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> u 









By a. SAUZAT, 





Illustrated Eibrary of Wonders. 


JlTessrs. COarfes 8cn6ner & (Co., 


Each one volume 12mo. 

Price per volume, f 1.60. 

TUlea of Books. 

Ho. of Illustrations. 

WoNDBRS OF Glass-Making, 


Wonders op Italian Art, 

. 28 

Thb Sun, by A. Gdillemin, 


Tbb Moon, bt A. Guillbiiin, 

. 60 




. 89 




. 54 



Egypt 8,800 Years Ago, 

. 40 




. 50 




. 48 



• ACOUSTIOS, .... 

. 114 



• Lighthouses, * . 

• • 

* Subterranean Wj^ld, 


* In Press for oarly publication. 

'Vh^ atxwe works setit to anj; address^ post-jMiA, upon receipt «/ the j»ru-u 
by the piiblUihe^'s. 



JAH 9 1964 


Among the discoveries due to chance and perfected 
by man's intellect, the invention of Glass is certainly 
one of the most important. 

Besides the fact that Glass satisfies a considerable 
number of our most ordinary wants, it is also to its 
power that we must attribute in a great degree the 
ever progressive march of science ; and indeed it is 
by multiplying indefinitely the strength of man's organ 
of sight, that Glass lays bare the most hidden works 
of creation to his investigation. 

Thanks to its aid, there are no longer any impene- 
trable mysteries for science ; by degrees everything is 
seen, studied, explained, and analyzed. Two exam- 
ples, taken from the extremes of creation, the infinitely 
great and imperceptibly small, wiU sufficiently prove 
this. The Telescope, which brings the heavenly bod- 
ies within the range of the astronomer's study ; and 
the Microscope, which may be said to be still more 


TLseful, inasmuch as it is tlie light of all natural science, 
and the source of the most curious and important dis- 
coveries. It shows us much, the existence of which 
we did not even suspect ; it opens a new world before 
us ; the most imperceptible atom of nature assumes a 
body and increases so much in size, that where there 
was apparently nothing we see myriads of beings. 

Both these examples certainly deserve the name 
of Marvels ; but they are not the only wonders work- 
ed by Grlass, which obeys every wish of man, and lends 
itself to all his wants and fancies. 

Does not our every-day life profit by its benefits? 
Light is admitted to our houses by means of glass, 
which yet excludes the inclemencies of the seasons ; 
our forms are reproduced in looking-glasses ; glass 
lustres double the lights in a chandelier by their nume- 
rous reflections ; and if we glance into a dining-room, 
glass is still before us in the shape of decanters and 
drinking-glasses of pure and graceful shapes. 

So many different appliances are none the less 
marvellous because we are accustomed to see them 
every day, and they do not the less deserve to have 
each of them their story told. This is the work we 
have undertaken. 

If, notwithstanding our researches, and all the care 
we have taken in their classification, the reader still 


jEuids something forgotten, or even some errors (and 
we are far from thinking our work is exempt from 
them), he must kindly forgive them in consideration 
of all that our subject embraces. 

The fear which obliges us to this avowal will sur- 
prise no one when we say that one of the most learn- 
ed men of our period, M. Peligot, treating the question 
of Glass under its diflerent chemical and practical 
forms, says to bis readers : " I am under no illusion as 
to the imperfections of my work,* but I hope that al- 
lowance will be made for the difficulties found in col- 
lecting the scattered documents on glass working, a 
manufacture which lives in tradition, which avoids 
publicity, and on which, if I except the articles in en- 
cyclopaedias and chemical treatises, no complete work 
has been attempted for more than a century and a 

If, through an excess of modesty, M. Peligot claims 
the reader's indulgence for himself, who has certainly 
less need of it than any one else, how can we, at the 
commencement of this book, forbear to solicit a great- 
er and more necessary indulgence i 

* Da Douze le^ona sur VArt de la Verrerie, 



AoHitoicATiCM. — Its etymology — ^What it is— How obtained — ^Its 

inventors 264 

Annealing 71 

Abistotlx. — Mentions plated glass being used as mirrors 93 

Baccabat. — Offshoot from a Belgian glass factory 56 

Bacon (Francis). — Quoted 194 

(Rogxb). — Supposed inventor of telescopes. , 803 

Barthelsmt (L'Abbe). — Quoted 219 

Beads fob Necklaces and Chaplets : — 

Their antiquity 25 

- Manufacture 205 

BELGinM.-7-61ass-works 56 

Berotiebo (Anoelo). — Venetian glass-maker » His history 46 

Bebrt (Duchesse de). — Had squares of oiled linen in her win- 
dows (1413) 80 

Binocular Glasses. — See Opera Glasses. 

Bohemia.— Possessed glass-works of its own at an early period. . . 49 

Its method of manufacture 51 

— ^ Style of ornament 50, 147 

— — Glass in the Gluny Museum 50 

I Cause of the cheapness of its production 51 

Wages of the workmen 52 

BoNTEHPS (M.). — Quoted on the manufacture of filigree glass 224 

On the composition of flint glass 265 

And of crown glass 268 



BoNzi (FRAN901S de). — Reply to Colbert 1 H 

BoRDA improYes lighthouses 312 

Bottles. — History 126 

— — - Their manufacture 129 

Made in a mould 180 

Venetian ; 131 

BouDET (M.).— Quoted ^ 207 

BouTET DE MoNYEL. — Quoted ; his definition of optical instruments. 257 
Brewster (Sir Dayid) mentions a crYstal lens found amongst the 

ruins of Nineveh 259 

Camera Lvoida. — Its results 287 

Carillon (M.). — Inventor of the mould for bottles 180 

Champagne. — ^Was this wine known in the 16th century ? 154 

Chan. — Chinese emperor and astronomer 259 

Chance (Messrs.). — Quoted on English glass 66 

Chevalier (Arthur). — Quoted on the manufacture of optical 

glass 271 

Claudet. — Analysis of Pompeian window glass 78 

Clichy-la-6arenne. — Three glasses from these crystal works. ... 154 
A glass jug ]35 

- Engraved crystals 166 

Clock Glasses 285 

Cochin (M. A.). — Quoted on the composition of glass 68 

-^^ On glass-founding 120 

Colbert. — Founds the first glass-works at Paris 116 

CoNTANT d'Oryille. — Quoted 166 

Coloring oy Glass and Crystal. — What Strabo says of it 207 

Mentioned by Herodotus 209 

How well the ancients imitated precious stones 209 

Anecdote of the Emperor Gallienua 210 

Its manufacture for a long time abandoned in France 212 

— — - On the processes employed in making artificial precious 

stones 214 

Method of cutting them 216 

Council or Ten. — Irs tyrannical laws 45 



Crown Glass. — ^Used in optics 268 

Manufacture 269 

Daru. — Quoted 44 

Drbstte. — Quoted on the manufacture of crown glius 268 

Desmarsts (Rbonier). — Quoted 114 

Deyeria (M. Th.). — ^Tranfllation of hieroglyphic inscription 26 

DoLLOND discovers achromatism 268 

improves compound microscope 219 

DoNNs AND FoucAULT (Mbssrs.) invent photo-electric microscope. . 292 

Drebbel (Cornelius Van). — Mentioned 194, 278 

Drolenyauz (Hugh). — Erroneously supposed to have been the 

first to introduce glass-blowing into France 81 

DuiiAS (M.) on the composition of strass 214 

BuPRE (Athanase). — Quoted on the marvels of the microscope. . . . 285 

England. — Glass manufactures 67 

Engraving on Glass and Crystal. — Its antiquity 27, 163 

When introduced into Bohemia 165 

Modems not inferior in this art 169 

— — — Method of engraving glass and crystal 166 

Imitation of engraved glass 170 

EuLER. — Recomposes light which had been decomposed by Newton 264 

Etes, Artificial. — Known to the Egyptians under several names. 818 

Successive improvements 321 

How they are now made 328 

FiESQUE (CoMTBSSE Ds). — What she gave for a mirror 119 

FiGUiER (Louis).— Quoted 283, 301 

Flint Glass. — Used in optics — Manufacture 265 

Fludd (Robert). — Mentioned 194 

FLtTE. — Old-fashioned French drinking-glass 158 

Fortunatus. — His letter to Queen Radegonde 60 

France.— Antiquity of its glass-works 59 

Gallo-Roman glass-works 59 

^-^ Glass dishes used in the reign of Clotaire 1 60 

The price at which the privilege of glass-worlters was granted 

by Humbert de Yiennois 60 



Fbesnel (Augustin) improyes lighthouses *. 814 


Furnaces IS 

FusoH. — Inventor of soluble glass 238 

Galileo (Galilei) invents the opera glass 806 

Gallienus. — Anecdote of this emperor 210 

Gaubil (Perb). — Quoted 269 

Gentlemen Glass-makers. — What we are to understand by this. . 62 

Lines from the poet '!ICa3mard 63 

Opinion of B. Palissy 63 

Germany. — Overthrows the Venetian monopoly 49 

Style of ornament 50, 142 

- Names of the best workmen 49 

Most ancient German vase 49 

Gilding on Glass 159 

Venetian glass sprinkled with gold 161- 

— — Mode of manufacture 161 

Mode of manufacture in Bohemia 62 

Glass. — ^Its composition according to M. Cochin 68 

Was it discovered accidentally by the Phoenicians ? 28 

Known to the Thebans 24 

— — Most ancient object known in glass 26 

The Romans imposed it as a tribute on the Egyptians 27 

Theatre of Scaurus 28 

Objects in use at Rome ' 82 

Its manufacture introduced into Gaul 86 

Strasbourg vase a proof of this 87 

Art of glass-making lost in the West 88 

Venice obtuns the monopoly 43 

Tyranny of the Council of Ten 46 

History of Angelo Beroviero 46 

- Venice begins to export glass 47 

Germany throws off the yoke of Venetian monopoly 49 

Bohemia follows its example 49 

Belgian glass-making 66 



Glass. — Numerous glass-works in England 57 

^— French glass-works 59 

Dishes used in the time of Clotaire 1 59 

- Seryioe for Mad. Diane 61 

Cause of iridescence in glass 180 

Glasses for watches and clocks 2S4 

- Reason that glass breaks so often 11 

Glass Composbd or Two Latebs : — 

Manufacture. 173 

' How to procure the layers of different colors 178 

Portland vase 173 

— — FiLiOREB. — What is meant by 219 

Known to the Romans 219 

Manufacture 220 

How vases are made 228 

Frosted. — Two methods of making it 182 

Ground 236 

Lace. — Mode of obtaining the design 172 

Soluble. — By whom invented 238 

Spun. — Manufacture 189 

To what degree of fineness it may be brought 191 

The lion with glass hair 191 

Fabrics for dresses made with it 190 

Goblets and Drinking Glasses 139 

What kind was preferred at Rome 140 

- German ; meaning of wiederkommen 145 

■ Venetian ; on their shapes 147 

French, of the time of Henri II 156 

- Champagne ; was champagne drunk in the 16th century ? . . . 156 

from the crystal works of Clichy-la-Garenne 164 

caWed Fixates 158 

Gkeoort. — ^Telescope 299 

GuGNON. — ^Process for the decoration of lace glass 172 

Hall. — Inventor of achromatism ; 268 

Henri III.— Mirror Ill 

Hebodotus. — Quoted on colored glass 209 



Hbrschel (Sib William). — Telescope 801 

Ho£F£R. — Quoted 195 

Horace. — Quoted 127 

HuMPHRET (Temple). — InTentor of a fresh system for lighthouses. . 316 

Ibidescencb of Glass. — To what is it to be attributed ? 180 

jET.-r-Not a new fashion 201 

First used in Egypt 203 

Jug from the crystal works of Glichy 136 

Labarte (M. J.).— Quoted 45, 50, 166, 228 

Lactantius Y9 

Ladle 72 

Lambouro. — Makes a lion with hairs of spun glass 191 

LAN90N. — Quoted on the cutting of artificial precious stones .... 216 

Lantern, Magic. — ^The origin of microscopes 290 

Latticinio. — ^What the Italians mean by this word 219 

Lazari. — Quoted 94 

LiBBi. — Quoted •. 194 

LiEBERKUHN. — ^Inventor of the solar microscope 290 

Light. — What it was a century ago 260 

^ When decomposed shows seven colors 264 

How recomposed * 264 

Lighthouses. — Antiquity 809 

Successive improvements 810 

DijQference between them 810 

- With a continuous whistle 816 

Lippershey (John). — Optician of Middelbourg 804 

Looking-glasses. — See Mirrord. 

Macy. — Makes bottles in the reign of Philip the Fair 128 

Marie de Medici. — Description of her mirror 98 

Marion (F.).— Quoted 279 

Martial. — ^What he says on bottles 128 

Mabver 72 



Hatnabd. — ^Verses against the poet St. Amand 62 

Metius (James). — Supposed inventor of the telescope 308 

Micrometer. — Of what use 283 

Microscope, Simple 277 

Compound 278 

— ^ Two learned men claim the merit of the discoyery. 278 

Services it renders 281 

Wonderful effects 284 

— ^ Its effects retained by the Nachet prism 286 

Solar — ^By whom invented 290 

— ^— Photo-electric — Inventors 2d2 

Millefiori 231 

MlLLBNGEN. — Quotcd 176 

Milton. — Description of the first mirror 89 

Mirrors. — History 89 

Earliest of which there is any record 91 

Metallic, of the Egyptians ....•...' 91 

Egg-shaped 91 

Of obsidian 92 

Whether the ancients understood plating 93 

- Aristotle mentions it 98 

Sidon celebrated for its glass mirrors 98 

First manufactory of silvered glasses in Flanders. 95 

The Venetians made silvered glasses in the 14th century. ... 94 

— ^ The Venetians seized the monopoly 96 

■ The privilege granted to Andrea and Domenico d^Anzolo.. . . 96 

Cause of the small size of the oldest mirrors , 96 

That belonging to Marie de Medici 98 

-^- Its valuation in 1791 101 

Italian metallic mirror with carved wood frame 106 

■ Round, with valves in carved ivory 107 

— ^ Round hand, bearing a device 108 

— — of Henri IH Ill 

Infatuation of the public for Italian work 112 

■■ Colbert commands workmen to be sent from Murano 116 

Reply of Fran9ois de Bonzi 116 

- Colbert founds glass-works at Paris with Venetian workmen. 116 



MiRBOBS. — Continued under Lucas de Nehou 1 17 

— ^ History of some young Strasbourgeois 117 

-— ^ Price giv^en for a mirror by the Comtesae de Fiesque 119 

Account of the founding of a looking-glass at St. Gobain. . . 121 

New method of silyering inyented by M. Petitjean 124 

MoNTAiGNX. — Quoted 145 

Nachet (MM.). — ^Inyent a prism 286 

NsHOV (Lucas de) placed at the head of the royal glass-works. . . . 117 

(Louis Lucas de) inyented the founding of glass 120 

Newton (Sir Isaac) the first to decompose light 261 

His telescope 299 

NiEUPOORT. — ^Quoted on Roman funerals 32 

Northumberland (Duke of). — Glass taken out of his windows when 

he moyed ; « 80 

Opera Glasses 809 

Optical Glasses 257 

Whether the ancients possessed them 258 

Shapes of the lenses 270 

Palisst (Bernard). — His opinion of gentlemen glass-makers. 63 

Pearls, False.— Antiquity 241 

What Petronius says of them 241 

A corporation formed at Venice under the name of pearl and 

paternoster makers 245 

— — Story of Jacquin 251 

- Mode of coloring pearls 256 

P4LIG0T 69, 71, 75, 78, 83, 84, 87, 121, 170, 180, 214, 239, 26ft 

Petronius.— Quoted 127, 241 

PiLON (Emile).— Artificial eyes. 822 

Pliny.— Quoted 22,27,92,209, 242 

Plutarch. — Quoted 91 


Porta (J. B.). — Supposed inyentor of telescopes 80S 

Portland Yasb 175 

Pots 75 

Prism.— Its form and effects. 262 



Radegonde. — ^Letter of Fortunatus to that queen 60 

Rakk 72 

Ra-ma-ea. — ^Bead from her necklace 26 

Reaumur on spun glass ' 192 

Reimman. — ^His opinion on the invention of glass 22 

RoBiNET. — Invents a pump SI 

RoussiN (De.).— Quoted, 288 

Saikt Gh)BAiN. — ^Its foundation. \ 120 

Description of glass-founding as practised there 121 

Saint Simon. — Quoted 119 

Salvino d' Armato. — Invents spectacles. 275 

Sanctorius. — ^Mentioned 195 

Savart. — Quoted on jet , 202 

ScAURUS. — Theatre 28 

Senega. — Speaks of globes filled with water used as magmfj^ing 

glasses 259 

Shears 78 

Skimming 78 

Solar Spectrum 262 

Spectacles. — History .^ 274 

Inventor 276 

Stones, Imitation. — See coloring of glass. 

Strabo. — On the coloring of glass 207 

Strasbourg. — ^Young men from this town discover the secret of 

Venetian glass 117 

Vase 88 

Tacitus. — Agrees with Pliny on the invention of glass 22 

Telescope. — Etymology 299 

of Gregory 299 

of Newton 299 

of Herschel 801 

Astronomical 295 

Terrestrial 803 

Theophilus. — Quoted 82 

Thermometer. — ^By whom invented 194 

Manufacture of the tubes 196 

Graduation 199 



Yasb of Strasbourg 88 

Portland 176 

Yknicb. — Origin of the glass trade according to Carlo Marin 42 

- Assames the monopoly 43 

Tyranny of the Council of Ten 44 

History of Angelo Beroviero 46 

— - To whom the idea of exportation was due« r. 47 

— — Singular shapes of Venetian glasses. , i . . 147 

Its glass sprinkled with gold 160 

Versailles. — Gallerie des Glaces 119 

Vestals. — ^Used metallic mirrors 91 

ViOAOBE (Amdbea). — Improves the manufacture of false pearls. . . . 245 

Vocabulary of terms used in glass manufacture 71 

WiNCKELMANN. — Quoted 77 

Wilkinson (Sir Gardner). — Quoted 25 

Window Glass. — History 77 

- Pompeiaii 78 

-^— Rarity in 1 6th and 17th century 80 

What was substituted for them 80 

Manufacture 84 

Why they were long so small 87 

Robinet^s invention 87 

— — Fluted 88 



Tebban Glass-scakebs \ 24, 25 

Bead or a Rotal Necklace 26 

Inscription in Hieroglyphics 26 

' BoMAN Glass 29, 86, 89 

Strasbourg Vase 88 

Glass Furnace 74 

Pots 16 

Blowing of Sheet Glass 86 

Egyptian Mirrors 90 

Mirror op Marie de Medici 99 

Italian Mirror with a Frame op Carted Wood 103 

Ivory Box containing a Mirror 107, 109 

Mirror op Henry m 113 

Manufacture op Bottles 129 

Mould por Claret Bottles 131 

Venetian Bottle T 133 

Jug (Glass-works of Clichy) 136, 137 

German Wiederkommen 143 

Venetian Glass 148,149, 162, 166 

•Glasses (Crystal Works of Clichy) 163 

French Glass of the 16th Century 167 

Venetian Glass Sprinkled with Gold 160 

Bohemian Glass 167 

Engraved Flagon 169 

Portland Vase 177 

Venetian Frosted Glass 183 

Spun Glass 187 

Manufacture op Thermometers 196, 198, 199 



EaYFTiiLN Bbeastplate 208 

Venetian Yase. 228 

Specimen of Filigree Canes 227 

Solar Spectrum 262 

Recomposition of Light 264 

Furnace for Optical Glasses 266 

Manufacture of Crown Glass 269 

Basin and Ball. .^ 272 

Simple Microscope 277 

Compound Microscope. /. 279 

Progress of Luminous Rats 280 

Micrometer 282 

Camera Luoida , 287 

Magic Lantern 289 

Solar Microscope 291 

Photo-electric Microscope 293 

Astronomical Telescope 296, 297 

Gregorian Telescope 800 

Opera Glass 307 

Binocular Glass 807 

Light-house Lantern 811 





Few questions have been more discussed than that 
of the origin of glass. Are we indebted for it to 
Phoenicia, Phrygia, Thebes, or Sidon? Or, going 
back into ages long. before the foundation of these 
kingdoms, mnst its invention, as many writers main- 
tain, be fixed at a period when men, having discov- 
ered fire and submitted to its action natural bodies, 
either separately or together, observed, among other 
phenomena, the vitrifaction of certain masses ? 

To admit this last opinion is to recognize as the 
inventor Tubal-Cain,* son of Lamech and Zillah, who, 
according to tradition, was the eighth man after 
Adam, and who is mentioned in Genesis iv. 22 as 
" an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron." 

This acknowledged antiquity was certainly suflB- 

* Bom in the year of the world 180 (3870 b.c.), which would cairy 
the discovery of glass back 6789 years. 


cienfly venerable to content the most scrupulous 
whea M. Reimann, a German sa/oant^ maintained that 
the translation from the Hebrew was defective, and 
that it should be read that Tubal-Oain had only taught 
the engraving on copper and on iron. 

This reading, which only represents the son of 
Lamech and Zillah as an artist embellishing iron and 
bronze worked by others before his time, would oblige 
US to go back still further in order to find the first 
smelter of metals, and in the attempt to obtain such 
a problematic result, we should not have left to us 
more than a hundred years to the commencement of 
the world. We, therefore, request the permission of 
our readers to quit these suppositions, and to con)e as 
quickly as possible to facts attested by actual remains, 
for after all this antediluvian erudition, we remain in 
utter ignorance as to the date of the discovery of 

Before, however, coming to the remains them- 
Delves, we must give our readers the account given by 
Pliny * of the accidental manner in which glass was 
discovered. *' It is said," narrates the classic writer, 
'' that some Phoenician merchants, having landed on 

* Tacitus gives the same account as Pliny, but in a simpler manner, 
for leaving unexplained the process of melting employed, and entirely 
suppressing the mention of the cooking vessels, he merely states that 
some sand found at the mouth of the Belus, a river which flows into 
the sea of Judsea, when mixed with nitre and melted by fire, produced 

The shore, though of moderate extent, still affords an inexhaustible 
supply of sand. 


the coast of Palestine, near the mouth of the river 
Belus, were preparing for their repast, and not find- 
ing any stones on which to place their pots, took 
some cakes of nitre from their cargo for that purpose. 
The nitre being thus submitted to the action of fire, 
with the sand on the shore, they together produced 
transparent streams of an unknown fluid, and such 
was tlie origin of glass." 

This opinion with some variation is repeated on 
the authority of Flavins Josephus, by Palissy, in his 
Traits de% eaicx et fontaines (p. 156). 

" Some say that the children of Israel, having set 
fire to some ffirest, the fire was so fierce that it heated 
the nitre with the sand, so as t^ make them melt and 
run down the slopes of the hills ; and that thencefor- 
ward they sought to produce artificially what had 
been effected by accident in making glass." 

The account, which is moreover given by Pliny 
on hearsay only, and which he is therefore unable to 
certify, has found, and still finds, a great number of 
disbelievers among chemists, who cannot understand, 
or who rather explicitly deny that at any period it 
was possible to liquefy in the open air substances 
which, in our day and with our improved processes, 
can only be fused by means of furnaces constructed 
expressly for the purpose, and which concentrate a 
heat of 1000° to 1500° centigrade (Fahr. 1832° to 

It is then impossible for us to decide either the 
scientific question or the claim to prior invention 


among the productions (foand in great nnmbers in 
oar masemns) that, while dating back to an extremely 
early epoch, bear no indication of the place or date 
of their manufacture, which alone could enable us to 
range them in chronological order. 

We will therefore merely begin with those objects 
which, from the place of their discovery or from the 
inscriptions they bear, belong, according to our actual 
knowledge, to remote antiquity. 

Reference will first be made to the Theban glasB- 
makers represented in the paintings on the tombs of 
Beni-Hassan, which are snpposed to date about two 
thousand years before tlie Christian ^ra. Certain 
writers even believe them to have been executed dur- 
ing the reign of Ousertasen I. (3500 b.c.), 

The accompanying illustra- 
tion (Fig, 1) represents a The- 
ban crouching at tbe foot of a 
fuiTiace, and apparently taking 
from it the molten glass. The 
next (Fig. 2) shows two others 
seated on the ground, each hold- 
ing a blow-pipe, very similar in 
alt respects to those used at the 

present day. At the end of ^"^- >-"""- oi«*-m.a.ef. 
each of the tubes, which are turned towards a fire, is 
some glass which the men are be^nning to' blow. 
And in the third illustration are two glass-makers, 
also with blow-pipes, blowing a vase, the mouth of 
which touches the ground. • 



Such an early date (3500 b.c.) cannot be admitted 
altogether without question, since it is uncertain 
whether the paintings were executed during the reign 
of Ousertasen I. or his successors. 

Fig. 2.— Theban Glass-makem. 

While stating authoritatively that glass-making 
was practised at Thebes, let us take another example 
which will be indisputable, for the necklace bead of 

Fig. 8. —Theban Glaas-malcers. 

which we give an illustration (Fig. 4) bears the name 
of the queen for whom it was made, and, consequent- 
ly, the date of its fabrication. This glass bead was 
found at Thebes, by Captain Hervey of the Royal 
Marines ; and a description of it has been given by 
Sir Gardner Wilkinson,* in which he states that this 

* * The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.' Vol. iil 
p. 88. Ed. 1847. 


" moulded " bead of very advanced art bears the 
hieroglyphic legend of the queen impressed upon it 
in sunken characters. 


Fig. 4.— Bead of a Fig. 5.— Inscription in Hieroglyphics. 

Buyal Necklace. 

. This legend round the aa has in the engraving 
been extended, so as to enable the reader to see the 
whole of it at once. For the translation of it we are 
indebted to M. Theodulfe Deveria, son of the cele- 
brated Achille Deveria, already well-known in the 
scientific World for his ability in deciphering hiero- 

We give his own words : 

" Only the first line of this legend is legible. It 
may be translated without difficulty as follows : — 
'The good goddess (i.^., the queen) Ra-ma-ka, the 
loved of Athor, protectress of Thebes.' Ea-ma-ka 
was the first name of the Queen Hatasou, the wife 
of Thoutmes III., who reigned in the eighteenth 
dynasty (1500 B.C., according to the chronology of 

Here then we see Thebes with this manufacture 
without any precise date, but exhibiting an advanced 
art 3367 years ago. 

Thebes, as we shall shortly see, was not the only 


town in Egypt which practised with success the manu- 
facture of glass ; for Pliny boasts of the glass-manu- 
factures of Sidon, and Herodotus and Theophrastus 
Bing the praises of the marvellous productions of the 

The fame of these different manufactures in glass 
could not remain unknown to the Romans ; accord- 
ingly, scarcely had Caesar Augustus subdued Egypt 
(26 B.C.), than he ordered that glass should form part 
of the tribute to be imposed on the conquered. 

This tax, far from having been, as one might have 
thought, a cause of ruin for Egypt, became a source 
of wealth to all her glass manufactories ; for Rome, 
always eager of novelty, having patronised these new 
productions, the result was that the Egyptians devoted 
theniselves to a very large export trade, of which they 
preserved the monopoly until the reign of Tiberius 
(14 A.D.), at which period, according to Pliny, this 
industry began to be cultivated at Rome. 

The Romans, gifted with a quick intelligence, by 
employing the processes used in Egypt, taught them 
by Egyptian artists allured to Rome, or by pupils 
who had been sent to their new province, made such 
rapid progress that in a short time their productions 
rivalled the most beautiful specimens which the Egyp- 
tians had formerly brought them, both in shape, color, 
and the cutting of the glass. 

A single quotation from Pliny (Book xxxvi. chap. 
24) will at once make us appreciate the immense im- 
portance of the Roman glass manufactures, and give 


US an idea of the luxury which was displayed by one 
Scaurus on being appointed to the post of sedile. 

" I will not permit, however, these two Caiuses, 
or two Neros, to enjoy this glory even, such as it is ; 
for I will prove that these extravagant follies of theirs 
have been surpassed, in the use that was made of his 
wealth by M. Scaurus, a private citizen. Indeed, I 
am by no means certain that it was not the sedileship 
of this personage that inflicted the first great blow 
upon the public manners, and that Sylla was not 
guilty of a greater crime in giving such unlimited 
power to his stepson, than in the proscription of so 
many thousands. During his sedileship, and only for 
the temporary purposes of a few days, Scaurus exe- 
cuted the greatest work that has ever been made by 
the hands of man, even when intended to be of ever- 
lasting duration ; his Theatre, I mean. This building 
consisted of three storeys, supported upon three hun- 
dred and sixty columns ; and this, too, in a city which 
had not allowed without some censure one of its 
greatest citizens to erect six pillars of Hymettian 
marble. The ground-story was of marble, the second 
of glass, a species of luxury which ever since that 
time has been quite unheard of, and the highest of 
gilded wood. The lowermost columns, as previously 
stated, were eight and thirty feet in height; and, 
placed between these columns, as already mentioned, 
were brazen statues, three thousand in number. The 
area of this theatre afforded accommodation for eighty 
thousand spectators; and yet the Theatre of Pom- 

Jl^ 4 W 

Fig. e.-'Boman Glus. 


peius, after tlie City had so greatly increased, and the 
inhabitants had become so vastly more numerous, was 
considered abundantly large with its sittings for forty 
thousand only. The rest of the fittings of it, what 
with Attalic vestments, pictures, and other stage 
properties, were of such enormous value that, after 
Scauros had had conveyed to his Tusculan villa such 
parts thereof as were not required for the enjoyment 
of his daily luxuries, the loss was no less than one 
hundred millions of sesterces, when the villa was 
burnt by his servants in a spirit of revenge." 

This sum i^equivalent to eight hundred and forty 
thousand pounds sterling, or $4,200,000 in gold. 

It would be wrong to infer from the folly of Scau- 
rus that the Roman glass-makers manufactured such 
objects as these only ; for being both artists and men 
of commerce, if they made objects of art (and of this 
we will, presently give a proof), they never forgot 
that industry can only live on condition that its pro- 
ducts, appealing to all, supply a general want. The 
immense quantity of glass objects which are found in 
Roman tombs, and of which we are going to speak, 
prove that glass for ordinary use was very common 
in Rome. 

To support this assertion we will give our readers 
a complete inventory, in three distinct categories, of 
the glass objects which were discovered in 1837, in a 
Roman tomb at Baccalcone. 

We will first speak of those which, from being 
found in all tombs, appear to be the result of a cus- 


torn then general, and afterwards of those objects in 
daily use which were only left in the tombs at the 
pleasure of the relations, who placed with the dead 
the objects he had used or for which he had a particu 
lar regard. 

Every one knows that this veneration for tokens 
of remembrance still exists at the present time. The 
following extract from '^ Des coutumes et ceremonies 
observees par les Remains," * shows us the use of 
each of these different objects. 

" In order to burn the body, a fiineral pile was 
erected in the shape of an altar, and composed of 
very combustible wood. Around this was placed 
some cypress-wood. The body, sprinkled with the 
most precious perfumes (Fig. 6, bottles Nos. 2, 3, 7, 
8, 9), was then placed on the pile, and the nearest 
relations of the deceased, turning their faces away, 
set fire to it. The most costly garments of the dead 
and his weapons were also thrown upon it ; the rela- 
tions cut their hair and threw it on the funeral pile. 
Whilst the body was burning, human blood was 
spilled before the pile (cup No. 4). This appeased, 
as they believed, the manes of the deceased. When 
the body was consumed, the flames were extinguished 
with wine (vase No. 5), and the relations enclosed the 
bones and ashes in an urn (No. 1), in which were 
mingled flowers and odoriferous liquid perfumes." 

We think that the object represented by No. 6, 

* Translated from the Latin of Nieupoort, by the Abb^ Desfon- 
taines. Paris, Nyon, 1740, p. ■ 08. 


and of which we have not yet spoken, is only a bottle 
representinff a bird. Vessels of this shape are often 
m^ with. ^ 

Let as leave this sad spectacle for a much more 
cheerful subject — a Roman lady's toilet. There we 
shall find proof tLat, if the ancients have endowed us 
with a great number of wondei'S, they have been well 
avenged by transmitting to their descendants that 
fashion, now, alas ! too common, which in spite of all 
the skill of the painter, absolutely deceives only the 
person who uses it — that of painting the skin. Tes, 
readers, the Roman ladies of the Decadence painted 
themselves, and it even appears that they were per- 
fect mistresses of the art. The first object which we 
will notice is a hollow colored glass ball (Fig 7, No. 
1) which contained the paint, and the necessary ad- 
junct of which is a twisted glass wand (No. 4), flat- 
tened at each end, which seiTed to spread the color 
on the face. 

As we do not pretend to maintaia as a general 
assertion that the ancients have invented everything, 
we seize this opportunity of" according to France the 
honor of having substituted a hare's foot for the glass 
wand. And this, as we are told by a person well 
skilled in the matter, is at the present time super- 
seded by a little ball of very fine cotton wool. 

We have previously said that Roman glass fur- 
nished a great many articles for domestic use. "We 
do not indeed pretend that those which we offer to 
the reader represent the whole of them ; but they 


will suffice to prove that the Romans possessed at 
least a great number similar to those which we use at 
the present time. 

In plate 8, page 39, No. 1 represents an amphora 
with two handles, and beside it (No. 2) one of those 
amphoras without handles which were designated by 
Petronius amphora vii/rea (glass amphora), and which, 
as we see, presents a great resemblance to our bottles. 

Connected with the subject of bottles, let us next 
call the reader's attention to the fragment of a drink- 
ing glass (No. 3) which, broken as it is, offers a great 
similarity to those which we now use (see the chap- 
ters headed Bottles and DrinTcing GUtsses), Near it 
is a jug (No. 4) with one handle, used, it is said, to 
contain preserved fruits, which were doubtless served 
in the dish (No. 5). When Gaul had fallen under the 
Roman power, the first care of the conqueror was to 
introduce into that country her laws, manners, and 
customs, as well as her different manufactures. 
Amongst these last, the only one which must now 
occupy us — the art of glass making — is certainly one 
of those which were the most widely diffiised. In 
fact, the excavations made with so much care some 
years ago in the ancient provinces of France, have 
brought to light a very large quantity of glass objects, 
— similar as regards substance and mode of manufac- 
ture, as well as shape, to those found in the Roman 
tombs; so that one would be led to consider Rome as 
the only place of their manufacture, had not the dis- 
covery of an infinite number of Gallic glass-manufac- 

FlB. 7.— a .nun Olaift 


tiires by the natives proved that the Ganis were at an 
early period great rivals to the Eoman glass^makers 
(not only in common objects, but also in works of 
art). We will give one example only, the Strasbourg 
vase (Fig. 9), which, by the diflSculty of its manufac- 
ture, indicates a very advanced state of art. 

The following description of it is given by M. 
Schweighauser, librarian to^ the town of Stras- 
bourg : — * 

" The vase, surrounded with a kind of network 
of red-colored glass,t and bearing an inscription in 
green glass, was found in 1825, in a coflSn, disinterred 
by chance near the glacis of Strasbourg, by a garden- 
er. It has been pla<5ed by my care in the museum 
belonging to our public library, where it is admired 
by all who see it. It was broken by the clumsy curi- 
osity of the man who found it, and a part of the in- 
scription is missing. However, the name of MAXI- 
MIAlSrVS AYGVSTVS can be distinguished. This 
was without doubt MAXIMIANUS HERCULnJS,$ 
who often dwelt amongst the Gauls, and whose med- 
als are very frequently found in our district. This 
emperor had probably i eceived the vase as a present, 

* ' Notice 8ur quelqties monuments gaUo-romains du d6partement 
da Bas-Rhin.* Vol. xvi. p. 95 des *' M^moires de la Soci6t4 royale d«8 
antiquaires de France.* 1842. 

f By colpred glass the writer evidently means colored in the mass, 
or enamelled. 

X A Roman emperor who was bom' in Pannonia about the year 260, 
and died at Marseilleti in 810. 


and bad given it away to some fnend, who died in 
the vicinity of Argentoratum (Strasbom-g), and with 
whom it was buried ae a precious object." 

Fig. ft— The Btmbamg Tue. 

The niimerouB glass-works, eetablished both in 
Gaul and Spain, existed up to the period when, civili- 
sation being driven back by the barbarians who car- 
ried fire and pillage into Konie, they fell, like every 
other industry, into such decay, that the processes of 
the manufacture were lost to the West. 


It is said that nothing absolutely perishes, aud the 
words are true as regards glass-making ; for if it died 
in the West, •it was revived in the East under Con- 
stantine I.,* who having transferred the seat of the 
empire to Byzantium (Constantinople), hastened to 
attract to himself the artists and workmen of the 
West, who found in that new empire aid and protec- 
tion, and, moreover, an immense market for all kinds 
of industries, to such a degree that, in order to facili- 
tate their export trade, the glass-makers were collect- 
ed near the harbor. Theodosius Il.f desiring t6 
encourage this branch of commerce, even exempted 
the glass-makers from all personal taxes. With such 
protection, the art of glass-making could not but 
prosj)er ; and its productions obtained such a reputa- 
tion that tliey were offered as presents to the princes 
and kings of the West. 

In spite of these successes attained by Byzantium, 
the time came when the West again resumed its old 
industry. Venice reclaimed it, and at her summons 
the East gave up, about the fourteenth century, the 
nearly exclusive monopoly which her glass-makers 
had extended over the West. 

* Oonstantine L, snrnained the Great, a Roman emperor, the son 
of Ck>n8tantius Chloras and Helena, was born at Naissus in Upper 
M<B8ia, A.D. 274, and died a.d. 887. 

f Theodosius II., the son of Arcadius, a Koman emperor, bom a j>. 
899, and reigned from a j). 408 to 460. 



According to the Italian writers Carlo Marin * 
and the Count Filiasi, the birth of Venetian glass- 
making was nearly contemporary with the foundation 
of the city, which is attributed, as is known, to the 
emigration of some families from Aquileia and Pa- 
dua, who fleeing fi-om the armies of Attila, came and 
took refuge on the islands of the lagoons about the 
year 420. 

While admitting the possibility of such an anti- 
quity for the manufacture, we will pass to a better 
known epoch, which will permit us to follow the art 
iti its progress to perfection. 

The period we shall take for our starting point, 
and which is certainly one of the most brilliant in the 
history of the Venetian Republic, is that in which its 
navy, rivalling those of Pisa and Genoa, after having 
subdued the maritime towns of Istria and Dalmatia, 
carried to Asia not only merchandise, but pilgrims to 
the Holy Land and Crusaders on their way to fight 
against the infidels. 

In the year 330 Constantino I. had, as we have 
said, attracted to the East the most famous artists of 
the West, and Venice nine centuries afterwards sum- 
moned in her turn Greek artists to come to her. It 
is from this period, in fact (the end of the thirteenth 

* Carlo Mariii, * Stom civile e politica del commercio de* Vene- 


century), that the records of the republic prove both 
the importance of the numerous glass-works existing 
in Venice, and the interest which she attached to that 
art ; such an interest that, as Carlo Marin said, ^^ she 
loved it as the apple of hereje." 

Is this love, so much admired and so much ex- 
tolled by certain writers, as disinterested as they have 
been pleased to say ? or rather does it not resemble 
that of a (certain Persian prince, who whenever he 
took a fancy to any one, had him chained up so that 
he could not leave the palace? 

It is this question which we are going to examine, 
hoping to prove in a very few words that there is 
justice in this comparison between the Persian prince 
and the Venetian republic. 

Venice being at that time the only place where 
objects in glass were manufactured, every foreign 
country was forced to apply to her ; and thanks to 
the numerous demands, as well as the continual and 
immense exportations, of which a fellow-citizen gave 
the idea, foreign gold accumulated at Venice. This 
kind of commerce already offered immense advan- 
tages to this eminently commercial republic ; it was 
only necessary to find means to assure them for the 
future ; so it was to attain this end, and of course for 
love of the gldss-makers^ that the chief council ordered 
it to be proclaimed that it would punish with confis- 
cation any one who exported from Venice, not manu- 
factured articles which were to be turned into gold 
for her advantage, but the primary materials of which 


glass is composed, receipts for its mamifactiire, and 
even broken glass ; in one word, everything which 
might enable other countries to enter into competi- 
tion with Venice in the least degree. This first step 
had hardly been taken towards this monopoly, when 
the chief council, which appears not to have had an 
unlimited confidence in the oath sworn by the glass- 
makers with regard to this law, promulgated a second 
law (a.d. 1289), which taking as a pretext the proba- 
ble fires which would be occasioned by the numerous 
furnaces of the glass-makera (the nnmber of which 
had already greatly increased), ordered them to quit 
Venice, and establish themselves on the little island 
of Murano, which is only separated from the city by 
a narrow strip of sea. 

It will be easily understood that from this concen* 
tration of all the glass-makers there naturally result- 
ed a system of espionage, which rendered the task of 
the police much easier, and supported in a still more 
certain manner the monopoly which the republic 
strove to maintain. Since we are on the question of 
monopoly, we think that we could not make its im- 
portance better understood than by placing before our 
readers a document which, emanating from the Coun- 
cil of Ten, will enable them to judge for themselves 
of the severity — ^we might even say the infamy — of a 
decree which, not content with punishing the inno- 
cent in order to reach the guilty, did not even shrink 
from assassination. This document, which is to be 
found in the " Histoire de la Republique de Ve- 


nise," by M. Daru, is given by M. J. Labarte as fol- 
lows : — * 

*' On the 13th February, 1490, the supervision of 
the manufactories in Murano was confided to the 
chief of the Council of Ten, and on the 27th Octo- 
ber, 1547, the council reserved to itself the right of 
watching over the factories, in order to prevent the 
art of glass-making from passing into foreign coun- 
tries." These precautions, however, not appearing 
BuflBcient to the Council of Ten, the State Inquisition, 
in the twenty-sixth article of its Statutes, announced 
the following decision : — 

" If a workman carries his art into a foreign coun- 
try, to the detriment of the Republic, an order to 
return will be sent to him. 

" If he does not obey, his nearest relations will be 
put in prison. 

" If in spite of the imprisonment of his relations 
he should persist in remaining abroad, an emissary 
will be charged to kill him." 

In order to prove that this law did not stop at 
simple intimidation, M. Daru adds that in a docu- 
ment in the records of the foreign affairs, there are to 
be found two cases of assassination, of which the vic- 
tims were workmen whom the Emperor Leopold had 
attracted to Germany. 

To these documents of unimpeachable authen- 
ticity, we may add some others of a much more re- 

* Histoire des arts iDdustriels au moyen &ge et k P^poque de la 
Renaissance,* vol. iv. p. 662. 


cent date, such as the decrees of the High Council of 
the 22nd March and the 13th April, 1762, which not 
only confirmed the provisions previously made, but 
which added fresh rigor to the old laws, both against 
the workmen who established themselves in a foreign 
country, and against those who divulged the secret 
of the manufacture. We shall then have a precise 
idea of the pretended protection afforded to the glass- 
makers of Murano by the Venetian Republic. 

We think that we have presented the question of 
the monopoly in its true light. Now we will go back 
and consider the art, so to speak, from its artistic be- 
ginning at Venice. 

Amongst the most illustrious glass-makers we 
must place in the first rank Angelo Beroviero (15th 
century), who is justly regarded as having made the 
greatest step in the art of glass-making, aided, how- 
ever, by Paolo Godi da Pergola, a celebrated Vene- 
tian chemist, who gave him a number of receipts for 
the coloring of glass. These receipts were of such 
importance to Beroviero, who alone possessed them, 
that for fear doubtless lest his memory should deceive 
him, he had them all carefully written in a manu- 
script^ which he kept hidden from every one. 

" One is never beti'ayed except by one's friends," 
says an old proverb, and we are about to give a fresh 
proof of its sad truth. 

Beroviero had a daughter named Marietta, and 
employed a young man as a workman named Gior- 
gio, or rather '^ il Balleiino," as he was called, in con- 


sequence of a deformity in his feet ; a deformity, says 
tradition, which made his whole pereon bo ungainly, 
that it was to his simple and candid look that he must 
have owed his being accepted by Beroviero, who was 
neai'ly as suspicious as the Republic. Whether Gior- 
gio fell in love with the young Marietta, or whether 
Marietta shut her eyes to the defonnity of the young 
workman, the legend does not say : all that we are 
told is that U £aUerino one day seized upon the 
manuscript volume, which it appears was confided to 
the care of Marietta, and copied the whole of it. 

Having finished this work, Giorgio, armed with 
the second copy, the existence of which the over-con- 
fident Beroviero was far from suspecting, demanded 
and obtained, in place of the enormous price he 
should get by the sale of the book, the hand of Mari- 
etta, together with a handsome dowry, by the aid of 
which he constructed a furnace that brought him con- 
siderable gains. 

We have previously spoken of a certain Venetian 
who, by the accounts which he gave to his fellow glass- 
makers, largely increased the exportation of a portion 
of the glass manufactures generally, bnt especially of 
that class which we will designate by the name of 
^lass-jewellery, such as trinkets, false pearls, imita- 
tion precious stones, &c. In connection with this 
subject we have another legend, which is the more 
probable as the facts narrated are entirely in accord- 
ance with the manners of the Venetians, who, as is 
known,, were bom traders. 


There were at Venice, about the year 1250, two 
brothers, one named Matteo Polo and the other Nico- 
le. Both were navigators, or rather perhaps mer- 
chants passing their lives in visiting the most com- 
mercial cities of those distant lands which at that 
time were commonly known as the barbarian coun- 

Nicolo had a son who, following the adventurous 
life of his father and his uncle, became that iflustri- 
ous Marco Polo,* who after attaching himself (1271) 
to the service of Kublai Khan, became governor of 
the provinces under the dominion of that prince. 

On bis Jetum to Venicfe (1295) Marco hastened to 
inform his fellow-citizens, who were dauntless mari- 
ners, as well as enterprising merchants, not only of 
the manners but also of the taste of the people of 
Tartary, India, and China, for false pearls and imita- 
tion gems. Nothing more was required to excite the 
inventive mind of the Venetians. Thus whilst Do- 
minico Miotti endowed Venice with the invention of 
blowing false pearls, which had been lost for many 
centuries, Christopher Briani on his side revived an 
art formerly carried to great perfection, the produc- 
tion of colored glass and aventv^ine. 

Such efforts necessarily brought their reward, and 
it is to the pearls and colored glass in imitation of 
precious stones that Venice owed in a great part the 
wealth which she gathered from both hemispheres. 

* A celebrated Venetian trayeller who was born about 1250, and 
died in 1828. 



In spite of the rigorous and tyrannical ordinances 
of the Venetian authorities, of which we have given 
an idea, light began at length to dawn upon other 
countries ; and Germany, the first to shake off the 
monopoly which weighed on her as well as on all the 
other states, began to produce objects in glass not 
resembling those of Murano in shape and ornament, 
but so dissimilar that we may say that she created a 
new industry. In fact, leaving to Venice her fine 
and light filigree work, Germany only decorated her 
glasses with paintings in enamel, generally represent- 
ing coats of arms (see page 143). 

The most ancient vase, which represents the coat 
of arms of the Elector Palatine, bears the date of 
1553. It is exhibited in the Kiinstkammer of Berlin. 

Amongst the artists in glass-making who were the 
most renowned in Germany, were Johaun Schaper 
of Nuremberg (1661 to 1666), H. Benchert (1677), 
Johann Keyll (1675), and the Saxon chemist, Kunkd 
(died 1702), to whom Germany is indebted for nu- 
merous receipts for the coloring of glass, and among 
others .for that of the beautiful ruby red. 


The industrial start was given in the West, for to 
Germany succeeded Bohemia, which entered the in- 
dustrial lists not only with glass of much greater 
clearness than that of the manufacturers of Italy and 



Germany, but also with a decorative system up to 
that time unknown — engraving on glass — invented it 
is believed about 1609, by Gaspar Lehuianu, and con- 
tinued by his pupil George Schwanhard. The taste, 
or rather the fashion, which caused the Venetian and 
German glass-manufactures to be abandoned for the 
engraved glass of Bohemia, became so widely sprep-d 
in the seventeenth century, that Bohemian engravers 
decorated certain Venetian objects of the . fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries with engravings executed 
either by the lathe or by the diamond. This union 
of two industries, separated by more than a century, 
and moreover united on the same objects, gives rise 
to a great uncertainty as to their origin. 

As this question interests numerous amateurs at 
the present time, we will quote the words of M. J. 
Ijabarte,* who in this matter is one of the savans 
whose opinion is of the greatest weight. 

" There is in the Musee de Cluny a glass with a 
high stem, engi*aved with a full-length portrait of the 
Prince Frederick of Na8sau,f with a German inscrip- 
tion. There is also another glass bearing the Spanish 
arms; a goblet on which is represented a hunting 
scene, with a Dutch inscription, and the date 1664 ; 
and a large glass with the arms of the seven United 

* See the work before mentioned, * Histoire des Arts industriels,' 
Ac, vol. iv., p. 594. 

f Henry Frederick of Nassau, the Prince of Orange, succeeded his 
brother Maurice, a.d. 1625, as chief of the Republic. He died A.OW 


Provinces. All these engravings are made by the 

These Venetian vases, which were not engraved 
until more than a century after their manufacture, 
must not, therefore, be taken for Bohemian glass. 

Bohemian glass having numerous partizans in 
Europe, we think it would be agreeable to our read- 
ers to learn tlie opinion of M. Godard, manager of 
the manufactoiy at Baccarat.* 

" The great manufacture of Bohemia is of glass, 
but it is glass which, while produced at a very low 
price, is white and clear enough to make it a formi- 
dable rival both to the glass and crystal of other 

" The greater part of the Bohemian glass factones 
have been established for the sole purpose of utilizing 
the woods, which would have no value were it not for 
the introduction of this industry. It is for the same 
reason that a certain number of glass factories and 
furnaces were established in France about one hun- 
dred or one hundred and fifty years ago, in the mid- 
dle of the forest districts. But the increasing wealth 
of the country has multiplied the wants and devel- 
oped these industries to such a degree, that the woods 
have become much sought after, and very dear. In 
Bohemia, on the contrary, the increase of wealth has 
been slower by far ; the people have remained poor 
and without requirements, or without the means of 

* * Extract from the Inquiry into the Treaty of Commerce with Eng- 
land,' 1861. * Imprimerie Imp^riale/ p. 668. 


satisfying th^m ; the woods therefore are still nearly 
without value ; and the spirited, skilful, and intelli- 
gent Bohemian workman receives wages which can 
scarcely be realised by a resident in France, and the 
sraallness of which is in all cases to be deplored.* 

" There being hardly any consumption of glass in 
Bohemia, the country exports nearly all its products 
to the richer provinces of Austria, and to all Ger- 
many, to Switzerland, Italy, the East, Bussia, Amer- 
ica, &c. 

" This industry has become quite popular in tlie 
country, where it guarantees to a (considerable part 
of the population an occupation which does not make 
them rich, but helps to keep them from want, and at 
the same time procures a revenue for the large land- 
owner by the use of their woods. 

" These numerous establishments, of quite a rus- 
tic construction, generally placed in the middle of the 
forests, produce ordinary glass wares, objects destined 
to be highly worked or richly engraved, and colored 
glasses, which are decorated with gilding and paint- 
ings. Long experience in the manufacture of colored 
glass has made these workmen most skilful in this 
branch, and they are guided in case of need by the 
advice of men of intbrmation who have made a pro- 

* In France the wages of a glass-maker cannot be estimated at less 
than four or five francs a dny, and those of an engraver at less than six 
to ten francs ; while in Bohemia on^ to two francs a day is the maxi- 
mum. Since this was written the wages of the French glass-makers 
have been increased. 


fession of the search after and sale of processes and 
improvements in glass-making; and rich lords ad* 
vance the necessary capital, when it is required, in 
order to ensure the success of the manufactories es- 
tablished on their property.* 

" Glass-cutting and lustre-making constitute spe- 
cial trades, carried on in huts on «mall streams, with 
wheels of the simplest construction. 

" The engraving, gilding, and painting also form 
separate trades, which are all exercised with the same 
parsimony in the price of the workmanship. 

" Finally, all these products are collected by com- 
mercial houses, which distribute them among the 
various markets. 

"It is difficult to compare these products with 
ours as regards ordinary articles. The material is not 
the same. The Bohemian glass is pure, white, light, 
and agreeable to the hand. It has not the brilliancy 
of our crystal, and it is liable to turn yellow with 
time. Bohemia has preserved its shapes, which en- 
tirely differ from ours,t and which (perhaps because 
they are foreign) are appreciated by certain purchas- 
ers to such a degree that we are sometimes obliged to 
imitate them. 

" Its process of manufacture differs most widely 

* The same has happened in France. See the chapter on * Gentle- 
men Glass-makers," page 62. 

f ** Certain glass-works imitate in form and moulding the manufaC' 
ture of Bohemia, such as the establishment of Yalerysthal and some 
of the glass-works of Lorraine." 


from that of other countries. In order to facilitate 
and shorten the work of the furnaces, the rims of the 
goblets, glasses with steins, &c., are cut with the cut- 
ter's wheel which, in England, Belgium, and France 
are cut with the glass-maker's shears ; and the work- 
men having been long accustomed to this kind of 
work, have acquired a talent which cannot be found 
among any other nation for producing articles d ca- 
loUej that is to say, articles of which the top is taken 
oft' by the cutter instead of being opened by the glass- 
blower. These edges which are cut are not so well 
rounded, are less agreeable for use, and more likely 
to get chipped, than those which are formed by heat. 
But they have a neater and more satisfactory look to 
the eye, the objects are more even, the workman 
being freed from the care which he is obliged to take 
in order to prevent breaking them when opening 
them with his nippers. The majority of the purchas- 
ers prefer our edges, but it is easy to get accustomed 
to the Bohemian edges, which do not prevent the sale 
of the articles. But the great advantage of the 
manufacturers of Bohemia is the low price at which 
they can produce ware. 

"There is among the fancy articles and colored 
glasses of Bohemia an originality which is not always 
in accordance with good taste, but which is valued 
and sought after by purchasers on account of its 
strangeness. It is Bohemia which has given birth to 
that kind of product, which agrees more with the 
German taste than with the French ; and she has the 


right of seniority over us, an advantage which is so 
precious and so important in commerce. 

" The productions of that country are less finished 
in detail than onrs ; the defective objects are put up 
for sale with the others ; the mouths of bottles and 
other like objects are made with a carelessness which 
would not be tolerated in France. With these de- 
fects, which, wliile they would cause our articles to 
be rejected, are accepted as inherent to the Bohemian 
articles, these productions have a brilliancy, richness, 
and originality, which charm all the more as they are 
at the same time very moderate in price. 

*' Although in competition with Bohemia we sell 
colored crystals to foreign countries, and although 
the particular qualities of our manufacture are es- 
teemed there, if our frontiers were opened to the glass 
wares of that country, considerable quantities of them 
would inevitably enter. Perhaps this taste would be 
extinguished in a few years, and the preference which 
we endeavor to merit would be given to us ; but till 
then we should experience a considerable prejudice." 

Since we are visiting foreign countries, although 
very rapidly, we will not now stop at France without 
saying something about the glass manufactures of 
Belgium and England. An anonymous writer, but a 
very competent one, shall treat of those of Belgium, 
leaving Messrs. Chance Brothers, of Birmingham, to 
speak to us of the glass-works of England.* 

• * Extract from the Inquiry into the Treaty of Commerce with 
England, 1861.' * Imprimerie Imp^riale,' pp. 551-596. 



'" The organization and condition of Belgian glass- 
works resemble those of France much more than any 

'^This manufacture is carried on in Belgium in 
establishments erected on a large scale. Baccarat 
was originally a colony of a Belgian glass manufac- 
tory, which at the time of the separation of that 
country, in 1815, established a branch establishment 
in France, in order to preserve its French patronage. 

''The principal adTantage of the position of the 
Belgian glass-works is that they are placed over tho 
coal mines of that country, which rival those of Eng- 
land I and that the lead which is extracted from the 
mines, like their coal, is not subject to expense of 
carriage nor payment of duty. 

'' The Belgians are especially to be feared on ac- 
count of a manufacture of demi-crystal, which is not 
carried on in France, and in which they imitate all 
the shapes of our common crystals, at about the same 
price as glass. 

" It is in this kind of production, intermediate be- 
tween crystal properly so called and glass, that they 
are very skilful, which enables them to export great 
quantities as a substitute for crystal. 

" Belgium greatly imitates in demi-crystal the 
French shapes in ordinary crystals, and offers them at 
a much lower price. They are generally not nearly 
so well executed as the French crystal. The system 



adopted in Belgium is to manufacture very quickly, 
so that it may be done very cheaply ;* and it is in 
this respect that it is formidable to the French glass 


The crystal trade in England is organized on a 
plan totally difierent from that pursued in France ; 
in the former country the system resembles much 
more closely that followed in the manufacture of the 
ordinary glass-ware of France. 

" Goblets made of common glass are not generally 
used in England, where the poorest as well as the rich- 
est families make use only of crystal, which material 
forms with them the substitute for our common glass. 

" In this country there are about eighty crystal 
works, containing from one hundred to One hundred 
and twenty fiirnaces, and producing for the market 
crystal to the value of at least 1,600,000^. sterling, or 
$8,000,000 in gold. Not one half of this is required 
for home consumption ; the remainder is destined for 
exportation, and prepared according to the require- 
ments and customs of each of the nations among 
whom England carries on its extensive commerce. 

" Most of these establishments are furnished in a 
very plain manner, like many of our own common 
glass-works, with little capital and few general ex- 
penses. They buy their first materials already pre- 
pared in special factories devoted to this work only, 
and to which the very numerous small crystal works 


form an important class of customers. A master 
assembles several liands ; sometimes^ he is his own 
chief workman. He constructs a furnace near some 
of the inexhaustible coal mines of Newcastle or Bir- 
mingham ; the first materials he buys on credit ; a 
few moulds are ordered if he intends to undertake 
moulding ; and thus he makes the crystal in ordinary- 
use with scarcely any other expense than the price 
of fuel, the first materials, and the labor. 

" If the crystal is to be cut, he sells it to those 
who undertake the cutting as a separate branch ; that 
intended for exportation is sold to houses with a large 
foreign connection. Each factory, in consequence of 
its restricted limits compared with the importance of 
this trade in England, is thus enabled to confine itself 
to a particular branch of the manufacture, to acquire 
therein great dejcterity, and be always certain of find- 
ing a market for its productions. 

" This system does not oflfer to the producer great 
opportunities for acquiring profit, but it enables him 
to supply at very low prices, of which home compe- 
tition and the necessity for selling do not always per- 
mit him to derive permanent advantage. 

" There are in England more important and com- 
plete crystal works, especially such as are employed 
in the production of what are properly termed fancy 
crystals, in which articles they have acquired un- 
doubted superiority ; but English crystal ware is, 
however, quite as formidable in its small factories as 
in the great establishments.^' 


We were about to close the article relating to 
England, when M. J. Labarte, who by his minute 
labors leaves nothing new to be' said, tells us that the 
introduction of glass, the manufacture of which was 
unknown or neglected in England during the whole 
of the middle ages, had been introduced there by a 
certain Cornelius de Lannoy, who being invited to 
London by Queen Elizabeth, was the first to prdduce 
works in glass. According to the same scholai*, it 
was during her reign that Jean Quarre, native of 
Antwerp, accompanied by workmen from his own 
country, established there a manufactory of the same 
kind as those already existing in France. 


To i*epeat here what we have said already, " that 
the Komans had established numerous glass-works in 
Gaul," would be doubtless to trace the origin of this 
aii; to a very remote period ; but it must be admitted 
that if the manufacture of ordinary objects, common 
even in material and form, continued without inter- 
ruption, it certainly was not the same with that which 
may be termed elaborate fancy glass-ware. We will 
mention, for example, the glass found at Strasbourg 
(page 37) ; and the excavations made in hundreds of 
places, especially in Normandy, present us for the 
most part only with forms which, being still in daily 
use, are repeated everywhere. 

Let us come at once to the reign of Clotaire I. 

60 wond:b3R8 of glass-making. 

(6th century), for it is here that we shall find one of 
the earliest notices of glass objects being used at the 
tables of the great. The proof exists in a letter writ- 
ten to Qneen Kadegonde, wife of Clotaire I., by For- 
tunatus, at that time bishop of Poitiers, in which he 
describes to her in the following terms a repast at 
which he had been present. " Each kind of food was 
served np on a different material. The meat on sil- 
ver dishes ; the vegetables on dishes of marble ; the 
fowls on gldss dishes ; the fruit in painted baskets ; 
and the milk in black earthenware pots shaped like a 
saucepan." Whilst fully allowing that this bill of 
fare cannot in luxury and profusion of dishes be com- 
pared with that of official banquets of which the 
newspapers ranch too often present us with a list as 
long as it is devoid of interest, yet it will be allowed 
that our ancestors even already were conversant with, 
and indulged in luxury at table. 

From the sixth centnry let us pass to the four- 
teenth, and we shall then see bow important the 
manufacture was five hundred years ago. 

A document drawn up, on the glass-maker's privi- 
lege being accorded in 1338 by Humbert, Dauphin 
of Viennois, to a certain Guionet, who was about to 
follow his trade on the lands of the Dauphin, is inter- 
esting, not only as presenting us in succession with 
the objects of glass then in use, but still further, as 
showing us that my lord the Dauphin of Viennois 
did not confer his favors gratuitously. 

" The Dauphin resigns to Guionet a part of the 


forest of Chambarant, in order that he may establish 
a glass manufactory there, on condition that the lat- 
ter supply annually for his house, one hundred dozen 
glasses in the form of bells, twelve dozen small glass- 
es with wide tops, twenty dozen goblets or cups with 
feet, twelve araphoraB, thirty-six dozen chamber uten- 
sils, twelve large porringers, six dishes, six dishes 
without edges, twelve pots, twelve ewers, five small 
vessels called goUejles^ one dozen salt-cellars, twenty 
dozen lamps, six dozen chandeliers, one dozen large, 
cups, one dozen small barrels, and lastly^ six large 
casks for carrying wine." 

A total for my lord of two thousand four hundred 
and thirty-five objects annually ! 

Does this very full list enumerate all the objects 
of glass used in the fourteenth century ? One might 
be led to believe it ; and yet we ask ourselves how 
our ancestors could, we will not say invent, but at 
least revive, certain of those glass trinkets which we 
frequently find in the Roman or Gallo-Koman tombs. 
When turning over the inventory of the department- 
al archives previous to 1790,f we found : " 1592, to 
Florent Bougart, glass-maker, the sum of nine livres 
toumois, as payment for a small glass service which 
we sold to Henry, Daliphin of Viennois, for Made- 
moiselle Diane, his natural daughter." 

* la spite of our researches we have been unable to discover the 
meaning of this word. Might it not be compared to glass in the form 
of a gondola, and described further on. 

f Department of Sdne-et-Marne, Series E., Titles of Families, E., 
57 case. 


The household of my lord the Dauphin of Vien- 
nois being amply furnished, and Mademoiselle Diane 
having her little service, nothing further remains for 
us but to refer the reader to the following pages, in 
which we shall give the origin (as far as possible), to- 
gether with the mode of manufacturing the principal 
objects due to the glass-maker's art. But there is still 
one historical point to which we invite his attention, 
viz. : What is to be understood by a " gentleman 
glass-maker ? " 


According to the testimony of several authors, the 
general opinion admitted even in the present day is 
that formerly the mere trade of a glass-maker carried 
nobility with it ; in a word, that every common glass- 
maker was ennobled by the mere fact of the nature 
of his trade. 

Since such a prerogative — however impolitic it 
must have been, by doing the most flagrant and un- 
merited injustice to other important branches of in- 
dustry — ^has been, and is still admitted as an liistori- 
cal fact, let us examine for a moment, as briefly as 
possible, on what ground this nobility rests, if it ever 
existed, and what could have* been the origin of the 

The two principal offenders, in our opinion, are a 
poet and a celebrated potter ; the first,* by saying in 
his epigram against the poet Saint Amaud — 

* Fran9oi3 Maynard, French poet, born at Toulouse in 1582, and 
died 1646. 


"Yotre noblesse est mince,. 
Car ce n*est pas d'un prince, 
Daphuis, que vous sortez; 
OerUilhomme de verre^ 
Si vous tombez k terre, 
Adieu V08 qualit^s ; " • 

and the 8econd,t by employing this phrase in his im- 
mortal work : JJArt de la verrerie est noble^ et ceux 
qui y beaongnent sont ndbles-X 

First, we undertake to establish that we are far 
from believing that a common glass-maker, more than 
any other manufacturer, ever merited or even ever 
obtained letters of nobility. Passing over these very 
rare exceptions, we are concerned here only with the 
corporation as a whole ; in short, we shall endeavor 
to prove that, in France, the condition, the art even, 
if you like, of the glass-maker did never of necessity 
confer nobility on every one practising it. 

As regards the two authorities antagonistic to our 
opinion, we give the text of one of numerous decrees 
which were issued against the plebeians on all occa- 
sions when they attempted to lay claim to nobility. 

Here is the text of a decree of the Cour dea AideSy 
at Paris, in September, 1597. 

"... from the mere fact of working and trad- 

* " Your nobility is puny, for you are not descended from a prince, 
Taphnls ; gentleman of fflass, should you fall to the ground, then fare- 
well to yonr dignity." 

f Bernard Palissy, born in the diocese of Agen, about 1610, died 
in Paris, 1689. 

X Glass-making is a noble art, and those engaged in it are noble. 


ing in glass-ware, the glass-makers could not claim to 
have acquired nobility or right of exemption; nor, 
on the other hand, could the inhabitants of the local- 
ity assert that a nobleman was doing anything derog- 
atory to his title by being a glass-maker." 

From this enactment, repeated on each new at- 
tempt at usurpation, the natural consequence is, that 
the ordinary glass-maker did not acquire nobility, 
and that the nobleman did not forfeit his by devoting 
himself to the glass trade. A still more recent proof 
is found in Article 2 of the privilege granted to Du 
Noyer, by Louis XIV., 1665, to found the manufac- 
tory at St. Gobain : " Du Noyer may take as co-part- 
ners, even nobles and ecclesiastics, without it being 
derogatory to their nobility." 

In support of our assertions, let us further cite an 
article of a decree issued bv the Venetian senate, 
which certainly of all past governments is that which 
has accorded the greatest number of prerogatives to 

" The Senate decides that the marriage of a noble- 
man with the daughter of a glass-maker is contracted 
with the condition that the title of nobility be trans- 
mitted to their issue." 

Nobility then is for the son of a noble ; but as is 
Been, plebeian rank is still for the father-in-law. 

The question of plebeians not having a right to 
nobility, as well as that of non-forteiture for 'the no- 
blemen being thus clearly settled, let us see what 
advantages accompanied the privileges generally con- 


ferred on noblemen, a favor of which we will shortly 
mention the cause. 

These privileges are all mentioned in the letters- 
patent of November 24, 1598, conferring on Baltha- 
sar de Belleville, applying equally to him and his 
brother nobles, the permission to establish a glass- 
house in Normandy, and declaring them exempt from 
all excise, subsidies, imposts, customs, taxes on land, 
barriers, highways, tolls, commissions, ha/ndage^ robin- 
age^ district, passage, and bridge and river dues. 

In a word, the gentlemen glass-makers were then 
released from all existing imposts, which it is evident 
were rather numerous. 

Was this favor — ^monopoly even, if you like — 
granted to nobility, prejudicial to plebeian glass- 
makera, as several writers have affirmed? We be- 
lieve the contrary. Whilst allowing even that the 
nobles profited by the labor of the plebeian, it is to 
the nobleman alone that the common glass-makers 
owed their establishment and afterwards their for- 

In order to discover the origin of this association, 
we must go back to that remote period when the 
nobleman readily sold his castle in order to support 
the dignity of his escutcheon in a tournament ; or 
even to those warlike times when every subject hast- 
ened to place at his king's service the vassals on his 
domain, both great and small, armed and equipped at 
his own expense. We shall then see many of them 



returning to these domains covered equally with glory 
and debt, that is, ruined. 

This condition, sad for any one, was disastrous to 
the nobility, for it is known that the law formally ex- 
cluded them, and that under pain of forfeiture of 
title, from commerce, by which alone they could have 
retrieved their fortune. 

However ardently the kings of France might wish 
to abolish a law which pressed heavily on those alone 
who had sacrificed everything in the service of their 
country, this desire was paralysed by the pride of the 
other nobles, who, still rich, compelled them to main- 
tain in all its rigor a law in which, for fear of a sub- 
terfuge or oversight being found, all the trades then 
known were mentioned. At last this law shared the 
fate of everything not adapted to the times ; and if 
it did not fall at once into disuse, a new importation, 
and consequently one not specified in the list of pro- 
hibited trades, glass-making, appeared, which allowed 
the kings, whilst still adhering to the ancient law, to 
profit by its silence relating to glass-making, and thus 
to open a resource as indispensable to the rising trade 
as to the re-establishment of the nobleman's fortune. 

Such, in our opinion, is the real origin of the 
" gentlemen glass-makers," who, being nobles by 
birth, and no longer in dread of the law of forfeiture, 
in consideration of certain dues, delivered up their 
forests to the plebeian glass-makers. The latter, 
thanks to the nobles, found therein everything which 
they required, that is, space adapted to their trade, 


wood, without which they could not work, and still 
further, all the profits accruing from the exemptions, 
which being accorded to the lord alone, formed what 
in the present day would be knowji under the name 
of common capital (apport ou fonds social). 

From the preceding then we conclude that, with 
some very rare exceptions, the title of '^ gentlemen 
glass-makers " was granted only to nobles who had 
the monopoly worked on their estate. 

In the most rapid manner possible, we have noted 
the principal stages of the glass-making trade. Let 
ns now fix our attention, not on all the objects pro- 
duced by it, the list of which would be endless, but 
simply on those most in use, giving the origin of 
each, its mode of fabrication, as well as its successive 
stages of development. 



M. A. Cochin, Member of the Institute, in his ex- 
cellent work, entitled " La Manufacture de St. Go- 
bain," t ^^ treated the dry subject of the composi- 
tion of glass in a manner at once so clear and terse, 
that for the benefit of the reader we request the au- 
thor's permission to transcribe here his own words : — 

" The theory of the manufacture of common glass 
and of glass mirrora is, like all nature's secrets, at 
once simple and beautiful. 

*' It has been the gracious will of the Creator that 
everything which is useful should at the same time 
be very abundant ; but in order to make labor in- 
cumbent on us. He has been pleased to conceal Bis 
favors — it is for us to discover them. The materials 
required for the manufacture of glass are to be met 

* Each kind of glass having its peculiar composition, in order to 
aroid unnecessary trouble, we have considered it best to notify each of 
them under the head of the object described. Thus, to learn the com- 
position of window glass, mirrors, and all other objects, reference has 
only to be made to each of these articles. Flint-glass and crown-glass 
will be treated under the head of optics. 

f Puris, Douuiol, 1866, page 12. 


with everywhere, but in an impure and mixed con- 
dition, like nearly all natural substances. 

" Silica is the chief component of glass. Potash 
or soda and lime are mixed with the silica to obtain 
window and plate glass ; add oxide of iron and you 
have hotUe glass / substitute oxide of lead and you 
obtain crystal ; replace it by oxide of tin and you 
produce enamd. The union of the fusible bases, 
potash, soda, and lead, with silicic acid, form com* 
pounds which are also fusible ; the infosible bases, 
lime, alumina, magnesia, produce infusible com- 
pounds ; but combined with fusible and infusible 
bases, the silicic acid forms multiple silicates which 
melt very readily. Plate-glass is precisely one of 
these mixtures of three elements. It is composed of 
silica, soda, and lime.^ 

" Silica exists everywhere. Eock crystal, sand- 
stone, sand, flint, are composed of silica ; it is also 
found in the ashes of plants, volcanic streams, and 
mineral springs. Sugar resembles glass, and this 
likeness is not deceptive. Melt the ashes of the 
sugar-cane, and you have glass : for with the silica^ 
tliey contain both potash and lime. 

• Nearly in this proportion : — 

SiUca n 

Lime 16 

Soda. 12 

(Pelig,ot, * Douze le9on8 sur VAxi de la Yerrerie/ page 68.) 


" Oalcareous substances compose perhaps one half 
of the crust of the globe. Lime is in our bones ; it 
is also in vegetables and straw, in the human skele- 
ton and common earth ; it is found everywhere — even 
more widely distributed than silica. 

" Soda also is tbimd in nature. It has long been 
obtained by the combustion of certain marine plants ; 
in the present day it is produced very easily by arti- 
ficial means. Potash which may be employed instead 
of soda, is not less common and widely known ; it 
exists in all ashes. 

" Here then we have the key to all those profound 
mysteries of Murano, Bohemia, and St. Gobain. A 
mirror is a valuable object produced from the com- 
monest materials. To assist the memory, let me thus 
sum up the preceding remarks. When warming your 
feet, if you look at yourself in the mirror, remember 
that the mirror which adorns your mantelpiece can 
be manufactured by the help of that same mantel- 
piece and the fireplace beneath : the stones furni ih 
the silex, the ashes the potash, the marble lime, an 1 
the fire is the only mysterious agent required for the 
transformation. ^ Glass,' according to the old saying, 
* is the offspring of fire.' " 

The materials being thus well known, we should 
have nothing further to add than to say by what 
means the fusion is obtained. Before doing so, how- 
ever, we consider it indispensable to place bef«»re the 
reader a small vocabulary of the most ordinary words 
employed in glass-making ; for like every science and 


art, so glass-making has its technical language, with 
which it is necessary to become acquainted for a 
thorough understanding of the work. 


Annealing. — ^This is the name given to one of the 
most important operations in the glass-making trade, 
for without annealing none of its productions could 
resist the le^st blow or change of temperature. To 
remove this defect, which necessarily results from 
cooling too suddenly, each of the objects when fin- 
ished is placed, whilst still at red heat, in an especial 
furnace, where it is left to cool gradually. Accord- 
ing to M. P61igot, the frequent breaking of lamp 
glasses, especially when used for the first time, must 
be attributed to imperfect annealing. 

Blowing-iron. — A hollow iron tube. One of its 
extremities (that which the glass-blower holds in his 
hand) is furnished with a wooden covering. Of all 
the glass-blower's tools, the blowing-iron is doubtless 
the most indispensable. By its aid alone the blowing 
of the glass is performed, which, as will be seen, is 
the method employed in the manufacture of nearly 
every object of glass. 

And as one may be convinced by referring to the 
plate (page 25) representing Theban glass-blowers, its 
use goes back to the most remote antiquity. 

The blowing-iron measures from six to nine feet 
in length. 

Boy. — Name indiscriminately given to the work- 
man who assists the blower. 


Cdlca/rs. — Fnrnaces for annealing the plate glass. 

Frittmg. — By this word, the object of which, afl 
will be seen, plays a very important part in the ftision 
of glass, is meant the operation which consists of 
causing the vitreons substances to undergo a heat not 
only sufficiently powerful to remove any vapor and 
to consume any combustible substances therein, but 
still further to cause the fusion to begin. 

The pots containing the frit are those which, 
placed at the sides of the frimace (see Fig. 10, page 
74), undergo a less violent heat than the melting-pots 
which occupy the centre of the furnace. 

Ola^'hause. — ^The workshop. 

Lddle. — Of these there are two kinds : one serves 
to transfer the glass from a large pot to other smaller 
ones ; the other to skim the glass while in fusion. 

Ma/rver. — Plate of cast or wrought iron, on which 
the blower prepares the glass. 

Pouty. — A long rod of solid iron, serving either 
for drawing the glass out only, or twisting it to a fine 
thread. (See Filigree Glass Wares.) By drawing 
out the glass it is intended to obtain a much longer, 
and consequently a much finer thread than that from 
which it comes. To obtain this result, the boy ap- 
plies hid pouty to the glass whilst still in fusion and 
adhering to the blower's pipe, and going backwards, 
he draws the pouty with him, whilst the blower, who 
holds the tube in his hand, proceeds in a contrary 
direction, or even remains stationary. 

Rake. — An iron instrument with the upper part 


of wood, used for stirring the frit and vitreous matter 
in the pots. 

Refining^ see Skimming. 

Shears. — They serve to cut tlie glass whilst still 

Shimming.' — The action of removing foreign mat- 
ter floating on the glass. The operation is sotnetimes 
known under the name of rejming. 

Working-hxHe. — Name given to a kind of small 
windows which, opening and shutting at will, are 
placed over the pots in order tliat the workman may 
in succession introduce and withdraw the vitritiable 
matter which he requires. 

Now that we are acquainted with the materials 
from which glass is made,* and have learnt the signi- 
fication of the technical words employed by glass- 
makers, we have only to enter their vast workshopj 
known among them by the name of glass-hovse. 


On entering the glass-house, the first thing which 
strikes us is the union of several buildings, assuming 
either a circular or rectangular form. 

These are the furnaces, serving at once for the 
fritting and fusion. 

Having to furnish a temperature between 1800 
and 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, these fiimaces are en- 
tirely constructed of fire-proof bricks, made of infusi- 
ble clay and a cement obtained from the pulverisa- 

♦ See page 69. 


tioD of old pots, which are tbemeelTes manafactnred 
from the eaine clay. In France this is generally 
obtained at Forges-les-Euux, Seiae-Ioferieure. 

Fi^. 10— GUn Furnace. 

Each fnniace contains from eight to ten potB, 
which being placed on a stand, are by this means snr- 
rounded by the flames. 

It is necessary for the mannfactnrc that the work- 
man shoald he enabled to gain constant access to the 
pots. For this pnrpose an opening cntled a working- 
hole is made in the ftimace opposite each pot ; by 
means of this the workman can not o:dy fill his pots, 
and watch the fusion of the tirst mateiials, hat also 
take the glass from tliem. 

We may remark that the fire of the glass-maker's 
fnmaces is never extingnished. Wlien a pot is empty, 
fresh vitrifiable materials are at once introduced 
through the working-hole, so that the iriannfactnre 
ceases only when the furnace is so worn that a new 


one mu&t be coD^tructed. A ^nace laats bu one or 
two years at the most. ■ 

The first material of which the pots are madu ie 
the same as that of the bricks of tlie furnace ; we 
have therefore only to explain thtir maiiut'actnre. 

*'Thp pots which serve for melting the glass," 
says the learned M. A. Peligot,* " vary in form and 
diineosion, being either round, oval, or rectangular. 
For crystal made at the coal-mine, they are closed 
and shaped like a retort, with a very narrow neck. 
Tlieir height varies from dghteen inches to three feet, 
and when baked, their sides are from two to three 
inches in thickness, and the bottom four inches. 
Large pots generally contain ten or twelve hnndi-ed- 
weight of melted glass. 

After having remained from fonr to eight months 
in a room heated from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 
they undergo a second trial, which eonsisls of sup- 
■ ' Douze le^DB tnr PArt de la Venerie.' 


porting for several weeks, and that without cracking 
or melting, a temperature farexceeding from 1800 to 
2700 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Each of these pots will last one or two, but rarely, 
three raonthft. 




Does the use of glass as a means of preserving 
the interior of houses from the severity of the seasons 
go back to an indefinite period ? or is it, as many per- 
sons think, a- comparatively modem invention ? 

For a long time this question remained undeter- 
mined, for if on the one hand Winckelmann * plead- 
ed the cause of antiquity, other scientific men, and 
by far the greater number, considered it a much more 
modem invention. This question, sustained as vehe- 
mently by the German archeeologist as it was contest- 
ed by his opponents, was in danger of for ever re- 
maining in obscurity, when suddenly antiquity her- 
self, tired doubtless of a discussion which threatened 

* John Joachim Winckelmann, one of the most celebrated antiqu&> 
ries of modern times, was the only son of a poor shoemaker of Stein- 
dalt (Brandenburg)) and was bom in that town on December 9th, lYlT. 
He was assassinated at Trieste, on June 8th, 1768, by Francis Arcan- 
geli, who suffered for his crime on the 20th of the same month. He 
left several remarkable works, amongst which we may mention the 
* History of Art.' 


'^ In preparation for Madame la Dachesse de Berry 
going (1413) to Montpensier, to have certain ^mes 
made for the windows of the said castle, to have 
them filled with oiled linen in default of glass." 

Another example may be taken from the brilliant 
and luxurious court of the powerful dukes of Bur- 
gundy, for whose palace there were commanded 
(1467) " twenty pieces of wood to make frames for 
paper, serving as chamber windows." 

These two quotations show the absence of glass 
even in the dwellings of princes, and we can now 
show the reader their rarity and the value still at- 
tached to them a century later. 

In the document dated 1567, drawn up by the 
steward of the duke of Northumberland, we find the 
following : — 

'• And because during high winds the glass in this 
and the other castles of his lordship are destroyed, it 
would be well for the glass in every window to be 
taken out and put in safety when his grace leaves. 
And if at any time his grace or others should live at 
any of the said places, they can be put in again with- 
out much expense ; whilst as it is at present, the de- 
struction would be very costly, and would demand 
great repairs." 

As a last proof of how recent is the general use 
of t^lass, it will suffice to say that at the close of the 
eighteenth century, not a hundred years ago, there 
existed, not only in provincial towns, but also in Paris 
itself, a corporation of makers of window- sashea, 


whose trade was to fill windows, not with glass, but 
merely with pieces of oiled paper. From this doubt- 
less arose the old French proverb, " The abbey is 
poor, the windows are only of paper." 

Now that we have become acquainted with the 
antiquity of glass, the different materials of which it 
is composed, the construction of the melting furnaces, 
the use of the pots, and have also learnt the meaning 
of such terras as Mt, annealing, and fusion, which are 
the three principal operations in the glass-maker's art, 
we have only to occupy ourselves with the manufao- 
ture itself. 


Window glass may be manufactured by two very 
different processes, one of which produces what is 
termed crown glass, the other cylinder glass. 

As the former process has not been employed in 
France for a long time, we shall only speak of the 

Before passing on, however, we think it better to 
rectify an eiToneous opinion, very generally received, 
which attributes to Hugh Drolenvaux, superintendent 
of roads and bridges in Alsace, the first introduction 
into France of this method of blowing glass. It will 
be sufiicient to compare the process given by the 
monk Theophilus (thirteenth century), in his " Essay 

* Flint glaas and orown glass being now especially used in the fab- 
rication of optical glassefi, we refer the reader to that article. 


on diverse arts," with what we shall say of that now 
in use, to recognize that Hagh Drolenvaox only re- 
vived a method which had fallen into disuse. 

We quote the words of the monk Theophilus 
(Book IL Chap. 6) :— 

^^ At the first hour in the morning, take an iron 
pipe, and if you wish to make sheets of glass, plunge 
the extremity of this pipe into a pot filled with glass. 
Turn the pipe in your hand until as much glass as 
you wish is collected round it, then taking it out, put 
it to your mouth and blow a little ; removing it im- 
mediately, you put it to your cheek, so as not to draw 
the flame into your mouth when taking breath. Keep 
a smooth stone also before the window (of the Air- 
nace), on which you can beat the hot glass a little, in 
order to give it the same thickness all over ; you must 
alternately blow and remove the pipe with great 
rapidity. When it presents the form of a long hang- 
ing bladder, bring the extremity of it to the flame, 
the glass soon melts, and you perceive an opening. 
Taking a wooden tool destined for this ^se, give the 
opening the size of the centre of the glass. After- 
wards join the edges together, that is to say, the 
upper and lower sides, in such a manner that there 
may be an opening on each side of the junction. 
Immediately touch the glass near the tube with a 
4amp wooden instrument, shake it a little, and it will 
be detached. Heat the pipe in the flame of the fur- 
nace until the glass which is on it becomes liquefied ; 
place it quickly on the edges of the glass which yoo 


have united, and it will ad&ere ; take it at once and 
expose it to the flame of the furnace until the glass 
around the opening from which you have taken the 
pipe becomes liquid. With a round piece of wood 
you mnst dilate this opening like the preceding one ; 
and by bringing together the edges in the middle, 
and separating the pipe with the damp wooden tool, 
give it to an assistant, who, introducing some wood 
into the opening, will carry it to the annealing oven, 
which should be moderately heated. The kind of 
glass thus made is pure and white." 

According to M. Peligot, ordinary window glass 
is composed of, 

Silica. 69-06 

Lime 1304 

Soda.. 15-2 

Alumina. 1*8 


Tliese different substances having undergone a 
first fttsion by means of the frit, are poured into pots 
placed in the centre of the furnace, where they re- 
main until they are perfectly melted, and have 
attained a pasty consistency, which is produced by 
the gradual lowering of the fire. 

Then the workman and his assistant begin their 
labors, which we shall endeavor to make the reader 
understand by placing before him the different trans- 
formations that glass must undergo, from the momenjt 
in which the assistant, armed with his pipe, takes the 


first glass from the pot, until the sheet of glass, en- 
tirely finished by the blower, is ready for use. 

Sheet glass, made from cylinders obtained by 
blowing, being employed for a number of objects in 
glass, we shall call our reader's special attention to 
this chapter, to which, however, we shall take care to 
refer him whenever necessary. 

Before each glass pot two men are placed, the 
workman and his assistant. 

The functions of the assistant, who has to do the 
rough part of the work, are to gather from the melt- 
ing-pot with his pipe a certain quantity of the melt- 
ing matter ; to turn and return it on a small table of 
either marble or iron (see Fig. 19, page 129); to make 
it round by a slow and circular movement; then, 
lastly, to heat it again at the opening of the furnace. 

When these four operations are terminated, the 
part of the assistant ceases, and that of the workman 

It is in these terms that M. Peligot describes the 
work of the glass-maker : — 

'* The workman at first blows lightly, drawing out 
the vitreous mass a little, so as to give it the form of 
a pear (Fig. 12, No. 1) ; he balances his cane (No. 2), 
then raises it so as to gather the glass (No. 3) ; he 
afterwards blows harder at short intervals, and gives 
it a movement backwards and forwards like the clap- 
per of a bell, so as to lengthen the pear, which 
assumes a cylindrical form ; he raises it rapidly over 
bis head, then gives it a complete and rapid rotatory 

movement, in order to lengtlien It (No. 4), wIiilBt giv- 
ing it an equal thickness in every part. 

Pig. 1!.— BtowLnf o( Shei't QIsh. 

" When tlie cylinder is made, the blower brings 
it back to the opening of the furnace bo as to soiten 


the end ; when it is siiflBiciently hot, it is pierced with 
an iron point. By the balancing movement the open- 
ing is increased ; the glass is pared with a sort of 
wooden plate ; the edges separate, and the top of the 
cylinder has disappeared (No. 5). 

" When the cylinder has become firm, it is placed 
on a wooden rest (No. 6). The end of the pipe is 
touched with a cold iron rod ; it separates immediate- 
ly from the cylinder, which has already lost its bul- 
lion point, when a thread of hot glass is wonnd round 
it, and the part thus heated is touched with a cold 
iron rod. Thus we have now on the rest a cylinder 
open at each end. It is opened (No. 7) by passing a 
red hot iron rod down the interior in a straight line ; 
one of the heated extremities being wetted with the 
finger, the glass bursts open. The same result may 
be attained by using a diamond attached to a long 
handle, which is passed down the interior of the 
cylinder by the side of a wooden ruler. This method, 
which is followed in Belgium, gives a straighter cut, 
and consequently involves less loss." 

A perfectly plane surface has to be obtained from 
these split cylinders. To do this, they are taken to 
an oven which is heated to a dark red, and is termed 
the flattening oven. Here every cylinder is placed 
either on a sheet of thick glass, or on a slab of refrac- 
tory earth, which has been previously powdered with 
gypsum or sulphate of antimony, in order to prevent 
the glass adhering to it. A workman, assisting the 
natural effect of heat, which tends to flatten the 


cylinders, makes a first gentle pressure on them with 
a long wooden pole ; afterwards a wooden plane is 
passed over them, and lastly the polissoir^ a wooden 
instrument which, moved lightly over the surface, 
makes it perfectly plane.- 

All the cylinders having hecome sheets of glass, 
the oven is hermetically closed ; they remain in it 
several days, until they are sufBciently annealed and 
ready for use. 

We must add that a rather recent discovery 
(1824), due to M. Eobinet, a glass-blower in the 
manufactory at Baccarat, has founded a new era in 
the fabrication of all objects obtained by blowing. 

The cylinders being produced as we have just 
seen by the breath of the workman, the objects blown 
can only attain a size proportionate to human strength, 
which is naturally very limited. Struck by this in- 
convenience, as well as affected by the effects of this 
labor, which not only exhausted young men, but also 
deprived those workmen who were weakened with 
age of all means of gaining a livelihood, M. Bobinet 
substituted an implement for a workman by invent- 
ing a pump, by which cylinders of large dimensions 
may be manufactured. 

M. Peligot describes it in these terms : " It is a 
small brass cylinder, closed at one end, in the interior 
of which there is an iron spring ; in the lower part is 
a sort of wooden piston, with an opening covered 
with leather, retained in its place by a bayonet fast- 
ening pierced with a hole. The mouth of the pipe, 


which is held verticallj, is brought into contact with 
the piston ; the air contained in the cylinder is com- 
pressed by a rapid movement given to the spring, 
and then injected to the glass which is being made." 
This invention, donbly valuable both to humanity 
and trade, is now known by the name of the RobiTiet 
Pump. It has procured for its inventor a gold 
medal, adjudged by the Society d'£ncour£^emeut, 
and a pension from the directors of Baccarat. 


The composition and manufacture of fluted win- 
dow glass are exactly the same as for ordinary glass. 
The only difference is that the cylinder, instead of 
being made in the air, is blown in a cylindrical mould 
of cast iron, fluted in the interior, which impresses on 
the glass these flutings, preserved afterwards through 
the operation of blowing. For flutings crossed in 
squares, a mould is used, formed of two parts, which 
are separated when the cylinder is withdrawn. 



The use of mirrors, abstracting them from their 
material, and considering them merely as rendering, 
by reflection, the exact image presented to them, goes 
back to the commencement of the human species, if 
we are to believe Milton, as Eve was the first to use 

*' That day I oft remember, when from sleep 
I first awaked, and found myself reposed 
Under a shade on flowers, much wondering, where 
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. 
Not distant far from thence, a murmuring sound 
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread 
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved, 
Pure as the expanse of Heaven. I thither went. 
With unexperienced thought, and laid me down 
On the green bank, to look into the clear 
Smooth lake, that to me seemed a second sky. 
As I bent down to look, just opposite, 
A shape within the watery gleam appeared. 
Bending to look on me : I started back. 
It started back ; but pleased, I soon returned, 
Pleased it returned as soon, with answering looks 
Of sympathy and love. There I had fixed 
Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire, 


Had not a voice thus mmed me: 'What thou seest, 
Wbat there thou Beest, fair creature, U Ihjaelf; 
With thee it came and goen.' " 

If to the name ot Eve we add that of the beauti- 
ful Karcifisua, who drowned himaelf in his mirror for 

*'ig- IS,— Egyptian Mirroni. 

love of himself; and also that of Mahomet, who ad- 
mired himself in a bucket of water, we shall no doubt 
have mentioned the three most illustrious partisans 
of the aquatic mirror. 


As it was Dot always easy, even in those remote 
times, to have in oue^s own house a sheet of trans- 
parent water, it was replaced by something more 
portable, and there was then invented, at a time 
which cannot be known even approximately, the mir- 
rors of polished metal which are first mentioned in 
the Old Testament. " Moses made the laver of brass, 
and the foot of it of brass, of the looking-glasses of 
the women assembling, which assembled at the door 
of the tabernacle of the congregation." (Exodus 
xxxviii. 8.) 

Three types may be noticed in the fonn of the 
Egyptian mirrors, which passed from Egypt to Greece 
and Home. According to Plutarch (Life of Numa 
Pompilius), " it was with a convex metal mirror that 
the Vestals relighted the* sacred fire." Before attain- 
ing, however, to this degree of luxury, these miiTors 
must have passed through several rudimental stages 
both in form and style: indeed, the earliest metal 
mirrors, which have no ornaments whatever, are gen- 
erally of the shape of an egg cut in half, the face of 
the cup alone being polished. 

K these mirrors possessed the advantage of being 
more portable than those of Eve, Narcissus, and Ma- 
homet, they had the inconvenience, not only of being 
of great weight, but also of deforming the features 
and even perhaps of making them look older. Such 
a crime was unpardonable ; these enemies to beauty 
had to be replaced by others, and the mirrors of 
obsidian were substituted for them, which Pliny de- 


scribes as a black stone, ^' sometimes transpareot, but 
of such a dull transparency, that when used as a mir- 
ror it renders rather the shadow than the image of 
the objects." 

Whilst fully granting that in the time of this 
author mirrors were made of metal, obsidian, or even 
of lapis specularis, must we blindly, and without 
venturing a criticism, adopt the opinion generally 
entertained, that glass mirrors are of modem inven- 
tion, because the ancients did not know the process 
of plating, which alone can turn a piece of glass into 
a mirror ? 

The ancients are our masters in everything, what- 
ever may be said to the contrary. Let us then en- 
deavor to restore the honor of this invention to them 
who originated — ^however defective their knowledge 
of it may have been — the first idea of what modem 
industry assisted by science has now brought to such 

As there are now no remains to be found, alas I 
of these ancient looking-glasses, we can only support 
our opinion by quotations from ancient writers, whose 
authority we hope will convince our readers of the 
antiquity of glass mirrors. 

Pliny speaks of mirrors in several places. After 
those charming lines, '' The discovery of mirrors be- 
longs to those who first perceived their own image in 
the eyes of their fellow-men," he looks at the ques- 
tion from an historical point of view, and leaves no 
doubt as to the use of these mirrors ; for, after hav- 


ing enumerated the different means employed in the 
fabrication of glass, which prove that in his time, and 
even before him, glass-makers " sometimes blew glass, 
sometimes fashioned it on the lathe, and sometimes 
carved it like silver," he adds : " Formerly Sidon was 
celebrated for its glass works ; glass mirrors had even 
been invented there." 

These words, glas% mirrors^ natnrally implying 
the idea of glass reflecting an image, must we not 
necessarily allow that the ancients possessed a kind 
of plating which we do not know, and which, whether 
differing from our own or else identical with it, yet 
constituted a mirror ? 

The want of plating being the only point on 
which those authors rest who refuse the invention of 
looking-glasses to the ancients, let ns see if we can- 
not find something in antiquity which disproves this 

Aristotle, nearly four centuries before Pliny, is the 
first who alludes to the subject. He tells us : " If 
metals and stones are to be polished to serve as mir- 
rors, glass and crystal have to be lined with a sheet 
of metal to give back the image presented to them." 

And indeed, if a piece of colorless glass be placed 
on an opaque slab, even if it were only of black mar- 
ble or slate, we have immediately a mirror, not in- 
deed so limpid as those which decorate our drawing- 
rooms, but which will reproduce not merely the out- 
line of the object, but also its different colors. 

If to the words of Aristotle we add in thought 


the certain improvements which the reflections of tlie 
philosopher have necesBaril j always suggested to the 
glass-makers of his time, we can no longer refuse to 
admit that a plating, or lining even, being shown to 
have been in use, glass mirrors, far from being, as is 
asserted, a modem invention, go back to a very re- 
mote period. 

The fact of the antiquity of glass mirrors being 
thus established, as we are unable to follow the sue- 
cesBive improvements in the manufacture, we will 
pass at once to the fourteenth century, to Venice, 
which, enjoying for centuries the exclusive and uni- 
versal monopoly of glass-making, forms naturally a 
link to unite antiquity to modern times. 

According to Lazari * it was only in the fourteenth 
century that the Venetians, following the advice of 
Aristotle, conceived the idea of replacing mirrors of 
polished metal by mirrors of glass, at the back of 
which they placed a metallic sheet. 

The idea, or rather we should say its renovation, 
was progressive, and yet, whether it was that routine 
was against it, or that the result did not come up im- 
mediately to what was expected, it was abandoned, 
and metal mirrors became more fashionable than ever. 
They continued to be used until the two Mnranezians, 
Andrea and Domenico d' Anzolo dal Oallo, who knew, 
or who had perhaps discovered for themselves, the 
method of mtmnfacture already followed in Germany 

* ^Notizia delle opere d^arte et d'antichiU della racoolta Goner.* 
Veuezia, 1869. 


and Flanders, addressed (1507) to the Council of Ten 
a petition, in which they said, ^^ that, possessiDg the 
secret of making good and perfect mirrors of crystal- 
line glass, a precions and singular thing unknown to 
the whole world, except to one glass manufactory in 
Germany, which, associated with a Flemish house, 
enjoyed the monopoly of this manufacture, and sold 
its productions in ^the East and West at excessive 
prices ; and desiring to place Murano in a position to 
establish a competition which could not but be very 
profitable to the Republic, they demanded that an ex- 
clusive privilege should be granted to them in all the 
territory of the Kepublic during twenty-five years." 

As this privilege promised to be profitable to the 
Kepublic, and possibly to assure her the means to 
monopolise another of the productions of glass-mak- 
ing, it was granted for twenty yeai*s. 

The success of this enterprise surpassed all the 
hopes that had been entertained ; consequently, the 
twenty years of privilege had scarcely expired, than 
there was a perfect rush of persons to embrace this 
new career. The number of mirror-makers became 
BO great that in 1564 the Kepublic was obliged to 
separate them from the other glass-makers, and to 
establish a separate company for them. 

As we have not space to mention here all those 
who improved the manufacture, we must be content 
with naming Liberale Motta, who about 1680, accord- 
ing to Lazari, " perfected it, and made mirrors of a 
size that until then had been unattainable." 


Before passing on, it will be better to answer a 
question which has often been asked ns : ^' Why are 
the mirrors of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
whether manufactured at Venice, Nuremburg, or in 
Fran<5e, always of small dimensions ? " 

If our readers will kindly recall what has been 
said about window glass, which, blown by man, can 
never surpass a very limited size, they will have our 
reply, for window glass and mirrors were long ob- 
tained by the same process. It was reserved, as we 
shall soon see, for French modern industry to invent 
a now method of manufacture, which, known under 
the name oi founding^ can alone produce glasses of 
an almost unlimited size. 

As we shall have to await the latter part of the 
sixteenth century to speak of French mirrors (until 
that titne entirely neglected by fashion, which would 
have nothing but Venetian mirrors), let us see if this 
general infatuation was deserved. 

Although fashion, that tyrannical queen of the 
world, scarcely ever takes reason as a companion, we 
must allow, were it only for the rarity of the fact, 
tliat this time she was right. 

And indeed, could anything have come out from 
the hands of those Italians of the fifteenth century, 
who all of them artists, were then inventing, so to 
speak, the style of the Renaissance, which was at 
once so rich and so graceful, that did not bear the 
impress of that privileged period? As gold, silver, 
iron, wood, lead, everything, in short, was material 


for a masterpiece of some sort, it mattered little to 
them whetlier the mirror was large or small. In 
their eyes the frame was everything ; it was that only 
which they could decorate, either with splendid carv- 
ings in wood, or with diamonds, rubies, or pearls. 

Such costly frames necessarily appearing exagge- 
rated in our century, when a frame more or less badly 
gilded is the neplus vUra of elegance, we must refer 
those who would accuse us of exaggeration to the 
inventories of the dukes of Burgundy, of Louis of 
France, the duke of Anjou, Charles V., Margaret of 
Austria, etc., etc. There only will they be convinced 
of the distance that separates the pretended luxury 
of the present time, even in the highest classes, from 
what was in use in the palaces of the nobles in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

Unhappily, of all this royal and princely magnifi- 
cence there now only remains a cold dry mention. 
As for the objects themselves, the crucibles of the 
gold merchant can alone tell you how many have 
been destroyed in the last two centuries. 

Notwithstanding the numbers destroyed during 
this artistic raid, brought on by cupidity on the one 
side, and kept up on the other by continual changes 
of fashion, several specimens have come down to us, 
though they are very rare, and one of these will 
show our readers what luxury was at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century. 

We mean the mirror of the Queen Marie de 
Medici, exhibited in the Musee dee ISouveraina at the 

98 WONDEfiS OF 6I.A68-MAnH6. 

Louvre. The description we give of it, taken from 
the catalogae of that mnsenm, will be heightened by 
the yalnation made of it in 1791, which is contained 
in the inventory of the crown diamonds, printed in 
1791, by order of the I^ational Assembly (Fig. 14). 

No. 102 in the catalogue. " It is of rock crystal, 
and agates, cut, polished, and set in a network of 
enamelled gold, form a frame around the glass whidi 
marks its rectangular form. 

'' This inner frame is surrounded by a larger one, 
every part of which is formed of precious stones ; the 
fronton is of sardonyx, the two colunms supporting it 
of oriental jasper ; the base is highly decorated with 
enamels cut in relief^ and the pedestals of the col- 
umns which stand out over this base, the outlines of 
which they continue, are covered with slabs of sar- 
donyx. Precious stones of the finest water glitter in 
the more conspicuous places on the frame, particular- 
ly three large emeralds ; one of these, placed in the 
centre of the fronton, is set in the delicate details of 
a gold mounting, enriched with diamonds and rubies ; 
the two others, placed on the side pedestals of the 
base, support helmeted heads or small busts, repre- 
senting a warrior and an amazon. The face and neck 
are cut in the gem resembling a garnet, which jewel- 
lers call hyacinth ; the helmets and the drapery which 
surrounds the breast are of enamelled gold, enriched 
with diamonds. Emeralds of smaller proportions, 
closely pressed against each other, serve as a setting 
for two carved stones ; one of them, which is at the 

« <rf HmtIc de Uedlcl (Loni 


top of the whole construction, is an onyx of three 
layers, of antique carving ; it is the head of a vic- 
tory, winged and with a crown of laurel in her hair ; 
the other stone is an onyx agate, with three layers, 
carved at the enji of the sixteenth century ; it is a 
female head in profile, draped, having a veil which 
falls from the head on to the shoulder, and wearing 
on her forehead the crescent of Diana. They are also 
emeralds which in threes decorate the frieze of the 
entablature, alternating with twelve small finely 
draped heads cut in hard stone of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, and which are portraits of the Caesars." 

The valuation made of this in 1791, was fixed at 
a hundred and fifty thousand francs (6000Z., or 
$30,000 gold). 

A hundred and fifty thousand francs being about 
its intrinsic and venal value, let there be added its 
artistic value, that derived from its history, its rarity, 
and above all the passion for collecting in our own 
days the rich spoils of that time, aild we leave the 
reader to determine for himself what would now be 
the enormous price of such an object. 

After such an artistic article of luxury, perhaps 
unique in Europe, we must leave the palace of the 
king to enter the country house of a rich burgess of 
the sixteenth century. 

This word burgess, dear readers, need not alarm 
you even when we are speaking of art ; for we must 
not forget that talent, at that time stamping indis- 
criminately every object in use, from the greatest to 


the smallest, whether it belonged to the suzerain lord 
or to the burgess ; each one of them, being a product 
of the inspiration of the time, became by that fact 
alone an original work, unique and almost always 

To be convinced of the truth of our words, and 
to appreciate how much we, in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, owe to the ancient burgesses, it is only neces- 
sary to glance at these innumerable objects which, 
although destitute of crowns and emblazonment, do 
not the less form the glory and wealth of our mu- 

Let us then leave, before the mirror of Marie de 
Medici, that group of spectators who, fascinated as 
they appear to be, yet do not dare to say what they 
most admire in it, whether the talent of the goldsmith 
or the enormous sum it now represents (the mere 
doubt says sufficiently clearly what any of them 
would do with it if he became its proprietor), and let 
us enter the burgess's house. 

Here we find no diamonds or precious stones, but 
wood, ivory, iron, and tin ; so if any lovers of the 
material have slipped in amongst us, let them lay 
aside their scales. Those who are fervent disciples of 
the balance and touchstone, as nothing here has any 
value but the ideal, solely due to the talent of the 
artist, must now make way for true lovers of art, who 
admire and esteem an object without troubling them- 
selves whether it is of gold or copper. For those 
who love art before everything else, the intrinsic 

PIB. IB.— lUlUn Mirnir, witli s 


value of tlie material is and ever will be a secondary 
question, to be treated as worth so much 4he carat. 

Now that '* the sellers are driven out of the tem- 
ple," let us gently take down this Italian mirror of 
the sixteenth century. Everything about it marks 
its great age ; not only does it still bear the solid 
coarse iron ring by which it was fastened to the wall, 
but it has also preserved its primitive metallic slab, 
which confirms us in the opinion that, even posterior 
to the invention of glass mirrors, those of metal, less 
fragile and consequently easier of transportation, were 
still in use. 

We must now return to the burgess's mirror, and 
see of what it is composed. (Fig. 15.) 

It is a sheet of polished metal in a frame of carved 

Nothing could be more simple or primitive than 
this, or more dissimilar from the sumptuous mirror 
of Marie de Medici. And yet, notwithstanding its 
poverty, we do not hesitate to place it, if not in com- 
parison with, yet at all events beside the royal mir- 
ror ; for if the one possesses greater riches of mate- 
rial, the other possesses as indubitably all that the 
genius of man can give to what he touches ; and it is 
because of this that we offer it to the reader as one 
of the most precious specimens of the glorious period 
of Italian Eenaissance. 

Although we are longing to come down to a more 
recent time, we must, unless we would be accused of 
making omissions, say one word abBut three other 


different kinds of mirrors, two of which especiallv 
have played an important part both as objects of 
fashion and of art. We mean : 

Des oonseillera muets dont se servent les dames, 
Miroirs dans les logis, miroirs chez les marchands, 

Miroirs aux poches des galants, 

Miroirs aux ceintures des femmes, 

which La Fontaine speaks of in his fable of " L'Homme 
et son image." 

These portable mirrors were of two different 
shapes : some with handles, others almost round and 
of small dimensions. 

We shall say little of the shape of those hand 
mirrors which the women wore at their girdles, for it 
would be to repeat almost word for word what we 
have said on Egyptian mirrors (page 89), the former 
being so to speak only a revival of the latter. 

And indeed both of them, nearly always of metal 
polished and engraved, only differed in the system of 
omaihentation suitable to the different periods. In 
Egypt the style was severe ; in France it is inspired 
by the Gallic spirit of the sixteenth century, not 
merely in offering subjects often rather free, but still 
more in the legends accompanying them. As there 
are exceptions to everything, we shall mention one 
which presents none of these inconveniences. 

This Yenetian mirror (sixteenth century), which 
is only four inches high and two wide, of embossed 
metal, gold and^silver, is in the form of an X. On 


one side there is a metal mirror, od the other, a Love 
with bandaged eyes holding a bow. 

The figure of the malicions god (old style) is sur- 
ronnded by a legend, not new indeed, bnt too often 
CECVS {Blind lave isledbythe Light of the Eye). 

Small round glasses, wlietlier of metal or glass, 
were enclosed in a round box, usua'ly of ivorj, open- 
ing into two equal parts, and which we cannot com- 
pare better than to the round tobacco boxes used by 
our fathers (Fig. 16). Tlie mirror inside beinjr o no 
interest 'to us, we will only occupy oureelves with the 


box containing it, for it possesses all the artistic in- 

Many collections possess separate parts, sometimes 
an upper and sometimes a lower half; but a complete 
whole mirror is so difficult to find, that during a thirty 
years' search, the indefatigable Sauvageot, a man who 
sacrificed everything to complete his collection, could 
find but one, which we place before the reader. 

If the costumes of the figures were not sufficient 
to fix the date of this mirror in the middle of the 
fifteenth century, the subjects represented on the two 
valves would do so. One of them represents the 
attack on the Castle of Love, and the other a lance 
combat of two knights at the foot of a tower (Fig. 


Both subjects are doubtless taken from some ro- 
mance of chivalry then fashionable. 



We must now say a few words about those Vene- 
tian glasses which, after having been so long laid by 
in lumber-rooms, seem to be once more coining into 
fashion, thanks to the revival of artistic taste, which 
is leading the present generation to seek for and imi- 
tate the works of that period. We mean those look- 
ing-glasses, the frames of which are also composed of 
glass, either silvered like the mirror itself, or else col- 


As, owing to the scarcity of original looking-glass- 
es of the sixteenth century, it is very diflBcult to make 
a comparison between them and those made in our 
own days, we consider it necessary to show the reader 
a glass (Fig. 18) which certainly from its destination 
must have been considered perfect : it is that in the 
Cluny Museum, which, it is said, was oflfered by the 
Republic of Venice to Henry III., on his return from 

It is only after having compared it with those of 
the present day that we can form a just idea of the 
numerous improvements successively introduced into 
the manufacture of looking-glasses ; for if it possesses 
the merit of being perhaps the largest that could have 
been obtained by blowing, it must be acknowledged 
that it leaves much to be desired in respect of purity, 
covered as it is with air-bubbles and strise. For the 
honor of the Yenetian glass-makers, we must add 
that these defects, almost unknown at the present 
time, were inevitable in the method of blowing then 
in use. 

The frame of colored and white glass bevelled, is 
decorated with fleurs-de-lis and palm leaves alternate- 
ly. Each of them is fixed on the frame by a screw 
with a head. 

Now that we have mentioned the principal forms 
of mirrors, and have given the reason for their small 
size, let us pass to Paris, and see by what means 
France succeeded, after many fruitless efforts, in free- 
ing herself from the tribute rendered to Venice, 


which town, supported by fashion, had enjoyed the 
monopoly in mirrors. 

The fashion for looking-glasses was so great, that 
in his vii'elay on Pexces ou Von porta Umte chose (the 
excess to which everything is carried), Eegnier Des- 
marets tells us : 

** Dans leurs cabinets enchantds 
L*6toife ne trouve plus place; 
Tous les miiTs des quatre cot^s 
En sont de glaees incrust^s. 
Cbaque cot4 n^est qa*une glace. 
Pour voir partout leur bonne gr&ce, 
Partout elles (les femmes) veulent avoir 
La perspectiye d'un miroir." 

This luxury, however, was only a fashion renewed 
from the Eomans. Seneca (Epis. 86) informs us that, 
in his time, " the man esteemed himself very poor 
who had not his room surrounded with sheets of 

Being no longer able to tolerate a tribute, as hu- 
miliating for the mirror-makera as ruinous for the 
country (the importation was estimated at more than 
a hundred thousand crowns a-year, an enormous sum 
for that time), Louis XIV., or rather Colbert, re- 
curred to the ideas of Henry II. (1551), of Henry 
IV., and of Louis XIIL (1634), and resolved to give 
a mortal blow to the importation, by founding at 
Paris a large manufactory of looking-glasses in the 
Venetian style. 

To attain this result, they had to obtain from the 

4 H«mi til. (CInnj Mmeum.) 


very prudent and very suspicious Republic the secret 
which she preserved with so much care relative to all 
the operations of glass-making. 

Two means only could succeed — force and cun- 

Colbert, preferring the second means, wrote (1664) 
to Frangois de Bonzi, bishop of Beziers, at that time 
French ambassador to the Republic of Venice, not 
only to obtain the secret of the manu£^ture. but also 
secretly to hire Venetian workmen for France. 

This order, which was very easy to give from 
Versailles, was, as we shall see, much more difficult 
to execute at Venice. The ambassador, after having 
doubtless sounded his way, replied, a short time after, 
that to send workmen to France, he ran the risk of 
being thrown into the sea. 

Such a danger threatening an ambassador of the 
court of France, would perhaps have dissuaded any 
other minister; but either considering the fears of 
the bishop chimerical, or else recognizing them as 
real, but without danger to himself, Colbert, who cer- 
tainly thought more of his own idea than of the life 
of Bonzi, again ordered him not to lose sight of the 
instructions he had previously given him.. 

As Colbert had no doubt thought, the fear of dis- 
pleasing him was more powerful than that of being 
thrown into the sea, and a short time after (1665) by 
force of address, money, and promises, eighteen Ve- 
netian workmen, flying from their country, arrived 
at Paris. 


These eighteen Venetian glass-makers were snflS- 
cient to found a glass factory. Colbert at once organ- 
ized a company which, placed nnder the orders of 
Nicolas du Noyer, receiver-general at Orleans, opened 
an establishment (1665) in the Faubourg St. Antoiue, 
on the site now occupied by the barracks of Keuilly, 
under the title of Manufactory of Glass Mirrors by 
Venetian Worhmen. 

Like the commencement of every great industry, 
that which we speak of, although patronized by an 
all-powerful minister, had to undergo rude shocks 
from the discontent of the Yenetian workmen, who 
accused the court of France of not keeping the prom- 
ises that had been made to them. 

Whether or no this reproach was well founded, it 
is none the less true that disorder soon crept into the 
establishment, less perhaps through the furtive de- 
parture of several of the Venetians, than by the ill- 
feeling of those who, engaged to teach pupils, only 
appeared to remain in order to hinder the works in- 
trusted to them. 

Colbert's great idea was then in peril, when a 
chance, as fortunate as it was unexpected, came to his 
assistance. In the year 1673 the minister found him- 
self in a position to reply to M. de Saint- Andre, am- 
bassador at Venice, who offered him mirror-makers 
from Murano : " The manufacture is suflSciently well 
established in the kingdom to have no need of tliem." 
And, indeed, France now sufficed for herself; the 
importation of Venetian mirrors had been prohibited 
since 1669. 


These are the means by which the French suc- 
ceeded in making looking-glasses notwithstanding the 
ill-will of the Venetians. 

The manufacture in the Faubourg St. Antoine 
was about to extinguish its furnaces, when M. de 
Chamillart informed Colbert that there existed at 
Toui'laville, near Cherbourg, a manufactory of white 
glass and looking-glass in the Venetian fashion, which, 
directed by Richard Lucas, Sieur de Nehou, enjoyed 
a certain reputation. 

How could a simple individual become master of 
a secret refused to the power of Colbert, and how 
was it that Colbert did not know of the existence of 
this manufactory ? 

Without undertaking to reply here to the second 
question, we come at once to the first. 

According to the chronicle, several young men of 
Strasbourg, having left their native town in order to 
learn the art of glass-making, agreed to take a jour- 
ney to Venice, hoping that after having served an 
apprenticeship in a mirror manufactory, they might 
bring back to France the knowledge and the practice 
they would have acquired in a foreign laud. Their 
hopes were not however of long duration ; few days 
had elapsed since their arrival at Murano, when each 
of them liad been pitilessly refused by the glass- 
makers, for whom every foreigner was an enemy. 
Being then unable to learn openly, they had recourse 
to ruse ; and this, according to the tradition, is the 
means they employed. Profiting by the moment 


when the Venetians, jealous even of each other, were 
working in all security at their looking-glasses, doors 
and windows closed, our young Strasbourgeois, 
. perched on the roof, and watching their movements 
through skilfully-managed holes, succeeded after 
many dangers in learning the secrets, or rather the 
tov/r de main which alone constituted the supremacy 
of the glass-makers of Murano. 

As skilful now as their masters, the young men 
returned to France and offered their services to Lucas 
de Nehou, who, as may be imagined, eagerly availed 
himself of them. It was thus that mirrors in imi- 
tation of the Venetian ones were introduced into 

To turn the new importation to profit, Colbert 
annexed the glass-works of Tourlaville to the royal 
manufactory at Paris. Very soon, assisted by this 
intelligent minister, Lucas de Nehou freed, thanks to 
the title of royal manufactory, from many embarrass- 
ments which had paralysed his labors, and provided 
with greater privileges, advanced so steadily in his 
improvements, that it was from the glass-works of 
Tourlaville, directed by him, that the first fine French 
looking glasses came. 

For a growing industry there are two kinds of 
protectors — one of them common enough, who says 
to you : You have obtained what you demanded, now 
the rest is your own business ; the other much rarer, 
who not only enables you to produce, but who, by 
his social influence, attracts the public towards you. 


Neither of these benefactors was wanting to Richard 
de Nehou ; after having met with a Colbert he was 
fortunate enough to find a Louis XIV. 

At this period, to have the sovereign in one's 
favor was to attract the court and the town ; and this 
was what happened, for as soon as courtiers, rich con- 
tractors, and even burgesses learned that their king 
had not only had French looking-glasses put in his 
carriages (1672), but had even given the order at the 
royal manufactory for all those required to decorate 
the great gallery at Versailles (from which arose its 
name of the gaUerie dea glaces^ which it still bears) ; 
each of them, eager to pay his court to the king and 
the minister, hastened, notwithstanding the high price 
at which looking-glasses then were, to flock to the 
royal manufactory. 

An anecdote related by Saint Simon proves that 
flattery was not cheap. 

" In 1699 the countess of Fiesque, who had been 
one of the marshals of the camp of Mademoiselle de 
Montpensier at the attack on Orleans, and who had 
scarcely anything left, because she had allowed every- 
thing to be wasted or stolen by her attendants, bought 
an extremely fine mirror, at a time when these mag- 
nificent glasses were still very rare and very costly. 
' Well, countess,' said one of her friends, ' where did 
you get that ? ' 'I had,' replied she, ' a troublesome 
estate (une mechante terre), which only brought in 
corn. I have sold it, and bought this mirror with it. 
Have I not done wonders ? ' " 


Thus encouraged by the court and the nobility, 
the royal manufactory of looking-glasses doubtless 
conceived great hopes for the present. But was there 
nothing to be feared for the fature ? Venice still ex- 
isted, and braving the severe penalties pronounced 
against all introduction of foreign glass into France, 
smuggling, certain of a sale, were it only from the 
critics at the court, went on actively, and did much 
harm to French industry. 

In order to destroy this disastrous competition, 
two things were required : a lower price in the manu- 
facture, which might enable them to sell cheaper than 
the Venetians, and more perfect work. 

It may be remembered that it was Richard Lucas 
de Nehou, who died in 1675, that had first dared to 
raise the standard of independence against the Vene- 
tian tnonopoly. It was his son, Louis Lucas de Ne- 
hou, who gave it the last blow, first by inventing, in 
1688, the method of founding glass, which, as we 
shall see, allows the manufacture of glasses of an 
almost unlimited size, and afterwards by removing 
the establishment from Paris to St. Gobain. 

All that we have said on the manufactory of St. 
Gobain, which is certainly the most perfect example 
that we could give of everything that concerns the 
making of looking-glasses, having been in great part 
extracted from tie excellent work of M. Auguste 
Cochin,* a member of the Institute, we ask the au- 

* *La Manufacture des Glaces de St. Gobaiu, de 1666 k 1865.* 
Paris, Douniol, 1866, page 72. 


thor's permission, in behalf of our readers, to com- 
plete this article by quoting his own words. 

"The first improvement was the invention of 
founding. I believe that there does not exist in all 
the wo iderful processes employed in manufacture, a 
more marvellous operation, or one that requires a 
greater mixture of strength, skill, com'age, and rapid- 


" When one enters for the first time into one of 
the vast glass-houses of St. Gobain at night, the fur- 
naces are closed, and the dull sound of a violent 
though captive fire alone interrupts the silence. 
From time to time a workman opens the worJcmg- 
hole to look into the furnace at the state of the glass ; 
long blueish flames then light up the sides of the 
annealing ovens, the blackened beams, the heavy 
flattening tables, and the mattresses in which half- 
naked workmen sleep quietly. 

" Suddenly the hour strikes, the call is beaten on 
the iron slabs which surround the furnace, the whistle 
of the foreman is heard, and thirty strong men stand 
up. The manoeuvres begin with the activity and 
precision of an artillery movement. The furnaces 
are opened, the glowing pots are seized and raised 
into the air by mechanical means ; they pass like 

* According to M. P^ligot the St. Gobdn glass is composed of, 

Silica. 73-0 

Lime 16-6 

Soda 11-6 



hanging globes of fire along the beam, then stop, and 
are lowered over the immense cast-iron table, placed 
with its roller before the open mouth of the annealing 
oven. The signal given, the pot leans over, and the 
beautiful opal liquid, brilliant, transparent, and unc- 
tuous, falls and spreads over the table. At a second 
signal the roller passes over the red-hot glass ; a work- 
man, with his eyes fixed on the fiery substance, ski mi 
off the apparent defects with bold and skilful hand ; 
then . the roller falls or passes off, and twenty work- 
men provided with long shovels quickly push the 
glass into the oven, where it is annealed and cools 
slowly. The workmen then turn round and begin 
again, without disorder, without noise, without rest. 
The founding goes on for an hour, the pots are imme- 
diately refilled, the furnaces reclosed, darkness again 
falls, and the continuous noise of the fire preparing 
fresh work is again the only sound heard. 

" When the glass has been placed in the anneal- 
ing oven it remains there about three days. 

" The process of taking it out is less dramatic 
than the casting. And yet it is striking to see twelve 
workmen, with no other help than leather bands, 
draw out, raise, and carry this large, thin, and fragile 
glass, walking in step like soldiers, from the anneal- 
ing oven to the desk (jncpitre), placed on wheels and 
rails, which will convey it still unpolished to the 
squaring room, where it will be examined, classified, 
cut, and sent to other workrooms to be finished. 

" The glass is already beautiful, but opaque ; it 


no defect 
iis fragile 
>edded in 
J against 
turned, to 
land, then 
h covered 
by means 
t by steam 
and exam- 
sent to the 
)r cut, and 

^A ^ v^^A VftA J-t&l t\J UtlO DC*LB^w ^. 

__, -w. J. ing is done 

at St. Gobain in the following manner : — " On an 
inclined table surrounded by gutters, a carefully 
cleaned sheet of tin is spread, on which the mercury 
is poured. Under a light and rapid hand, the glass^ 
pushed straight forward, drives before it the surplus 
of the metal, and the mercury, shut in between the 
tin and the glass, spreads out, adheres and amalgam- 
ates in a few minutes. But the glass has to dry for 
nearly eight days, under heavy weights, which com- 
pletes the fixing of the tinfoil." 

Besides the difficulty of beating and flattening the 
tin without tearing it, and the excessively high price 
of mercury, the method of plating we have just de- 
scribed, which is still generally followed, presents a 
far more serious inconvenience, for notwithstanding 


all imagiiiable precautions, it affects the health of the 
workmen in the greatest degree. 

Wishing to remedy this danger, M. Petitjean in- 
vented, in 1855, a new process of plating, by means 
of tartaric acid, nitrate of silver, and ammonia. This 
process is beautiful to watch ; two liquids as colorless 
as water are poured on the glass, and after a few mo- 
ments the silver appears and spreads uniformly over 
the glass. Until now glasses silvered in this manner 
have presented the inconvenience of becoming cov- 
ered with spots, but fresh attempts allow us to hope 
that they will be as fine as the quicksilvered glasses, 
and will be more largely used. It is said that a mir- 
ror is dangerous for any one who looks much in it ; 
this is unhappily still more true for the workman who 
plates it; the new process will deserve at once the 
praises of manufacturers and of humanity in gen- 

We cannot better finish this chapter than by giv- 
ing a list of the changes of price in looking-glasses, 
from 1699 to 1862. 

In 1699 the countess of Fiesque gave a mauvaise 
terre^ which brought in corn, for one mirror. 

£ t. d $ ctSMinOold. 

In 1702 a yard of glass cost 6 12 32 11 

In 1802 " " 8 4 89 90 

In 1862 " " 1 16 8 76 

This decrease in price is still more considerable, 


according to M. Cochin, when we come to glass of 
larger dimensions. 

£ 8. d. I ctfl., inOold. 

In 1702 a glaas of 4 yards was worth 110 535 82 

In 1802* " " 145 15 T09 80 

In 1862 " " 10 10 51 09 

* In 1802, after the revolution, and especially in 1805, during the 
continental blockade, the prices were higher than a centary earlier. 




Many persons still believe that the aDcients, who 
rejoiced in so many kinds of luxury, were much less 
advanced in the ordinary objects of life. To believe 
them, we might almost suppose that the earthen or 
wooden bowl that Diogenes threw from him as too 
luxurious (or at all events as useless, since he could 
drink out of the hollow of his hand), was the goblet 
generally in use ; and that, ignorant of the art of 
preserving wines, every guest at the table pressed the 
grapes into the cup with his own hands. 

By a few quotations from their own writings, we 
will endeavor to show that the ancients, who gave a 
god to the vine, were too good pagans to preserve 
and drink the gifts of Bacchus in vases unworthy the 
majesty of the god. 

Did the ancients employ bottles and drinking 
glasses ? 

To these two questions, which have been some- 
times answered in the negative, we would unhesitat- 
ingly reply : Yes, the ancients did use them ; for 
Egypt, that glorious old Egypt, has left us bottles 


made of simple glass, and others covered with wicker- 
work or papyrus stalks. The latter, which offer the 
greatest resemblance to those used for Florence oil, 
are still used by the Egyptians under the name of 

If we pass over many centuries, during wbich^ 
there is notliing to prove that the manufacture of 
bottles had ceased, and come down to the Komans, 
we shall there find the similarity still more striking ; 
for, as we shall see, there are no longer merely glass 
vessels something like our own, but bottles identical 
with those we now employ. 

Four lines from Horace and a few words of Pe- 
tronius will prove this : — 

"1 wish to celebrate the anniversary, and this 
happy day will make the cork and the seal of an 
amphora fly that was put in the smoke under the 
consulate of TuUus." * 

"They inamediately bring glass bottles care- 
fully sealed; on the neck of each is a Idbel^ marked 
thus : ' Opinian Falernian, f one hundred years 
old." X 

In these quotations, the number of which we 

* * Horace to Maecenas,* ode vn., book iii., line 9. 

\ The name of Opinian Falernian was given to the Falernian wine 
made under the consulate of Opinius (year of Rome, 684). Pliny 
(book IT. chap, iii.) says that in his time some of this Falernian still 
existed. At that time it must have been about two hundred years in 
the bottle. 

\ Petronius, * Satyricon,' book xxxiv. 


glass ball becomes lengthened. The blower then 
takes the pipe, places the glass ball in an earthen 
mould sniTOiinded with iron bands, blows, and this 
mass, just now so shapeless, becomes a bottle. 

The bottle is not yet finished however, for the 
bottom has to be completed, the neck to be decorated 
with the usual small glass band, and the bottle to be 
marked with the stamp indicating either the glass 
manufactory or the nature of the wine. 

The first of these operations is performed by press- 
ing the lower part of the bottle with a conical instru- 
ment as soon as it comes out of the mould ; the sec- 
ond by v/inding a thick glass tliread round the ex- 
tremity of the neck ; and the third by adding some 
fresh glass at the side of the bottle and stamping it 
with a seal. 

The claret bottles having flat bottoms are blown 
by the Kobinet pump, of which we have already spo- 
ken, in an irou mould with hinges, invented by M. 
Carillon. They are lighter than the usual bottles, 
and although they only weigh about one pound ten 
ounces, yet they contain nearly one pint and a quar- 

France manufactures annually from about 60,000 
tons of bottles (each bottle weighing about two 
pounds three ounces), nearly 23,000 tons of which 
are for exportation. More than 10,000 tons are re- 
quired for champagne alone. 

"Whilst fully admitting the great improvements 
made in the manufacture of bottles by the skiU of 


modern workmen, we must mention three great de- 

Rg. 2tl.-Moa1d for Clant Bottim 

fects, tlieir opacity, their want of elegance, and inva- 
riable nniformitj in shape. These defects, which 
doubflesB were greater formerly tjian at the present 
time, induced the Italians of the sixteenth century, 
who Bought elegance, color, form, and artistic work, 
to banish these sad-looking bottles from their gay 
feasts, and to replace them witli splendid bottles of 
tliin colorless glass, decorated, sometimes with a light 
gold lacing, sometimes with fine arabesques in col- 
ored enamel, tlirongh which the rich colors of their 
generous wines might be seen. 

From our love, or rather our gratefnl veneration 
for the artists of past tiniea, who, as true and intelli- 
gent pioneers, have prepared the way in all the arts 
and in every trade, it must not be thought that we 
are indifferent to the present state of manufacture or 
doubtful of its progress. "We would only declare 
war ngainst bad taste, against certain manufacturers 


who encourage it, and also against those lovers of 
antiquity who deny the progress. 

We declare war then to the bad taste which so 
often prevails in all classes of society, which calls 
grace what is only affectation, richness of coloring 
what is only a monstrous assemblage of colors, and 
originality what is only singularity t 

War also to the manufacturers who, shamelessly 
deserting the standard of art, debase themselves so 
far as to truckle to the bad taste of the public ! 

As for the exclusive admirers of antiquity, al- 
though the wrong done by them is of a totally differ- 
ent nature, for it is derived from whatever is most 
noble in our sentiments, the worship of memories, 
must they not be accused of conspiring against mod- 
ern industi-ial art, not only by denying its progress, 
but also by constantly aflSrming its inferiority to past 

And this, too, at the present time, when artistic 
instruction is more widely spread than ever, when 
manual dexterity has attained an extraordinary de- 
gree of excellence, and when chemistry supplies 
materials far superior to those which were formerly 
used 1 No, we may honor the efforts of the ancients, 
and admire their works ; we may recognize them as 
our masters ; but let us not forget that notwithstand- 
ing the progress we owe to them, and the improve- 
ments made by the laborers who have succeeded each 
other for ages, we shall always have to work in the 
field of intelligence, for in the sciences, the arts and 

Fig. 21— TsncUin BuCtli. 



manufactures, the only goal tliat can be assigned is 
what man will never reach — perfection. 

To prove that industrial art has not degenerated, 
we shall offer the reader a specimen of a glass jug 
which, certainly from its lightness, the elegance of its 
shape and its extreme limpidity, will, we hope, be a 
convincing proof that there still exists in France some 
manufacturers who make noble efforts to lead the 
public taste towards the beautiful. 

This glass jug (Fig. 23) which certainly may bear 
comparison with any Italian production, was made at 

Fig. 22. — Conetntction of the Jug ; Fig. 23. 

the crystal works of Clichy-la-Garenne, in 1867, and 
it is not by any means a solitary example, as there 
are many others as remarkable, which we shall hope 
at a proper time to place before the reader. 


As we have already described the method of mak- 
ing ordinary bottles, we shall now occupy ourselves 
with that used for vases, or bottles having a handle 
and foot, for we wish to confute an error generally 
received, that these vases are obtained at once by 
means of a mould ; while, on the contrary, they re- 
quire three manual operations, one corresponding to 
each of the distinct and very different parts forming 
the vase, the body, the foot, and the handle. It is by 
taking the vase to pieces that we shall prove it. 

The design of the vase being given, the glass- 
maker takes from the pot with his pipe the amount 
of glass he considers necessary, and then marvers and 
blows it. As soon as the form (generally ovoid) is 
obtained, a second workman fastens to the lower part 
of the vase a piece of crystal which has been shaped 
by him to form the foot. The vase, which is still 
incomplete, having been again heated, repaired, and 
the neck widened and cut with the shears,* a third 
workman, who has prepared a tube of the shape de- 
sired, fastens it to the body and thus forms the han- 
dle, which completes the vase. 

This is the method of making 'them, very diflFer- 
ent, as may be seen, from the generally received 

* Glass in a malleable state maj be cut very easily with ordinary 

Fig. IS.— Jug (Glus Work* of CVcbj.) 



Afteb bottles we come to goblets and drinking 
glasses, which, although they differ in form, name, 
and sometimes in material, especially those of olden 
time, are nevertheless all employed for the same pur- 

As, since the beginning of the world men must 
always have drunk, and as there have always been 
some who loved the luxuries of the table, it must be 
admitted, not only that the more refined did not drink 
out of the bottle, but also that Diogenes,* who threw 
away his bowl (thinking it more convenient to drink 
out of the hollow of his hand), did not found a 

The probable use of goblets and glasses being ad- 
mitted, let us endeavor to confirm it from historv. 
Solomon (Proverbs xxiii. 29, 30, 31) is the first writer 
whose authority we shall quote. " Who hath redness 
of eyes ? They that tarry long at the wine ; they 
that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the 
wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the 

* Diogenes, born at Sinope (Asia), 418 b.c. 


Since the time of the wise man who lived a thou- 
sand years before Christ, glass cnps have been in use, 
for we find them used in marriage ceremonies amongst 
the ancient Hebrews. The high priest presented to 
the husband and wife a cup filled with wine, which, 
after they had both sipped from it, was broken to 

Having only fo occupy ourselves with glass, we 
must, for fear of going beyond the limits marked out 
for us, leave on one side the gold and crystal goblets 
— which from the Homeric ages had been used either 
in sacrifices or in feasts — ^in order to mention as briefly 
BS possible the struggle which glass had to sustain 
against these two rivals — rivals the more dangerous 
as the richness of the material at that time, as well 
as in our own, was, and always will be of great im- 
portance in the estimation of mankind. Consequent- 
ly the struggle was long and stubborn, for if the 
cause of the gold and crystal goblets was energetic- 
ally sustained by the partisans of ancient customs, 
other enthusiasts, less conservative, sang the praises 
of the more recent invention. 

The triumph of glass appeared certain, when sud- 
denly confdsion entered the camp of the progression- 
ists. Some wished that the purple glass cups, which 
were made at Diospolis and Alexandria, should be 

* This ceremony, which is still practised, is a symbol of the fragil- 
ity of human nature, which Ismh describes as follows : " The grass 
withereth, the Power fadeth^but the word of our God shall stand for 



exclusively adopted, whilst others voted for those of 
which Vopiscus speaks in the Life of Saturniaus, and 
which were made in Egypt in various colors. 

Neither party being willing to make the least con- 
cession, the cause of the glass cups would have been 
perhaps lost for ever, or at least for an indefinite pe- 
riod, when a third party, profiting by the contusion, 
proclaimed the introduction of transparent glass. 
Such are in fact the words of Pliny when he says, 
speaking of glass (Book xxxvii. Chap. 67), " No ma- 
terial is more easily handled, or takes colors better ; 
but the most esteemed is colorless and transparent 
glass, because it more resembles crystal. It has even 
Buperseaed metal drinking cups." 

Transparent glass having thus gained the day, let 
us remain at Rome, whither we have been brought 
by Pliny, for we shall find there one of the most 
ancient specimens, not of cups but of drinking glass- 
es. Let the reader refer back to Fig. 6, on page 29, 
and he will see that the ancient Romans, whilst per- 
haps using only cups, had however also some kinds 
of glasses very similar to ours. If this specimen be 
not suflicient, we can quote three lines of Horace 
(Satire IV. Book ii.), which will not leave any doubt ; 
for he says, 

'* Magna movet stomacho fieistidia, seu puer unctis 
Tractavit calicem manibus, dum furta ligurrit, 
Siye gravis veteri cratene limus adhssit." 

The lines, moreover, with which Boileau is inspired 


when he says, in his description of a ridiculous repast, 
***** * 

'^ On a port6 partout des veires k la ronde 
Ob. lea doigts des laquais, dans la crasse traces 
T6moignoient par 4crit qu^on les avoit rinc^s." 

The use of drinking glasses, which the Romans 
doubtless received from a more ancient nation, soon 
spread thi'oughout Europe, and to such a degree that 
glass-works became very numerous. 

Not being able to follow here step by step the 
successive periods of the establishment of even the 
principal centres of glass manufacture, for this would 
carry us much too far, we must content ourselves 
with pointing out the principal difference which ex- 
ists among them in the quality of the glass, in the 
shape, and the most usual style of ornament. 


German glasses, of a greenish or yellowish color, 
are generally of a cylindrical shape. An enamelled 
painting is nearly always to be found on the outside, 
representing either portraits, or more often German 
coats-of-arms (Fig. 24). 

Passing over the ordinary glasses, which, with the 
exception of the style of ornament, are very similar 
to those which we use (although always of an elon- 
gated cylindrical sliape), we will occupy our attention 
only with those enormous drinking glasses {toieder- 
kornmen) which, if they were mounted on carriages, 
might be taken for cannons. 

n Wiednkouinwn. 


We have two such different explanations of the 
use of the wiederJconimen in Germany, that we think 
it necessary to give theui both. The Ibllowing is 
from Montaigne (Eeaais^ Liv, ii. Chap. 2, de VIv- 

" Anacharsis * was surprised that the Greeks at 
the end of their repast dr^:nk out of a larger glass 
than at the beginning. It i.<, I imagine, for the same 
reason that the Germans do it, who, after dinner, 
commence their regular drinking bouts." 

According to these words, the wiederkommen 
would mean nothing else than the cup containing the 
coup de grdce^ which each guest took at the end of 
the repast. 

Without pretending to doubt the capacity of the 
German stomachs, we yet prefer the use dictated by 
the meaning of the word. The literal translation of 
the word wlederkamynen is to come hach^ and we will 
try to prove the real use by facts themselves. 

A wiederTcominen containing several pints was 
pi-esented, at the end of a feast, to the host, who after 
having dnink out of it, passed it to his right-hand 
neighbor, who in his turn, after having sipped from 
it, presented it to the next person, and so on, until 
all the guests, who were generally numerous, had 
drunk out of the wiederkommen^ which came hack to 
the host empty. 

This not very alluring custom, whicji perhaps 

* Diogenes Laertius, * Life of Anacharsis,* i. i. 

146 WONDERS OF GI.Afifr-MAKnrO. 

would be very little appreciated by us,* is still in use 
at Bruges, for we read in a newspaper of that town : 
— ^^ In the Flemish taverns, the hostess and the bar- 
maids never serve a full glass without taking a sip 
from it, and wishing your good health before present- 
ing it to you." 

This custom dated back as fiur as the time of the 
Spanish sway, and was continued during the civil 
wars which for so long ravaged that unfortunate 
country. At that time poison was often concealed at 
the bottom of the glass. The passing round of the 
Flemish glass and the wiederkommen, which might 
have had the same origin as the former, was then 
only, so to say, a momentary assurance of safety 
given by the host to each of his guests. 

Besides, the custom of drinking all round out of 
the same glass at the beginning of the repast is not 
modem, for Horace gives us to understand that it 
was in use in his time, when he speaks of the ooppa 
magistra (very large glass). 


The glass of Bohemia is certainly among the finest 
that is made at the present day. Although, in order 

* We have just been told by a German that this custom has been 
abolished in good society. Only students, at the end of their meals, 
pass round a large horn filled with wine, from which each one drinks 
in his turn. 

[At some of the dinners of the city companies in London, the cus- 
tom of passing round a loving-cup still prevails, but this cup is gen- 
erally of silver, and is always accompanied by a napkin. — ^Translator.] 


to display its quality and clearness, it seldom has any 
external color, it has a style of ornament which is 
peculiar to itself; we refer to the engraved objects 
which are observable on a majority of specimens 
(Fig. 32, p. 167). 

In order to avoid useless repetitions we refer our 
readers to the article on " Cutting and Engraving," 
&c., where the various processes of engraving on 
glass will be found fully explained. 


Although the drinking-glasses of Germany appear 
to have all been formed in the same mould, and in 
Bohemia the ornamentation is uniformly produced by 
engraving, this is far from being the case in Italy. 
For there, thousands of varied shapes show that each 
artiat, imbued entirely with his own individual idea, 
far from imitating his neighbor's works, endeavors to 
produce a fantastical, sometimerf'even an absurd sin- 
gularity, bordering on the impossible, but nearly 
always carrying with it that elegance, that stamp of 
originality, which pleases and fascinates so much. 

We will give a few examples of these shapes. 

The first (Fig. 25) represents a glass of which the 
bowl, composed of five bosses, one above another, of 
gradually increasing dimensions, rests on a stem deco- 
rated on each side with a dragon with a crested head 
of white glass, whose enfolded body is fonned of a 
twisted cane in laMicmio (eleven inches in height). 

Although the middle part of the second specimen 


(Fig. 2G) is somewhat similar to the former, this i 

Fig. M.-Venetiiu Ulasr. 

eemblanee entirely disappears in the shape, and more 
especially in the color of the bodies of the dragons. 
In the former they were milk white, here they arc 
formed by three thieads of enamelled yellow, white 
and red ; and the crests of the drngons in the former 

Fig. M.-Vcn8Uiui Glut. 


are white, while in the latter they are of blue 

The third glass (Fig. 27) has no resemblance to 
the preceding ones ; the form is entirely diflFerent, the 
bowl consists of a white glass cup waved by gentle 
flames of light blue set off by streaks of white ; and 
instead of the dragons, which are almost traditional 
in Venetian glass, the red and white spiral stem is 
decorated with a large flower with six projecting 
petals of a pale blue color, similar to that of the cup, 
and supported on either side by five large leaves of 
an opaque yellow glass, separated in the middle by 
another leaf of a very deep blue color. 

In spite of these unquestionable merits, Venetian 
glass has had and still has calumniators, who reproach 
it as being not only of little practical utility, but even 
impossible to use. 

If among these objects of art and of curiosity we 
wished only to find common drinking glasses, such as 
we ordinarily use, if, in a word, practical use is the 
sole thing which ought to be valued in this world, 
then certainly the objections would gain the day ; but 
before entirely condemning such a style of manufac- 
ture as this, it is indispensable to know for what use 
the object has been made. We will endeavor to point 
out the error on which the reproach against Italian 
glass rests. , 

From the distorted shapes, from the excrescence 
of flower ornaments, from the projecting appendages 
of animals bearing on their heads large crests made 


with the pucdlas; * in eiiort, from the absolute im- 

Fig. 2J-— VetwtiBTi G!u8. 

poasibility of making ordinary use of these glasaes, 
* Tbe pttcillat is a pair of toDga used while the glass is bUII in a 


iiinst we not conclude tliat the Venetians not only 
liad others of a more coniiHon description, but also 
tliat those elaborate works of which we have been 
speaking wci-c at that time what they are now, simply 

Kb. 28.— Olastes ( Works of Ciiohy). 

ornaments to be placed in cabinets witli other cnriosi- 
ties? But between these glasses of very marked 
originality, and those low and heavy glasses of cyliu- 


drical form which we so commonly use, it was very 
desirable to find an intermediate kind, and this was 
the more diOScnlt as the problem was to unite two 
very distinct qualities of Venetian glass, namely, 
ornament and use. 

In spite of unheard-of difficulties which will 
always be found when we endeavor to unit^ these 
two diametrically opposite aims, it is hovt^ever impos- 
sible to deny that the problem has been solved in 
modern times ; for not satisfied with having substi- 
tuted clear and light crystal glass for the yellowish 
glass, filled with streaks and bubbles, of the ancients, 
the moderns have also learnt how to give to their pro- 
ductions those forms at once pure, slender, and prac- 
tical, which are the realization of that great van- 
quished difficulty — useful ornament. 

In order to allow the reader to judge for himself 
whether there is any exaggeration in what we have 
said, we give an illustration of three glasses as types 
of this beautiful modern glass, of which however we 
have already seen one example, in the glass jug on 
page 137. 

Leaving the question of artistic utility to the dis- 
cernment of the reader, and putting on* one side all 
national strife, we must now combat an oft-repeated 
assertion — an assertion which goes so far as to deny 
the origin of the two Venetian glasses represented in 
Fig. 29, under the very specious pretext that cham- 
pagne glasses could not have existed in the sixteenth 
century, for the simple reason that champagne itself 
did not exist at that period. 


One of the glasses is entirely in latticinio jUigree, 
cut in diamond pattern ; the other, which is colorlesB, 
is decorated towards the foot with the body of a fan- 
tastic animal. 

The depth of the first is eleven inches, and that . 
of the latter ten inches. 


To be able to deny that these high glasses were 
used in the sixteenth century, it would be necessary 
to prove that the art of fermenting wine was then 
unknown, and also that of making eflfervescing drinks, 
which it would have been customary, considering 
their resemblance to our champagne, to drink out of 
tall glasses. But in order to verify the date of the 
manufacture of these glasses, which we have styled 
champagne glasses, it would be sufficient to find even 
the smallest growth of champagne at that period : 
this would be enough to baffle our adversaries. We 
have therefore consulted various writers, and have 
found the following passage in the work of Coutant 
d'Oi-ville {Precis cPune hiatoire generale de la vie des 
Francois^ P^g^ ^6). " In the sixteenth century the 
wine of Ay was so renowned, that the Emperor 
Charles V., Pope Leo X., Francis I., and Henry 
YIII., king of England, sought after this wine as a 
real nectar ; and there is a tradition in the province 
that each of these great sovereigns bought a piece of 
ground, with a small house, at Ay, whence a wine- 
dresser in their employ sent them every year a sup- 
ply of this rich wine." 

There being therefore no longer any doubt either 
as to the age or the probable or possible use of these 
two glasses, there only remains to give the reader a 
specimen of the French art during the sixteenth cen- 
tury. This glass (Fig. 30), which is to be found in 
the collection bequeathed by the late Mr. Felix Slade 
to the British Museum, is certainly one of the most 


remarkable which we know, both as regards its shape 
aiid the enamelled painting with which it ie decorated. 

.— Frimch Qltue of tl 

On the Clip is the portrait of a nobleman in the 
costume of the period of Hcnrj II. of France, who 


is presenting a bouquet to a lady, and in order that 
there may be no doubt as to his meaning, we have 
IE SVIS A VOVS written on a scroll. Not wish- 
ing, as it appears, to be behind-hand in courtesy, the 
lady holds a padlocked heart bearing the following 
words, MO C(EVK AVES. In a third compart- 
ment is a goat (bouo)^ forming an allusive coat of 
arms, explained over again by the legend round the 
top part of the glass : IE SYIS A VOYS-JEH AN 

The rarity of these glasses, especially those with 
figures, is explained by two reasons, first, the high 
price of the painting, secondly, the dissimilarity 
among them ; for these glasses, bearing the porti-ait 
and often the arms of the owner, and being only used 
by him, have very rarely a fellow. 

A French proverb, found in Eabelais, " Toujouri 
souvient d Robi/n de ses jluim^'^ * is held to afford 
presumptive proof that a kind of driuking-glass of 
large capacity was formerly known as a "flute," 
" flAtes " being still a familiar French expression for 
toping or drinking hard. Robin appears to have 
been a toper, who prevented by the gout from con- 
tinuing his former excesses, is unable to forget his old 
friends, the " flutes," or capacious drinking vessels. 

• * Livre des proverbes Francois,' by Leroux de Lincy, tome ii., p. 
51, under Robin. 




The means of fixing gold to the outside of a glass 
were perhaps known and even practised by the an- 
cients, who understood a much more diflScult process, 
namely, how to mix gold with the glass ; but in the 
absence of actual examples of such work, we will 
content ourselves with giving the method employed 
at the present time, which, with very little difference, 
must be the same as that which was formerly used. 
In order to fix a gilt decoration on a glass, a certain 
quantity of gold must be dissolved in dqua-regia. 
When the gold is dissolved, the solution is treated 
either with potash, or better still with sulphate of 
protoxide of iron. The precipitate which is formed 
is thrown on a filter, and when mixed with a very 
small quantity of calcined borax it is reduced to a 
paste by means of sj>irits of turpentine. 

After this paste has been applied to the glass by 
a brush, the glass is exposed to the fire of a muffle, 
which volatilizes the spirits of turpentine and vitri- 
fies the borax. 

The gold thus firmly fixed on the glass is bur- 


luslied first by means of blood-etone, and afterwards 
with agate. 

Tills method of gilding is, moreovei', precisely the 
same as that used for gilding porcelain. Since vre 
ai'c F.pealang of gilding as used for oj'nameuting 

glass, it will not be out of the way to uiention an- 
other mode of working, which is very rare and mn«h 
more diflicnit to be explained ; for although every 


one agrees as to the manner of the exterior applica- 
tion of gilding, which we have just explained, it is 
certainly not so with regard to the work of which we 
are going to speak. 

The article in question is a glass jug of Venetian 
manufacture, which is decorated with particles of 
gold in the glass (Fig. 31). 

The explanation of this kind of work, which, we 
repeat, is very exc/Cptional, has for a long time en- 
gaged the attention of the most competent judges of 
the matter, and up to the present time doubt still ex- 
ists ; for, according to some, the gold was mixed with 
the vitreous paste when it was still in the crucible, 
whilst, according to others, the gold dust was not 
sprinkled over the glass until it had been blown into 

Since the subject is still open to discussion, we 
may be allowed to give our opinion on one point, 
which we think has not been sufficiently considered, 
viz., the complete smoothness of the vase. 

If we admit that the gold was simply applied to 
the glass whilst it was still malleable, there must 
necessarily have resulted a certain appreciable un- 
evenness, if not to the sight at least to the touch. 

As the vase in question has not the slightest 
roughness, we must endeavor to find out in what 
manner this surface can have been made so smooth, 
that no unevenness whatever can be felt. 

There are two ways of producing this result, 
which, although they are different in execution, pro- 


dace the same result. The one consists in sprinkling 
gold dust over the Inmp of glass the moment the 
shape is obtained, whilst the other is by rolling this 
same lump of glass on a niarver covered with gold 

The lump of glass being covered with gold by 
either of these processes, we have only to explain by 
what means gold may be rendered imperceptible to 
the touch. This appears to us to consist solely in a 
covering of very fine transparent glass, which, ap- 
plied to the outside of the glass, encloses, 80 to 
speak, the gold dust between two casings. 

It is useless for us to enlarge further on this easy 
process, which is employed at the present time in the 
manufacture of glass of several colors, called double 
glass. (See the chapter on Glass of Two Layers, 
page 173.) 



We have previously seen that the art of mould- 
ing, cutting, and engraving crystal glass dates back 
to a very remote period, for Pliny (Book xxxvi., 
Chap. 66) tells us that '* sometimes glass was blown, 
sometimes fashioned on a wheel, and sometimes 
chased like silver." 

The antiquity of this art being thus ascertained, 
let us pass over many centuries and come to the 
present time, in order to see what means are em- 
ployed in our days. 


Olass cutting, which generally consists m the pro- 
duction of ornaments in relief on the outside, is done 
by means of four vertical wheels which are succes- 
sively used, and are set in motion either by the work- 
man's foot or by steam power. The first of these 
wheels is made of iron, the second of sandstone, the 
third of wood, and the fourth of cork. 

On the iron wheel when set in motion, the work- 
man throws from time to time some sand, which is 


moistened by means of a little wooden trough placed 
above the wheel, which lets water drop on to the 

The first operation of rough cutting being finished, 
the iron wheel is succeeded by the sandstone wheel, 
which is more lightly applied, and adds another de- 
gree to the process of cutting. This wheel is then 
followed by the wooden one, on which the workmen 
throw by turns, sand pulverised by the two preceding 
operations, very fine emery,* and lastly putty pow- 


The process of cutting is finished either by the 
same wooden wheel sprinkled with dry tin pntty 
and covered with a piece of woollen stuff, or by 
means of the last wheel of cork. 

As we have seen then, the cutting of glass is 
done by grinding it either on the plane and lateral 
sides, on the cylindrical part, or even on the edges 
of the wheels whilst in motion. 

In consequence of the process of decoration cosir 
ing, as is seen, a very great amount of labor, cut 
glasses are always very dear, and for this reason a 
cheaper method has been discovered by which they 
can be roughly imitated. The following is the pro- 
cess employed in order to obtain this economical 
result. The glass is first blown in a mould, having 

* This mineral, principally composed of alumina, takes its name 
from the Gape Emery (Isle of Naxos), where it is extracted in oousid- 
•rable quaitities. 

f Patty powder is a mixture of oxide of lead and tin. 


inside the design wLich is required, and the cast thus 
obtained is finished on the wheel. 

It can be understood that by this process the 
costly labor of cutting being very much advanced 
by the moulding, the manufacturer obtains a very 
great economy in time, labor, and even material, 
which allows him to offer to the public objects at a 
relatively moderate price. 


Although engraving on glass produces a result 
precisely opposite to cutting, since the work of the 
former is cut in, whilst by that of the latter orna- 
ments in relief are generally produced, the manner 
of execution is very similar ; for both are executed 
by the aid of a wheel, with certain differences, which 
we think it necessary to mention. 

Instead of using the wheels which, in the cutting, 
grind the glass, the engraver of glass employs a spin- 
dle which, terminating in either a tempered steel or 
flint point, is fixed to a small drum worked by a 
crank. When set in motion the workman takes the 
object which he wishes to engrave, and following the 
outlines of the design lightly traced out, he presses 
the glass more or less against the point of the spin- 
dle, according to the depth of the engraving re- 

The difficulties of this work, which, as may be 
imagined, requires great sleight of hand added to 


long practice, can only be appreciated when those 
works are closely examined on which the artist has 
engraved the most complicated scenes on a very 
small space. 

It will be well to mention here what M. Labarte 
says on this art : — 

"From the commencement of the Beventeenth 
century, certain glass manufactories in Bohemia pro- 
duced vases of a correct shape enriched with en- 
graved ornaments, representing scenes and very fre- 
quently portraits. 

"Distinguished artists were employed in Ger- . 
many and Italy, in spite of the fragility of the ma- 
terial, to decorate these vases, in imitation of those 
in rock crystal, with ornaments and arabesque sub- 
jects, remarkable for their composition, their purity 
of design, and their elaborate execution. Many of 
these beautiful engravings deserved to have been 
made on a less fragile material." 

Whilst stating here that the art of engraving on 
glass has been brought, like all hand labor, to a very 
high degree of perfection by the Bohemian artists, it 
must yet be acknowledged that amongst their most 
beautiful productions a certain degree of monotony 
is always to be found, resulting in a great measure 
from the multiplicity of lines engraved so close to 
one another, that it might almost be thought that 
the talent of the engraver consisted in placing the 
greatest amount of engraving in the least possible 
space. It certainly shows a relative talent ; but was 


the aim of engraving on glass, namely, to decorate, 
attained i The French artists thought not, and aban- 
doning the Bohemian compositions, thej sabBtitnted 
for the castles, the nobles, and peasants with their 
microscopical sheep, interlaced flowers, which, by 

Big, 11.— EngcsTsd FUgon <Cli(ilir Qlua Worki). 

their varied compoeitionB, offer, as maj be conceived, 
much more pleasing and luminous effects, and create, 
so to speak, a new art. 

The engraving which we give (Fig. 33) and which 


doubtless supports what we have said, is a copy of a 
little flagon emanating from the glass works at 

We have seen that manufacturers succeeded in 
making cut glasses popular by means of a prelimi- 
nary blowing ; there are also imitations of engraved 
glasses, and the following is the method of making 
them, as described by M. Peligot. 

" In order to engrave on glass, fluoric acid is em- 
ployed in either a gaseous or liquid state. It is pref- 
erable to use it in the latter form. The fluoric acid 
is prepared by the ordinary process, by heating in a 
leaden retort one part of pulverised fluoride of cal- 
cium and three and a half parts of concentrated sul- 
phuric acid. The acdd is diluted by a third or half 
of its volume of water, and is kept in bottles of lead, 
or, what is better, gutta-percha. 

" The glass is coated with a varnish of wax and 
turpentine, which is applied hot by means of a brush. 
For designs which should present a certain amount 
of fineness, drying linseed oil is used. 

" The design is traced with a point, in the same 
manner as etching. The transparency of the varnish 
of linseed oil permits it to be easily traced. The 
part covered with varnish is coated with wax, and 
the acid is allowed to eat into the glass for a long or 
short period, according to the depth of the engraving 
required.* The varnish is removed by washing it in 
water and then in diluted alcohol. It is unnecessary 

* Douze le9on8 sur PArt de la Yerrerie, page 19. 

z^ »«■ 

GLASS cnrriNG and engraving. 171 

to add that the glass is only touched in those parts 
which have been laid bare by the engraver." 

As it is impossible, whatever amount of care may 
be taken in this chemical operation, that every part 
eaten by the acid should have the sharpness and 
clearness of line given by the point of the tool, it 
will always be easy to distinguish the work done by 
the hand of man from that done by the acid. 

Thanks to M. Peligot, the question concerning 
these imitations of Bohemian glass being settled, let 
us mention, still under the guidance of this writer, 
those other glasses which, as they are decorated with 
light designs in imitation of muslin or lace, cannot 
on account of their extreme regularity be made by 
the hand. 



*^ M. GuGNON, of Metz, applies to the glass, cov- 
ered with a very light coating of esseDce of turpen- 
tine, an open-work design in metal or on paper, 
representing lace, &c. He then sifts a fine powder 
c»f asphalte and mastic over its surface. The pattern 
is then carefnlly taken ofi*, and the glass is slightly 
heated, so as to melt the powder spread in the in- 
terstices of the design, which are thus preserved from 
the action of the acid, which is now allowed to eat 
into the glass during thirty or forty minutes, and 
only takes effect on that part of the glass to which 
the pattern of the design had adhered. 

*' This process is very rapid, and by these means 
two workmen can engrave in a day about twenty 
superficial yards of glass." 



Up to the present time we have only spoken of 
glass which is throughout of the same color. 

The skill of the ancients however did not stop 
there, for not content with being able to produce pre- 
cious stones in artificial monochromes, they even be- 
came able to imitate one of the most rare works of 
creation, the onyx, which, as is well known, is a stone 
(composed of two or three layers of different colors. 
The Louvre collection possesses several splendid 
objects of this description, extremely rare and not to 
be found now-a-days. 

Before placing before the reader the illustration 
of the Portland Vase, which is the most beautiful 
example known of glass of two layers, and before 
narrating the history and misfortunes of this chef- 
d'oeuvre, let us say a word on the method employed 
in obtaining glass with two distinct layers. If a 
glass-maker wishes to make a vase or anything of the 
kind with altemate white and red streaks, he begins 
by taking on the end of his blowing iron a small 
qifantity of white glass which he rolls on the marver. 


This being done, be then dips this white glass into a 
pot containing red glass in a state of fusion ; this lat 
ter glass being thus finely coated over the former, the 
workman blows the object, and gives whatever form 
he wishes to it. 

When this is finished, the next thing to be done 
is to make the white glass partially reappear, which 
has been totally hidden by the red. 

This operation presents, as the reader has doubt- 
less already foreseen, a very great resemblance to 
engraving on glass (page 165), In the latter process 
the work consists of tracing a design by cutting away 
a part of the vitreous matter ; in the former, where 
the glass is composed of two layers, the method is 
exactly the same, since it is only necessary to remove 
certain portions of the outer layer in order to make 
the under one reappear. The resemblance of these 
two processes is the more remarkable as the three 
same agents, namely, the flint, the wheel, and fluoric 
acid, are used in each of these arts. 

As regards the method of cutting away by flint 
and the wheel, and eating away by acid, the reader 
will understand, without it being necessary for us to 
explain, that, in the two former processes the flint 
and wheel only touch those parts which are to be 
taken away ; and also, that in the process with the 
acid, these are the only parts which, as in engraving 
on glass, are not coated with a varnish of wax and 
turpentine to neutralize the incisive effect of the acid. 

We could not better conclude this chapter on 


glass of two layers than by giving a description of 
that wonder of wonders, the vase designated by the 
arehseologists successively under the names of the 
Barberini and the Portland Vase (Fig. 34). 

A few words will explain the origin of the two 
names. This vase, found about the sixteenth century 
in a marble sarcophagus in the environs of Home, 
after having been for more than two centuries the 
principal ornament in«the gallery of the Princes Bar- 
berini at Home, was bought at a sale by auction by 
the Duchess of Portland, for the sum of eighteen 
hundred and seventy-two pounds. 

Althongh the legitimate and sole proprietress of 
this chef-d'ojuvre, the duchess, who doubtless did not 
recognize the right of hiding from public admiration 
such a unique object, lent this vase to the British 
Museum, where it is still to be seen. Thus it was 
preserved, admired by all the world. One day, how- 
ever, there nearly remained nothing more than the 
resemblance of it, for a lunatic named Lloyd smashed 
it in pieces by the blow of a stick. This injury, com- 
mitted by a madman, was repaired by an artist in 
such a manner and with such skilfulness, that it is 
impossible to distinguish the numerous places where 
it is joined together. 

This unique vase, which is supposed to have been 
made in the time of the Antonines (about 138 years 
B.C.), is composed of layers of glass one over the 
other. The lower one is of a deep blue color and the 
other of opaque white, so that the figures stand out 
in white on a deep blue back-ground. 



These two layers lying one over the other so 
much resemble an onyx,* that for a long time the 
archaeologists described this vase as being an ancient 
cameo ; f whilst it is now well known that it is, as 
we have just said, a glass vase composed of two lay- 

But although the material is perfectly known, we 
cannot say as much regarding the subject which it 
represents, as authorities still* differ on this point. 
"We will quote here what Millingen says with r^ard 
to it in his Monuments inedits^ vol. i., page 27. 

" The Portland vase represents (No. 1) the mar- 
riage of Peleus and Thetis. The woman seated, 
holding a serpent in her left hand, is Thetis, and 
the man to whom she is giving her right hand is 
Peleus. The serpent recalls the different tran&- 
formations by means of which she reckoned upon 
escaping marriage. The god placed in front of 
Thetis is Neptune. A Oupid hovering above them 
in the air unites the two lovers. The portico be- 
hind Peleus probably signifies the palace of that 
prince, or else the sanctuary in which Thetis received 
divine honors. , 

" On the reverse (No. 2) Thetis is again seen seat- 
ed, holding a torch downwards, an emblem of sleep. 

* From the Greek ovvl, finger-nail. A species of very fine agate 
which is composed of parallel layers of different colors, one of which 
resembles the milky color of the nail. 

f From the Italian cameo^ a stone composed of different colors and 
engraved in relief. 




Public opinion generally attributes that charming 
opalescent and nacreous plaj of color which we see 
on a great many specimens of antique glass to the 
action of accidental tire, and there are few who do 
not consider each piece a rare and fi'agile survivor of 
the Pompeian catastrophe. 

In order to prove that fire has nothing to do with 
this iridescence, it will snfBce to remind the reader 
of the fact that the greater part, or even all the an- 
tique glass which adorns onr museums, came from 
the tombs, where it had been placed beside the arms, 
jewellery, and garments of the dead. 

The presence of garments and jewellery which 
bear no signs of any alteration forbids all idea of 
fire: we must therefore endeavor to find elsewhere 
the cause of this irides(;ence. Here again M. Peligot 
comes to our aid. " The majority of glass objects," 
says he, ^' whose manufacture dates back to a remote 
period, have undergone, by the influence of time and 
damp, a very marked alteration. All the old glass 
which is found in the tombs of the ancient Somans 




and Gauls presents an iridescent and black aspect, 
giving sometimes very brilliant reflections, like those 
of the wings of certain species of butterflies. It is 
to be found even on panes of glass of more modern 
manufacture placed in the windows of stables, etc., 
viz., places often exposed both to, constant damp and 
high temperature. The iridescent scales, which can 
be easily removed by gentle rubbing, are a mixture 
of silica and earthly silicates, the alkaline silicates 
having disappeared." 



This name is given to a species of glass or crystal 
invented in Bohemia and formerly much used in 
Italy ; it imitates as well as possible, by means of 
external roughness, the fine arabesques of the thin 
coating of ice which in winter nights covers the win- 
dows of a room mildly heated in the interior. 

Before describing the process of the maniifactnre 
of this glass, we may be allowed to show the reader 
a Venetian goblet (Fig. 35) which, from its elegant 
shape and decorated style, rich as well as chaste in 
ornamentation, is certainly one of the most faultless 
products of the glass works of Murano ; for, as we 
are about to show, it is the result of several different 
operations. Indeed, this goblet with eight lobes is 
compo-ed of two equal and horizontal zones ; the 
upper one, blown and moulded, is decorated at the 
top by a wide gilded border, whilst the lower one of 
frosted glass rests on a moulded and gilded pedestal. 

This kind of glass is now usually employed in the 
manufacture of the decanters, known under the name 
of hroGS a glacea. 



This froBtea glass, bo original in its appearance, 
was long and rightly used mei-ely in wiiite glass, 
whicli color imitatei) natnral ice better than any 
other. Bnt ignorant, or perhaps forgetful that this 
glass representing ice was only an indication, a label, 
BO to speak, eerviiig to indicate that wliat the decan- 

Fig. 3J>.— Teoetian Fnalsd Olul (Louvn). 

ter contained was frozen, fashion decreed tbat it was 
tired of the white ice of nature, and required some 
of another color. Fashion gave the order, and then 
it was that mannfacturera invented frosted glaes in 
yellow, green, lilac, pink, etc. 


The mode of manafactnre employed to obtain 
this frosted appearance, astonishing as it may appear, 
18, as we shall see, very simple. A piece of glass, 
white or colored in the mass, being taken from the 
pot, is placed on a molten or iron table on which 
fragments of pounded glass have been placed. These 
fragments adhering to the exterior of the glass whilst 
that is still soft, it is again heated, and finally blown. 

It will be understood that the fragments of glass 
being only attached to the exterior, the interior of the 
objects in frosted glass is quite smooth. 

There is yet another method employed in Bohe- 
mia, which may be called artistic frosting, for its sys- 
tem of ornament is susceptible of infinite varieties, as 
it depends entirely on the will of the maker ; whilst 
that of which we. have spoken above, from the man- 
ner of its fabrication can only represent a monochro- 
matic frosting, general and without any settled de- 

This is the process employed to obtain the artistic 

Instead of rolling the glass when it is stiU with- 
out form on a layer of pounded glass, the object iu 
course of making is blown, and it is only when it is 
nearly completed that the artist, who has pounded 
glass of different colors before him, puts it wUh his 
hand wherever he desires on the glass wheh still in 
a pasty state. 

From this system it follows that the decoration of 
the glass is quite under the control of the artist's 


This work completed, it only remains to heat the 
object again and finish it off. 

It is needless to say that in both methods, the 
fragments of glass placed upon the other, being less 
fusible than the glass to which they adhere, the ex- 
ternal roughness is not smoothed down by the second 
heating of the glass. 



Which of you, dear readers (I am only speakiog 
to those who have seen their fiftieth year), does not 
remember, when he was a child, having admired 
little houses, sheepfolds with shepherd, shepherdess, 
and sheep, and even castles, constructed entirely of 
glass threads of different colors ? 

The fashion for this sort of toy, we dare not say 
work of art, has already fallen into what everything 
else must come to, the most complete oblivion ; and 
its abandonment is so great that it would be easier 
now for some persons to purchase a house of hewn 
stone costing three or four thousand pounds, than to 
lay their hand on a little glass house. 

As we are not, thank God, amongst those who 
cry vcB metis! we think that in gratitude for the 
happiness and wonder this sort of work has caused 
us, we must at least endeavor to show here that spun 
glass has had its reign, and to prove that in skilful 
hands it may still possess an artistic interest. 

Is spun glass of modern invention ? Alas I not 
more so than many other things here below. At the 



beginning of this centnry it was only a continuation 
of a manufacture which had been long known, and 
had been so much esteemed in the commencement of 
the sixteenth century, that Fugger, the rich banker 
of Augsburg, who, not content with warming his 
guest, Charles V., with bundles of cinnamon wood, 
lighted them with the bond for a large sum which the 
sovereign had borrowed from him, found nothing 
rarer or more worthy of being offered to his impe- 
rial visitor than a small vessel of molten, spun, cast, 
and twisted glass. 

From the great resemblance between this descrip- 
tion and an object in the Louvre (Fig. 36), it would 
be easy to give this vessel an historical interest ; but 
that not being a question for us, we will content our- 
selves with having shown the antiquity of spun glass 
and the esteem in which it was held, and will pass at 
once to the method of its manufacture. 

If we go into the workroom of the pearl-blower 
(Chap. XXIY.), we shall see him seated at a little 
table on which his tubes are placed, and a lamp giv- 
ing a long jet of flame. Precisely the same appa- 
ratus is required by the glass spinner, although the 
two works are very different, since the former work- 
man has to produce by his breath little balls which 
are to become round or ovoid beads, whilst that of 
the spinner, on the contrary, is merely to obtain from 
a glass tube fine and flexible thread. 

The following process is employed to attain this 
result. The spinner having chosen a tube, either 


white or colored, brings one of its extremities to the 
lamp. As soon as this part of the tnbe begins to 
soften, the workman seizes it with small pincers, and 
stretching out his arms he obtains, owing to the duc- 
tility of the glass, a thread about a yard long, adher- 
ing on one side to the principal tnbe, and on the 
other to the small piece taken oflF by the pincers. 

The spun glass would be limited to this length of 
about a yard if meaus had not been discovered to 
prolong it almost indefinitely. This is done by fixing 
the extremity of the glass adhering to the pincei-s to 
a small wheel or drum of sheet iron, which is set in 
movement and placed at a short distance from the 
lamp. Again iieated, the principal tube, which is 
gradually brought nearer the flame, yields in its tnm 
to the traction on it, and soon this fine thread wind- 
ing itself round the drum, attains an extraordinary 
length. Now that our little sheepfolds, so much re- 
gretted, no longer exist, we shall doubtless be asked 
of what use these glass threads can* be ? They are 
employed in numerons ways. The glittering dresses 
which were formerly worn were made of silk and 
glass threads woven together. The aigrets also which 
ornament ladies' bonnets, and are so fine and flexible 
that the lightest breeze agitates them, are of spun 
glass. The flowing black curls, which, when worn 
by a prince, became the admiration of all Paris, were 
likewise made of spun glass, curled with irons. 

Many readers will probably doubt the trnth of 
our statements, thinking it impossible that such things 


could be produced in glass. But let the incredulous 
go to the Gonaervdtoire dea Arts et Metiers at Paris, 
and there, in the glass room, they will see a lion of 
the size of life, with splendid hair and bristling mane, 
stifling a serpent.* Convinced by sight, they will 
then acknowledge that in skilful hands spun glass 
may produce effects wonderful, not only from their 
delicacy, but also from the richness and truth of their 

The Dictionnaire des arts et manvfactures speaks 
thus of this group and its author. " A very clever 
enameller of Saumur has made an extremely inter- 
esting application of threads of spun glass, using it 
to imitate the hair of animals. He assimilates the 
colors to those of natural skins, and after having cut 
the threads of a suitable length, he attaches them by 
one end on a solid surface, copying the arrangement 
of the skin that he wishes to imitate. I have seen 
at his house tigers, striped hyenas, and other animals 
of natural size, admirably modelled and covered with 
the glcLss liair of which we speak. 

" The imitation is so perfect, that these animals 
might advantageously replace the stuffed skins, always 
injured, which encumber our museums." 

If the idea of imitating the hair of animals with 
glass threads is a modem invention, it is certainly not 
the case with materials woven with glass, for we find 
in the Memoi/res de VAcademie des Sciences (1713), 

* This group, which cost its author, M. Lambourg, thirty years' 
labor, formed a part of the Umversal Exhibition of 1855. 


a report of the celebrated Keanmnr,* in which he 
says: ^'If they succeed in making glass threads as 
fine as those of spiders' webs, they will have glass 
threads of which woven staffs may be made." 

What was then only a contingent possibility for 
the Bomant has since become a reality. Thanks to 
modem indnstry, glass is now drawn as fine and 
flexible as the finest thread of the silkworm. 

Before concluding this notice of spun glass, it 
may be as well to contradict an error held by many 
people, who deny that a hollow tube can be length- 
ened without destroying the bore. We borrow the 
proof to the contrary from the JXctionnaire techno- 
logique des arts (Vol. xxii., page 216). ^' When a 
hollow tube of glass is drawn out, the hole remains, 
whatever may be the fineness of the thread. M. 
Deucbar took a piece of thermometer tube, the inte- 
rior diameter of which was very small, and drew it 
out into threads. The drum which he employed was 
three feet in circumference, and as it turned round 
five hundred times in a minute, 30,000 yards of thread 
were obtained in an hour, so that the thread was ex- 
tremely fine, and its interior diameter scarcely cal- 
culable. This thread was, however, hollow, tor being 
cut into pieces of an inch and a half in length, and 
placed in the receiver of an air-pump, with one end 
inside and the other out, it allowed the mercury to 

* Ren^-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, phyBidan and naturali^ 
born at RocbeUe, in 1688, died in 1767. He was named member of 
the Acad6mie des Sciencea in 1708. 


pass in small shining filaments as soon as a vacnnm 
was made." 

As we have just mentioned the words thermome- 
ter and tnbes, we will see as snccinctly as possible 
how the tabe of a thermometer is made, and by what 
means the mercury or alcohol is introduced. 



EvEEY one knows that the thermometer, as its 
name indicates, serves to measure the diflTerent varia- 
tions of temperature. It is generally composed of a 
plate marking by its equal divisions the various de- 
grees of heat and cold. In the middle is a cylindrical 
and perpendicular glass tube of small diameter, hav- 
ing in the interior a small quantitv of mercury, or 
spirits of wine colored with carmine, either of which 
stopping at one of the divisions indicated on the 
plate, marks the successive fluctuations of the tem- 

According to M. Libri,* the invention of the 
thermometer is due to Galileo ; f according to other 
authors to Francis Bacon,:|: to Fludd,§ to Drebbel,| 

* ^' Sistoire des Scieneea Mathematiques, en lUdie^'* voL !▼., page 

f GaUleo Galilei, bom at Pisa, 1664, died 1642. 

X F. Bacon, bom at London, 1661, died 1626. 

g Fladd (Robert), physician, bom at Milgate, in Kent, 1674, died 


I Prebbel (OomeUus van), bom at Alckmaer (Holland), 1672, died 


oiy lastly, to Sanctorius.* The most general opinion 
ascribes it to Cornelius Drebbel ; and yet to this long 
list of supposed inventors, M. Hoefer f adds a fresh 
competitor, Van Helmont, who, according to this gen- 
tleman, must have originated the idea of the con- 
struction of a thermometer. We give the words of 
M. Hoefer verbatim. 

"Van Helmont, indignant that a certain Heer 
should reproach him with having pursued the chi- 
mera of perpetual motion, said that he had made use 
of an instrument of his own invention, not to seek 
perpetual motion, but to prove that water enclosed 
in a hollow tube of glass, terminated by a ball, rises 
and falls according to the temperature of the sur- 
rounding medium. This idea thrown out by chance 
was one day to be fertile in results." 

If the absence of proofe leaves the name of the 
inventor of the thermometer still nndetermined, we 
are more fortunate in regard to the date of its ap- 
pearance, for it is generally agreed that the first ap- 
peared in Germany, under the name of Cornelius 
Drebbel, in 1621. 

Although the thermometer was from that time 
known and even in use, it must still have been, from 
the descriptions we have of it, very far from that 
state of perfection to which it has attained in our 

* Sanctorius, the latinized name of Santori, a celebrated physiciaa 
boni at Capo d'Istria 1661, died 1686. 

f IHeUannaire de CMmie^ at the word Thermometer. 


Those suceesBive ameHorationB and improveraenU, 
ariemg from the ever-progressive inarch of science, 
have been related by M. Fignier,* in hia book on 
Orandet invenlions, andenneg et moderties 


Idke everything in glass, tubes are made by the 
breatli of the workman. If the reader will kindly 

Fig. 8'.— Drewiug ant a Olosa Tube. 

look once more at the plate representing the blowing 
of a glass globe destined to become a window pane, 
he will have an exact idea of the first stage in the 
formation of tnbes. 

Ae soon as the workman has blown a ball of the 
eize desired, another workman fastens his ponty to 
• PsriB, Haehette, 1861, page 181. 


the Bide opposite that adhering to the pipe of the 
blower, and he walks quickly backwards whilst the 
blower remains in the same place. Thanks to the 
malleability and ductility of the glass, softened by 
the heat, this globe, according to the traction given 
it, is lengthened to such a degree that it becomes a 
long tube. 

It will be seen that the ball blown being hollow, 
the tube formed from it preserves also in its centre a 
continuous and equal cavity in proportion with the 
diameter given to the tube. (See what is said of this 
in the article on Spun Glass, page 192.) 

To avoid returning to this subject, and before 
giving our entire attention to tubes destined for ther- 
mometers, we may mention that all straight tubes are 
made in the same manner ; but that the spiral tubes 
used in chemistry, which often have serpentine forms, 
are obtained by means of cast cylinders, around 
which the tubes are wound whilst the glass is mal- 

As for the tubes specially destined for thermome- 
ters, let us see in what way they can be filled either 
with mercury or alcohol. 

TJie capillarity * of the tube, but still more the 
resistance offered by the air it contains, renders the 
direct introduction, either of the mercury or the alco- 
hol, impossible. This resistance has therefore to be 

* By capiUary, from the Latin eapillut^ a hair, is designated a tube 
whose interior bore is not kiger than a hair. 



destroyed by heating, with a spirit lamp, the still emp. 
ty reservoir * of the tube. 

Nearly all the air being driven out by this first 
operation, the open extremity of the tube at the end 

opposite to the reser- 
voir is then plunged 
into mercury or alco- 
hol, and as soon as the 
force of the atmos- 
pheric air is greater 
than that of the small 
amount of air which 
remains in the tube, 
it weighs on the mer- 
cury or the alcohol, 
which by this pre&- 
sion rises in the tube. 
As soon as a por- 
tion of the mercury 
or alcohol has entered 
the tube, it is taken up, and then, meeting no more 
resistance, the mercury or alcohol falls from its own 
weight into the reservoir, which is then again heated 
suflSciently to cause the vapors of the substance con- 
tained in the reservoir to drive out completely all the 
air that might remain in the tube. 

This operation terminated, the open part of the 
tube is closed by means of a lamp, and it only re- 
mains to graduate it. 

* The reservoir, whether spherical or elongated, is a part added to 
the tube after the latter is made. 

fig. 38. 



The place of the lowest mark iDdicatiog cold, and 
denoted on the thermometer by a zero, is determined 
bj means of melting ice. The tube is placed up to 
the middle in a cylindrical recipient filled with 
pounded ice. (Fig. 39.) 

After it has remained there abont a quarter of an 

Fig. SB. Kg. 40. 

hour, a line is traced with a diamond on the exact 
place wliere the mercury or alcohol stopped. This 
sign indicates the zero of the thermometer. 

It may be easily understood how by a contrary 
process the degrees of heat are marked. The tube 
18 placed in a stove with the steam of boiling water, 
and the point at which Ae mercury stops becomes 


the hundredth degree of the thermometric scale.* 
(Fig. 40.) 

What we have said abont the thermometer has 
been solely intended to explain the mannfactnre of 
tabes in general and the relative importance of glass 
in the sciences : we should merely repeat onrselves in 
speaking of the barometer. 

* [In Fahrenheit's scale, freeang point is 82"* and Ixnfing point 
212*— Tbaxblatob.] 



Thebe are two sorts of jet, one natural, which is 
classed in the family of the lignites (coal), and is of 
an intense black, of fine and close texture ; the other, 
artificial, which taken alone oflfers the form of a small 
cylindrical black glass tube, obtained, according to 
M. Peligot, by a mixture of oxide of copper, cobalt, 
and iron. 

Although our intention is merely to treat of arti- 
ficial jet, the only one in vogue at present, we must 
say one word on natural jet ; which, if it is now 
forgotten, has also had its time of glory, for we can- 
not forget that the statue of Menelaus, carried off 
from the temple of Heliopolis and transported to 
Eome during the reign of Tiberias, was formed of 

Now that we have paid, although certainly very 
briefly, our debt to antiquity, let us examine if the 
fashion for artificial jet, employed in our days with 
so much prodigality as ornaments for dresses, man- 
tles, and bonnets, is a new conception. 

Although at the risk of being accused of indulg- 


ing a mania for antiquity, at the risk too of wound- 
ing the national self-love, or of even destroying the 
fame of certain patents, we shall endeavor to prove 
that jet embroidery as it is now worn, far from being 
an innovation, is only a pale and economical imita- 
tion of past fashions. 

This is what Savary wrote in 1723, in his Die- 
tionnaire Universel du Commerce. " It is with arti- 
ficial jet, cut and pierced, and threaded with silk or 
thread, that embroideries are made in sufficiently 
good taste, but very dear, which are used particu- 
larly for ornaments in churches. Trimmings are also 
made of it in half mourning for men and women, and 
sometimes muffs, tippets, and trimmings for robes. 
For the latter the jet used is white and black, but 
of whatever color it may be, it is ill employed." 

From these words it would be wrong to argue 
that jet embroidery only goes back to the period in- 
dicated by Savary, for the eighteenth century as well 
as our own lived on the dead, whose inventions it 
revived. A single example chosen from amongst a 
thousand will prove this. Let us open the inventory 
drawn up after the death of Gabrielle d'Estr6es (1599), 
and we shall find a proof that jet was already in fash- 
ion. " Five small caps of black satin, of which two 
are embroidered in jet, one quite full ; a robe of black 
satin, with a border of jet over the body and the 
sleeves open ; valued at forty crowns." 

" What matters the precise date of this mode with 
which we have endowed the whole of Europe ? " will 

saj Bome patentee. " Is it not snfScient for onr honor 
that it is of French origin ? " 

But this is a freah error, for not only does the 
invention not helong to the sixteenth century any 
more than to the eighteenth, hut again, it is not more 
French than English or Grerman, and to discover its 
true origin — by thia word we speak of that only as- 

yig. 41.— EgTptEiin BretutpUie (Louvre). 

signed by docaments which have come down to ns, 
and not of the invention itself, which is certainly far 
more ancient — ^we must go back to the old Egypt of 
the Pharaohs. 

To be convinced of thia truth, it is only necessary 
to look at the sumptuous objects in the Egyptian 


MuBenm in the Lonvre. If we examine either the 
objects themselves, or those painted on the sarco- 
phagi, we shall find a large nnmber of small cylin- 
ders, some of enamelled earth, others of colored glass, 
which although they are in every respect identical 
with onrs in form and nse, yet differ essentially in the 
variety of the colors, which enabled the Egyptian 
women to compose those charming necklaces and 
splendid breastplates, so rich in varied effects that 
one might almost say that in their hands a box of 
tabes became a palette. 



The manufacture of beads for necklaces, brace- 
lets, and chaplets, whilst presenting great similarity 
to that of jet, in as much as both are produced from 
tubes of colorless or colored glass pierced through the 
centre, yet differ in one particular ; as the former are 
simple oblong tubes, while the others must from their 
destination receive a form more or less spheroidal. 

It is this latter work that we are about to de- 

The tubes, of a diameter proportioned to that of 
the beads which are required, are at first cut into 
cylinders of a height equal to their diameter, and are 
then placed in a pear-shaped drum of beaten iron 
containing a mixture of plaster and plumbago or of 
charcoal dust mixed with clay. The drum being 
placed on a furnace, the workman gives it a continu- 
ons rotatory movement by meanfl of an iron axle 
which passes through it, so that the tubes softened 
by the heat lose the salient parts of their extremities, 
from the constant friction with each other, and take 
a spherical form. 

The office of the plaster and charcoal in this work 


is to prevent the tabes, at the time of the softening 
of the glass, from adhering together. 

When cool, the tubes are taken oat of the dram 
and sifted, in order to shake oat the pulverized mat- 
ters which have entered. 



The art of coloring glass, which necessarily im- 
plies a certain knowledge of chemistry, erroneously 
denied to the ancients, goes back to an unknown 

M. Boudet, the author of an excellent work on 
the art of glass-making in Egypt * informs us « that 
the priests of Egypt, who were constantly occupied 
with experiments, made in their laboratory some glass 
equal to rock crystal ; and profiting by the property 
they had discovered in oxides of metallic substances 
obtained principally fropa India, to vitrify under dif- 
ferent colors, they conceived and executed the pro- 
ject of imitating every species of precious stone, 
whether colored, transparent, or opaque, furnished to 
them by the commerce of the same country. 

'^ Strabo f and all historians agree in asserting 

* Description de VEgypte, 2nd edit., Panckoucke, 1829, toI. ix., page 

f This Greek geographer, bom at Amasia, in Cappadoda, 60 b.c., 
lived for a long time in Egypt 


that in Egypt, from time immemorial, there were 
manufactnred by secret processes some very fine and 
very transparent glasses, whose colors were those of 
the hyacinth, the sapphire, the ruby, etc. ; that one 
of the sovereigns of that country had succeeded in 
imitating the precious stone named Cyanus; that 
Sesostris * had caused to be founded or sculptured in 
glass of emerald color, a statue which was still seen 
at Constantinople under the reign of Theodosius; 
that in the time of Apion f there also existed a glass 
colossus in the labyrinth of Egypt ; lastly, Pliny says 
that with the dross of metals there was made a black 
glass which resembled the substance of jet, which, 
was employed before it was thought of replacing it 
by glass. 

'^ Does it require more to prove that the Egyp- 
tians are the most ancient fabricators of glass, and 
that, as they imitated precious stones, they knew how 
to prepare the oxides without which they could not 
have succeeded in making colored glasses, false jew- 
els, and enamels ? " 

There exists such a connexion in the coloring 
parts, as well as in the method of manufacture of 
glass and colored crystal, that, to keep within the 
limits assigned us, and still more to spare the reader 
tiresome as well as useless repetitions, we must now, 
having proved the antiquity of colored glass, occupy 

* SesoBtris, or Rameses, began to reigu in Egypt about 1648 yean 
B. c. 

I A grammarian, born at Oasis, in Egypt, about 40 years B.a 


t)nrselves especially with false stones considered as 
an object of adornment. 

The imitation of precious stones, first in glass and 
then in crystal, goes back, as we have just said, to 
an indefinite period ; for we find this art employed 
by the Egyptians, not only in the enamelled cover- 
ings of their innumerable scarabsei, and in those of 
their long lines of statuettes, but also in the decora- 
tion of a number of trinkets, such as earrings and 
bracelets, where the paste of colored glass is united 
to the purest gold. 

Herodotus * (Book ii.. Chap. 69) tells us : " Some 
of the Egyptians look upon crocodiles as sacred ani- 
mals. Those who live near Thebes and lake Moeris 
hold these animals in much veneration. They select 
one and teach him to allow himself to be touched by 
the hand. They put on him earrings of gold or of 
artificial stone, and fasten to his feet little golden 

From Egypt this science passed to Rome, for 
although Pliny (Book xxxvii.. Chap. 75) does not 
indicate the process employed in the manufacture, 
he mentions the extraordinary skill which the makers 
of false stones had attained in his time. ^^ There is 
considerable difficulty in distinguishing genuine stones 
from false ; the more so as there has been discovered 
a method of transforming genuine stones of one kind 
into false stones of another. Sardonyx, for example, 

* Herodotus, who deserres the surname of Father of Sutory^ was 
bom at Halicamassus, 484 B.O. 


is imitated by cementing together three other pre- 
cious stones, in snch a way that no skill can detect 
the frand ; a black stone being nsed for the purpose, 
a white stone and one of a vermilion color, each of 
them, in its way, a stone of high repute. Nay, even 
more than this, there are books in existence, the au- 
thors of which I forbear to name, which give instruc- 
tions how to stain crystal in such a way as to imitate 
emerald and other transparent stones, how to make 
sardonyx of sarda, and other gems in a similar man- 
ner. Indeed, there is no kind of fraud practised by 
which larger profits are made." 

If, as Pliny says, the makers of false stones had 
become masters in the art of imitation, it yet appears 
that their productions were not so unrecognizable that 
an accustomed eye could not discover the fraud. It 
is recorded that Cornelia Salonia, the wife of the em- 
peror GaUienus, bought from a lapidary a splendid 
set of stones which he sold as real but which were 
recognized to be false. 

To deceive a sovereign has always been a capital 
offence, and so Gallienus without any ceremony con- 
demned the merchant to be thrown to the lions ; an 
imperial idea which was all the more happy that it 
allowed him at once to avenge the insult offered to 
the crown and to offer a spectacle to the Koman 
populace. On the day so much desired by all the 
Komans, excepting of course our merchant, great and 
small filled the circus. Wild beasts and victim were 
at their respective posts, and to begin the amusement 


there was only wanting the emperor, who, contrary 
to his usual custom in such circumstances, kept them 
waiting. Impatience was increasing everywhere ; 
cries, even seditious ones for that time, were already 
being added to the roarings of the lions, for if the 
spectators demanded the emperor, the lions demanded 
the merchant. At last, oh thrice happy moment 1 
the emperor appears and gives the order to open the 
cage of the wild beasts. Scarcely is it opened than 
there issues from it — a turkey ! Yes, reader, a sim- 
ple turkey, who, unaccustomed doubtless to the honor 
of such a numerous company, scarcely knows how to 
behave before his sovereign. At the sight of a fowl 
replacing a lion, every one asked in a low voice: 
" By Jupiter, has his majesty lost his senses? or are 
they laughing at him ? " 

After having enjoyed the general amazement, and 
especially the piteous state of the lapidary, whose 
prostration was such that he could not even distin- 
guish if he had to fight with a lion or a turkey, Gal- 
lienus, who, happily for the criminal, was in one of 
his rare fits of good humor, caused it to be proclaimed 
by a herald that he considered himself sufficiently 
avenged on the merchant, for if the latter had de- 
ceived him, the emperor had in his turn deceived the 

A cry of " Long live the Emperor 1 " greeted these 
words, but it was a single one, and there is no need 
to say from whose mouth it issued. 


The coloring of glass,* as well as other manufac- 
tures, has had its times of fashion and of neglect. 
Not being able to follow step by step its introduc- 
tion into other countries, we must confine ourselves 
to speaking of that where, if it were not first discov- 
ered, the monopoly of its manufacture was certainly 
longest preserved. Tliis is Bohemia, which held it 
exclusively until 1837. 

And indeed, it can hardly be believed that until 
that year, still so near our own time, the belief was 
BO generally prevalent that Bohemia alone possessed 
the secret of coloring glass, that it required no less 
than the scientific authority of M. Dumas and the 
support of the Soci6te d'Encouragement to overcome 
this prejudice, by proving tliat the inertia of the 
French manufacturers was merely the natural conse- 
quence of an unjust prejudice. 

In that same year (1837) a meeting for competition 
was announced, which was the more numerously at- 
tended, as each of the competitors, guided ratlier by 
national pride than by the hope of gaining the pro- 
posed prize, had only one thought — ^that of making 
a step forward in the science whose existence even 
was denied, by uniting their researches to those of 
their rivals. 

The prizes were obtained by MM. de Fontenay 
and Bontemps. 

* The history of painted glass windows will be the subject of a 
special work. In this we shall only speak of glass and crystal colored 
in the paste, and of the formation of objects either decorative or useful. 


Although the works presented at this meeting 
proclaimed loudly that France had a right to claim 
her share of the ancient discovery ; although the 
prejudice was destroyed, yet the first practical at- 
tempts were certainly met with formidable difficul- 
ties; difficulties, however, which were the natural 
consequence of the abandonment of that branch of 
French industrial art : we mean the small quantity 
of coloring matters which were then at the disposal 
of glass-makers, and which gave a certain monotony 
to their pi-oductions. As soon as this inconvenience 
was known, it was not of long duration, for chemistry 
coming to the aid of the glass-makers, soon gave them 
such a quantity of metallic oxides producing diflferent 
colors and shades, that it may now be said that the 
palette of the glaas-maker is as complete as that of 
the painter. 

Far be it from us certainly to wish systematically 
to praiBe French industry above that of all other 
countries, but at the Exhibition of 1867 any one 
might have been convinced that in this branch, as in 
all others, if French glass-workers have found rivals, 
they are still unsurpassed in purity and brilliancy of 
color as well as in elegance of form. 



The basis of all precious stones is strass, whicli is 
colored by dissolving in it, when in a state of fusion, 
either of certain metallic or other oxides, or of gold, 
silver, sulphur, charcoal, etc. 

Sl/rass^ a crystalline substance very rich in lead, 
was produced about the commencement of the pres- 
ent century by an artist who gave it his name. The 
following are its constituent parts according to M. 

Silica. 88-2 

Oxide of lead 53*0 

Potash 7-8 

Alumina, borax, arsenic acid ... .Traces. 

We shall now give the formulse, according to M. 
Peligot, employed for the fabrication of the artificial 
precious stones most frequently used, referring the 
reader to JM[. Lanjon's work* for all the others. 

Amethyst — 1000 parts of strass and 25 of oxide 
of cobalt. 

* VArt du Lapidaire, Paris, Gamier, 1830. 



AveniMTine. — ^Tlie etymology of this word is not 
known. According to some it owes its name to its 
resemblance to quartz aventurine, and, according to 
others, to the happy awkwardnefis of a workman who 
dropped by accident some filings into a pot contain- 
ing glass in a state of fusion. Its manufacture, which 
is of Venetian origin, is still monopolized by two or 
three glass-makers who work it alone, and keep the 
process secret. From this arises the deamess of this 
stone, the price of which varies from £1 to £3 the 

According to M. P61igot, " the aventurine is a 
yellowish glass, in which there are an infinite number 
of small crystals of copper, protoxide of copper, or 
silicate of that oxide. When it is polished, this glass 
presents, especially in the light, a glittering appear- 
ance, which causes its being employed in jewellery. 

" Many attempts have been made to discover the 
secret of its manufacture. A skilful chemist, M. 
Hautefeuille, has succeeded by persevering efforts in 
making this glass in considerable quantities : he has 
just published in the last report of the Soci6te d'En- 
couragement (October, 1860) a memoir in which he 
freely indicates the processes he has followed. 

" When the glass is very liquid, iron or fin^ brass 
turnings enclosed in paper are added ; these are in- 
corporated into it by stirring the glass with a red-hot 
iron rod. The glass becomes blood red, opaque, and 
at the same time milky and full of bubbles; the 
draught of the furnace ia then stopped, the ash-pan 


closed, the pot with its lid on is covered with ashes, 
and it is allowed to cool very slowly. The next day 
on breaking the pot the aventurine is seen formed." 

Since the publication of the excellent Lectures of 
M. Peligot, a discovery has been made (1865) on the 
subject which now occupies us, by M. Pelouze. The 
aventurine invented by this chemist is as fine as the 
finest from Yenice, and in addition has this advan- 
tage that it scratches and cuts glass. The formula 
given by M. Pelouze is as follows : 250 parts of sand, 
100 of carbonate of soda, 50 of carbonate of lime, 
and 40 of bichromate of potash. 

Emerald. — 1000 parts of strass, 8 of oxide of 
copper, and 0*2 of oxide of chromium. 

Jivby. — 1000 parts of strass, 40 of glass of anti- 
mony, 1 of purple of cassius and an excess of gold. 

Sapphire. — 1000 parts of strass and 25 of oxide 
of cobalt. 

Topaz. — ^The same formula as for the ruby, ex- 
cepting the excess of gold, and heated for a shorter 

After having indicated the substances composing 
the principal artificial precious stones, we ought to 
speak a little of a kind of work that is veiy little 
knownj the cutting and polishing of these stones. 
These facts will be extracted from the Art du Lapi- 
doA/re (page 291) by M. Langon, of which we have 
spoken above. 

" The blocks of strass or other materials are split 
with a sharp hammer into pieces of the size required ; 


they are afterwards arranged; those intended for 
brilliants, either round or oval, for rose or dentdle 
cutting, or for intersecting surfaces, are placed on tf 
slab of sheet-iron called a fondoir^ laid on a basis of 
tripoli earth reduced to powder or on any other argil- 
laceous earth ; for the larger stones a fondoir of re- 
fractory earth is used ; it is placed in a small furnace 
heated with charcoal or wood, or on a brazier kept 
supplied with fuel. When the Aision has commenced, 
the fondoir is removed and the stones are found either 
rounded or more easy to cut. The lapidary chooses 
the most brilliant, which he attaches to cement. 

" Artificial stones which are cut indiscriminately 
for round or oval brilliants, for roses, squares, den- 
telles, intersecting surfaces, or for close cutting, are 
cut on a leaden wheel with emery ; the polishing is 
done on a tin wheel with good tripoli tempered with 
water. The machine used by the lapidaries of Paris 
and of Sepmoncel to cut and polish precious and arti- 
ficial stones is composed of a table with raised edges, 
on four feet solidly set. It is divided transversely by 
a small partition pierced with perpendicular holes 
which serve to receive the sticks, at the end of which 
the stones to be cut or polished are cemented. The 
table tlius divided presents two distinct parts. In 
that to the left of the lapidary is a handle which cor- 
responds to a large wooden wheel placed horizontally 
under the table, and which, by means of a cord that 
passes over the drum, causes the wheel on the right 
of the lapidary to turn round ; on this he polishes 
the stones. 


" The iron rod which is fixed perpendicularly on 
the table receives a sort of wooden sheath bristling 
with small iron points serving to hold the stick firm- 
ly which is in the workman's right hand, aUd by 
means of which the stone is held conveniently on the 
wheel, which is sometimes of lead, sometimes of tin, 
copper, or even of wood, and on which is laid emery, 
tripoli, pumice, or putty, according to the nature and 
hardness of the stones- which are to be cut and pol- 
ished. When a careful cutting is required for a valu- 
able stone, the lapidaries do not hold the cement 
sticks in their hands ; they use a rather complicated 
support called cadran ; it is fixed on the rod and 
receives the extremity of the little wooden handles. 
The lapidary is seated on a chair or a stool at the 
side, opposite, and in the middle of the mill ; he 
turns the handle with his left hand, and with the 
other he holds his stone on the wheel to cut and pol- 
ish it." 



Thb name of filigree glass is given to those glass- 
es composed of a greater or less number of small 
rods, either of opaque white glass, called at Venice 
laUicinio (milk white), or of glass colored in the mass 
and covered with a light coating of white glass. 

Although general opmion attributes the invention 
of filigree glass to the glass-makers of Venice, we 
think it necessary to quote here a sentence of a letter, 
written from Eome by the Abb6 Barthelemy to the 
Comte de Caylus, the 25th of December, 1766 : * 
" I am especially pleased with a little ball of a pale 
yellow color, with clusters of white enamel ranged 
inside perpendicularly around the circumference." 

If, as these words of the learned archaeologist 
sufficiently demonstrate, the priority of the invention 
of filigree glass belongs to antiquity, it would still be 
unjust to deny to the Venetians the happy extension 
they have given to this sort of ornament, which takes 
an important part in their most prized productions. 

* The abb6 J. J. Barth61emy, bom 1716, at Cassis (Provence), died 
at Paris, 1796, was a learned French archaeologist, the author of sev- 
eral works, amongst others of the Voyage du Jeune Anachartis. 


ity, the workman breaks it into several parts, accord- 
ing to the size of the object he wishes to make. 

Having thus described the method of making the 
simple canes, we must proceed to speak of the twist- 
ed filigrees, the manufacture of which naturally offers 
many more difficulties than that of a simple straight 
thread. The designs being quite arbitrary, and con- 
sequently capable of being varied ad infinil/wm^ we 
shall only speak of the principal types. 

M. Bontemps, formerly director of the crystal 
manufactory of Choisy-le-Roy, was the first to pub- 
lish an important work on the processes employed by 
the glass-makers of Murano in the fabrication of fili- 
gree glass. We think it may be acceptable to the 
reader to give it in the author's own words.* 

" To obtain canes with spiral threads, which, on 
being flattened, produce network with equal meshes, 
the interior of a cylindrical mould either of metal or 
of crucible earth is surrounded with canes of colored 
glass alternating with rods of transparent glass. 
Then the workman takes at the end of his pipe some 
transparent glass, with which he forms a massive 
cylinder able to pass into the mould surrounded by 
the little rods, and which is heated to a little below 
red heat. After heating the cylinder also, he puts it 
into the mould, pushing it down in such a manner as 
to press against the rods, which thus adhere to the 
transparent glass ; he then lifts up his tube whilst 

* * £xpos6 des moyens employes pour la fabrication des yerres fill- 


retaining the mould in its place, and thus lifts the 
rods with the cylinder. He heats them again, and 
marvers, in order to render the adhesion more com- 
plete. Finally heating the extremity of the cylin- 
der, he first cuts off that extremity with the shears, 
heats it again, seizes it with pincers and draws it out 
with his right hand, while with his left he turns his 
pipe rapidly over the arms of his chair. Whilst the 
rod is thus becoming longer, the threads of colored 
glass wind spirally around it. When the workman 
has completed a rod of the wished-for dimensions, 
about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and the lines 
are sufficiently closely wound, he cuts it off with his 
pincers, heats anew the extremity of the trunk, and 
seizing and drawing it out whilst he rolls his pipe 
rapidly round, he thus proceeds to the production of 
a new rod, and so on, until the whole column is fin- 

The canes represented by Fig. 43 were executed 
by this process. 

^' To manufacture canes which, on being flattened, 
produce network in squares, three or four rods of col- 
ored glass of a simple thread, alternated with rods 
of transparent glass, are placed in a cylindrical 
mould having both extremities of the same diame- 
ter ; afterwards the interstices in the interior of the 
mould are filled up with transparent rods, in order to 
retain the colored ones in their position, and then the 
operation goes on as before." 


The canes represented by Fig. 43, Nos. 1, 2, were 
obtained by this process. 

^ To obtain canes producing, when flattened, chap* 
let-beads, a globe of glass is blown, the extremity of 
which opposite the tabe is opened so as to produce a 
little open cylinder. It is flattened so as only to ad- 
mit canes, and into this sheath there are introduced 
liye or six canes of single colored threads, alternated 
with transparent ones : the end opposite the tube is 
heated and closed. Then the workman presses on 
the flattened cylinder, whilst an assistant draws up 
the air through the tube so as to take it from the 
interior and produce a flat solid mass in which the 
colored canes are inserted. The workman places suc- 
cessively a small mass of hot transparent glass on 
each side of the flattened cylinder, and marvers it in 
order to make the mass again cylindrical. He thus 
obtains a small column, in the interior of which are 
arranged the colored threads on the same diameter. 
He afterwards proceeds as for the preceding canes, 
by heating and drawing out the extremity whilst he 
rolls the tube rapidly over the arms of his chair. 

^^ By this twisting, the line of colored threads is 
presented alternately in front and sideways, and pro- 
duces chaplet grains. 

^^ It may be underatood that the canes of colored 
glass placed in the centre of the column, being, from 
the twisting, crossed one over the other, seem to pre- 
sent chaplet grains formed of threads having an un- 
colored space between them, which arises from the 


canes of imcolored glass alternating with the colored 

: .1 

The cane represented by Fig, 43, No. 6, is the 
prodiictioD of this work. 


"It often happens that the chaplet grains are 
combined with the squares in the preceding canes, 
by using the cylinder prepared for the chaplet grains 
to insert in the mould prepared for the canes in 

The cano represented by Fig. 43, No, 4, was made 
by this process. 

" Sometimes a zigzag line is placed in the centre 
of a cane. For that a solid cylinder is first prepared 
of transparent glass, of half the diameter of that to 
be drawn out, and a small colored cane is fastened to 
the side of this cylinder : the whole is covered with 
a fresh layer of transparent glass, in order to produce 
a cylinder of the necessary dimension to go into the 
mould of the canes with threads. The small colored 
column, not being in the centre of the cylinder, 'will 
twist spirally round that centre from the movement 
of drawing and twisting, and will produce a zigzag 
on being flattened." 

The cane represented by Fig. 43, No. 3, is the 
production of this labor. 

Let us now study the means the glass-makers of 
Mnrano must have employed in the manufacture of 
vases of design, colored inside either by simple latti- 
cinio.or by filigree. And since we have already bor- 
1-0 wed so much from others, we will now ^uote the 
words of an archaeologist whose labors have made 
him an authority in science, M. J. Labarte, who thus 
describes this manufacture : — 

" When the workman is in possession of canes of 


colored filigree and transparent colorless glass, he can 
proceed tlms in the mannfactare of vases. He ar- 
ranges circularly around an interior partition in a 
cylindrical mould of metal or crucible earth, of what- 
ever height he requires, as many canes as are neces- 
sary to form a circle which shall exactly cover this 
partition. These canes are fixed at the bottom of the 
mould by means of a little soft earth spread over it. 
He may choose them of many colors and of many 
patterns, presenting as many diflFerent filigree com- 
binations ; he may alternate them or separate them 
at intervals by canes of transparent colorless glass. 
The canes being thus arranged, are heated near the 
glass oven, and when they are susceptible of being 
touched by hot glass, the workman takes with his 
blow-pipe a little transparent colorless glass to make 
a small globe, which he introduces into the empty 
space left by the circle of canes that cover the par- 
tition in the mould ; he blows again to cause the 
canes to adhere to the globe, and takes the whole out 
of the mould. The assistant workman immediately 
places a band of glass in a soft state over the colored 
or filigree canes which have thus become the exterior 
surface of this cylindrical mass, in order to fix them 
more firmly on the globe. The whole being thus 
arranged at the end of the blow-pipe, the workman 
takes it to the side hole of the oven in order to soften 
it, to cause all the parts to adhere together, and to 
give it an elasticity which would make it yield easily 
to the action of blowing. Then he rolls it on the 


marver, and when the different canes, united bj blow- 
ing and fabrication, themselvefi constitute a cylinder, 
all the parts of which are compact and homogeneons, 
he cnts it with a sort of pincers a little above the ex- 
tremity, so as to unite the canes in a central point 
The vitreous mass thus obtained is then treated bj 
the glass-maker by the ordinary processes, and he 
tnrns it at will into a ewer, a chalice, a vase, or a 
goblet, in which each cane, whether colored or with 
filigree patterns, forms a separate band." 



Every one knows these paper weights of solid 
colorless glass in a hemispherical shape, in the centre 
of which are bouqaets, portraits, and even watches 
and barometers, etc.. etc., but few persons know how 
or by what means these things are incarcerated in the 
centre of the glass. 

There is a great distinction to be made, not merely 
between the objects, but also between the materials 
of which they are composed. 

As those representing flowers. and bouquets in 
glass — ^those from which the name is derived — are 
the most ancient and the best known, we will begin 
with them. 

The first thing to be done is to sort and arrange 
a certain quantity of small glass tubes of different 
colors in the cavities of a thick molten disc, disposing 
them according to the object to be represented. This 
done, the tubes are enclosed between two layers of 
glass : to do this they begin by placing on one side 
of the disc which contains the tubes a layer of crys- 
tal, to which the tubes soon became attached. When 


this is done the disc is removed and a second layer of 
crystal is placed on the opposite side. 

The object being placed in the centre between 
these two layers of glass thus soldered together, it 
becomes necessary to give the ball its hemispherical 
form, which is done, when the crystal is again heated, 
by means of a concave spatnla of moistened wood. 
It then only remains to anneal it and to polish it on 
the wheel. 

That a glass ornament, being covered with a layer 
of hot glass, should receive no injury or change of 
color, may be easily understood from its extremely 
refractory nature ; but it is not the same with objects 
in metal, such as watches, barometers, etc., which a 
far less degree of heat would oxidize or even en- 
tirely destroy. The mode of manufacture, therefore, 
of these latter objects is quite different from that of 
the first. It is easy to prove this. If we look at a 
paper weight, provided the interior be of glass, the 
upper and under part of the recipient will be also of 
glass. If we now examine a paper weight contain- 
ing a watch or barometer, under the lower part of the 
ball will be found a piece of green cloth, the use of 
which is to keep in place the objects which, instead 
of only forming one body with the covering of glass 
which surrounds them, are only placed in a cavity 
made beforehand in the centre of the half-spherical 
ball. In a word, to take out the glass ornaments it 
would be necessary to break the paper weight, whilst 

to take out the others it would suffice to take off the 


As for the paper weights in which are placed 
portraits, usually of a yellowish color, these profiles 
are made of refractory earth, and may thus bear well 
a heat which only softens glass. 

Manufactured successively at Venice, under the 
name of millefiori, and then in Bohemia, these paper 
weights have been carried to perfection only by 
French artists. 

The sole difficulty in their manufacture is in avoid- 
ing internal air-bubbles, which would the more de- 
form the objects as any defect would be much in- 
creased by the thickness of the glass. 



Watch glasses are distdngnislied as ordinary and 
concave glasses. 

Ordinary glasses. — ^After having allowed a glass 
globe (containing the bases potash and lime) pre- 
vionsly blown, to cool, the workman cnts with a dia- 
mond, gnided by a glass which serves as a model, as 
many segments as the circumference of the globe can 
famish. The rounds, when separated from the globe, 
receive by means of the grindstone the circular bevel- 
ling which allows the glass to enter and remain in the 
bezil. These glasses, as ihey are usually very bulging, 
can only be used for thick watches. 

Conca/oe glasses. — Obtained by exactly the same 
process as the preceding, the concave glasses intended 
for flat watches are made from a globe of much finer 
glass (glass or crystal containing oxide of lead), and 
require extra labor to diminish their too great con- 
cavity. To attain this result each round of glass is 
placed on a cylinder, the upper part of which is 
shaped as a much flattened globe. When exposed to 
the heat of the reverberatory furnace, they take ex- 


actly the form of the mould on which they are placed. 
"When taken from the furndbe and cooled, it only re- 
mains to polish them with English red and to bevel 
them by means of tlft grindstone. 

The glasses of clocks are made in exactly the same 
manner. ~ 


By what means, it will be said, can yon pretend 
to prevent fires t 

If man, alas ! does not possess this power, he at 
all events has that of neutralizing the intensity of the 
flame, which, excited by the wind, increases disasters 
a hundredfold ; and tliis means consists in employing 
the soluble glass invented in 1825, by. Dr. Fusch, of 
Munich, and by him named water-glass. 

To appreciate the importance of this discovery, 
and understand by what means soluble glass prevents 
flame, it is su£5cient to recall the fact that to enable 
all vegetable matters, wood, wearing apparel, paper, 
etc., to fiarm^ the conjunction of two conditions is 
required ; a high temperature and contact with the 
air that furnishes the oxygen necessary for their trans- 
formation into water and carbonic acid. Suppress 
the contact with the air by means of soluble glass, 
and these materials will become red hot, will slowly 
carbonize, but will never burst into flames. 

The physical fact established, it only remains to 
show of what soluble glass consists, and what is the 
method of its employment prescribed by the German 

Soluble glass is obtained by melting in a refrac- 
tory crucible a mixture of ten parts of potash, fifteen 
parts of quartz finely pulverized, and one part of 
charcoal powder. When it is melted, the glass is 
cast; it is afterwards pulverized and treated with 
four or five times its weight of boiling water. A 
solution is thus obtained which applied to other 
bodies dries rapidly on contact with the air. 


Let skilful workmen take np this idea and perfect 
it, and above all let the good sense of the public 
adopt it, and we shall then have one plague the less 
to fear. 

The word perfection which we have just pro- 
nounced, naturally implying the idea of a defect, let 
us see what, according to M. P^ligot, is that in the 
soluble glass. 

" A material, even a very fine one such as gauze 
or muslin, plunged in a weak solution of silicate of 
potash and dried, loses the property of burning with 
a flame. The organic matter, covered with a net- 
work of fusible mineral substance, blackens and car- 
bonizes as if it were heated in a retort preserved from 
contact with the air, but it does not flame. It may 
consequently be understood of what importance such 
a preservative against tire must be. But without 
speaking of the carelessness generally felt about pre- 
sei'vation from a possible danger, its employment pre- 
sents several inconveniences. The alkaline reaction 
of the soluble glass often changes the colors of mate- 
rials or paintings, and as the substance is always 
rather deliquescent^ the materials, although dried, 
attract the humidity of the air, remain more or less 
damp, and obstinately retain the dust. Thns after 
numerous trials it has been found necessary to give 
up its employment as a means of preserving from fire 
the decorations of theatres, hangings, materials for 
dresses, etc." 

After such an authoritative recognition of the 


utility of Fnsch's discoverj, we must express a hope 
that so distinguished a chemist as M. Peligot may 
take up the question ; and we do not doubt that in 
spite of all difficulties the perfection called for by the 
desires of the whole human race may be soon ob- 




Although false pearls were manufactured in 
Egjpt at least fifteen centuries before our era, the 
manufacture seems to have remained stationary there 
for a long time ; for the first Latin author who men- 
tions it is Petronius,* who, in his Satyrioon (Chap. 
67), puts 'the following words in the mouth of Haben- 
nas : " You tormented me to make rae buy you those 
glass trinkets (two earrings). Most assuredly if I had 
a daughter I should have her ears cut off." 

Do these words mean earrings made of false 
pearls, or merely rings of blown glass ? 

The text not being sufficiently precise to allow a 
judgment to be formed, we only give the words of 
the Latin author for what they are worth, seeking 
elsewhere the means of fixing in a more precise and 
logical manner the probable period of the introduc- 
tion of false pearls at Kome. 

* Petronius, a Latin author who died in the jear 66 of our en. 


If the maDafactnre of a talae article is only car- 
ried on while it is the imitation of an object of valne, 
the origin of false pearls at Rome mnst be carried 
back to the period when the taste for fine pearls be- 
came general ; and Pliny indicates this in the most 
precise manlier. 

These are his words (Book xxxvii. Chap. 6) : " It 
was this conqnest by Fompeius Magnns that first 
introduced so general a taste for pearls and precions 

Before continuing we must be allowed to insert a 
short parenthesis. Why, it will be asked, do you 
speak to us of precious stones and a hundred other 
things perhaps, when the question is only of pearls i 
To this we reply, that fearing to falsify or at least to 
alter the text by quoting detached sentences, we give 
the author's own words, hoping that, if all the objects 
mentioned do not come absolutely within our subject, 
we shall gain the advantage of having respected the 
text, and the reader a pleasure which cannot be en- 
joyed every day, that of being present at the return 
of a victorious army into the eternal city. 

Acquitted by our natural jury, at least we hope 
so, let us resume, " sans peur et sans reproche," the 
text of the Latin historian. 

^^ It was this conquest by Fompeius Magnus that 
first introduced so general a taste for pearls and pre- 
cious stones ; just as the victories gained by L. Scipio 
and On. Manlius had first turned the public opinion 
to chased sDver, Attalic tissues, and banqueting- 


couches decorated with bronze ; and the conquests 
of L. Mummius had brought Corinthian bronzes and 
pictures into notice. 

'* To prove more fully that this was the case, I 
will here give the very words of the public registers 
with reference to the triumphs of Pompeius Magnus. 
On the occasion of this third triumph, over the pirates 
and over the kings and nations of Asia and Pontus 
that have^been already enumerated in the seventh 
book of this work, M. Piso and M. Messala being 
consuls (in the year of Eome 693), on the day before 
the calends of October (30th Sept.), the anniversary 
of his birth, he displayed in public, with its pieces, a 
, chess-board made of two precions stones, three feet in 
width by two in length (and to leave no doubt that 
the resources of nature do become exhausted, for no 
precious stones are to be found at the present day at 
all approaching such dimensions as these, I will add 
that there was upon this board a moon of solid gold, 
thirty pounds in weight) ; three banqueting-couches 
ornamented with pearls ; vases of gold and precious 
stones decorating nine buffets ; three golden statues 
of Minerva, Mars, and Apollo ; thirty-three tiaras of 
pearls; a square mountain of gold, with stags upon 
it, lions, and all kinds of fruit, and surrounded with 
a vine of gold ; as also a cabinet adorned with pearls, 
with an horologe upon the top. 

" There was a likeness also in pearls of Pompeius 
himself, his noble countenance, with the hair thrown 
back from the forehead, delighting the eye. Yes, I 


Bay, those frank features, so venerated tlirougliout all 
nations, were here displayed in pearls ; the severity 
of onr ancient manners being thus subdued, and the 
display being ipore the triumph of luxury than the 
triumph of conquest." 

The anathema launched by Pliny against the ex- 
cessive luxury of Pompey's portrait, did not prevent 
the taste for pearls from spreading in Rome, if not 
amongst the citizens, who were not rich enough to 
pay for such a fancy, at all events at the court of cer- 
tain of the emperors. First we see Caligula, who, 
not contented with wearing shoes decorated with 
pearls, and having the collars of his horse Incitatiis 
adorned with them, also composed for his private use 
a liquor made of pearls of the greatest price dissolved 
in vinegar; and afterwards Nero, who decorated with 
fine pearls his sceptre, his couches, and the masks of 

The silence of ancient authors on false pearls only 
allowing us to conjecture their use amongst the infe- 
rior classes, which in all ages have considered them- 
selves obliged to imitate cheaply the luxury of the 
higher circles ; we must abandon those remote times 
and come directly to Venice, where we shall find, if 
not the origin, at least the mention of an industry 
the first productions of which are lost in the night of 

The first mention of false pearls is in the year 

* Plinj, Book xxxTii. Chap. 6. 


1318 ; and according to M. Lazari,* " the manufac- 
turers, called by the name of paternoster-makers and 
pearl-makers, were established either at Yenice or at 
Murano, and already formed a suflSciently numerous 
society to be regulated about the commencement of 
the same year by a special statute." 

Although this manufacture already produced im- 
mense profits to the Republic by the exportation of 
its works to the East and to barbarous countries, we 
cannot but believe that it had not yet attained its 
greatest height ; for the same author adds : " The 
fabrication of false pearls by the enameller's lamp 
renders the uame of Andrea Vidaore immortal, as to 
him is owing, in 1528, the perfecting, if not the re- 
invention of them." 

Although these two words, reinvention^ referring 
doubtless to ancient manufacture, and perfecting^ 
both applied to Vidaore, and the two dates 1318 and 
1628, are all that we can discover about the history 
of the false pearls of Venice, a still greater ignorance 
prevails as to the mode of their manufacture, for not 
a single author, as far as we know, says a single word 
about it. 

It is this gap that we shall endeavor to fill up. 


The workroom of the pearl-blower is most simple. 
It is composed of the small table about a yard in 

* Notizia delle opere d^arte e d'antiehUd delta racolta Correr, Ve- 
neziB, 1859. 


length, on which is placed a lamp with a large wick. 
This lamp, fed either with oil or lard, gives a long. 
jet of Aame blown by a pair of bellows under the 
table, which are put in motion with the foot. 

On this table are placed tubes of hollow glass of 
two kinds, some of common glass, which serve for 
the manufacture of common pearls ; the others, of 
a slightly iridescent tint, approaching opal, are only 
employed for the finer pearls, designated in com- 
merce orierUal pearls. 

The secret of the composition of this latter glass, 
due to the researches of M. Pierrelot, a chemist who 
died a few years ago, now belongs to the firm of 
Valez and Co. 

The first material being known, let us now seek 
to understand by what means from a tube of hoIloTf 
glass, in every respect like those which children use 
as pea-shooters, the makers succeed, without using 
any mould,* in making pearls of all sorts, from the 
most common to those which in shape and opales- 
cence imitate perfectly the most splendid pearls of 
the East. 

The blower seated at his table has his lanjp before 
hira, and at his right hand are placed tubes of abon^ 
^ of an inch in diameter and one foot in length. The 
thickness of the tube to be employed being necessa- 

* The only exception to this is for the pearls called fluted, wbicb 
must be done in a mould. As they are now out of fashion we shall say 
nothing more about their manufacture, which belongs more to the 8Q1>' 
ject of blown and moulded glasses. 


rilj in proportion to the size of the pearls to be made, 
the firet labor of the blower is to draw out the tube, 
that is to say, to increase its length by diminishing 
its thickness. 

When the tube is made of the size desired, he 
breaks it in fragments of from four to six inches ; 
afterwards he takes one of these, and brings one end 
of it to the lamp. As. soon as the glass begins to 
melt, he blows gently through the tube, which al- 
though drawn out has always preserved its internal 
bore, and the air soon dilating the heated extremity, 
a ball appears. 

It is this ball that is to become a pearl, but it is 
still only in a rudimentary state. Three operations 
are necessary to make it a pearl. 

1st. The piercing of two holes, for round pearls 
intended to form a necklace ; or of a single one if 
they are round or pear-shaped, to be set either for 
necklaces or earrings, or for buttons or pins, etc. 

2nd. To give the form, round or pear-shaped. 

3rd. The interior coloring. 

The double piercing, indispensable for the cord to 
pass through which unites the pearls and forms a 
necklace, is done at the moment when the spherical 
glass adhering to the tube is still ductile. Ilie first 
hole is made in the lower part of the pearl by the 
breath only of the workman ; and the second is natu- 
rally formed by the opening to the tube when the 
pearl is separated from it by means of a light blow. 

This woi'k is required in the preparation of all 


beads; bnt before passing on, we would call the 
attention of the reader, and especially of ladies, to 
one kind, we mean oriental pearls^ which as their 
name indicates must be the most exact imitation pos- 
sible of those produced by nature. 

Although made in exactly the same manner as the 
most ordinary beads, these pearls are yet distin- 
guished from them, not only by the employment of 
opalescent glass, but still more by the care the blower 
takes in their formation, as well as by the different 
coloring they receive in the interior. • 

As for the shape, every one knows how rare it is 
to find a pearl without defect; and defects not in 
material but in form, and still more in color.* 

The work of the blower being, as we have said, 
to imitate nature as much as possible, his talent con- 
sists not only in destroying the exact regularity ob- 
tained by the blowing, but also in producing on the 
false pearl the defects usually found in natural ones. 
This work requires much practice, and is only the 
fruit of long observation. The good blower, the 
artist, should be sufficiently acquainted with natanJ 
pearls to execute on his own only the defects which 

* A single example will suffice to show how difficult it is to find 
many pearls almost alike in form and tint. The pearl necklace belong- 
ing to the Empress of the French is only composed of thirty-three 
pearls, and in order to complete this limited number, it is scarcely poft> 
sible to believe, that after having chosen from amongst all the most 
perfect ones French merchants could offer, it was necessary to have 
recourse to those of England ! 


may increase the value of his work by skilfully pre- 
pared reflections. To obtain this important result, 
the blower, profiting by the moment when the pearl 
still adheres to the tube, takes a very small iron 
palette, with which he strikes lightly certain parts of 
tTie still malleable pearl ; and it is only by this last 
operation, which places here a protuberance, there a 
flattening, both almost imperceptible, that he suc- 
ceeds in producing a pearl which, losing its mathe- 
matical regularity, becomes the perfect imitation of 

There the work of the blower ceases ; for it is 
then that the pearls which, it should be remarked, 
are still only objects in colorless glass, are to pass 
into the hands of workwomen charged to color each 
of them. But before dismissing the blower, we must 
be allowed to go a little into statistics. The reader, 
however, need not be alarmed : we shall be very 
brief. We merely wish to say that a good workman 
can make three hundred pearls in a day, and is paid 
from two shillings to two and sixpence the hundred. 



Although the work of coloring of which we are 
about to speak is the same for all pearls, it will be 
easily understood that since pearls are divided into 
ordinary and oriental pearls, it is necessary to have 


two sets of work-people. This labor is generally en- 
trasted to women ; some Bpecially employed in color- 
ing the common, and others the finer pearls. 

We shall only occupy ourselves with the work of 
the latter, which, we repeat, merely diflfers from that 
of the other from its greater finish. 

Each workwoman has before her a series of small 
compartments, containing altogether several thousand 
pearls, arranged so that each of them should present 
the side having the orifice pierced by the blower. 

Before introducing the coloring substance, which 
would be too easily detached from the glass if it were 
not by some means more firmly fixed, every pearl has 
to receive inside a very light coating of a glue which 
is perfectly colorless, being made from parchment. 
This layer being equally spread over the interior of 
every pearl, the workwoman takes advantage of the 
moment when the glue is still damp, and begins the 
work of coloring, properly so called. 

Before detailing the method of coloring as it is 
done now, we must take one retrospective step, which 
will prove that if, following the progressive march of 
so many other manufactures, the coloring of pearls 
has undergone a striking improvement, it is to a 
Frenchman that it is owing. 

Header, I could tell it you in two woj'ds, but a 
descendant of the fortunate inventor, I should say 
Jmder^ having related to me the legend, which he 
had heard from his father, who had also received it 
from his father, who, etc., etc., I ask your permission 


to tell it to you as It was related to me, assuring yon 
beforehand that if it differs from the version usually 
receiyed, it is merely in certain family particulars 
which do not affect seriously the historical authen- 
ticity of the narration. 

Amongst the paternoster-makers and pearl-makers, 
who as we know formed in the last century one of 
the numerous trade-corporations established in the 
good city of Paris, was Mattre Jacquin. An intelli- 
gent man, of exemplary probity, and renowned 
everywhere for the elegance of his necklaces and ear- 
rings of false pearls, he had attracted to his shop all 
the women of fashion in the court and town. 

Possessing a gable over the street, a chest filled 
with good crowns, a most prosperous trade, having 
an only son who was going to marry demoiselle Ur- 
sula, the daughter of his friend and neighbor the 
apothecary, he had everything to make him happy ; 
and yet Maitre Jacquin was far from happy. It was 
a strange, inexplicable thing I His melancholy, un- 
like that of merchants generally, increased in propor- 
tion as he became rich ; in short, the more he sold, 
the more full of care did he become. His son even 
remembered having heard him say these alarming 
words one day, when he had just sold a complete set 
of false pearls to dame Eoberte de Pincelieu, his son's 
godmother : " To her also I . . . infamous man that 
I fim 1 . . . My God I grant at least that this crime 
be the last 1 " 

Astounded at these sinister words, his son was 


seeking a favorable opportunity to obtain a dreadful 
confession from his father, when suddenly joy and 
gayety returned to the face of the old man, who giv- 
ing free course to his delight, constantly repeated as 
he rubbed his hands : " All ! France has at last gone 
to war with Flanders. Long live the king! for, 
thanks to him, no one I hope will think for a long 
time of buying necklaces and earrings." 

Such an anticommercial speech would certainly 
have induced the son to believe that Jacquin had 
gone out of his mind, if the approach of his marriage 
had left him any other thought than of his coming 

Everything was going on well in the house (sell- 
ing alone excepted), when an event very slight in ap- 
pearance Was on the point of overthrowing his con- 
templated happiness. 

Profiting by the moment when all the principal 
relations assembled at his house were signing the 
marriage contract of his son, Maitre Jacqnin, ad- 
dressing himself to Ursula, said : 

'^ Come here, my darling, and let us talk of some- 
thing more agreeable, for you have no doubt noticed 
that in your contract they only speak of death ; that 
is what they call esspeetations. Well, in six days you 
are to be married at the church of Saint-Nicolas du 
Chardonnet. As there will be a fine and numerous 
company, I wish, my darling, that you should appear 
handsomely dressed, as suits the condition of the two 
families. Tell me then, my daughter, what gift would 


please you the most ; speak without fear ; for, there 
is nothing I would not grant to the wife of my much- 
loved son, I give you my word." 

" Well, my dear father," replied Ursula, " now 
that I have the honor of entering your family, there 
is only one thing I wish for. Give me one of tliose 
pretty necklaces that you make so charmingly." 

At these words a cold perspiration covered the 
forehead of the old man which had a short while be- 
fore been so radiant. He stood as if spell-bound, not 
being able even to pronounce the yea that Ursula was 
expecting with downcast eyes ; and who knows how 
either would have extricated themselves from this 
embarrassing position, if by a fortunate chance the 
relations, who had all signed the contract, had not 
bil^ken the silence by insisting on an immediate de- 
parture on account of the late hour of the night. 
And indeed eight o'clock had just struck on the clock 
of St. Nicolas. 

Left alone in his house, the poor paternoster-maker 
passed the night in thinking by what means he might 
reconcile the promise, made so formally to Ursula, 
with the moral im])ossibility he felt of fulfilling it 
without committing a fresh crime. Scarcely had the 
day dawned, when Jacquin, who, as may be ima- 
gined, had discovered nothing yet, finding himself 
more tired than a gold-fish which has swum for twelve 
consecutive hours around its glass bowl without 
changing its direction, went out, hoping that the 
change of air would open a new horizon to his imagi- 


nation. Like all men running after an idea, his first 
thought being to flee all mundane distractions, he 
turned towards the banks of the Seine, which he fol- 
lowed by chance. 

If the body was awake, the mind, alas 1 still 
slept ; for having arrived after two hours' walking at 
the place where the bridge of Asnieres now stands, 
and notwithstanding his frequent invocations, ad- 
dressed alternately to God, to his patron saint, and to 
his good angel, the poor Jacquin was no further ad- 
vanced than when he left Paris, 

Harassed with fatigue, but still more desperate, he 
was perhaps thinking of making a resolution of break- 
ing ofl^ his son's marriage, if Miss Ursula persisted in 
demanding the necklace, positively promised by him, 
when, oh prodigy 1 there appears suddenly on the 
water a mass of iridescent matter giving the reflec- 
tions of the finest easteiD pearls — it was what he 

K he had known Greek our pearl-maker would 
assuredly have repeated the famous word eureka^ 
pronounced by Archimedes on discovering the theory 
of the circumscribed cylinder ; but as he knew no 
more of Archimedes than of Greek, he contented 
himself with calling a fisherman and making him 
throw his net over a considerable quantity of fishes ; 
for what in his astonishment he had taken for an inert 
mass, was nothing else than a kind of little fish 
known under the name of bleak. To receive them 
from the fisherman, take them home to his laboratory, 


take off their scales and make them into a paste, were 
his sole occupations until the evening. The day had 
scarcely appeared ere Jacquin, who in his delight had 
not closed his eyes during the night, hastened to de- 
scend to his laboratory. Oh misery 1 This paste, 
yesterday so brilliant, so silyery, to-day is only a sort 
of black glue. Certainly any other than our pearl- 
maker would have gone mad after such a disappoint- 
ment ; but he was a man of sense, and instead of 
wasting his time in despair he went to the chemist, 
who advised him to replace the simple water which 
he had used to triturate the scales by ammonia. 

This advice was followed, and three davs after- 
wards Jacquin, who, thanks to science, had at last 
found the composition he had sought so long, radiant 
and satisfied, fastened round the neck of Ursula the 
most beautiful necklace that had ever left his shop. 

A few words will explain the just apprehensions 
of Maitre Jacquin and the importance of his discov- 
ery, which only dates from the year 1686. It is 
enough to say that if the use of false pearls now pre- 
sents no danger, from the coloriug matter being per- 
fectly harmless, it was not certainly the case formerly, 
since their coloring was eftected by means of quick- 
silver, the deleterious emanations of which must have 
brought grave disorders into the economy of the 
human frame. 

Now that we know the substances employed in 
the manufacture of false pearls, and also that the in- 
terior coloring is obtained by means of a paste made 


with the scales of bleak/ let us take up the subject 
where we had dropped it, that is to say, at the mo- 
ment when the parchment glue, still damp, is waiting 
for the workwomen to add the coloring matter, and 
let us see in what this fresh work consists, which, as 
we shall see, requires great skill added to extreme 
rapidity of execution. 

After having again taken up the thin and hollow 
tube, and soaking it in the bleak paste, the work- 
woman introduces a certain quantity into each of the 
pearls by her breath ; and would you know how 
many she must do in a day to enable her to earn the 
moderate sum of from two and sevenpence to three 
and fourpence ? Forty thousand ! For every thou- 
sand glued and filled with the paste is only paid at 
the rate of about one penny. 

Colored beads are done in exactly the same way, 
but instead of the bleak paste, a paste of the color 
desired is blown into them. 

For certain other beads or chaplet grains which 
are not obtained by blowing, we refer the reader to 
the article on tubes. 



The following is the definition given by M. Bou- 
tet de Monvel * of optical instruments. " The name 
of optical instruments is given to the instruments des- 
tined to aid our sight, too imperfect to enable us to 
distinguish clearly all the details of an object which 
is either very minute, although within the limits of 
distinct vision ; or is at an enormous distance *from 
the eye, although of very considerable dimensions. 

" Indeed, in both cases, the apparent diameter of 
the whole object being very small, the secondary axes 
passing through two different points of that object* 
form an extremely small angle. The points where 
the rays strike the retina are then so near each other 
that they affect the same nerve, and then the sensa- 
tions are no longer distinct ; or else if the points 
where the rays fall affect different nerves, there is a 
confusion in the sensations, because the vibration 
given at a certain point must spread to a certain dis- 
tance around that point ; and then if tlie points are 
very near each other there would be supei-position of 

* Coura d^hyHqite^ page 869, Librairie Hachette. 


the two zones affected by the vibration, however nar- 
row they may be supposed to be. 

" Optical instraments, by a well understood appli- 
cation of different systems of lenses or mirrors, will 
remedy this inconvenience by substituting for a direct 
view of the object, sometimes that of a real and mag- 
nified image of that object, received on a screen 
where the eye may study the details, at the distance 
of distinct sight, under a much greater visual angle ; 
sometimes that of a virtual image seen at the distance 
of distinct sight, and with an apparent diameter much 
greater than that of the object placed at the same 
distance ; sometimes, lastly, the view of a real image 
of the object." 

4fter such a lucid definition of optical instru- 
ments, it only remains for us to solicit the reader's 
indulgence while we speak of a subject which we 
should have preferred to see treated by a more learned 
pen than our own. But if "noblesse oblige," work 
obliges also, and jt is in the name of this obligation 
that we shall endeavor to show the reader the impor- 
tant part played by glass in almost every science, but 
especially in optics,* which only exists through its 

Although general opinion may be almost unani- 
mous in denying to the ancients the important dis- 
covery of optics, we must ask leave to make two quo- 
tations which would tend to prove the contrary. The 
Chinese chronology of P. Gaubil tells us that the 

* From the Greek fem. ac^. optikS, 


Emperor Chan, 2283 b.o., had recourse to an optical 
instrument to observe the plp-nets ; * and Sir David 
Brewster announces that there was found amongst 
the ruins of Nineveh a crystal lens that had belonged 
to an optical instrument.f 

Supported by these two isolated facts, we may 
add a consideration at least admissible, if it be not 
materially convincing. Is it probable that glass- 
makers so skilful in all the productions of the glass 
manufacture should not have been led by chance — if 
their knowledge of optics may not be admitted — -to 
perceive that a biconvex glass, that is to say, one 
with its centre thicker on each side than at the edges, 
has. the property of magnifying objects ? 

If they did not know magnifying lenses, we have 
yet to learn by what factitious force that galaxy of 
celebrated engravers of fine stones, both Greek and 
Koman, could, by merely the power of their eyes, 
obtain an execution so remarkable for finish, that in 
order to appreciate all their delicacy, we modems are 
obliged to use magnifying glasses. We may perhaps 
be told of those globes filled with water, of which 
Seneca speaks (II. Ixxxiii.), which, when lighted from 
behind, serve to magnify objects ; but, whilst recog- 
nizing the services which these globes may render in 
certain trades, that of shoemakers amongst others, 
who still employ them, we persist in believing that 
their magnifying power -was neither sufficiently pow- 

* Echo du monde tavarUy April 3rd, 1835. 
f Aihenceufnfranfais, September 18th, 1862. 


erful, nor suflSciently clear, regular, and practical, to 
be utilized by artists. Although palpable proofs are 
as yet wanting, it may be only a delay for the cause 
of the ancients ; for the researches undertaken a few 
years ago have already brought to light so many 
objects, the knowledge of which was refused to them 
in past centuries, that there is nothing to indicate 
that it will not be the same in optical glasses. 

Leaving the cause of the ancients, it remains for 
us to show the immense services that glass has ren- 
dered and still renders to humanity, as well as to the 
sciences, which owe their progress to it ; to make 
known the name and method of manufacture em- 
ployed in each of them ; and lastly, the reason for 
the employment of one or more glasses in optical in- 
struments. To attain this result, we shall often neg- 
lect the external part of the instrument, which every 
one is acquainted with, and occupy ourselves exclu- 
sively with the interior, for it is that alone which can 
teach us the different use of each kind of glass. 

But before going farther, and at the risk of being 
uninteHigible, we must say a word about light,* as 
well as on its relation to optics. 

What was light less than two hundred years ago? 
A vague, colorless thing, which every one used with- 
out troubling themselves in the slightest degree about 
the different parts which might compose it ; when the 

* Light comes to us from the sun in eight minutes thirteen seconds. 
To reach us it traverses in this short time 77,000 leagues. 


iUustrioiis Newton,* more curious than the generality 
of men, took it into his head to force light, which had 
been left veiy quiet until then, to divulge its secrets 
to him. He set to work then, and Europe soon 
learned not only that light was decomposable, but 
that it was composed of seven colors — red, orange, 
yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.f 

But how did he make this astonishing discovery ? 
How many enormous, complicated instruments was 
he obliged to use ? What shape were they ? Do 
they still exist, and can they be seen ? 

Such, dear readers, are the questions I shall be 
asked ; so I shall tell you at once that they do exist, 
and that all the apparatus of machinery which your 
imagination has conjured up was kept in Newton's 
pocket, for it was a simple little piece of glass, known 
in optics by the name of prism. 

As the prism played the principal, we may even 
say the only part in the discovery, let us say a word 
on its form, and pass afterwards to the explanation 
of a phenomenon which every one can easily repeat 
at home, so simple and easy is it. 


In dioptrics :|: the name of prism is given to a 

* Sir Isaac Newton, bom at Woolsthorpe (Lincoln), in 1642, died 
in 1727. 

f This phenomenon is termed dispersion. 

X From the Greek dia, through, and optamaiy to see. In its most 
extended sense, the object of dioptrics is to consider and explain the 
effects of the refraction of light when it passes through different me- 
^ums, such as air, water, glass, and especially lenses. 


transparent aolid having the figure of a triaD^ar 
prism, that ia to say, whose two extieinitius form two 
equal and parallel triangles, and wlioae three other 
fai^es, which circumscribe the t'oriii, are hi^iily pul- 

r TIoIbL / Indigo. S Blue. V Onen. J TaUoir. Onsge. B Bed. 

iehed paralleloj^amB. For the convenience of the 
observer, the prism is ^iierally adapted to a metalhc 
etand with a screw, allowing it to be placed at what- 
ever height and inclination are desired. 

To obtain this remarkable effect it requires a 
totally dark room, only receiving ligbt from a Bmall 
opening made in the shutter, some fractions of an 
inch in diameter, by which a ray of the sun will paaa, 
called a pejicU of adar light, S. 


Without a prism, this pencil falling directly on 
the floor, S, will form a round white image ; but if a 
prism of flint glass, P, be placed horizontally before 
the opening, the scene changes, for the pencil of light 
on entering and leaving the prism is immediately 
refracted * towards the base of the latter, and instead 
of the colorless image which we had just now on the 
floor, S, we see on a screen about five or six yards 
distant t an image E, colored with the lovely hues of 
ihe rainbow. 

This image is called the solwr apectrum. Seven 
principal colors, as we have said, may be distin- 
guished in it — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indi- 
go, and violet. 

Light being decomposed into colored rays, it re- 
mains to seek the means to reproduce it colorless, 
such as it was before passing through the prism. If 
Euler X was the first who resolved the problem, Hall 
and then DoUond created achromatism^^ which, de- 
stroying in glasses the superfluous colors in light, only 
allows those to be seen which are the colors of the 
objects looked at. 

* By refraction is meant the deviation experienced by the luminous 
rays when they pass obliquely from one medium to another. 

f The refracting angle of the prism being of sixty degrees, the 
screen on which the spectrum is received should be from five to six 
yards distant. Ganot, Fhynque^ page 418. 

^ Leonard Euler, a celebrated geometrician, bom at Basle, 1707. 
Although he became blind when fifty-ninOi he continued to devote 
himself to study. He died in 1788. 

§ From a, without, and chroma^ color. 


AcLromatigin is obtained by combiniag, 
according to certain rules, two sorts of glass- 
es, one of crown glass the other of flitit 
glaB8, unitL'd or glued togetlie.r.* 

There are several means ot decomposing 
the solar epectrum and restoring the wliite 
color to light. We will confine oureelves to 
describing three. 

The first consists in causing the solar spectrum to 
pass titrougli anuther piisni ot the same refracting 
angle as the firet, but turned in an opposite diieetion. 

Fi(t. 47.-R«(!oiapi«llioa ot Light. 

The eecond is by receiving the spectral line on a bi- 
convex lens, behind which is placed a small s(ti'een 
of pasteboard, which receives all tiie rays as white. 

The third method consists in receiving on seven 
small glass mirrors, with their faces quite parallel, the 
seven colors of the spectrum (Fig. 47). 

* These glasses are gmamed together when hot b; iDeaca of a 
traaspBrent reain, called Canada b&lsntn, a Bort of tuTpenUne of perfect 


The mirrors being suitably directed, the seven, 
reflected pencils are liret made to fall on the ceiling, 
so as to form there seven distinct images, violet, indi- 
go, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Then mov7 
ing the mirrors in such a manner that the seven im- 
ages come exactly over each other, a single image ifi 
thus obtained, which is white. 

coMPosrrioN of oitioal glass. 

The glasses intended for optics, having necessarily 
not only an exceptional transparence and limpidity, 
but being also obliged to be of two different densities 
in order to become achromatic, are, as we have just 
said, Jlint glass (ordinary crystal containing lead), 
and orovm glass (sheet glass which in the process of 
making takes the form of a crown). 

flint glass. 

According to M. Bontemps, the composition of 
flint glass is — * • 

Sand 100 

Minium (oxide of lead) 100 

Potash 30 

Although the casting of flint glass bears much 
analogy to that of other glass, since it is made in pots 
heated in the furnace, yet it requires such extra care, 
so delicate, and difiicult even to describe well, that 
instead of giving either a mutilated extract from, or 
a sort of disguised imitation of the work of M. P6li- 


got, we prefer, fur the reader's sake, to traiOBcribe 
Jiere tlie words of this learned chemist. 

" The materials being clioaen as pnre as possible, 
the melting is done in a circular furnace, in the cen- 
tre of whitih is the melting-pot covered over. 

*' The pot having been heated separately in a spc- 

ng. U.— 7ain*ee for Optiol QIukk 

cial furnace, it is introduced bj the usnal means into 
the melting fomace equally heated. This operation 
cools the oven and the pot ; they have to be reheated 
before putting it into- the furnace. 

" The opening of the pot, provided with two cov- 
ers to prevent the smoke from entering, is uncovered, 
and the mixture is introduced by portions of from 


forty-five to ninety pounds. After eight or ten hours 
the whole of the mixture is in the pot. It is heated 
during four hours, then the covers are taken oflT, and 
the earthen cylinder, previously raised to a white 
heat, is introduced into the pot. A horizontal bar 
with a hook, resting on an iron roller, is introduced 
into the cavity arranged in the top of the cylinder, 
with which the first stirring is done, which serves to 
vitrify it. At the end of three minutes the bar of 
iron is brought to a white heat. It is taken out, the 
edge of the cylinder is placed on the edge of the pot ; 
this cylinder fioats, slightly inclined, on the vitreous 
mass. The covers are again put on and the heating 
is continued. Five hours afterwards it is again 
stirred. The stirrings then succeed each other every 
hour, only lasting the few minutes requisite to bring 
an iron hook to a white heat. 

" After six stirrings the oven is allowed to cool 
during two hours, to allow the bubbles to rise which 
have not yet done so ; then it is heated to its maxi- 
mum during five hours. The glass is very liquid, 
and entirely free from bubbles. It is stirred without 
cessation during two hours ; immediately that one 
hooked bar has become white hot it is replaced by 
another. As care has been taken to stop up the grat- 
ing below, the matter, when cooling, takes a certain 
consistency, and when the stirring becomes difficult, 
the cylinder is taken out of the crucible. It is 
stopped up as well as the openings of the furnace. 
After eight days the crucible is taken out ; it is then 


broken and separated with care from the flint glass, 
which is usually found in a single mass. Parallel 
polished faces are then made on the sides of this mass 
in order to examine its interior, and see how it ought 
to be attacked. It is then sawn in parallel sheets, 
according to the defects it may present. 

" As for the fragments, they are made into disks 
by heating them to the temperature necessary to 
mould them^" 


According to M. Bontcmps, a pot full of crown 
glass requires — 

Sand 264 1bfl. 

Potash 17 " 

Saltofsoda 44 " 

Chalk 33 « 

White arsenic , 2 J " 

Although, as we see, the chemical composition of 
crown glass bears much resemblance to that of win- 
dow and mirror glass, its manufacture is quite differ- 
ent : for it may be remembered that glass for win- 
dows or mirrors is made from glass cylinders, which, 
cut down lengthways, are flattened by being spread 
on a table, whilst crown glass is made without any 
flattening process, but by the mere movement of 
rotation that is given it. 

M. P. Debette* thus describes this mouthed of 

* Dictiannaire des art$ et manufactures^ article vem. 



manufacture : *' The workman takes a small quantity 
of glass at the end of his pipe, which he maintains 
in its place by continually turning his tube until the 
mass begins to congeal'; he then takes a fresh supply 
of glass, and so on, until the end of the pipe is suffi- 
ciently laden. As soon as he has the proper amount 
of glass, he reheats it by introducing it into the oven 
by the embrasure over -the glass pot ; then he blows 
this mass and forms it by degrees into a large globe ; 
he reheats this globe, resting Ijis tube on an iron sup- 

s 2 1 

Fig. 49.— Mai.u&oture of Crown Glass. 

port, and gives it a continual rotatory movement to 
prevent the piece of glass from bending and falling 
down on either side. 

" He afterwards flattens the side opposite the end 
of the pipe (Fig. 49, No. 1), attaches a ponty to it, 
and cuts the neck of the spheroid near the end of the 
pipe (No. 2). The opening of this neck is then en- 
larged by means of a flat instrument which an assist- 
ant introduces into the orifice and rests against the 
sides, whilst the workman turns round the whole and 
produces a tnincated cone like a melon glass. He 


afterwards heats it again, and then placing the tnbe 
horizontally on an iron bar, he gives it a very rapid 
rotatory movement. By the centrifugal force the 
bell increases in size, and becomes so flat as to resem- 
ble a round table, being of almost uniform thickness 
except at the centre. When the operation is iinished 
the workman carries the sheet of glass, still turning 
it, to a flat space in the midst of hot ashes, places it 
there horizontally, and by a slight blow detaches it 
from his pipe. An assistant lifts it again with a fork, 
and places it in the annealing oven in a vertical posi- 

" The glass thus prepared has in its centre a nut, 
called the bull's eye, producing a disagreeable effect. 
K this nut is cut out, panes of very small dimensions 
only can be obtained, ^t possessing a perfect hrilr 
lian<!y that ccmnot he found to the same degree in the 
glass made hy the new process^ 



The glasses employed in optics are divided into 
three classes : 

The plane lens, which allows objects to be seen in 
their real form and dimensions. 

The convex lens (with a bulging surface), which 
magnifies them. 

The concave lens (with a hollowed surface), which 
diminishes them. 

By combining spherical surfaces with each other, 


or with flat surfaces, six species of lenses * may be 
fonned, thre6 of which are convergent f and three 
divergent. The convex lenses give a great spherical 
aberration and refract light in the manner of prisms, 
but this inconvenience may be remedied by combin- 
ing two sorts of glass, crown and flint glass. 

It is by means of this union that it has been found 
possible to manufacture those ax^hromatic glasses 
which alone, as it has been said, show the images in 
their true tints, without any mixture of foreign 

The forms and use of two dissimilar glasses being 
known, let us show by what means optical glasses are 
obtained, which, whether they come from a thick 
disk or from a simple glass plate, can only become 
optical lenses by means of a curvature, which is ob- 
tained by wearing the glass away with moistened 
emery on moulds or in copper basins. 

M. Arthur Chevalier ^ will explain this manufac- 
ture to us. 

*'The basin serves to make bulged or convex 
glasses ; and the ball, hollow or concave ones. 

" Each tool represents a different radius of curva- 

* Tlie name of letu has been given to transparent mediums which, 
owing to the curvature of their surface, have the property of causing 
the luminous rays which traverse them to converge or diverge. 

f fiy the word convergent is understood the disposition of the rays 
of luminous bodies which approach one another until they all unite in 
one point. By divergent is understood, on the contrary, two rays which 
go away from each other. 

X Hygiene dee yeux^ published 1862. Librairie Hachette. 


tiire. In order to make the tool, the calibre ia first 
fixed by tracing on a copper plate a ciil-ve of a given 
radios. Afterwards two cylinders, one concave, the 
other convex, are cnt out, wliich serve to manafac- 
ture the basin or the ball. 

" The tool provided with a stem having a screw is 

fixed on the lathe of the optician, either in a nnt or 
on a movable arbor, which can move round circu- 

" The fixed tool is used for glasses of a certain 
diameter. Small glasses are done on the lathe, which 
is a solid talile usually construetod of walnut wood. 
On the left of tiie table is a vertical arbor supported 
by biinds and terminated by a point which turns on 
a pivot in a piece pliiced ad hoc. 


" To this arbor is fixed a fly-wheel, and at its up- 
per end a piece of iron, which, placed horizontally, 
receives a wooden handle. 

'' On the right of the lathe is an arbor resembling 
the preceding one, and furnished with a pulley. The 
fly-wheel and the pulley are united by a leathern 
strap. The arbor with the pulley receives the tool. 
By causing the arbor to turn to the left on its pivot 
a circular motion is necessarily obtained, which turns 
the tool. If the hand, sustained by a rest, presents 
the glass to the surface of the tool, on which a wear- 
ing substance (emery) has been placed, the effects 
produced may be observed." 

As our aim is only to give here an idea of the 
principal method of this manufacture, and not to fol- 
low it in its numerous phases, we must refer the read- 
er desirous of studying the question to the excellent 
work published on the subject by M. A. Chevalier. 

We have shown the chemical composition of op- 
tical glasses, the different modes of their manufacture 
and cutting ; we shall now endeavor to seek the ori- 
gin of the principal optical instruments, and to show 
their scientific importance.* 

In order to proceed from the simple to the com- 
plex, we shall begin by the instrument which offers 
the fewest complicatiops, and which, from its general 

* For the instruments specially relating to phantasmagoria, etc., we 
refer the reader to the MerveiUes de roptigucj described by F. Marion. 
Paris, Hachette. 


274 WOaDKBS or 6I.Afi8-MAKnf6. 

emplojmeiit, can scaroelj be considered an optical 
instniment properly so called. 

All onr readers will easily guess that we mean 
spectacles. • 


The origin of spectacles is, alas ! inyolved in ob- 
scnrity ; for in no ancient anthor speaking of glass 
and its nnmerons uses, is there a single word refer- 
ring to the nse of spectacles* 

The most ancient docnment that we can quote 
relating to spectacles, is dated in the year 1303, and 
is to be found in the Oromde Chirurgie, of Gui de 
Chauliac. After having prescribed the use of certain 
eye-salves, this author adds : If that does not svffice^ 
recov/rse mvM be had to spectades. 

The use of spectacles was known then in 1303. 

Jerome Savonarola (1490), in a discourse on death, 
informs us ^^ that, as spectacles fell off, it was neces- 
sary to put a small bar or hook to fix them, and pre- 
vent them from falling." 

This is an indication of the first improvement. 

An ancient Latin chronicle, formerly existing at 
the convent of St. Catherine of Pisa, recorded that, 
^^ Brother Alexander of Spina, a good and modest 
man, possessed the talent of copying every work that 
he saw or that was described to him. He made spec- 
tacles, the manufacture of which the inventor was 
not willing to teach, and freely made known the pro- 


Thanks to Alexander of Spina, then, the employ- 
ment of spectacles has spread ; but who was the in- 
ventor? For we see that Spina was only a skilful 
copier. The Florence lUustrated^ of Leopoldo del 
Migliore, a celebrated Florentine antiquarian, raises 
the veil and informs us that the first inventor of spec- 
tacles was Signor Salvino Armato, which is confirmed 
by the inscription on his tomb. 







(Here lies Salvino Armato d'Armati of Florence, 
inventor of spectacles. May God pardon his sins. 
The year 1317.) 

If the reader wishes to study more thoroughly the 
different changes and successive improvements in 
spectacles, he may consult with advantage the work 
of M. Arthur Chevalier. 


If we are to believe certain authors, the inventor 
of the magnifying glass as we know it, and which is 
nothing else than a simple biconvex lens, did not live 
at a more remote period than the fourteenth cen- 
tury ; * and it was to its magnifying power, which is 

* See at page 269, what we have said about a lens found amongst 
the ruins of Nineveh. 


fifty times its diameter, that Lenvenhoeck, Swammer- 
dam, and Ljonnet owed their snecess in their cele- 
brated anatomical labors. 

The magnifying glass always presents two great 
inconveniences, especially for scientific purposes, 
whether it is placed in the cavity of the eye or held 
in the hand ; namely, the coloring of the outlines of 
objects seen at a certain distance, and a continual 
oscillation, due as much to the nervous movement of 
the eye as to that of the hand. 

Desiring to obviate these two defects, science in- 
vented an instrument which not only destroyed at 
once the spherical aberration and the movement of 
oscillation, but also gave a very considerably in- 
creased magnifying power. 

This instrument is known as the microscope.* 

Before entering on this subject, we would call the 
attention of the reader to the importance of micro- 
scopes, which, as we shall see, offer the greatest and 
most wonderful results, not only to science but also 
to manufacture. 

Holding it a point of honor to bring forward 
nothing but positive facts, it is necessary to say be- 
forehand that the examples quoted by us, however 
extraordinary they may appear, have been faithfully 
taken from the gravest documents, collected by the 
researches of scientific men. 

Four sorts of microscopes are known : 

* From the Greek mtArof, small, and skopeo, I look. 


The simple microscope ; 
The compound microscope ; 
The solar microscope ; 
The photo-electric microscope ; 


The simple microscope 
is composed of one nr 
several convergent lenses 
placed over each other, 
which, acting lite a single 
one, give a real image of 
the object straight and 

This lens, which is 
placed in the lower part 
of the eye-piece, has be- 
low it the stage for the 

object, which contains, R*. aa-stapie mi™«,p<. 
either between two glasses or on a single one, the 
object to be observed. Beneath it, and in order that 
the object may be better lighted, a small concave and 
movable mirror is adapted, which reflects, whilst it 
increases, the light on the object. 

A simple microscope may magnify the object 
clearly to a hundred and twenty tim^ its diame- 

• Ganot, ZVatU tUmmlaiTe iefAytiqttt, page 429, no. 46S. 



If it is not known who was the inventor of the 
simple microscope, which is yet a very simple inven- 
tion, as we have already seen, since it was only neces- 
sary to place a magnifying glass in a fixed stand — it 
is not the same with the compound microscope. Two 
inventors, both Dutch, claim the honor of the first 
idea of it — one of them, Cornelius Drebbel, who con- 
ceived the idea in 1672 ; the other, Zachary Jansen, 
who presented his in 1590 to the archduke of Aus- 
tria, Charles Albert. 

This first essay, we speak of that of Jansen, was 
not happy ; for, notwithstanding the great length of 
his microscope (it measured two yards in length), the 
savants could scarcely magnify objects to more than 
one hundred and fifty to two hundred times their 
diameter, and then in a diffuse manner. 

This attempt, not having fulfilled the object hoped 
for, remained forgotten until two hundred years later, 
when John DoUond, an English optician, taking up 
the idea of Jansen, applied the laws of achromatism 
which he had just discovered to the microscope, and 
the result of this was, as we have just said, to correct 
that aberration of refrangibility which was the prin- 
cipal defect of the instrument of Jansen. 

Now that we know the history of the compound 
microscope, let us see what is its external form, 
of what it is composed, and what eifects it pro- 


It is unnecesBary lo say that the 
componnd microscope has the form 
of a round and petpeiidicular tuhe, 
the upper part of which can be 
raised or lowered at will, by the 
help of a screw, E, which by bring- 
ing the eye nearer to, or farther 
from the object, allows the observer 
to obtain more or leas magnifying 
power. lu tlie lower part is an- 
otlier screw, A, serving to give the 
desired inclination to the little mir- 
ror which, placed under the object 
stage, ia a concave reflector, the re- 
flected rays from which increase the 
power of the light. At the npper 4 
end of the microscope ia the eye i^^,, jj 

lens, which, corresponding to the '^"^"'^ ''**™"P'- 
object, mucli smaller than it, is placed in the small 
cylinder near the object stage. 

Under the direction of M. F. Marion,* let ns now 
endeavor to imderstand the path of luminous rays. 

" The object to be observed is placed on a, on a 
sheet of glass called the object stage. A small con- 
vergent lena, ft, gives at c d a real image, reversed 
and amplified, of the object placed at a. Another 
larger convergent lena is placed at B, eo that the eye 
which looks through, instead of seeing the image o d 
simply magnified by the first lens, sees in C D a vir- 

■ Bibliolhigai det Mervailn ; P Op&que. Libnirie Hachette. 



tual image magnified anew. The lens placed near 
the object is called the object glass ; that placed near 
the eye the eye-piece. The magnifying power de- 
pends especially on the object glass. By using three 
lenses placed one over the other, the magnifying 
power is much increased. Thanks to the progress 
made in optics by modern opticians, the magnifying 
power of the microscope has been carried to one 
thousand eight hundred times the diameter of an 
object. It is difficult to conceive such an increase 

Fig. 54.— Progress of Luminous Rays. 

for we must remember that to increase the diameter 
of an object one thousand eight hundred times, is to 
increase its surface three million two hundred and 
sixty thousand times I Consequently, such great en- 
largements much diminish the distinctness of the out- 
lines and the clearness of the images. 

" In the majority of cases, and for analytical 
studies, a good magnifying power does not exceed six 
hundred times the diameter, that is to say, three hun- 
dred and sixty thousand times the real surface of the 
object observed." 


At these words, three hundred and sixty thou- 
sand, which I repeat in writing in order to prove that 
it is not a typographical error, I abeady hear some 
of my readers call out at the exaggeration. There 
are even some who would go so far as to tax with 
presumption those scientific men who, in the opinion 
of these critics, may with impunity place as many 
figures as tEey like in a row, certain beforehand, that 
through the impossibility of verifying their calcula- 
tions, their word will have to be received. 

Do not believe, dear reader, that scientific men, 
who all descend in a direct line from St. Thomas, and 
who certainly, even less than their ancestor, can be 
reproached with credulity, ever advance a fact with- 
out being in a position to prove it. This is the case 
with the subject we are now upon. Knowing that it 
is materially impossible to prove in the gross the 
truth of an enlargement of three hundred and sixty 
thousand times, they have invented an instrument 
which renders the verification of the results of the 
microscope extremely easy. 

This instrument is termed the micrometer.* 


As may be seen in the accompanying plate, this 
instrument for attaining accuracy consists of a small 
sheet of glass on which parallel lines are traced with 
the diamond, at a distance of fi-onxiy^ to iriAnr ^^ ^^ 

/•• From the Greek mikroa, small, and metron, a measure. 



Rg. 56. — Micrometer. 

inch from one another. The micrometer is placed be- 
fore the object glass, so that 
instead of receiving the rays 
which emerge from the eye- 
piece, O, directly in the eye, 
the observer receives them on 
a sheet of glass with parallel 
faces, L, inclined at an angle 
of 45. Below the micrometer 
is placed a scale, E, which is 
divided into twenty-fifths of an 
inch. It is enongh then to 
count the divisions of the scale, which correspond to 
a certain number of lines on the image, to know the 
exact enlargement. 

One example will suflSce to explain this calcula- 
tion, which is very easy to make. Let us suppose 
that the image occupies If inches on the scale, whilst 
it only covers fifteen lines on the micrometer. Sup- 
posing that the intervals on the latter be 2^ob ^^ *^ 
inch, the absolute size of the object will be ^HttJ 
and as the image is 1^ inches, the enlargement will 
be the quotient of If by ^H^y ^^ ^^^- "^^ enlarge- 
ment being known, it is easy to deduce from it the 
absolute size of the objects placed before the object 
glass. Indeed, the enlargement being the quotient 
of the size of the image by the size of the object, it 
follows that, to have the size of the latter, we have 
only to divide the size of the image by the enlarge- 


Now that, owing to the mathematical»precision of 
the micrometer, the most extraordinary results of the 
microscope cannot be disputed, we must be allowed, 
by borrowing the elegant pen of M. L. Figuier,* to 
give the reader some idea of the numerous marvels 
for the knowledge of which we are indebted to the 

"' Applied to a multitude of natural objects, the 
microscope charms our eyes, astonishes our minds, 
and delights our imagination, before the marvellous 
constructions which it reveals to us in organic bodies. 
A small fragment of the grass of our meadows, the 
most imperceptible eye of an insect, submitted to the 
action of this admirable instrument, reveals to us a 
whole new world filled with activity and life. A 
drop of water taken from a stream filled with decay- 
ing vegetable substance or organic matter in a state 
of decomposition, teems, when looked at through the 
microscope, with myriads of living beings, with crea- 
tures having each a separate organisation, and accom- 
plishing their physiological functions like the larger 
animals which are known to us. 

" The revelation of this invisible world, which the 
ancients did not know,t is an additional motive for us 
moderns to admire the omnipotence of th^ Creator. 

* Les Ghrafidea Inventions Aneiennef et Modernet, page 156. Paris, 
Hachette, 1861. 

f Notwithstanding the authority of M. Louis Figuier, we must still 
express the doubt we feel as to the ignorance of the ancients. See 
page 269. 


" In the sciences properly so called, the applicar 
tions of the microscope are numerous. Chemists em- 
ploy this instrument to discover the crystals which 
render certain liquids opaline or nacreous, to study 
their forms, and distinguish them from other analo- 
gous substances. In the hands of the physician it 
may serve to discover certain diseases by the mere 
inspection of the vital liquids, the blood, the milk, 
the urine, the mucus, the saliva, etc. It also serves 
to make evident the numerous falsifications to which 
thread, silk, wool, etc., are exposed, as well as ali- 
mentary matters, such as starch and fiour. It also 
serves to measure the smallest bodies. In this man 
ner it has been discovered that the globules of blood 

are only -j-gVo- ^^ ^" ^^^^ ^^ diameter.* 

" It will doubtless much surprise our readers, and 
inspire them with great admiration for science, when 
we inform them that by certain mechanical means a 
thousand lines of division have been made in the 
small space contained in the twenty-fifth of an inch. 
When we look through the microscope at this minute 

* In confirmation of M. Figuier^s words, we think it wiU be inter- 
esting to give a quotation here from Dr. Francis Roussin, professor of 
chemistry at the time of the case of Philippe (from the newspaper. Za 
lAherU^ June 28th, 1866) : ** Blood is composed of solid particles and 
of water. The water disappears, but there remain concave globules 
of a fixed diameter. Observation through a microscope makes apparent 
white globules, which are less resistant than the red ; besides, in the 
stain of blood there are regular fibrines. It is by these three character- 
istics that the chemist recognizes the presence of blood in stuift or 
other objects.*' 


scale, thns divided into a thousand equal parts, each 
of the divisions may be clearly seen," * 

To add to these different phenomena described by 
M. L. Figuier, and to conclude the marvels of the 
microscope, we cannot do better than mention a 
rather new discovery which is inserted in a memoir 
read at the Academie des Sciences (1866), by M. 
Athanase Dupr6. 

Would you know, dear reader, how many mole- 
cules there may be in a drop of water ? M. Dupr6 
has proved that a cube of water, visible only with a 
powerful microscope, contains more than a hundred 
and twenty-five thousand millions of molecules. The 
consequence of this enormous figure is, that in a cube 
of -^ of an inch, there would be found more than a 
hundred and twenty-five quintillions. 

Let us thank M. Dupre for having kindly omitted 
the fractions. 

Before concluding the wonders of the microscope, 
which wonders, however, we might easily multiply, 
there is one thing to which we would invite the read- 
er's special attention, because, as it destroys the only 
defect of the microscope, it has become its almost in- 
dispensable accompaniment. 

Indeed, although the microscope has the power 
of magnifying objects to such a degree that it opens 
to our observation a whole world which the visual 
organs would not perceive without its aid, it must be 
recognized that the enlargement obtained escapes us 

* See page 282, what has been fiaid on the micrometer. 


as soon as our eye is no longer applied to the eye- 
piece. From this arises the impossibility of preserv- 
ing the result, the complete and real figuring of the 
magnified object, which being only compared with 
our remembrances, becomes consequently fugitive, 
doubtftil, and always erroneous. 

Amongst the intelligent discoveries due to the 
MM. Nachet, opticians, there is one which enters too 
much into our subject for us not to mention the revo- 
lution it has introduced into microscopic observa- 

Alone, as we have just said, the microscope only 
offers a passing image, incapable of being fixed ; 
now, thanks to the Nachet prism (camera lucida), the 
enlargement given by the microscope, the infinite de- 
tails of form which it presents to the sight, are placed 
on paper by the observer's own hand. 

"We give the reader the few lines that the MM. 
Nachet have kindly sent us on the effect of their 
prism adapted to the microscope. 

'* This apparatus, which may be termed a camera 
luoida, consists of a glass prism. A, B, C, D, of an 
almost rhomboid shape. To the face A, C, there is 
applied, by means of a transparent matter, a small 
prism, E, constructed and placed in such a manner 
that one of its faces is parallel to the face A, B, so 
that the rays leaving the eye-piece, O, of the micro- 
scope may reach the eye placed at I without under- 
going any refraction, just as if one looked through a 
sheet of glass with parallel surfaces. Now if we 


place a pencil, F, under the face B, D, its image re- 
flected by that face will be sent on the face A, C, and 
again reflected it will reach the oye, which at the 
same time perceives the object seen in the micro- 
scope. The two impressions being superimposed in 
the eye, nothing is eaner than to follow the outlines 
on the paper placed under the projection of the sur- 
face B, D, at a distance equal to that of distinct vis- 
ion. To be able to trace an image which only exists 

in the eye, it is enough for the pencil to be sufllcient- 

Fig. 66.— Camera Luoida. 

ly well lighted and for the point to be clearly per- 
ceived by the retina already impressed by the out- 
lines of the objects intended to be represented. Then, 
without removing the eye from the eye-piece of the 
microscope, it is only necessary to follow." 


After such a clear description of the effects of the 
prism, we have only to recommend its adoption by 
all who possess microscopes ; for if the enlargement 
given by microscopes enables us to study and admire 
in the smallest details the varied and curious forms 
of infinitely small creatures, let us not forget that it 
is by means of the prism alone that we can obtain an 
exact and durable copy. 

The marvels of the compound microscope, as well 
as the means of controlling them, being made known, 
we have now to speak of the solar microscope, as well 
as of tliat denominated the photo-electric microscope ; 
but before doing so, and without leaving our subject, 
we may be allowed to say a word on that old-fash- 
ioned plaything, that delight of the children of for- 
mer days, which was called the magic lantern. 

Eeaders, let not your manly dignity revolt at 
these words of plaything and magic lantern. Our 
intention, if you will believe it, is not to oblige you 
to look at the sun and moon and the usual things de- 
scribed by the showman, but only to demonstrate the 
influence of the poor, mean, and abandoned play- 
thing, which, perfected in 1675 by the celebrated 
Jesuit Kircher, is the point of departure, the almost 
complete type, and even the mother, if we may so 
say, of the two serious microscoj)es which remain to 
be studied. 


The box of the lantern, constructed of tin, eon- 


tains in the interior a lamp with a concave reflector 
of polished metal. Opposite this reflector is a tube 
coaiposed of two parts, one of which is movable, 0, 
D, and goes into the other. The extremity of the 
tube is provided with a plano-convex leas or half 
ball, e, whilst in the other is a biconvex lens, d. 

Each glass slide, representing one or several sub- 
jects painted in very transparent colors, is inserted 
into the groove h h. 

S\%. b;.— Magic Laalera. 

It will be understood that, from the rays of the 
lamp heinf^ directly concentrated on the lens c, a very 
vivid light is thrown on the glass slides, the painted 
objects on which are thns rendered visible on the 
white sheet, P, Q, fixed to the wall, and the more so 
as this is placed in a room in almost total darkness. 

The white sheet on which the objects appear 
being inmiovable, since, as we have just said, it is 
spread on the wall, means had to be fonnd to vary 

ir<HrDKBS or qubb-iuking. 

ice and the size of the image : this effect is 
bj inserting the second part of a tnbe more 
eplj into the iiret, which is fixed. 
no }>eriod of historj, even the most ancient, 
I been seen walking on their heads, trees 
r roots in the air, or animals trotting on 
b, the exliibitor d^trujs this imsni table 
luttiog in the slide upside down. Reversed 
rs of optics, the subject will then be seen 
d position.* 

now show the points of resemblance be- 
nagic lantern and the microscope. 


ir microscope, invented in 1740, bj Lie- 
as its name indicates, lighted hy the ra^ 
vhich replace the lamp of the magic lan- 

ke the mag:tc lantern, in a totall; dark 
ar ra/s are obtained bj fitting the micro- 
ivindow provided with a wooden shatter, 
'erj small opening has been arranged 
' to the lens placed in the tube. Ont- 
»w is a mirror, which receives the solar 
^ tbein 00 to a conveigent lens ; from 

to a second lens, which forms a focos 
«s them, 
to be examined is placed between two 

united by means of a spring. 


Kotwitlistanding the phenomeDa it exhibits, and 
of which we shall presently say a few words, the 
solar microscope is attended with several incon- 
veniences. The first of these arises from tlie con- 
stant movement of_ the light from the sun, which, 
notwithstajiding the inclination given to the mirror 

hy means of a screw, frequently does not permit an 
opeiatioii to be c mpleted. The second is the con- 
centration of such an intense heat on the object that 
it speedily becomes changed. 

This last defect is remedied in part oy placing 
before the object a layer of w^ter satuiated with 
alnm ; this substance, being a non- ondnctor of heat, 
nllowB the light to pass without the heat. 

Having mentioned the defects inherent to the in- 
strument we should he ungrateful if we did not 


mention some of the wonders it produces. Its power 
is so great that, with its aid, it has become possible to 
observe the circulation of the blood in the tails of 
tadpoles (the larvse of the frog), as well as in the legs 
of frogs, the aiiimalculse — invisible to the naked eye 
— to be found in vinegar, in paste made of flour, in 
water, and lastly the crystallization of salts. 


The construction and the results of this new mi- 
croscope being precisely the same as those of the 
solar microscope, of which we have just spoken, we 
have only to speak of the manner in which it is 

The lucidity with which the learned M. Ganotf 
has treated a matter of some difficulty, induces us to 
employ his own words : 

'' The photo-electric microscope is merely a solar 
microscope which is illuminated by electric light in- 
stead of by the sun. This light, by its intensity, by 
the fixity which may be given it, and by the facility 
with which it may be procured at any hour of the 
day, is far preferable to the use of the solar light. 

'' MM. Foucault and Donne first conceived the 
idea of the photo-electric microscope. 

" On a rectangular box of yellow copper is fixed 
externally a solar microscope, similar in every respect 

* From the Greek phda^ phdtos, light, 
f Caurs de pJiysique^ page 467. 


to t^at described above. In the ititerior there are 
two charcoal rods which do not quite tonch, the in- 

Fig. 6R— Photo>B«*rio MionMOOpe. 

terval between them correspond itig exactly to the 

axis of the lenses of the microscope. The electricity 
of a strong pile is brought by a copper wire to the 


first piece of charcoal ; from this it passes to tlie sec- 
ond, which, in consequence, must at first touch the 
other ; afterwards they are separated a little, the elec- 
tricity being suflSciently conducted by the vaporized 
charcoal. Lastly, from the upper charcoal, the elec- 
tricity rejoins, by a metallic column, the second cop- 
per wire, which brings it back to the pile. 

" This done, during the passage of the electricity 
the extremities of the two pieces of charcoal become 
incandescent, and give out a light of the greatest 
brilliancy, which illuminates the microscope very 
strongly. For this there is placed in the interior of 
the tube a convergent lens, the principal focus of 
which corresponds to the interval between the two 
pieces of charcoal. So that the luminous rays which 
enter the tubes are parallel to their axis, and every- 
thing then going on as in an ordinary solar micro- 
scope, there is formed on the screen, at a greater or 
less distance, a highly-magnified image of small ob- 
jects placed between two sheets of glass at the end 
of the tube. In the accompanying plate (Fig. 59) 
the object figured on the screen is tiie ^acarus of the 


After what we have already said (p. 259), both 
of the optical glasses found amongst the remains of 
Nineveh and of the glass with which, according to 
Chinese chronology, the Emperor Chan (who lived 
about the year 2283 b.c«) used to observe the stars. 



mnst we not conclude that astronomical glasses go 
back to an indefinite period ? 

Far be it from us, certainly, to think of establish- 
ing the slightest comparison between the glass of his 
Majesty Chan and those which now leave the work- 
rooms of Lerebours and Secretan ; but we always 
consider it a duty to assign to the ancients the just 
acknowledgments for what we owe to them, although 
this was possibly only an improvement on a previous 

Fig: 60.— Astronomical Telescope.— Interior. 

invention, lor we must not forget the words of Eccle- 
siastes : " There is no new thing under the sun. Is 
there anything whereof it may be said. See, this is 
new ? It hath been already of old time, which was 
before us.'' 

Now that mention has been made of the ancients, 
and it being an impossibility to reconstruct, even in 
thought, the glass of his Chinese Majesty, we shall 
come immediately to that used at the present day by 
scientific men, and of which the celebrated German, 


astronomer, Kepler,* must be regarded as the in- 

The astronomical glass, destined specially, as its 
name indicates, for the observation of the stars, pre- 
sents the greatest similarity to the microscope : like 
the microscope, it is only composed of a convergent 
object glass and eye-lens. 

From this similarity in internal arrangement, it 
results that the astronomical glass presents the same 
inconvenience as the microscope, which consists in 
giving a reversed image. 

This reversing, which certainly would be an im- 
mense defect if it concerned terrestrial things, snch 
as houses, trees, and people, is no disadvantage in 
astronomical labors, which only observe bodies of a 
circular form. 

Wishing doubtless to prove La Fontaine in the 
right when he says, 

"On a souyent besoin d'un plus petit que sol,** 

our glass, so large in itself, and whose power of mag- 
nifying is from a thousand to twelve hundred times, 
is notwithstanding incomplete without the addition 
of three accessories^ which, although small in com- 
parison with its size, yet play, as we shall see, an im- 
portant part in its application, which they complete. 
The first of these is termed a cro^ wire. It is 
composed of a small metallic plate having the form 

* John Kepler, bom at Weil (Wittemberg), in 1671, died at Hatis- 
bon, 1681. 


of a wheel hollowed in its centre, and bearing two 
very tine threads of metal or silk in the shape of a 

The cross wire is' placed at the exact epot where 
the reversed image given by the object glass is pro- 
duced, and tlie point where the threads cross must be 

Fig. 61.— AetnmainlcBl Teluoopai 

on the optical axis of the glass, which thns becomes 
the line of nght. 

This iastmment is employed when the astronomer 
wishes to measure with precision the distance of stars, 
their zenith distance, their ascension, or their passage 
over the meridian. 

The second, still more simple, and which is only 
employed in examining the sun, is composed of a 


black glass, which, placed in a ring adapted to the 
eye-piece, dims the rays sufficiently to prevent the 
too dazzling light from injuring the sight of the ob 

The third is that little glass placed by the side of 
the greater one, and whose object it is difficult to un- 
derstand, convinced as we must be, that by its small 
dimensions it cannot pretend to give the same results 
as the larger one on which it is lixed. If we may be 
allowed the comparison, we shall say that this small 
glass, termed a jinder^ renders the astronomer the 
same service that the dog renders the spoilsman, for 
it, like the dog, jind^ and points. 

The immensity of the field open to the eye of the 
observer in the astronomical glass being the more 
restricted according to the magnifying power ob- 
tained, there naturally results a certain difficulty in 
finding, in the immensity of the sky, the stars sought 
for. To obviate this labor and to shorten the search, 
the finder has been invented, which, having a far 
lower magnifying power, contains consequently a 
much larger space. 

The point sought for being found by means of the 
fimder^ it is only necessary to bring the star into the 
direction of the axis of the fiixder^ in order that it 
may be at the same time the field of tlte glass ; and 
this is the easier as the optical axes of the two glasses 
are parallel. 



Although the reflecting telescope,* the invention 
of which was posterior to that of the refracting, is, 
like the instrament last described, specially conse- 
crated to the study of the stars, there yet exists such 
a diflference between them in internal constrnction, 
that they constitute, so to speak, two diflferent instru^ 
ments. Indeed, if in the astronomical refracting 
telescope the objects are magnified by mere refraction 
through lenses, in the reflecting telescope the same 
eifect is obtained by means of curved metallic mir- 
rors ; an invention which, as it is said, must be attrib- 
uted to the Rev. Father Zeucchi. 

There are three kinds of reflecting telescopes : 

The telescope of Gregory ; f 

Of Sir Isaac Newton ; $ 

And lastly that of Sir William Herschel.§ 

Gregory's telescope, invented about 1650, is com- 
posed of a long copper tube, one of the extremities 
of which is closed by a large mirror which is metal- 
lic, polished and concave, and has in its centre a cir- 
cular opening, allowing the rays of light to pass 
through to the eye-lens. At the other extremity is a 
second concave mirror, of the same metal. 

To Gregory's telescope succeeded that of Newton 
(1672), which diflfers from the former in that the great 
mirror is not pierced, and that the small one on which 

* From the tele^ at a distance, thopeo, I look, 
f Born at New Aberdeen (in Scotland^ 1686, died 1675. 
X Bom at Woolsthorpe (Lincoln), 1642, died 1727. 
g Bom in Hanover, 1788, died 1822. 


it reflects the light is inclined laterally towards an 
eye-piece placed at the side of the tube of the tele- 
scope. It wae abandoned for some time becanse of 

Pig. Sa— Orwottan Tel«aip«. 

the difficulty of preparing large metallic surfaceB, and 
only came into favor again when a skilful French 
physician, M. Foucanlt, Lad not only discovered the 
method of silvering glass mirrors without destroying 


their polish, but also of substituting a rectangular 
prism for the small plane mirror. 

The few lines that M. Louis Figuier has devoted 
to Herscbel's telescope * are so interesting, that we 
do not hesitate to quote his words : 

" The astronomer Sir William Herschel, who lived 
at the end o? the last century, contributed much, by 
the gigantic dimensions of the telescopes he con- 
structed^ to spread a knowledge of that instrument 
amongst the people, whose imagination was struck 
by their size. 

" Herschel was neitlier destined nor prepared by 
his position to embrace the career of astronomical 
labors : he was a simple musician. A telescope fell 
accidentally into his hands. Delighted with the 
wonders which the heavens offered to his view, 
thanks to this optical instrument, he was seized with 
a great enthusiasm for celestial observation. The 
telescope that he first used was only of a low magni- 
fying power ; he endeavored soon to procure one of 
greater dimensions. But the price of the new instru- 
ment was too high for the purse of a simple amateur. 
Herschel, however, did not lose courage; the instru- 
ment that he could not buy he constructed himself. 
He had thus become a mathematician, workman, and 
optician. In 1781, he had made more than four hun- 
dred reflecting mirrors for telescopes. 

'' The powerful telescopes of Herschel consisted 

* Les Grandea Inventions Anciennea et Modemes^ page 146. Li- 
brairie Hachette. 


of a metallic mirror placed at the bottom of a large 
copper or wooden tube, slightly inclined, so as to 
throw the highly magnified and very luminous image 
of a star at the edge of the orifice of the tube, where 
he examined it by the help of a magnifying glass, 
that is to say, suppressing the second mirror em- 
ployed by Gregory, which necessarily implies a loss 
by that second reflection on the small mirror. 

"The greatest telescope used by Herschel was 
formed with a miiTor of more than four feet in diar 
meter. The tube was forty feet in length, and the ob- 
server stood at its extremity, with a strong lens in his 
hand, to look at the image. The magnifying power 
could be carried to six thousand times the diameter 
of the object observed. In order to give the tele- 
scope the suitable inclination for each observation, 
Herschel erected an immense apparatus of masts, 
cords, and pulleys. The whole construction rested 
on rollers, and it could be moved altogether by the 
help of a windlass. The observer stood on a plat- 
form suspended from the oiifice of the tube. Her- 
schel, however, rarely used this immense telescope ; 
there were only a hundred houi*s in the year during 
which, under the foggy sky of England, the air was 
sufiiciently clear to employ this instrument success- 


'' In our own days, Lord Eosse has constructed a 
still more powerful and enormous telescope than that 
of Herschel. The mirror of Lord Rosse's telescope 
weighs 8380 lbs., and the tube 14,529 lbs. 


" We rauBt Bay, however, that Binee the beginning 
of the present century, the ubo of the reflecting tele- 
scope has been abandoned in France as a means of 
celestial observation. In the observation of the stars, 
astroRomerB now usually employ refracting instru- 
ments, that is to say — • 


This glasB only differs from the astronomical glass 
by the addition of two convergent lenses, which, 
placed between the object glass and the eye-piece, 
turn the objects round and sliow them to our eyes as 
they are in nature. 

This addition being the only difference which ex- 
ists between the two glasses, we shall, in order to 
avoid useless repetitions, come at once to the history 
of the terrestrial telescope. 

To whom is the discovery of this instrument to 
be attributed ? It is certainly rather diflBcnlt to de- 
cide, for there are several claimants for the honor. 
The first in date is Roger Bacon, that English monk 
who was surnamed the ddmwcMe^ and died about 
1294 ; then the Dutchman, James Metius, who died 
in 1576 ; and lastly the Neapolitan, J. B. Porta, who 
died in 1615. 

In this uncertainty, deprived as we are of the 
BmalleBt evidence proving the right of either of the 
claimants, we are doubtful which side to take, when 
six lines of the fable of Les Voleura et VAne gives 
us a fresh choice : — 


"Pour UD &De enlevS deux Yoleurs se battaient: 
L'uD Toulait le garder, Fautre voulait le vendre, 

TandiB que coups de poing trottaient, 
Et que DOS champions songedent k se d^feudre, 
Arrive un troisi^me larron, 
Qui saisit maltre Aliboron." 

K the reader will kindly mentally replace the 
odious word voleur by savant^ that of dne by sublime 
w/vention^ and we, like La Fontaine, shall also pre- 
sent not a third, but a fourth competitor, who, com- 
ing armed with the authority of an old Dutch legend, 
will once more show us that the reflection of man 
often takes a less important part than chance in some 
of the greatest discoveries, and that without chance, 
to quote again from La Fontaine, " il n'est pas de 

According to this legend, John Lippershey, a skil- 
ful optician of Middelbourg, received a stranger in 
his shop one day, who ordered two glasses from him, 
one concave, the other convex. 

The day to deliver them having arrived, and Lip- 
pershey, full of his art, was lovingly admiring the 
works of his hands. In this he was certainly right, 
for he had never perhaps fashioned glasses of a more 
limpid material or more irreproachable cutting. He 
looked upon them as masterpieces. So, in his artistic 
joy, he amused himself with looking at them on 
every side, sometimes bringing them together, and 
sometimes separating them from each other. Sud- 
denly he stops. By what miracle has the parish 
steeple, which a moment ago he could scarcely dis- 


tinguish, suddenly come close to liim t How does it 
happen that his two children, playing at sach a dis- 
tance that he could scarcely see them just now, he 
can now see as distinctly as if they were at his side } 
Are his glasses enchanted ? Certainly at that period 
many would have believed it ; but Maitre Lippershey 
was too practical a man ever to admit that the devil, 
in spite of his power of transformation, could slip be- 
tween two glasses. So he began to seek for the rea- 
son; and soon, what so many persons would have 
taken for a supernatural thing, became for him the 
natural consequence of the position which accidental- 
ly he had given to his two glasses. 

Immediately he had a tube made, placed the two 
glasses in it, and the telescope was invented. Desir- 
ing, as a good Dutchman who understands business, 
to insure the exclusive property of his discovery, 
Lippershey in 1606 addressed to the States-General 
of Holland the demand for an exclusive privilege for 
thirty years, which was granted him, on the condi- 
tion, however, that he should adapt to his glass a 
second tube, which should allow both eyes to look 
through it. 

Whether this last condition was observed we do 
not know, but in any case we find in this reserve of 
the States the indication and perhaps the origin of 
our binocular glasses. 

Three ^ears had scarcely elapsed since the inven- 
tion, when the telescopes of Lippershey made their 
appearance in Paris. The proof of this is found in 


these terms in the journal of L'Estoile (Vol. III. p. 
251) : " On Thursday, the 30th of April, 1609, hav- 
ing crossed the bridge Marchand, I stopped at an 
optician's, A^ho was showing to several persons glass- 
es newly invented and used. These glasses are com- 
posed of a tube about a foot long. At each end there 
is a glass, but they are not alike ; they are used to 
see objects clearly whose distance renders them indis- 
tinct. This glass is brought to one eye and the other 
is closed ; and looking at the object that you wisli to 
see, it appears to come nearer and you see it distinct- 
ly, so as to be able to recognize a person half a league 
off. I was told that the invention was due to an 
optician of Middelbourg, in Zealand, and that last 
year he had made a present of two to the Prince 
Maurice, with which objects at from three to four 
leagues' distance might be seen clearly. This prince 
sent then) to the council of the United Provinces, 
which, as a I'ecompense, gave three hundred crowns 
to the inventor, on condition that he should not com- 
municate his invention to others.'' 

Galileo's glass, ob opeea glass. — ^bu^ogulab 


This glass — which was long tenned Galileo's 
glass,* either because it was believed to have been 

* Galileo Galilei, bom at Pisa, 1664, died 1642. The invention 
of this glass is falsely attributed to him ; the real author was Metiu 
(160a). Galileo merely Improved it. 


invented by that genios, or perbape because it was 
by its aid that he discovered the 
mountains in the moon, tlie satel- Mna 

lites of Jupiter, and the spots in the 
sun — owing to its simplicity, bears 
a very great resemblaDPe to the as- 
tronomical glass, as they are both 
composed of only two lenses. The 
sole difference between them, which 
is yut an enormous one, is that the 
astronomical glass gives, as we have I 
said, a reversed image, Galileo's J 
glass produces it rectified, being ___^^_-__, 
composed of a divergent eye-lens M^^^^g^^ _ 
formed by a biconvex flint lens be- ^™ "^ 

tween two biconcave lenses, thus forming an achro- 
matic system; and of a convergent object glass 

T[g. «e,-Binocnlsr OlsBl. 

formed by a biconcave flint lens placed between two 
biconvex lenses of crown glass, also producing an 
achromatic system. 


As for the binocular opera glasses, we have only 
one word to say on them. These glasses, now so gen- 
erally used, are only two of Galileo's glasses fastened 
together, and raised and lowered at will by a screw 
placed in the centre of the hollow tube which sepa- 
rates them, and which adheres to the framework on 
each side at the bottom. 



Up to the present time we have been considering 
glass only as a material intended to furnish objects 
of daily use for all, and to supply the sciences with 
the means of studying what nature hides from our 
eyes. But glass has yet another application, so im- 
portant that we cannot pass it over in silence. We 
will now speak of the apparatus which under the 
general name of lighthouses serves to guide mariners 
in their couree during the night, to point out rocks 
and shoals, the months of rivers, or the entrance to 

The services which lighthouses render to naviga- 
tion could not escape the notice of the ancients; 
therefore the lighthouse built on the Isle of Pharos 
(a little island near the port of Alexandria) by Sos- 
tratus of Cnidus, in the reign of Ptolemy Philadel- 
phus, 470 years after the foundation of Rome, was 
not only looked upon for a long time as a wonder, 
but was named from the city where it had been built* 
The Romans also were acquainted with the use of 
lighthouses^ for in 1643 there was still to be seen the 


lighthouse which they had erected at Boulogne to 
guide the ships across the Channel. These light* 
houses, very different from ours, and of a primitive 
simplicity, were only composed of a wood fire, which, 
placed on the top of the tower, burnt in the open 

As we cannot say exactly how long this mode was 
employed, we will point ont, as briefly as possible, 
the principal improvements which have been intro- 

The first name we have to mention is that of 
Borda,* who replaced the method employed before 
his time, and of wliich we are ignorant, by lamps 
vith reflectors. This first step accomplished, and the 
career of innovations being opened, other scientific 
men introduced successively the fruits of their re- 
searches, and soon lamps with reflectors were suc- 
ceeded by those with a double draught of air, invent- 
ed by Ami Argaiit, which in their turn were replaced 
by parabolic mirrors. Having attained this point of 
perfection, they thought there was nothing more to 
discover, when Augustin Fresnel f invented the sys- 
tem of lighthouses having echelon^ ox annular lenses. 
This latter innovation being, with some improvements 

* Borda, a celebrated French physician and sailor. Made many 
researches on nautical art He was bom at Dax, in 1788, and died al 
Paris, 1799. 

f A learned French physician and engineer. He was bom at 
Broglie (Eure), in 1788, and died in 1827, jast when the Royal Society 
of London had sent him the Bumford gold medaL 


in detail, the present condition of the science, we will 
describe the structure, its site, its internal apparatus, ' 
and its different classes. 

Lighthouses, as every one knows, are concentrated 
lights placed on a building erected either on the main- 
land ; on an isolated rock surrounded by the sea ; on 
the top of a mountain, like Cape B6arn, near Port 
Vendres ; or on a cliff, like Ailly, Fecamp, and La 
Heve, on the shores of Normandy. 

Each lighthouse is composed of a tower, generally 
of a cylindrical form. In the interior there is a stair- 
case, the room with the lighting apparatus, the stores 
containing the provision of oil destined to feed the 
lantern, as well as water for the use of the keepers, 
and lastly, the rooms provided for the engineers hav- 
ing the charge of the edifice. 

The height of the lighthouses, although always, 
considerable, varies according to the place where they 
are erected. The highest lighthouse on the French 
shores is that at Barfleur point, which is 233 feet 
high ; Cordouan lighthouse, 207 feet (almost as high 
as the towers of Notre Dame in Paris) ; the light- 
houses at Dunkirk, 187 feet ; at Calais, 167 feet ; and 
at Baleines (at the western point of the He de Re), 
164 feet. We must not forget to mention here the 
lighthouse which was placed at the entrance of the 
Champ de Mars during the Universal Exhibition of 
1867. This lighthouse, which is 185 feet in height, 
is destined for the isle of Roches Douvres, situated 
between the isles of Brehat and Guernsey, and about 


thirty-one miles from the shores of Brittany. It is 
furnished with twenty-four lenses, and the intensity 
of its light is such that it is thrown to a distance of 
twenty-eight miles. It has been estimated that 2450 
Carcel lamps at least would be required to obtain an 
equal amount of light. 

Having described the interior and exterior of the 
lighthouse, we will ascend to the lantern and examine 
the apparatus, which multiplies a hundred-fold the 
light of the lamp placed in its centre. It is known 
that by placing a luminous point at the principal 
focus of a lenticular glass, a cylindrical pencil of par- 
allel rays is produced behind the lens, which can be 
seen at a great distance ; but to obtain the results 
that were desired, many difficulties had to be encoun- 
tered. First, the almost impossibility of fabricating 
lenses of sufficiently large dimensions ; and after- 
wards, when this was achieved, not only was their 
weight enormous, but the thickness of their centre 
was such that it absorbed the greater part of the 
light. Then it was that Fresnel invented those annu- 
lar lenses composed of a central glass of the usual 
form, surrounded by a series of rings, not very deep, 
so arranged as to have the same principal focus. 

This apparatus for lighting is contained in a lan- 
tern having glass of from a quarter to nearly half an 
inch in thickness ; and notwithstanding the resistance 
they oflfer, these glasses are often broken by the sea- 
birds, who dash themselves ietgainst the light. 

Lighthouses are divided into four classes, each of 


which is intended for a special object. Those of the 
first order, usually placed about thirty-four miles 
from each other, serve to indicate the shores, and to 
enable ships at sea to correct their reckoning (this 
nautical word means the calculation of the daily 
progress of a ship) ; those of the second and third 
orders point out the shoals and bays ; and lastly, 
those of the fourth order mark the channels, the 
mouths of rivers, and the entrance of harbors. 

From this multiplicity of lights there would natu- 
rally arise a very dangerous confusion, for if one indi-^ 
cated a port another might point out a shoal ; so to 
avoid all confusion a different light has been given to 
each of the lighthouses. Some have fixed lights, 
sending out their rays without interruption in every 
direction ; others, and these are the most numerous, 
have eclipses. Although the duration of the eclipse 
and of the brilliancy varies according to the distance 
of the observer, the time which separates one eclipse 
from the following one being constantly the same, it 
thus makes known the distinctive character of the 
light. Others give a fixed light, alternated with pe- 
riodical bursts of extreme brilliancy, which forms 
another means of distinction. As here below every- 
thing is bom, lives, and disappears, to give place to 
something new, several innovations have been recent- 
ly proposed to give more power to lighthouses. One 
adds to the light so many bells, that in case of a fog 
ships would be preserved from the vicinity of the 
coast ; another still more radical change, proposed by 


the engineer Mr. Temple Hnmphrey, Buppresses the 
whole system of lighting, which is replaced by a sys- 
tem of wheels and pistons, which, continually set in 
movement by the water, whatever may be its level, 
and driving the air violently through a narrow open- 
ing, produce a most piercing whistle, never stopping 
day or night. According to the inventor, the expense 
of such an apparatus would be only about one-tenth 
of the lighthouses, as well in construction and light- 
ing as in keepers. 

As we have just pronounced the word keepers, we 
must be allowed to conclude this article by an anec- 
dote. Tlie scene is at the commencement of the 
present centuiy, and the theatre represents the Eng- 
lish lighthouse placed on the rocks of Smalls. One 
winter was so stormy, that for four months the two 
lighthouse keepers remained deprived of all inter- 
course with the land. It was in vain that ships were 
sent towards the rocks ; the furious sea always pre- 
vented them from landing. One of them returned 
one day bringing strange news; the crew had per- 
ceived a man standing motionless in a comer of the 
exterior gallery. Near him floated a signal of dis- 
tress. But was he living or dead? No one could 
tell. Every evening eyes were turned anxiously 
towards the lighthouse, to see if the light would ap- 
pear, and every evening it was seen regularly ; this 
proved that there was still some one in the light- 
house. But were both keepers alive, and if there 
were only one, which of the two had survived his 


comrade ? It was known later. One evening a fish- 
erman fipom Milford, who had succeeded in landing 
in a moment of calm, brought back both the keepers 
to Solway, but one of them was a corpse. The sur- 
vivor had made a coflSn for his dead comrade ; then 
after having carried this coffin up to the outer gal- 
lery, he had placed it upright, firmly fastened in one 
comer. Left alone he had done good service, but 
when he returned to land he was so much changed 
that his relations and friends could scarcely recognize 
him. His statement was that his companion had 
died from disease. He was believed ; but from that 
moment three keepers were always placed in that 
lighthouse instead of two, a wise precaution, which 
has been adopted for all lighthouses placed in a simi- 
lar situation.* 

* See the book entitled Lea Fhares^ by M. Renard. (BibliothSque 
des MerreiUes.) 



In the commencement of this rapid sketch of the 
liistory of glass, we endeavored to call the reader's 
attention to the numerous services rendered by glass, 
not only to domestic life and to the sciences, of which 
it is the most powerful auxQiary, but also to human- 
ity, whose infirmities it relieves by restoring exist- 
ence, so to speak, to the failing organ of sight. 

This last blessing has been proved in what we 
have said on spectacles, but there is another human 
infirmity much more cruel, for it is, alas ! without a 
remedy. It is of this that we have now to speak. 

We have now to speak of the artificial eye, which 
although it cannot restore life to the one it replaces, 
has, at least, the advantage of almost concealing its 
loss from the eyes of others. 

If we may believe history, artificial eyes, already 
known and in use under Ptolemy Philadelphus, king 
of Egypt, who came to the throne 385 b.o., were 
divided into two classes. 

The eabUphari * and the hyp(Mephari.\ 

* From the Greek m, on, h^epkanm^ eyelid. 

f From the Greek upo, under, bUpharan^ eyelid. 


The esblephari were formed of a circle of iron 
which, passing round the head, had at one of its ex- 
tremities a thin sheet of metal, covered with very fine 
skin, on which was painted an eje with its eyelids 
and lashes. 

The eailephari then were nothing else than a kind 
of small painted bandage, which concealed the cavity 
of the lost eye. 

To this first attempt, still in a very rudimental 
form, succeeded the hypoblephari^ which marked an 
immense step in progress, and already bore some 
likeness to the method now adopted. 

The hypoblephari, which, as their name indicates, 
were no longer placed in the exterior of the eye, but 
in the orbital cavity itself, were formed of a metallic 
shell something like a walnut shell, on which was 
painted, by the aid, doubtless, of some mordant, the 
iris, the pupil, and the white of the eye. 

A complete revolution had thus been effected ; 
for kept in their place by the eyelids (as is now done), 
and without any exterior support indicating their 
presence, the only objection to the hypoblephari was 
the weight of the metal and the constant fixity of the 

We know not how long their employment in this 
form may have lasted, called, as they doubtless were, 
sometimes by one name and sometimes by another. 
For notwithstanding all the researches by which he 
hoped to bind the present to the past, by quoting 
glass eyes, which have also»had their time of glory, 


M. Hazard Mirault, in liis excellent work on the sub- 
ject, passes without any transition from antiquity to 
the year 1818, when he published his researches and 


As the comparison of the labors of past times 
with those carried on in our own days is the only 
method of appreciating the improvements introduced, 
we shall indicate the method of manufacture of glass 
eyes as it is described by M. Bax.* 

'^ The manufacture of glass eyes consists of three 
operations : casting the glass lenses, grinding and pol- 
ishing them, and painting them. 

" In a flat box of cast iron, without joints and 
only open on one side, is placed a movable tray of 
the same metal, on which several pieces of glass form- 
ing lenses are laid, which are cut to the thickness and 
size of the natural eye. When this work is com- 
pleted, in order to avoid the glass adhering to the 
tray from the heat, the tray is covered either with a 
layer of dry white lead or of fine sand. The fire 
being placed in the box, which replaces the oven, the 
fusion of each lens begins at its circumference, which 
in sinking down becomes rounded ; and whilst the 
upper face is thus rounded, the lower one is moulded 
to the plane surfsu^e on which it rests. To this oper- 
ation succeeds that of polishing, which is performed 

* Inserted in the Manuel du FabriearU de Verre^ hj M. Julia de 
FonteniUe. Boret, 1829, page 244t 

ashfioial eyes. 821 

on the plane flurface, and is done by mbbing it on 
even and wetted sandstone until the lenses, reduced 
to a segment of a sphere, represent the interior seg- 
ment of an eye cut perpendicularly at the iris. In 
order to avoid a partial polishing, which would entail 
great loss of time, the lenses are collected in a circle, 
by solidifying them by means of a mixture of pitch 
and plaster. When the polishing is terminated, it 
only remains to remove the opacity of the glass, by 
rubbing it at first on a board sprinkled with porphyr- 
ized pumice-stone or of pewter, and lastly on a piece 
of felt." * 

To this manual labor succeeds what may almost 
be termed the artist's work, for it is to give life, so to 
speak, to this inert eye by means of color. These 
are the words of M. Bax on this important work : 
" I take up with small pincers the lens I wish to 
paint ; I present the convex face to a looking-glass 
placed before me, consequently the flat side is turned 
towards me. In the centre of this face I then place 
a drop of black paint, which I extend until it has 
attained the dimensions of the pupil that I wish to 
represent. The looking-glass shows me when I have 
come to that point. The pupil being dry, I color the 
iris. The colors employed should be always pounded 
with fresh linseed oil, as drying the most quickly." 

Such was the process announced as new in a work 
published in 1829. A learned man, however, of 

• I^aiU Frati^^ de VCEU Artificid, Paris, Dnponoet, 1818, in 



whom we have just epoken, M. Hazard Mirault, had 
Teady, in a work pubKshed in 1818, traced such 
just and progressiye ndes for the manofactnre, that 
except for small modifications in detail, the mannfac- 
ture of artificial eyes has not made one step forward 
in the space of half a centnry. 

However, this statu quo may be easily nnderstood, 
from the fact of every mannfacturer having as he 
says a secret, which he conceals, not only from his 
companions, but from all the world, so much does he 
fear to find a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

^Notwithstanding this silence, preserved with so 
much care, notwithstanding the refiisals we have ex- 
perienced, the veil has been drawn aside, owing to 
the complaisance of a young manufacturer, the more 
confiding as his works, from their perfection, fear no 
rivalry. Thanks to M. Emile Pilon, then,* we can 
initiate the reader into secrets until now impenetra- 
ble. Not only did he kindly show us his casket ad- 
mitted to the Universal Exhibition, and explain to us 
the method of manufacture, but he also made several 
artificial eyes in our presence. 

Headers, we are now about to tell you what we 
heard with our own ears, and describe to you what 

* As we haye conndered it a duty to quote the names of the 
authors from whom we have quoted, we think it is only right to men- 
tion those manufacturers who hare kindly helped us by their ad^oe. 
And if merely the name of M. Pilon is found here, although he is not 
the only maker of artificial eyes, our silence abont the others is only 
Che natural consequence of thdr reserre to us. 


we saw with our own eyes. But before entering the 
workroom of M. Pilon, let ns give a definition 
what is now meant by artificial eyes. 


The artificial eye being only a light shell of 
enamel without any precise form, since it has to be 
suited to the diiferent size of eyeballs, is placed under 
the eyelid, and is composed of two parts ; the one 
exterior, which gives the colors of the iris, of the 
sclerotica, as well as of the blood-vessels of the 
healthy eye; the other interior, which, fitting into 
and capping the stump, receives movement fi'om it. 

The manufacture of artificial eyes consists in three 
very distinct operations.* Let us first represent the 
artist seated at his table. Before him is a lamp, the 
fiame of which, blown by a bellows moved by the 
foot, gives a pointed jet of the strength he desires, 
and within reach of his hand are placed rods of 
enamel of diiferent colors. He begins by taking a 
hollow tube of colorless crystal, one of the extremi- 
ties of which, being soon melted by the fire of the 
lamp, forms a ball when blown. As the color given 
by the crystal has no resemblance to that of the scle- 
rotica, usually called the white of the eye, his first 
labor is to color the ball in such a manner that it 
may be of the same tint as the natural eye. 

* It is a reAiarkable thing that artificial eyes, which require such 
different sizes, yet always so exact, are made without the help of any 
sort of mould, and only by the breath and the hand of the artist 


To attain this result, he applies to this ball enam- 
els of different colors, which, amalgamating with that 
of the crystal in a pasty state, gradually give it the 
natural tint of the eye, which, as we all know, differs 
in each individual. 

This tint obtained, he makes a circular opening 
in the centre of the ball, destined to receive the globe 
of the eve. 

When the hole is made the ball is put on one 

The following is the method followed in the prepa- 
ration of the globe of the eye. The artist begins by 
forming the iris, which is done by the use of several 
amalgamated enamels. The iris finished, he places 
in its centre a spot of black enamel ; this is the pupil, 
which he encircles with its areola ; and he conclitdes 
by drawing those infinitely small fibres which are 
found in the iris. 

The globe of the eye being completed, it remains 
now to place it in the centre of the ball. Nothing is 
more simple. The hole made in the ball, which be- 
comes the sclerotica, or white part of the eye, having 
been calculated according to the size of the eye-globe, 
it is placed in it and soldered by means of the lamp. 

That done, and the artist's finishing touch having 
rectified the small imperfections of the whole work, 
it only remains to pare this ball in order to obtain a 
shell, which, softened at the edges, may perfectly re- 
semble the living eye with which it is to be placed, 
not merely in form but also in color. 


After having lifted the veil with which the manu- 
facture of artificial eyes has been covered, must we 
conclude that there is no particular mystery for every 
manufacturer? To require from them an absolute 
frankness, while secrecy is permitted to all othei 
trades, would be such an injustice, that we cannot 
blame the manufacturers of artificial eyes for keeping 
their little secret also, which consists in the composi- 
tion of their enamels. 

Each of them, persuaded that he alone possesses 
the best formula producing the most limpid enamels, 
whose color is most like that of nature, naturally 
keeps his processes a secret. 

We could easily unveil them partially ; but be- 
sides the fact that sueli a description would not in 
the least interest the reader, it is to be considered 
that similar formulae are, generally speaking, the re- 
sult of laborious and often of very costly researches. 
On this account they become in our opinion private 
property, and consequently inviolable. 

Since we can only speak here of M. Pilon, we 
will pall the reader's attention to a real tour de force 
performed by that ai*tist without a movld^ and by 
mere manual dexterity. He produces on a given 
model an infinite number of eyes, so identical in 
form, size, and color, that it is impossible to discover 
the least distinction between the originals and copies. 

SuXih multiplied stijdies and labors must have 
their reward. M. Emile Prion obtained at tllp Uni- 
versal Exhibition of 1867 the highest reward adjudged 
to this art. 

Just the Books for Presents and Prizes. 

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m 1'68H