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Glass history
Natural glass has existed since the beginning of time. Historians mention that the first forms of glass were formed when different types of rock, following volcanic eruptions, were mixed up, then melted as a result of high temperature; when they cooled down they solidified and transformed to glass.
The ancient-Roman historian Pliny Sr. wrote that glass was discovered in 3500 BC by Phoenician sailors who tried to set up fire to a sanded beach. Not being able to find rocks so as to support their pots, they used blocks of nitrate (aquatic carbonic nitrate), which they transported as a merchandise. When nitrate was heated and mixed with the sand, a strange liquid was formed 'and thus glass was started', Pliny wrote.
A recipe, found on a wedge-shaped writing in Mesopotamia, advises: 'Mix 60 parts of sand, 180 parts of sea plant ashes and 5 parts of chalk, put them in the boiler, and you will get glass'.
In 1500 BC the production of glass objects has been initiated. The cities and states being involved in glass production are: Mycenae (Greece), China and Syria.
The 9th century finds the Egyptians to have developed to a great rate their glassmaking production by using moulds and it was such their interest and their insistence that, for the following 500 years, they were the metropolis of glass, while it is said that, that from that place this rare art was spread to Italy. Substantially, an off-shoot push to expansion was the discovery of blown glass, which is chronologically placed around 27 BC and 14 AC.
In Middle Age, Venice and Murano island are 'glass industries' employing more than 15,000 craftsmen, whose skills and know how are 'exported' to other European countries, such as France and Germany. The big change, however, is completed during the Industrial Revolution (17th) and by the slow automization in different production stages.
Much later, around 1905, american-born Mr. Owens develops the first automized machine. Owens was financially supported by E.D.L. Libbey, the owner of Libbey Glass Co. Of Toledo, Ohio; due to the latter's financial support, 200 such machines were employed in the US by 1920.
From then to now, everything the glass making industry attained was just a matter of Research and Development.