Glass ornaments, glasses, vases and dishes are used everywhere in the world today
For thousands of years, glass was only a decorative material or an object that people only looked at, while the usefulness of glass arose when people began to “see through” glass. No one has yet discovered the beginning of the secret production of glass, but glass has been used since ancient times. The main ingredients used to make glass are sand, potash and lime. These ingredients melt together at high temperatures. These ingredients are present everywhere in the world, so the secret of making glass has been revealed.
Legend has it that the ancient Phoenicians discovered the first way of making glass. The crew of a Phoenician ship landed at the mouth of a river in Syria. They could not find stones on which to place the cauldron and in which to cook the meal. That’s why they took pieces of saltpeter (sodium compound) from the ship’s cargo. The saltpeter melted in the fire, mixed with sand from the surroundings and flowed in the form of liquid glass. Syria was indeed one of the first countries where glass was made (although this legend about the landing of the ship may not be true). It is known that Phoenician merchants sold goods and objects made of glass throughout the Mediterranean area.
Egypt is also a country where glass has been made since ancient times. Glass jewelry and amulets have been found in graves over 5,000 BC (and these glass objects may have originated in Syria). It is known that the Egyptians independently made glass around 1,500 BC. They mixed crushed quartz gravel with sand to change the color of the glass. They learned that by adding cobalt, copper, or manganese to that mixture, they obtained pure blue, green, or purple glass. The Egyptians even learned to pour glass into molds after 1,200 BC. At the very beginning of the new era, the glass blower began to be used. The Phoenicians are also “responsible” for this discovery.
The Romans were skilled at making glass, which they used to cover walls in thin sheets. Window panes already started to be made of glass at the beginning of the new era.
Glass is made simply and with quite ordinary material
Glass is a substance created by combining certain materials and then cooling the mixture, during which the atoms are arranged irregularly. The most important raw materials for making glass are sand (silicon), soda, limestone, borax, boric acid, magnesium oxide and lead oxide.
Nature created the first glass on Earth
Red-hot rock from the Earth’s core broke through the Earth’s crust about 450 million years ago (like a molten mixture coming out of a volcanic crater). The red-hot lava contained silicon, so it cooled rapidly and formed hard glass. This volcanic glass is called “obsidian”.
Even 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians learned to make a type of colored glass that coated stone and pottery and sometimes made jewelry (beads), i.e. beads for necklaces. Even more than 3,500 years ago, glass containers for scented oils were used in Egypt.
One of the greatest periods in the history of glass is the period of existence of the Roman Empire (from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD). Then people learned more than blowing glass and thus making thousands of different objects of all sizes and shapes.
Today, there are more modern ways of making glass, but there is a basic process. Raw materials (from which glass is made) are brought to factories and loaded into huge buckets. These raw materials are carefully mixed like dough and measured. Crushed glass of the same composition is then added to that dough. This accelerates melting. The mixture is automatically fed into the large furnace. At a lower temperature, liquid glass will flow from the furnace. That glass later goes through many processes (blowing, pressing, rolling, casting and drawing – depending on the final type of glass the manufacturer wants to get).
Nice information about glass.
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Many thanks for your comment. As always all the best. Amela