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 Glass Question at our Rakow Research Library.

Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Historia naturalis, about A.D. 77
Article

First printed edition published by Johannes de Spira, Venice, 1469 A chief idea in ancient thought and in Renaissance Humanism was the centrality of the individual in the world. Accordingly, the natural world was considered to be less a manifestation of a divine creator and more a stage for the

Vannoccio Biringuccio, De la pirotechnia, 1540
Article

The technology of printing with movable type, which had been invented in the mid-15th century, was still in its youth when Vannoccio Biringuccio’s comprehensive work on metallurgy, De la pirotechnia, was published in Venice in 1540. The phenomenon of the printed book spread knowledge and encouraged

Antonio Neri, L’Arte vetraria, 1612
Article

As the Italian Renaissance entered its last century and Galileo Galilei was using his telescope to advance the science of astronomy, a Florentine priest named Antonio Neri was writing a guide for glassmakers that would inform their craft for the next 200 years. Titled L’Arte vetraria (The art of

Mappae Clavicula
Article

The oldest of the Rakow Library’s holdings, this 12th-century Latin manuscript might best be described as a chemistry book for the medieval artist. The Mappae clavicula presents more than 200 recipes for making various substances used in art and craft. In these formulas, ingredients found in the

Perfume Bottles: From Design Table to Dressing Table
Article

Since ancient times, perfume bottles have served to contain the most subtle of mysteries: delightful, seductive scents. Before glassblowing, ancient Egyptian artisans fashioned exquisite containers from alabaster, metals, precious stones, and core-formed glass to hold their highly valued perfumes.

From the 1908 Ornamental Glass Bulletin: "Odd Uses of Glass"
Article

"It was only a few months ago that plans were drawn for a house to be built of compressed opalescent glass bricks to be erected at Beechhurst; L.I. The house will be built, as regards material, very similar to some small one and two story office buildings which have been erected in Des Moines,

Historical Perspectives: Katharine Lamb Tait, 1895–1981
Article

Katharine Lamb Tait was born on June 3, 1895 in Alpine, New Jersey. Katharine’s father who was architect and designer, Charles Rollinson Lamb, was also president of Lamb Studios and the Stained Glass Association of America. 7 Her mother, Ella Condie Lamb was an artist. 1 In 1912, Tait graduated