A Brief History of Glass
If you think about it, you probably handle something made of glass every day; a drinking glass, a pair of spectacles, or even opening a door or window. For something that is so common, not many people know how glass is made, or where it came from. In this blog, Clear Choice Glass gives you a brief history of our favourite material.
The origins of glass
Natural glass products, such as obsidian, have been around for millions of years, but the earliest evidence of man-made glass can be traced back to approximately 3500BC. This glass was discovered in regions of Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. Whilst the glass these ancient cultures produced is a far cry from the industrially produced product we use today, it does demonstrate how it was initially used and appreciated by people.
What is glass made out of?
If you’ve never thought about it before, consider it now – what do you think glass is made out of? How do we create these solid yet see-through products? It might surprise you to know that glass is actually made out of sand – liquid sand, that is. You can make glass by literally melting sand, but there’s a reason our beaches aren’t transparent during summer; to transform sand into liquid it needs to be raised to a temperature of 1700⁰C.
For industrial purposes, huge quantities of sand are slotted into specially-designed furnaces or kilns, and raised to the above temperature. When the sand has liquefied – taking on a lava-like appearance – it is poured out onto slabs and smoothed and moulded into shapes, typically large rectangles. This process would differ if you were crafting different shapes; drinking glasses are formed with a technique called glass blowing, a process that uses air to form rounded shapes.
How it’s used today
Glass can be used for a number of different purposes. Of course, the most obvious is windows. At Clear Choice Glass, we’ve installed windows in houses, apartments, and commercial businesses across the Central Coast. As well as windows, glass can be commonly used as decorative pieces within homes and businesses. Consider a glass balustrade for the interior or exterior of your home or balcony area. An unobtrusive addition to the aesthetic of your home, glass balustrades are a timeless statement piece.