Once industrialization took root, the number of glass bottle manufacturing companies exploded on all fronts across Europe and North America. One of the industries that received the biggest boost was glass making. At this point, all forms of manufacturing plants had popped up, and there was a need for a safe and convenient way of packaging things, especially perishable foods.
By the time the age of the crusade came around, the center of glassmaking in the world had shifted to the city of Venice, on the island of Murano, to be specific. There, a man called Angelo Barovier created quite a reputation for himself by being a master craftsman who was first credited with the creation of almost colorless and transparent glass.
Until then, glass used to come in all types of colors depending on the raw materials used in the base. But now, there was a technique to make the glass come out clear as day. This opened up new possibilities of what could be done. This was the birth of the famous Venetian glass blowing process that quickly spread across Europe.
This continued on to 1575 where English glassmakers started naming variations to the Venetian process, and eventually, in 1674, George Ravenscroft finally invented lead glass. By 1608, the first commercial glass-making factory was established in the United States in Jamestown, Virginia.
Real change finally came knocking after 1890 where the production of glass really picked up as it had become cheaper, thanks to mass production. Now anyone could afford to have glassware in their houses, and at the same time, people finally started to find ways of making containers out of glass for domestic and commercial uses, and that was what became the game-changer.
Now there was the widespread use of machinery in glass production, and there was a continuous flow, and this increased the quality of the glass products that were being made by the many factories that had sprouted up. 1902 saw the mass production of sheet glass join the fray, thanks to the inventions of Irvin Colburn. 1904 is another year that saw the first patent for an automatic glass bottle blowing machine that was invented by Michael Owens, an American engineer.
1959 saw the first float glass production that was made by Sir Alastair Pilkington. This princess became so popular and very convenient that it is still used for 90% of glass making in the modern world. The process continues to be used to this day due to the reliability and the ease of manipulating raw materials in a controlled environment.
Over the years, glass making has undergone a lot of changes, and with the advent of technology and automation, the quality of glass materials has gone up drastically, and the varieties have also increased. There’s also the recycling bit that has greatly improved, and many glass manufacturers are embracing sustainability in all their processes in order to create a world where the resources for making glass don’t get depleted for the sake of profits.
The future of glassmaking continues to look brighter by the day since the demand for glass products continues to skyrocket every year. Manufacturing companies around the world are stepping up their efforts to meet this demand as soon as they can.