Glass was discovered in about 500 BC and since then it has been an enchanting material. Being it is one of the most adaptable and oldest materials in the building industry the usage of glass continues to evolve and amaze us with each creation the material produces.
In ancient times, Obsidian, which is a natural glass found in volcanic regions and fulgurite, which is naturally formed when lightning strikes sand were used to make tools and weapons.
Glass blowing was discovered in the first century in Europe revolutionizing the glass making industry. The creation of clear glass spread throughout the Roman Empire and glass then became used for architectural purposes.
Cast glass windows began appearing in luxury villas and important buildings in Rome and Pompeii.
Over the next thousand years the production of glass expanded through Europe and the Middle East. In the seventh century Anglo Saxon glass was used in churches and cathedrals.
By the eleventh century sheet glass was crafted by the crown glass process. A glassblower would spin molten glass at the end of a rod until it flattened into a disk. The disk would then be cut into panes.
By the thirteenth century, this technique was perfected in Venice.
The creation of stained glass windows was used in architecture from the 11th – 18th century. Utilized in renaissance and baroque architecture brilliant patterns were created with the colorful glass that inspired legendary artists all over the world.
By the nineteenth century, flat sheet glass windows were used to make windows and did not have any optical distortions.
Glass was still considered a luxury item because it took resources as well as skillful technicians. In 1958 Pilkington and Bickerstaff introduced the revolutionary float glass process to the world. This method gave the sheet uniform thickness and very flat surfaces.