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.

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Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass
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Mt. Washington and its successor, the Pairpoint Corporation, was one of America’s longest-running luxury glass companies (1837-1957), one that rivaled its better known contemporaries, Tiffany and Steuben. It constantly reinvented and re-invigorated its business through creativity in texture,

Glass and the Space Orbiter
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The space shuttle has triple paned, optical-quality windows. Thirty-seven window panes in eleven different sizes and shapes are produced for each Orbiter. The %%fused%% %%silica%% outer panes of the forward windshields are designed to withstand high atmosphere reentry temperatures. The inner,

A Discovery Waiting to Happen: Glass-Ceramics
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Why did such an important discovery occur so late in the … history of glass, and why was an accident necessary to bring it about?      – Donald Stookey, 1977 Crystals are usually a glassmaker’s enemy. When they form in glass, crystals can change the properties of the material in unwanted ways.

The Mechanical Press
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Making and decorating a piece of glass took a lot of talent, training, and teamwork. In the 1820's, Americans developed a pressing machine that needed only two people with little experience to make it work. One person brought the hot glass from the furnace to the mold. The second cut off the

Debora Moore: The 2007 Rakow Commission
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For Seattle-based Debora Moore, the journey from single mom to an artist whose hot-sculpted glass orchids have a growing international following has not been without a few struggles. “When I faced adversity, I would take long walks in the woods,” she said in a phone interview. “I have always found

Eight Sledgehammers on Glass: The 'Warrior' Vase in The Corning Museum of Glass
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Since its accession in 1957, the 'Warrior' vase ranks among the highlights of the collection. Glass making had been known in ancient China, but was only reintroduced to China during the reign of the emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) by Jesuit missionaries. 1   The Beijing palace glassworks were

Art and Design in Glass in Communist Czechoslovakia
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Czech glass, also called Bohemian glass, has been produced since the Middle Ages. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and from 1867 to 1918, a province of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the dissolution of Austro-Hungary in 1918, Bohemia was incorporated into the independent

Jan Kotík
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This vase, which illustrates the abstract style of engraving characteristic of Jan Kotík’s work, was shown for the first time in the United States as part of the special exhibition, Glass 1959. A similar vase was exhibited at the 1959 Moscow Exhibition, where it drew unfavorable attention. The

Dante Marioni: Form + Pattern in Glass
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Dante Marioni burst onto the international glass scene at age 19 with a signature style that has been described as the purest of classical forms executed in glass by an American glassblower. His amphoras, vases, and ewers are derived from Greek and Etruscan prototypes, yet they are imaginatively

Staying On-line: Coated Glass
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Glass windows are great, but they waste energy. A glass pane provides only slightly more insulation than nothing at all. Even so, builders were using more, and bigger, windows. Then, in 1973, the energy crisis hit. Harvard University chemist Roy Gordon knew that a tin oxide coating would make

The Glass Harmonica
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Performers throughout the 1700's produced sounds by gently rubbing the rims of finely tuned wineglasses with their moistened fingertips. Wineglasses were tuned by adjusting the amount of water in their bowls. After hearing a performance played on musical glasses in England in 1761, Benjamin

About Medieval Glass
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Glass in Ancient Rome In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, the glassmakers of the Roman world were in a class of their own. Glassmaking and glassworking were separate activities. Glassmakers used tank furnaces to melt several tons of raw materials in one operation, and glass workers employed many

The Evolution of the Paperweight
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The earliest paperweights appeared in Europe in the mid-1840s. Venetian glassmaker Pietro Bigaglia created and exhibited the first signed and dated weights at the Vienna Industrial Exposition in 1845. He, like other paperweight makers of the time, revived many ancient glassworking techniques to

Drawings for American Stained Glass
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Drawings for American %%Stained Glass%%, a 2010 exhibition at the Museum’s Rakow Research Library, showcased 19th- and 20th-century designs from studios and artists across the United States. These designs illustrated the great diversity in style and subject matter in modern American stained glass,

Louis Comfort Tiffany Paperweights
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Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, was born in 1848. At the time of Tiffany’s birth his father owned one of the most prestigious jewelry and silver stores in America. Tiffany grew up around the decorative arts and decided to become a painter in 1866 rather than attend

Lighting the Way: Fresnel Lens
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The most dangerous part of a sailing trip used to be returning to shore. Lighthouses were built to signal the safest route, but often the weak light from their lamps was not visible until too late. The large, thick lens that was supposed to project the light absorbed much of the signal.  Hollowing

Solarized Glass
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Certain types of colorless, transparent glasses, when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time, develop a pink or pale purplish color. Bottles, insulators, and other objects having their color changed in this way are often called "desert glass," but the scientist prefers the term

Genie in the Bottle: Glass Bulbs & TV Tubes
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In 1879, the brilliant inventor Thomas Edison was on the verge of a breakthrough. He had discovered a slow-burning filament that would glow for hours in the vacuum of a glass globe. But to create the first practical electric light, he needed a glass globe that would not implode when the air was

Botanical Wonders: Preserving Glass Flowers
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 809 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: In Your Garden
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 807 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: How the Glass Flowers Come to Harvard
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 804 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Harvard's Dilemma
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 803 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Fruit Diseases
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 805 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Drawing from Nature
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 806 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Before the Glass Flowers
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 802 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Rudolf Blaschka's Studio
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 801 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Botanical Wonders: Introduction
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 800 In “Botanical Wonders: The Story of the Harvard Glass Flowers,” The Corning Museum of

Medieval Glass: Alchemy
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 817 The phrase “medieval glass” evokes images of stained glass windows. But there is another

Electric Urn Lamp
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. 816 Pairpoint Corporation United States, New Bedford, MA Probably 1910–1914 Glass, metal,

Beyond Venice: Glass in Venetian Style, 1500-1750
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In Renaissance Europe, the compulsion to copy Venetian glassmaking styles and techniques was no simple fashion fad. The glass was clearly superior in almost every way. The glass was called “cristallo” because it was clear and colorless, a quality the Venetians achieved as early as 1440 by making it

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