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The History of Glass

When you gaze out of your window or drink from your glass how many of you stop to think about how such a common material came to be what it is today?

The History of Glass -Ancient Glassmaking

It was in Mesopotamia in 3500BC that the first evidence of manmade glass was discovered but it wasn't until the early Bronze Age that humans first began to create manmade vessels.

The first ancient glassmaking manual was discovered on the tablets from the library of the Assyrian King Assurbanipal in 650BC.

History of Glass - Egypt
Egyptian Glassware

 Four hundred years later the ancient Babylonian glassmakers developed new techniques that allowed them to shape glass and produce vessels more effectively.

The History of Glass - European Glass

Glass became more commonly available across Europe with the spread of the Roman Empire.

History of Glass - Roman
Early Roman Glassware

During the Middle Ages Venice became the major centre for European glassmaking.

In the next 600 years there was a huge expansion in glassmaking as the discovery of a number of new techniques saw glassmaking become an industry.

With the onset of the industrial revolution synthetic chemicals were used for the first time which further cemented glassmaking as a major industry.


The History of Glass - Laminated Glass

One of the most important advances came about by chance in 1903 as the French artist and chemist Edouard Benedictus invented laminated glass as the result of a laboratory accident.

From this period onwards science and chemistry began to play a more prominent role as research and techniques have advanced to such an extent that in 2012 a new type of paper thin, wraparound glass was developed.

The History of Glass - Timeline

The following infographic timeline from Kingfisher Windows highlights some of the key developments over the centuries and explores the rich history of glass which stretches back over 3500 years.


An infographic timeline showing the history of glass by Kingfisher Windows

Sea Glass
What is Sea Glass?
Although many folks have collected sea glass, also known as beach glass, for a lot of years, this pastime has really grown in popularity lately. If you are hearing about it for the first time, here is a information...

Sea Glass
Sea Glass Overview
Beach combers as well as the occasional beachgoer have been bringing home sea glass for generations, but lately this exciting facet of beach combing has really soared in popularity. Here's why!

pure sea glass identfication deck Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck - Richard LaMotte/Celia Pearson
"From a collector of sea glass these cards were great. Just like a quick reference guide if you find a specific color with it's history. They are laminated so if they get wet it won't hurt them! Great find!" ~ J. Ericson.  See more reviews...


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Browse Our List of Recommended Sea Glass and Beach Books

Note: Sea glass usually refers to naturally tumbled glass that's found on saltwater shores, while beachglass or beach glass can refer to the tumbled glass found on any body of water with enough wave action, such as large lakes.

Lake glass is a term not used very often but is accurate if used for beach glass found on the large lakes such as the Great Lakes of North America.    

Where to find sea glass
US sea glass reports beaches