These glass facts were from 1997 information sheets given at monthly meetings
Did You Know?
Indiana Glass is still housed in some of the original buildings constructed during the 1890's when they served duty as a repair shop for railroad cars. The Ohio Flint Glass Company began producing pressed tumblers and tableware at this site around 1896. The plant was purchased by National Glass Company and then Beatty-Brady Glass Company before Indiana Glass Company was incorporated in 1907
The first "Glass Industrialist," Deming Jarves, developed a method of pressing shape and design into glass by mechanical means. This process opened the door to mass production of glassware. Jarves, the founder of Boston and Sandwich Glass Company in 1826, was granted patents for his method of producing glassware. By cutting the cost of production the average consumer could afford these useful and decorative wares. Many of Jarves' techniques are still used today.
The Candle-Lite Company of Leesburg, Ohio began in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1840. Candle-Lite is the oldest candle company in North America. After moving to Leesburg in 1952, Candle-Lite has become the largest candle producer in the world.
The gas boom of the 1880's gave use to several glass factories in Indiana, including what was to become the Indiana Glass Company in Dunkirk. Gas was discovered in east-central Indiana in 1883. The strongest gas well was located in the town of Dunkirk. It delivered 3,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The roar of escaping gas was so loud that people on the streets had to go inside and close the doors in order to talk to each other.
The manufacture of glassware can be expensive due to the amount of heat required to melt raw materials, and in the case of hand-made glassware, it is very labor-intensive adding to the costs. The more hand operations, the more artistic skill required and therefore, the more expensive the product.
Before the advent of cardboard containers, glassware was packed for shipment in wooden barrels filled with straw. The barrels were then loaded in rail cars to ship to the market place.
To polish glass make a thin paste from baking powder and water and rub it onto the glass. Rinse well, and dry with a soft cloth to create a brilliant shine. This polish also works well on car windshields.
The process for frosting glass dates back to the 1800 's when it was discovered in France. Some glassmakers looking for a fast way to cool their glass dug a pit in the ground, buried their glass and when it was dug up the next day, the glass was frosted. When the soil was later analyzed, it was discovered that the soil had a high acid content.
Glass jars were used in Mesopotamia as far back as 2500 B.C. Today, billions of glass containers are produced annually in North America and 37 percent are made with recycled material. Depending where the container was manufactured, it will contain 15 to 60 percent recycled content. Fiberglass insulation can also be made from recycled glass, and crushed glass can be mixed with asphalt during the construction process to become part of road beds.
The L.E. Smith Glass Company of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania was actually founded because of mustard. It seems founder Lewis Smith had a hobby of making his own mustard. When the problem of what to put it in confronted Smith, the first L.E. Smith glass tank was built.
L.E. Smith Glass Company has withstood the test of time and is one of the few American hand-made glass factories still in operation today. L.E. Smith has produced many items for the Tiara line.
The glassware industry came into its own during the 13th century. Venetian glass became very well known throughout the world by 1500. The Venetians discovered a process for manufacturing a transparent product called cristallo which was the first crystal glass. Up until this time all glass was tinted or opaque.
A primitive 35' by 50' thatched-roof hut with open sides became the first factory in America. Built in 1608 in a clearing about a mile outside of Jamestown, Virginia, the virgin forest provided a ready supply of fuel. Sandy banks along the James River supplied raw material for the new factory's product .....glass.
Caring for your glassware will keep it looking and smelling like new. When storing your glass do not expose it to extremely high temperatures or to extreme changes in temperature, it could break. store glasses upright. If you store them upside down they may develop a musty smell, and the rims could be damaged.
Glass and china look best when sparkling clean. Items that you do not use often should be washed from time to time or dust will build up and produce a grimy finish. Wipe regularly with a soapy cloth, then a damp one.
To make glass shine, put some lemon peels in the rinse water. Lemon cuts grease, and the acid released gives a clear shine and brilliance to the washed glass.
Glassware derives its color from the type of metal ore or mineral salt used in the batch. Many materials are used in combinations with other materials to produce different colors or tints. Modern technology has brought many synthetic materials into play which helps with lower costs and availability.