All About Glass

All About Glass

This is your resource for exploring various topics in glass: delve deeper  with this collection of articles, multimedia, and virtual books all about glass. Content is frequently added to the area, so check back for new items. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered, send us your suggestion. If you have a specific question, Ask a Librarian at our Rakow Research Library.

Depictions of Glassmaking in Diderot’s Encyclopédie
Article

Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert published their much acclaimed Encyclopédie in Paris from 1751 to 1765. To illustrate their entries, they commissioned several hundred engraved images depicting artistic crafts and common trades in preindustrial France. Since pictorial representations of

The Transition from Natron to Plant Ash in the Levant
Article

The basic components of early glasses were soda, lime, and silica. In the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, these three components were usually introduced in the form of two ingredients: either natron (soda) and sand containing shell fragments (silica and lime), or ash derived from halophytic

Tools of the Glassmaker
Article

Pictured below are the basic tools used by glassblowers working "at the furnace" (as opposed to those working "at the lamp"- "flameworking" or "lampworking"). They are pretty much unchanged since the first century AD. Incredibly, a Roman-period worker could