The History of Glass Blowing

Glass blowing has been with us since the old age times. It is still unclear the exact time when pieces of mineral were first fired up to form glass. But like everything on earth we know for sure that it has its own early knowledge, myths, and early innovators. The existence of glass can be traced back to days of the old man. Some of the cutting tools the ancestral generation were using were made from tektites and obsidian (obsidianites).

The actual discovery of glass-making is believed to have been an accidental adventure. According to ancient-Roman Historian Pliny (AD 23 – 79 or around 5000 B.C), the Phoenicians sailors were the one who discovered. It is believed that the sailors were using blocks of soda (natron) as a form of fire to provide lighting during the night on the sea beach. The intense fire would melt the mixture of sand and soda which turned into a hardened glass.

Early knowledge also indicates that some potters from Egypt or Mesopotamia (Syria) discovered this treasure while firing their wares. The process of firing their pots in the kiln is believed to have resulted in hard, glossy coats. And through improvements over time by testing various substance, they arrived at the most durable coating for their wares. It is believed that the continuous improvements, mostly through trial and error, led to the discovery of glass as a new product.

The ancient glass was, however, not like the glass we know today. They were opaque and had a lot of undissolved sand and bubble trapped during the melting and modification process. Over the years, improvements through innovations have passed over from generation to generation to the modern-day glass.
Knowledge of glass blowing was confined to a select few, mainly the noble and the rich. The secrets were highly guarded and it was handled over to generation within those close circles. This was evident from the excavation of the tombs of the kings of the land. It was until the 3rd century that glass was available for general use (drinking water and storage) and was accessible to all classes in the society.

Below is the summary of how glass blowing has developed over the years to the present-day glass.
The oldest pieces of evidence were fragments of glass vases dating back 16th Century B.C that were found in Mesopotamia. This was the time that glass pipes productions were also reaching out to Egypt. There is also other initial evidence of glass-making in Mycenae (Greece), China and North Tyrol.
But the glass blowing we are aware today seem to have begun during the 1st Century B.C. in the then Roman Syria.

During this time, glass vessel production started in Italian Peninsula during the time of the formation of the Roman Republic. Rome became the major glass blowing center of the Roman Empire. This is also the period that glass windows were used in important architecture. Due to the risk of the fire burning the town, the glass blowing families, artisans, and furnace had to move to the island of Murano.

Before long enough blown glass was a household commodity throughout the whole of Europe and the East. During this time, the making of uniform glass pieces was a laborious process. It was until the 1820s that the Americans innovate the process. An American, Benjamin Bakewell, opened a company in Pittsburg and started glass blowing the easier way.

In 1962, a ceramic professor Harvey Little, a chemist Dominick Labino and an engineer started experimenting melting glass in a small furnace and working on blown glass art. This was small and safe enough to use in small studios as opposed to previous glass works housed in factories. This approach of glass blowing became a success and it led to the popular worldwide reemergence of glass artists.

This new development led to the establishment of many glass schools and similar organizations, around the world, that offer glass blowing training and sharing of equipment, bongs and pipes. Can you buy bongs online? Yes, of course, there a ton of online stores offer glass devices. This enhanced continuous popularity of glass blowing.