The history of Glass making.
Glass as a unity has been around for centuries, Historians claim the first known glass was formed within the mouth of a volcano as a result of intense heat caused by an eruption, melting the surrounding sand. It is thought glass was first used as tips for spears and arrows but it was soon realised that glass could be used for more convention use.
Glass has been dated back to as early as 4000 BC with archaeologists suggesting it wasn’t until 1500 BC that the first recognisable glass containers were starting to be produced.
With impurities plaguing the early creation of glass, the most common was the highly coloured glass being created due to the material being used as a result a drive towards colourless glass was needed, only arriving in the first century of AD.
With the ever developing world of glass making continuing to expand, the secrets of glass making were increasingly becoming an assorted skill. With glass making its way into British hands curtsey of the Romans, historians suggest that until the collapse of the Roman Empire the trade secrets of glass making were closely guarded. These developments lead to glass making spreading throughout the world causing the quality of glass products to improve.
With Britain’s glass industry suffering due to heavy taxation and rules enforced it wasn’t until the repeal of the excise act in 1845 that the British market started to thrive. With previous laws capping the amount of glass that could be melted in glasshouses, it was only a matter of time until the industry boomed.
The increasing advancements in science and technology the next major development saw the use of glass in domestic and horticultural architecture, with glass manufacturing techniques improving the so called revolution had started.
With the importance of glass to not only the container, beverage and oils industries, it was not long till the traditional techniques were becoming outdated. In 1887 the first semi- automatic machine was created. With the semi- automatic machine capable of producing 200 bottles per hours the rise of the bottle industry was born. With this development it was only a matter of time before the first fully auto-automated machine was developed increasing production to a staggering 2,500 bottles per hour.
Today the Glass industry has become a modern, Hi- tech industry operating in a fiercely competitive globe market (gone are the days glass making skills were only known by the Romans) with the competition being vast there is a focus for high quality designs and customers service in order to remain competitive. With glass surrounding us everywhere, from our homes to our office place, glass packaging is evident in all walks of life. With glasses ability to house pretty much any type of material glass is seen as an ideal packaging method for wines, spirits, beers, food, medicines and cosmetics industries. With the ever changing climate and change in thinking behind the environment and sustainability, glass has proved to be both environmentally friendly and sustainable. With glass easily being recycled the longevity of glass has been assured for the foreseeable future and there looks like there is no stopping the growth of industry.
Who knows what the future holds for glass but one thing for sure is there will be many changes within manufacturing phase to the distribution of glass products. As glass is a material in its own right it can be said glass will always exist, the problem for many is how it will change over the years. The ability to combine numerous materials will only continue to develop causing what we know glass to be today becoming a completely different quantity in the future.