Glass Facts

Glass was first created long before man figured out how to make it, nature already had a head start and organically made it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat generated sometimes fused with the sand creating long slender pieces of glass tubes called fulgurites.

Another naturally occurring source of glass comes from the intense heat of a volcanic eruption which can sometimes fuse with the nearby rocks and sand, which turns into a glass called obsidian. In early days, people shaped obsidian into knives, arrowheads, jewellery, and money.

Recycling one glass bottle can save enough power to run a computer for 30 minutes. This is why it is important to recycle your glass!

Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled indefinitely and not lose its quality.

The Portland vase is one of the most valuable glass art objects in the world. It was likely made in Rome about the beginning of the Christian era, between AD 5 and AD 25.

Various glass making terms have entered the language: 'Coddswallop': Hiram Codd invented the marble stoppered 'pop' bottle in the 1870s, and millions of the bottles were made, particularly in South Yorkshire. 'Wallop' was the name given to the cheap beer of the day, and beer drinkers dubbed the contents of the codd bottle 'a load of coddswallop'.

When glass breaks, the cracks move at the speed of about 3000mph, which is nearly 4 times the speed of sound.

At the end of the 14th century until the 19th, (500 years) no glass was made in China. Today, China is the world's largest producer, controlling 34 per cent of the global market.

It was only until around the 17th century, European glass had become more economical that ordinary people could purchase it for windowpanes. This not only protected them from the elements, but also flooded their houses with light, initiating a great leap forward in hygiene. Dirt and vermin became visible and living spaces clean and disease free. Partly as a result, plague was eliminated from most of Europe by the early 18th century.

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