, in the realm of art as in that of civilization 
and progress, — 

" Westward the star of emiilre takes its way." 
rRr.SSF.D GLASS. 

This important branch of glass-making de- 
n)ands more than a ])assing notice. Although it 
is coniiiionlv believed here; that the iuNcntion 
orijrinated in this countrv. the claim cainiot be 
fully sustained. Fiftv years back the writer im- 
ported from Holland salts made by being pressed 
in njetalic moulds, and from England glass 
candlesticks and table centre-bowls, jdain. with 



94 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

pressed square feet, rudely made, somewhat after 
the present mode of moulding glass. From 18 14 
to 1838, no improvement was niade in Europe 
in this process, whicli was confined to common 
salts and square feet. 

America can claim the credit of great improve- 
ments in the needful machinery which has ad- 
vanced the art to its present perfection. More 
than three quarters of the weekly melt is now 
worked up into pressed glass, and it is estimated 
that upwards of two million dollars has been 
expended in the moulds and machines now used 
in this particular branch of glass-making. This 
leaves Europe far behind us in this respect. 
With us there is active competition for excel- 
lence. It is, however, conceded that James B. 
Lyon & Co., of Pittsburg, stand first. To 
such a degree of delicacy and fineness have they 
carried their manufacture, that only experts in 
the trade can distinguish between their straw 
stem wines, and other light and beautiful articles 
made in moulds, and those blown hy the most 
skilled workmen. When we consider the dif- 
ference in the cost between pressed and hlown 
ware, this rivalry in beauty of the former with 
the latter becomes all the more important to the 
public, as it cheapens one of the staple neces- 
saries of civilized life. 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 95 

Great credit therefore is due tliis I'lnu for 
their success in overcomino- difficulties well un- 
derstood by glass-makers, and doing away with 
the prejudice of the skilled blowers, who natu- 
rally were not inclined to j)ut the new and more 
mechanical process of luanufacturinf];' jrlass on 
a par w ith the handicraft of the old. Lvon «Sj 
Co. also excel all other Ainerican firms in large 
ware for table services, as well as in the more 
delicate objects of use. 

In speaking of the improvements in glass- 
making in America, we must not overlook what 
has been <lone by the New England Glass Com- 
pany. 

Convinced of the importance of scientific skill 
in their business, they secured some years ago 
the services of Mr. Leighton and his three sons, 
at a liberal compensation. Ik'sidcs j)ossessing 
the best practical knowledge, they had also artis- 
tic taste, which enabled them to give elegant 
finish to their workmanship, and to introduce 
new and more beautiful patterns into it. 

They did not neglect, however, the niore 
homely but useful articles ; hut executed orders 
for large and heavy objects for druggists' and 
chemical wares and philosophical apparatus, so 
satisfactorily as to secure a monopoly in them. 



96 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

Their richly cut, gilded, colored, and ornamental 
glass is considered equal to European work. 

John L. Gillerland, late of the Brooklyn Glass- 
Works, is remarkably skilful in mixing metal. 
He has succeeded in producing the most brilliant 
glass of refractory power, which is so difficult to 
obtain. A gold medal was awarded his glass, 
in face of European competition, at the Great 
International Exhibition in London, 1S52. In 
making rich glass, the gaffer or foreman must 
understand the science of chemistry sufficiently 
well to mix and purify his materials in the 
best possible manner, removing all «rude or 
foreign matter, and combining the proper sub- 
stances into a homoo^eneous mass. Without this 
practical experience and knowledge, his glass, 
instead of being clear and brilliant, and of uni- 
form color, will be dull, and of many hues or 
shades. It is important also that his personal 
character be such as to command the respect of 
the workmen. 

LENSES. • 

Optical glasses have engaged the attention and 
investigation of scientific men for centuries. We 
read of the wonderful exploits of the burning lens 
of Archimedes, and find the remains of lenses 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 97 

thousands of years old in tlie ruins of Nineveh, 
Bahvlon, and Ponij)eii. They are of tlie ut- 
most inij)oitance in tlic science of astronomy. 
The slow progress made in perfecting" them 
shows tlie inlk'i-ent (lilliculties tliat exist in ob- 
taining- glass of the required purity. One of 
these is the ditlerent specific gravities of the 
material used. Hence the lower part of a pot 
of melted glass is of greater specific gravity 
than the top, causing a tendency to cords or 
threads, an evil which science has yet to learn 
to overcome. Not even the large bounty ollered 
by the English Government and the Board of 
Longitude has been successful in effecting any 
important improvement in this branch of man- 
ufacture. Munich enjoys the rej)utation of j)ro- 
ducing the best lenses, and consecpiently the 
finest telescopes. Sir Isaac Newton, Gregory, 
Dolland, Keir, and others adopted lenses made 
from flint- and from crown-glass, it being neces- 
sary to use both in the construction of achromatic 
telescopes, one possessing as small and the other 
as great dispersive powers relative to the mean 
refractive powers as can be procured, liut the 
inherent defect of the lenses still remained. M. 
Macquer remarks, " The correction of this fault 
appears therefore to be very diirniilt." He had 
7 



98 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

tried in vain to remove it by very long fusion 
and fierce fire. Others have found this by ex- 
perience not to correct, but to augment the evil. 
Mr. Keir is of opinion that some new compo- 
sition must be discovered, which, along with a 
sufficient refractive power, shall possess a greater 
uniformity of texture. 

Since then, it is certain some improvement has 
been made in the composition for lenses. In an 
English paper we find the following:- — "One 
of the most remarkable optical lenses of modern 
manufacture is that produced by Messrs. Chance, 
English manufacturers, being an attempt by them 
to improve the manufacture of glass for optical 
purposes. The diameter is twenty-nine inches, 
and it is two inches and a quarter thick. It is 
really not a lens, but a plain disk intended for a 
lens, should its quality be sufficiently fine. The 
weight is about two hundred pounds. This piece 
of glass was inspected, on its first public exhi- 
bition, by eminent scientific judges. It was by 
them examined edgewise, transversely, and ob- 
liquely ; it was viewed by daylight and by can- 
dle-lio-ht ; it was tested by the polariscope and by 
other means ; and after having been thus subjected 
to a severe ordeal, it was pronounced to be the 
largest and finest known specimen of the kind." 



REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 99 

The jjioiiiise Iit'ld out l»y tlic lor('fi"niiifr wf fear 
lias failed, as in vcrv many jncvions cases, or the 
world ere this tiiiM? \v<»iild lia\c' licard of its suc- 
cess. Ati achioiuatic ol»ieet-<i;lass for telescopes 
consists of at least two lenses, the one made of 
flint-<r]ass, and the other of crown-i^lass. Tlie for- 
mer, possessing least power of dispersing tiie col- 
ored rays relative to its mean refractive power, 
must he of greater value than the latter. It is 
upon this principle that the achromatism of the 
image is produced, the dilierent colored rays he- 
ing united into one focus. Flint-glass, to be fit 
for this delicate purpose, must be perfectly homo- 
geneous, of uniform density throughout its sub- 
stance, and free from wavy veins or cords. 

From the foregoing, the reader will see that, 
as has been said, the chief difficulty which exists 
in making telescopic lenses arises from want of 
pure glass. Fverv attempt to correct this evil 
has failed ; it is well known our best telescopes 
and like optical instruments have always achro- 
matic lenses, and for photographic purposes ach- 
romatic lenses are indispensable. If j)hilosoj)hers 
and astronomers have with so imperfect lenses 
attained so much, what may not the astronomer 
look for when science gives him lenses made 
from pure glass 1 If the heavens, by imper- 



100 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

feet instruments, have so far been unveiled, to 
what extent may he not then be able to penetrate 
the pure ether, and reveal planets and heavenly- 
bodies as yet unknown '? 

We close our reminiscences of Glass and its 
manufacture, by presenting to our readers a view 
of an American model glass factory of the pres- 
ent day.^ By comparing this view with the 
sketches heretofore given of the early Venetian 
and French factories, they will perceive the very 
great improvement which is apparent over the 
ancient plans, an improvement conducing alike 
to the health and comfort of the workmen. 
Thirty years have passed in its development, 
during which many difficulties arose from the 
conflicting opinions of the English and German 
glass-makers ; and, in fact, it was not until the 
proprietors boldly separated themselves from the 
current and influence of old, and almost fixed 
opinions, that any decided progress was shown 
in the development of manufacturing efficiency, 
or any plan contributing to the health and com- 
fort of the workmen employed. 

It is to be borne in mind that the first glass 
works in this country were established by the 
Germans, who used no other fuel than wood, the 

1 See drawing No. 4, at end of book. 



RKMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. lUl 

furnaces for wiiidow-o^lass constructed under tlicir 
directions bein^;' for that fuel only ; on the other 
hand, tlie Eno;lish workmen who introduced tlie 
niakinof of flint-olass had made use of no other 
fuel than coal, and the Eno^lish were therefore 
ohlie^ed to adojit (for the want of coal) the (ier- 
nian plan for furnaces, and adapt the same to the 
makinof of flint-jjlass. The liouse was like the 
furnace, half Kno^lish and half German, and from 
the year 181!;?, for thirty years, little or no im- 
provement was made in this particular. \ ear 
after year the old plan was followed, until neces- 
sity paved the way for new plans in the elfort to 
secure a less expensive mode of melting" glass. 

The result has been highly favorable. More 
than one half has been saved in the melt, an- 
nealing leers, and working places, yielding the 
workmen greater space and facilities in perform- 
ing their work, and no longer exposing them 
to the discomfort of extra heat, smoke, and 
unhealthy gases. These improvements have 
enabled the American manufacturer to sustain 
his business in the severe and trying comj)eti- 
tion with foreign manufacturers, who forced their 
glass into this country through their agents a few 
years since, in such quantities, and at such re- 
duced prices, as seriously to aU'ect the prosperity 



102 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

of our artisans ; yet, aided as they have been 
by a taritF directly promoting foreign interest, 
and by the very low rates of wages paid on the 
Continent, they have been successfully contended 
with, and now a home competition has sprung 
up, reducing prices below a fair standard, — a 
competition, the result of enterprise, which will, 
erelong, regulate itself, for we fully hold to the 
maxim, that competition, honest and well sus- 
tained, is the soul and life of business : — 

" No horse so swift that he needs not another 
To keep up his speed." 

There is no mechanical employment in this 
country yielding so good returns to the industri- 
ous as a good worker in glass, of the present day, 
can secure in the exercise of his skill. And we 
may still further say that there is no mechanical 
branch of industry offering such advantages for 
the full manifestation of a workman's real skill 
and industry, if the conventional usages which re- 
strict the work could but be abrogated, — usages 
tending to a limited amount of work, and con- 
sequently making the workman to realize but a 
limited amount per week. Such workmen, of 
all others, should be allowed the inherent and 
inalienable right to work as long, and at such 
times, as the individual may deem for his com- 
fort and interest. 



ROnXISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 103 

We liave expressed tlie opinion tliat tlic ni.niu- 
facture of glass is as vet l>iit in its infancN-, I lie 
experience of every day eoiitirnis the assertion, 
and illustrates tiie maxim tliat '• life is short, 
art is l<>n<j." 

Tile time is not far distant wlien this country 
^^ill become, we think, the largest exj)(»rter of 
glass, and the manufacture comjiosc; a most im- 
portant item in every assorted export cargo. In 
this connection a liint to sliip-owners may not be 
amiss. It is well known that in England, when 
a ship is j)ut up for a foreign port, it is the cus- 
tom to rate the freight according to the value of 
tlie merchandise, — dry goods paying the highest 
freight, hardware the next liighest, earthen and 
glass ware the lowest. If our merchants would 
adoj)t this plan, very many of our bulkv man- 
ufactures would find a market abroad ; when, 
however, the same rate is required for a cask 
of glass ware as for a case of silks or prints, 
it taxes the latter a small percentage, but practi- 
cally vetoes the export of the glass. 

Our task is now ended ; our object has been 
to give a simple and succinct outline of the 
characteristics and progress of Uie Glass Man- 
ufacture, to suijijest such hints as mi«jht bear 
upon the further advance of the art, and the 



104 REMINISCENCES OF GLASS-MAKING. 

preservation of those practically identified with 
the manufacture, and, if possible, to attract the 
attention of those hitherto unacquainted with its 
nature and history. If we have neglected the 
maxim that " those ivlio live in glass houses^'' 
&c., it has not been from the want of honest 
endeavors to remember it ; and if we have con- 
tributed either to the instruction or the pleasure 
of any reader, (and this is our hope,) we shall 
not regret the hours spent in the preparation of 
this little work. 



APPENDIX. 



Ri:ci:irTs, etc. 

Thkrk are plenty of receipts for the composition of flint or 
crj'stal plass, but no mixture that we know can secure a uni- 
form shade in each pot. The component parts of glass are 
well known, and the mixer's sure guide is to watch the efliect 
of heat on each pot, for he soon finds the mixture that gives 
good color in one pot will in another in the same furnace 
prove bad. If he possesses sufTitient knowledge of the chem- 
ical causes, he can correct the evil. 

Among the valuable receipts for rich colors is the following, 
for RUBY GLASS, which takes the load both in cost ami rich- 
ness : — 

Take one ounce of pure gold ; dissolve in a glass vessel two 
ounces pure sal ammoniac acid, and five ounces of pure nitric 
acid, which will take si.x to seven days ; drop in at a time say 
one twentieth part of the gold. When tlie first piece is dis- 
solved, drop in another twentieth portion of the gold, and so 
on until the ounce of gold is all dissolved. This will re<juire 
twenty-four hours. I'^vaporate the solution to dryness. Then 
prepare in a glass vessel six ounces pure nitric acid, two 
ounces muriatic acid, and one ounce of highest proof alcohol ; 
mix them well together, and drop in pure grained tin a bit at 
a time, but beware of (he fumes. Stir it well with a glass rod; 
dilute the solution with eighty times its bulk of distilled water; 
then take the prepared gold, dissolved in a quart of distilled 



106 APPENDIX. 

water, and pour it steadily into the solution of tin as above 
prepared, stirring all the while. Let it settle twenty-four to 
thirty hours ; pour off the water, leave the settlings, pour 
in two thirds of a quart of water. Stir it thoroughly ; let it 
settle thirty hours; pour off as before, and filter the precipitate 
through filtering paper. The result is the purple of Crassus. 
The ounce of gold thus prepared must be well incorporated 
■with the following batch : say thirty-two pounds fine silex, 
thirty-six pounds oxide of lead, sixteen pounds refined nitre ; 
melt the same in a clean pot, one little used, and smooth in- 
side ; when filled in, put the stopper to the pot loose, leaving it 
slightly open ; leave it five or six hours, or time to settle, then 
a back stopper can be put up. In the usual time it will be 
ready to be worked out in solid, egg-shaped balls, and exposed 
to the air to be partially cooled ; they are then to be placed 
in the leer under a strong fire, which will in two or three hours 
turn them to a red color ; then the pans may be drawn slowly 
to anneal the balls. 

It is well known to mixers that colored glass is derived from 
metallic oxides. To obtain the proper color depends on the 
purity and strength of the metallic oxides. The following 
receipts have with success been used : — 

alabastp:r. 

To 500 lbs. of batch add 

30 " phosphate of soda, 
10 " allumine, — i. e. calcined alum, 
3 " calcined magnesia. 

BLACK. 

To 1400 lbs. of batch add 
180 " manganese, 
100 " calcined iron scales, made fine, 
20 " powdered charcoal, 
10 " arsenic. 



APPENDIX. 107 



To 100 lbs. of batch add 

8 ouiHi's bi'st oxide of uranium, 
1 dr. oxide of copper. 

The common colors of purple, blue, emerald, or green, are 
too well known to reiiuire to be repeated here. 

The following receipt for crystal glass is on the European 
standard, viz. : — 

1200 lbs. silex, 
800 " red lead, 
440 " pearl ash, 

50 " nitre, 

10 " phosphate of lime, 

10 07.. white oxide of antimony, 

24 " manganese, 

32 " arsenic, 

20 " borax. 

GEUMAN SHEET GLASS. 

400 lbs. iiilcx, 
130 " .soda, 
126 " hydrate of lime, 
4 " charcoal, 
7 " nitrate of soda, 
4 " arsenic, 
1 " manganese. 
Gold-colored spangles may be diffused through the glass by 
mixing gold-colored talcs in the batch. 

AGATE. 

To 150 lbs. (lint batch add 
10 " phosphate of lime, 
6 " arsenic. 



108 APPENDIX. 



600 lbs. flint batch, 
40 " manjranese, 
46 " oxide of iron. 

LIGHT EMERALD GREEN, 

200 lbs. flint batch, 

2J- " iron filings, calcined, 
■^ " antimony. 

ORIENTAL GREEN. 

110 lbs. flint batch, 

1 " oxide of uranium, 

2 oz. carbonate of copper 



500 lbs. batch, 
60 " phosphate of lime, 
4 " arsenic, 
20 " nitrate of soda. 
Said to turn without cooling. 

William Gillonder, of England, gives the following receipt 
for Bohemian Red, or Rub}' : — 
Sand, 62 lbs. 
Lead, 76 " 
Nitre, 22 " 
Antimony, 8 oz. 
Manganese, 3 " 
Add one ounce of purple of Crassus to every eighty pounds 
of the above batch. 

WAX RED. 

To 15 lbs. flint batch add 
1 " raw brass, 
I " crocus martus. 
This he says is very good. 



APPENDIX. 109 

Tl'HQUOISK. 

To 1100 ILs. flint hatch adil 

90 " phosphate of lime, 

15 " arsenic, 

15 " calcined brass dust. 

VIOLET. 

To 100 lbs. flint batch add 
1 '* calcined brass, 
1^ " zafTre. 

Receipts for window-glass are as numerous as for flint. The 
followinjr are in general use in England, so sajs Gilleuder : — 

CROWN CLASS. 

Sand, MOO lbs. 

Quick lime, 4H0 " 

Sulphate of soda, 560 " 
Charcoal, 25 " 

PLATE GLASS. 

Sand, 800 lbs. 

Sulphate of soda, 450 •' 
Quick lime, 100 '« 

Nitre, 25 " 

Charcoal, 5 '• 

DIAMOND GLASS. 

Four pounds of borax, one pound of fine sand ; reduce both 
to a subtile powder, and melt them together in a closed cruci- 
ble set in an air furnace, under a strong fire, till fusion is per- 
fect. Let it cool in the crucible, and a pure, hard glass, capa- 
ble of cutting common glass like a diamond, which it rivals 
in brilliancy, is produced. 



110 APPENDIX. 



LEAD. 



Lead is an important and costly ingredient of flint-glass, 
used as a protoxide, either as litharge or red lead, and should 
be perfectly pure, for the presence of any other substance or 
metal will be shown in the color of the glass. Consequently, 
the purity of the glass depends mainly on the quality of the 
metallic lead and its being well manufactured. 

The writer believes he was the first person in the United 
States, aided by a director of the New England Glass Com- 
pany, to build a lead furnace. This was in 1818. His only 
guide was a volume of " Cooper's Emporium of Arts and Sci- 
ences," which furnished a plan on a very limited scale. 

The furnace proved successful, and enabled the Company to 
continue their manufacture of glass at a period when no for- 
eign red lead was to be procured. They enlarged their works, 
until they have become the most important in the country ; 
while for over thirty years they monopolized the business in all 
its branches, from the highest qualities of pure Galena and 
painter's red lead to common pig lead. In manufacturing me- 
tallic lead, its weight is materially increased by the absorption 
of oxygen gas. In 1847 the writer made many test experi- 
ments, one as follows : 660 pigs of blue lead, weighing 45,540 
pounds, turned out from the ovens 48,750 pounds of litharge, 
— an increase in weight of 3210 pounds. 

The cost of labor was $65.50 ; fuel, $86.50 ; engine power. 
Si 7.50; total, $169.50 ; and the market value of the excess in 
weight of the lead was $250, showing a satisfactory profit to 
the company for their outlay in this branch of their business. 
Chemistry gives the increase in course of manufacture : In 
protoxide state, 7 per cent. ; in deutoxide state, 11 per cent.; 
in tritoxide, 15 per cent. 

Muriatic acid will detect iron in lead, on dissolving a small 
piece of lead in the acid. If colorless, it is good. 

Nitric acid will detect if there is cobalt in the lead, by add- 
ing to the acid half the quantity of high-proof alcohol. If 
present, the evidence is soon seen. 



APPENDIX. Ill 

Sonic use tlie followinp as more direct : — In a small evapor- 
atinj; glass dish place say one ounce of lead ; cover it wiih mu- 
riatic acid ; dissolve the lead over a spirit lamp, add a little 
water, and let it settle; draw it olT iirto another },'ia.<s vessel, 
and ailil five or six drops of the solution of potash. If the 
lead is suitable for glass-makers, the solution will be of a light, 
clejir, greenish color; if of a blue or purple shade, it is not 
suitable for flint-trlass. 



SAND, Oil SILEX. 

In the manufacture of glass it is essential that the silex 
should be perfectly pure, as the slightest mineral taint afTects 
the color. 

At first the New England factories got their sand from 
Demcrara, brought as ballast, and the (juality was good. Dur- 
ing the War of 1812 this source of supply was cut off, but 
Plymouth beach provided for the wants of the manufactur- 
ers, until a better sand was discovered at Morris Ilivtr, N. J., 
though not up to the full rcipiircmcnt of the art. For ten 
years past, Berkshire County, Mass., has furnished sand ; 
the best quality is owned by G. W. Gordon, Esq. By thor- 
ough washing, and passing it through fine sieves, and proper 
packing, he now commands the market, and delivers it ready 
for use. The purity has been tested, as shown by the follow- 
ing e.xtract from a report by Professor A. A. Hayes, M. D., 
of Boston, Massachusetts State Assaycr, of the result of anal- 
yses of three samples of Berkshire sand, taken from three 
different locations owned by Mr. Gordon, viz. : — 

" For the manufacture of glass, the slight amount of earth, 
in mica and tourmaline, contained in these samples, is of no 
account, the impurity being such oxides as color glass. The 
analyses therefore give only the proportion of coloring oxides; 
and, for simplicity of statement, the total weight of coloring 
oxide in each sample is determined in one part or pound. 



112 APPENDIX. 

" Sample B analyses : 4000 parts of this sample contain one 
part of oxide of iron. 
" C anal3'ses: 3333 parts of this sample contain one 

part of oxide of iron. 
" P analyses : 3460 parts of this sample contain one 
part of oxide of iron. 
" Sample B is equal in purity to the best sand known as a 
material for glass, in this or any other country." 

FURNACES. 

Next to pots, furnaces are most important for the success of 
a glass manufactory. Long ago it was seen that the old Eng- 
lish plan was defective. They consumed coal at an extrava- 
gant rate, though this was not a serious drawback in England, 
because the furnaces were located near coal-mines, and run 
with a quality called slack, not otherwise merchantable. Eng- 
lish furnaces were constructed with reference to durability, 
usually eight feet in diameter at the interior base, and six feet 
clear at the crown. This rule was followed in this country 
until 1840. The writer, having occasion to build an extra fur- 
nace, adopted the novel plan of one fourteen feet diameter 
at the base in the clear and only five feet at the crown, braced 
by binders, with cross-ties to prevent lateral expansion, which 
was a success. 

A furnace on the old plan consumed 2575 bushels of coal 
weekly, and refined only 38,000 pounds of raw material. The 
new refined 35,000 pounds, with a consumption of only 2000 
bushels of coal. Since then a further decrease in consumption 
of coal has been produced by the use of the Delano patent, 
which feeds the furnace by forcing up the coal at the bottom 
of the burning mass, thus consuming the entire smoke, and 
obviating the necessity of wheeling coal on the glass-house floor 
and impeding the workmen. It also does away with all danger 
to the pots in feeding the fires. Besides these great advan- 



ArPENDIX. 113 

tages, it distributes a regular and uniform heat to each pot, 
causing the pots to last mucli longer, and fusing the metal bet- 
ter, — imj)ortant items to mixers. 

From three to five tons of fuel is the weekly saving in a 

first-class furnace. 

* 

It is of vital importance to obtain pots that will last a rea- 
sonable lime. Clays of the finest quality are essential. p]ach 
piece must bo freed from any foreign matter, particularly 
sulphate of iron, which otleu occurs. The burnt and raw 
clay should be well mixed, wet, and frequently kneaded, or 
trod over by the naked teet. Tenacity must be secured, suf- 
ficient that a roll twelve to eighteen inches long can be sus- 
pended, and hold firmly together by its own adhesiveness. 
The next point is to make the pots free from air blisters, all 
portions being compact ; then to dry them thoroughly, which 
recjuires great care on account of the inequality of the dilFer- 
ent parts. Pot-makers are not agreed as to the value of dif- 
ferent clays, and the use and proportion of raw to burnt shells. 
Some use sixteen parts raw to eleven burnt, some fifty-five raw 
to forty-five burnt, some equal proportions of each. 

Manufacturers have m<iiuly depended upon imported clays, 
but the Western gla.ss-makers have used Missouri clay with 
success. In the east it has not yet come into general use. Of 
the imported, that from Stowbridge is considered best. Garn- 
kerk is a strong clay, and, if well selected, will rival any other. 
The analyses are for 

STOWBRIDGE, 

Silica, C4 parts. 

Alumina, 20 " 
Lime, 1 " 

Iron, 3 " 

GERMAN, 

Silica, 46 parts, 
Alumina, 31 " 
Iron, 3 " 



114 APPENDIX. 

GARNKERK, 

Silica, 53 parts, 

Alumina, 43 " 

Lime, 1 " 

Iron, 1 " 

FBENCH, 

Silica, 40 parts, 
Alumina, 31 " 
Iron, 3 " 

■WESTERN, 

Silica, 49 to 52 parts, 
Alumina, 31 to 32 " 
Iron, 2 to 4 " 

FUEL. 

This subject deserves special notice. We have said that the 
New England manufacturers at first used wood only, which 
was prepared by being split into equal lengths, with an aver- 
age diameter of two inches, and then kiln-dried to dispel the 
Bap and moisture. This fuel was supplied to the furnace at 
opposite fire-holes, a stick at a time, which was a laborious 
and heating process. 

Subsequently, a furnace was built at South Boston, over a 
cave, and unkilned wood was used in clefts. This saved one 
quarter in fuel, but it used up the pots so rapidly as to prove 
to be no economy in the end. After the development of the 
Virginia coal mines, our furnaces were altered to use coal, 
which proved to be more convenient and less costly than 
wood. The Pictou and Cumberland mines also increased the 
supply ; and at present all the furnaces in New England, with 
one exception, are run with this last-named fuel. 

The various experiments made to economize fuel for the 
" glory-holes," as the workmen call the working places above 



APPENDIX. 115 

the furnace, are well known. For many years the prepared 
wood wo have spoken of was used. Tlien resin in a pow- 
dered state was added, which was holh inconvenient and dan- 
gerous, — it having caused the destruction by burning of two 
glass-houses. This risk was finally overcome by the introduc- 
tion of an invention which used it in a licjuid state. But the 
demand for resin became so great as soon to more than double 
its price. This led to the substitution of coal tar, which was 
in use until science discovered its latent virtues for other pur- 
poses, and largely increased the original cost of the material. 
Indeed, at first the gas companies had considered it of no 
value, and had thrown it away by thousands of barrels. Com- 
bined with dead oil it is still used by glass-makers, but at 
greatly enhanced prices. 

The Cape Cod Glass Company have had in use for several 
years a Delano patent furnace-feeder, which enables them to 
use both hard and soft coal, as either is cheapest, and consumes 
the smoke and gas of either fuel, thus doing away all annoyance 
to the neighborhood. Theretofore every attempt to run work- 
ing places with hard or soft coal had failed on account of the 
noxious gases set free, which injure the color of the glass. 
But owing to the intense heat created by the Delano patent, 
the furnace consumes these gases, and gives a quick fire polish 
to the various articles fiui^hed therein. 

As our native supj)lies of hard and soft coal are inexhausti- 
ble, there is no likelihood of an increase in the price of the 
present fuel so as to necessitate, as heretofore, a substitution of 
some cheaper article, especially as the discovery of petroleum 
tends to cheapen coal by a diversion of a portion of its con- 
sumption to that useful mineral oil. 

USEFUL ITE^^IS. 

A bushel of English coal weighs HO pounds ; of Virginia coal, 
93 pounds; of Pictou, 76 pounds; of Cumberland, 84 pounds; 
of red ash, hard, 81 pounds. 

Crude saltpetre, refined, loses nine per cent. 



116 APPENDIX, 

Chemists estimate that one hundred pounds of pearlash con- 
tain thirty per cent, carbonic acid. In refining, it loses on 
the average fifteen per cent, in weight. 

Phosphate of soda brightens glass. 

Borax brightens, but hardens glass. 

Twenty-five silver dollars refined will give thirty-seven 
ounces of nitrate of silver. 

A square foot of furnace clay weighs one hundred and 
twenty pounds. 

Alum, calcined, loses in weight sixty per cent. 

Crude flint batch, melted and ladled out, loses in the aver- 
age fifteen per cent, in weight. 

Hard coal will measure forty cubic feet to a gross ton. 

Glass in water. There are some peculiar phenomena con- 
nected with hot glass and water. If a ball of red-hot iron is 
placed in a vessel containing cold water, the latter is quickly 
agitated. But a ball of melted glass of equal weight dropped 
in cold water will produce no immediate agitation. The wa- 
ter will remain for some time quiescent ; but when the glass 
is cooled to about half its highest temperature, it agitates the 
cold water violently. 

Technical terms, descriptive of glass, such as crystal, flint, 
tale, may be derived from these facts : the French used for 
their base crystal stones, burnt and ground fine ; in England 
they had recourse only to flint stone, treated the same as the 
French used their blocks of crystal ; tale was derived from the 
mode of selling, the best glass being sold only by weight, while 
light articles were sold tale. 



t 



IS 







J 



Tho Positiou of Wheeling 
Glass Manufacture. 



lU 



Among tlie maiiufacturct* of WJieel- 
ing, Uintof-lasH occupies an iniportnnt 
place. As many citizeiiH orWlu'dingl 
may be ur.awarc that thoir city lian ta- j 
ken a leading |)osilion in gla^s manu- 
facture, the fullowingbrief.account may 
he interesting. - . j 

Although glaj«-inaking claims to be | 
an ancient art, yet the present mcthod.-i J 
of its manufacture An- nnilnnl,!.,!!.- o(. 
modern invention 

We rcail how, in oi.i linio, in liie 
famou.^ old city of Venice, tlie ai-t of 
glass-making was praclicwl by noble- 
men, who devoted thoir live.s to the pro- 
duction of a few vascH and drinking 
cui).'^, richly and elaborately orna- 
mented. 

The art was tlien practiced with 
great secrecy, and wa.s consideretl al- 
most akin to a.^trolo^'y and magic, and 
tho Venetian glasa-blbwer waK^consid- 
ered to be fairly on the wav to tlie di.s- 
covery rif the iMiilo.-'opher h Stone. 

Tlie )>rOduc.Hons of tlie Venetian 
gla-^R-tnakers held a vcr>- higJi value, 
and could mily be purchaused by prinees 
or those of princely wealth, and were 
held fitting presents to pa.«s from crown 
to crown. 

Those mysterioii.^ days of glasw-niak- 
ing pa^.-edaway, and "as vcars rolled 
round, the nifiruifactuiT of glassware 
took an eRtabJi.shed place among the 
regular fraden, and the production of 
tjieglaw bouses became sutticient to 
furnish, at reafionable pricc-«, all the 
world Vet, still glassware was bevond 
the reach of the working claswcp, on ac- 
count of price, and still tlie glass- 
blowers produced their ware bv the 
identical methods practiced bv 'tlieir 
predwjdsjjorv, iht Old Venetian ' noble- 
men. The art of producing sheet glass i 
for windows, and jilaU- gla.-s f-.r "niir- '[ 
rors had been discovere.l ami carried to I 
a high state of perfection, but thirty- '" 
live years ago ail tlic glass articles for li 
table use, lamp.s, tVc, in fact, ail that i. 
class of ware calletl "fliat glasM ware," 
and of which tile prodnctlon was even I 
then immense, weie 'blown ' according |'" I 
to the literal and technical i»hraseology. - ' 
Blown glass \s prcKluced bv "•ratherin''" 

M 



;:l:i>s-, oil ; uii iron tube, u 

I'all of gla li h^t ; and then 

by blowiii'; thr"i.L'li tli<» tube, as a snap 
bul)blf is blown Irom a pijK-, eximnding 
the solid ball into a hollow glone, and 
lben(;e by various mauipnialions nhHj>- 
ing into whatever form is re<\uirc<I. In 
this art of blowing glass, by long prac- 
tice, the gla.se lilower becom<>s wonder- 
fully proficient; and, in the hands of a' 
mastc r of hi-" trade, the ghw^s apfwars, 
as if by magic, to a.^sitme a shape ac- 
cording to his will. 

■ But llt«| tHiie ciuue wiicjk thJ4 liMfthod 
of jironiicing gla.'isware was too sIIjw to 
meet the requirements of an advancing 
age. The art of wi*'tA/(;«/ gla.-is into the 
required fiha))eH was proiluced. This 
art of producing mouldetl glassware 
made its apiK-arance about the years 
ISoO to '.!.") and the moulded ware, thus 
produced, reccive<l the technical name 
of "pressed ware' on account of being 
moulded under considerable pressure. 
So many claims to the cre<lit of the 
invention of "pressed" gia^« ijave been 
advanced, timl i( iMdillieuU lotl*H>itle to 
wlioiii the credit i.-i really due, but ihifl ' 
much is certain, that to Ameriam ijlan- 
ufactnrei"s is due the credit of bringing 
the invention into pi-actical use. While! 
the manufacturers of England were still 
pbxjdlng along in tlie .same oUI bftiten 
patli, jn-odiicltig their blown ware at 
moderate prices on account of the low 
cost of their laiior, the American man- 
ufacturers rapiiliy extended and ini- 
jirovcil the art of "pressing" glass, until 
(with the great disadvantage ol' much 
higher cost of labor) tiiey coulJ meet 
in prices tho European manulacturers, 
and at the same time prmluced articles 
of mucli superior character of shape 
and ornamentation. "Pres.sed" glass- 
ware is truly an American art and one 
that has arisen and been brought to its 
prew'nt liigbdegr(*' of |n'rlection within 
tiie last .'»<» or '.j') years. 

Hut, the reader will ask, how does 
tliis pnu:tically ppplv lu tii«^ «ji|y of 
Wheeling? So far ^Vheellng fia'- no- 
more credit than otlur places of manu- 
factuie, but the next g,reat .slt-p in the 
history ofp!a.s.-»-mRkfng in tliis country, 
was taken fn the citv ol WbeoHnj:. 
To make this iiiuii'r.;tii. ..i 
refer to the coin ; 
vious to \>^64 1 1 
gla.ssware made in ihi-; 
comj>o.-ed or,.-!iiid, lead and pearl-ash: 
wherever tli«-«- wan an exCcj>tJon to this 
composition the glass was of verv in- 
terior cliar.icler, and eoi)se«|uent)v of 
\h\h' tabic. 



•AC mu>t now 

urlass. Pre- 

ilie "j^ressed ' 

eountrv was 



_^''Puriii;z: file uinter of iSG4 
M§psr!=. J. IT. Hoblxs, Brockiinier <feCo., 
glass inamilacturens of WJieelinw coin- 
menced the proflnoti'on of jrlass,' coin- 
posfil of saiKl, liine and soda, aiid suc- 
ceedod in making ware equal in all re-' 
ejiects to tliat heretofore niannfaotured 
with lead and pearl-ash, and at a cost 
not exceeding one-half the cost of lead 
glasp. Tliis -revolutionized the glass 
business; tlie other manufacturers 
throughout the oountry followed the 
example, thus set them, 'and the result 
has been that the manufacture of lead 
glass hasbecu discontinued ui this coun- 
try, and lime glass has'talcen its place. 

When lime glass was first introduced 
hy the "Wheeling manufacturers, before 
mentioned, bi-carbonate of soda was 
used in its composition, and on this ac- 
count the glass thus made lias often 
been called bicarbonate glass. But 
more recently a Pittsburgh chemist. 
Dr. Wutli, invented a process of retinin<' 
the common carbonate of soda (soda 
ash of commerce) to a siiiSpient purity 
for this kind of .glass, and at a cost 
much less than that of 'bi-carbonate; 
and the soda ash refined by this ')ro- 
cess now bids fair to entirely supersede 
the use of bi-carbonate. * 

This new method of refining soda- 
ash, another step in the progress of 
glass-making, was immeliately taken 
up by Wheeling manufacturers!^ Messrs. 
J. ir. Hol)bs, Brockunjer & Co. being 
the lir.-it to test, adopt and introduce it 
here. 

Another improvement in the n^.anu- ] 
facture of glassware, another step in { 
tlie progress of the art, has be6n made 
here very recently. The same tinn be- j 
fore mentioned have dpinmenced the| 
manufacture of table-ware' bf.Avhitel 
glass, technically called "porcelain," i 
l)ut differing from the ordinary porce- j 
lain in the fact that the composition is I 
melted and worked in a vitriouB , state, ! 
is, in fact, glass, while it has all the 
beauty, strength arid purity of the finest I 
and most costly porcelain or China! 
ware. 

This new article of "porcelain" is I 
made with "kryolith," a niineral, com-! 
poned cliieflyof andfl and f luorine, found ' 

on the ^ye8tern coast of Greenland f 
where is the only mine of it known in ' 
the world. I 

The applicability of krvoHth to tlic i 
inanufacturc of glass wals first made I 

TinV. V'^ .'''°'''^' ^J' '^ ^^''- Chevnc-v, ,! 
01 Ihiladelpnia, and patents were ee- ' 
cured bv him for its use. I ! 



] An attempt was made in Philadel- 
phia to manufjxcture kryolith porcelain 
mto popular forms for table use, but 
<■ that attempt i)roved a failure, the par- 
« ties attempting it having failed to over- 
i come the numerous obstacles that pre- 
I sented themselves to the new manufac- 
, turo. 

' A few months since Messrs. J. H. 
j Hobbs, Brockunier ct Co. having made 
a contract with the owners of the pat- 
ents for the exclusive use of krvolith in 
I tableware, commenced the manufacture 
I of this porcelain, which thev are now 
I offering to the public in a variety of 
. i ncM- and beautiful forms. 
1 j In commencing this new manufacture 
of course there were many difficulties 
to be overcome, difficulties that had 
hitherto prevented the successful use of 
the new material. These difficulties 
have, one after another, been success- 
fully vanquished, and a result has been 
[ accomplished exceeding all expectation. 
In this manufacture the progress of 
glas.s-making becomes apparent. This 
porcelain is as delicate and pure in 
color as the most expensive China, at 
the same time nearly as cheap as ordi- 
nary glass, thus bringing it within the' 
reach of those to whom China ware is a 
forbidden luxury on account of price. 
From tins it will be seen that Wheeling 
has taken a leading part in glass man" 
ufacture, and that the latest' improve- 
ment in the art was made here. 

In order to lead the way in the ad- 
j vance of any art or manufacture, much 
{ energy as well as considerable ingenuity 
I IS required. This is especially true of 
the glass manufacture. 
j The glass factories of Wheeling show 
I undoubted evidence that this city is 
likely to retain the leading place 'she 
, has taken in this manufacture. The 
factory we have before mentioned in 
this article is an instance of this effort 
at progress. Here can be seen, in all 
the departments, mould rooms, mixing 
rooms, pot rooms, cutting shop, coal 
bank, ttc, and glass house proper, where 
three furnaces are so arranged as to 
give every modern improvement and 
convenience, that there is an evident 
determination to be behind no one in 
facilities to manufacture gla.ss well and 
cheaply. 

All kinds of crystal glass arc made at 
this establishment, table ware, bar 
goods, lamp goods, A:c. Besides the 
crystal glass and the j.orcelain, before 
mentioned, there is also manufactured 
colored glass of every required shade, 



and nil e!«|K-ci:il uttcntioii linH Ik-lti paiii 
to the jnuiitiriiftiiri' of nnl niul frrcrn 
sijriiiil latiteriui, lliis fiKtiir^' bciii^ tl«c 
only one wtst ol (ln.< Al!ev'!«n"'fPto iimkc 
the rill or ruliv Lrla-^H. With conHHli-ra- 
l>le oapntify for |iro«lnctioii (l)eiii>» only 
exceotUd ill ^i/.^•, in ihi.s country, Uy 
two riu'torieH in llu- Eant) tliis e.stablirli- 
FHCnt lias for many yc'«r« held an im- 
portant and loiiility; jihui' in the ghiHH 
I businc.-'iJ, and, as wf have ahown, \h 
I still endeavorinj: to advance the progress 
'of f»la88_oiuanuracture toward ;:reater 
perfection. 



GETTY CENTER LIBRARY 



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