Flint Glass

Image: Glassmaking. Rolling a tube of red-hot glass to reach the desired shape. The boy or gamin continued to blow through the tube. William Cooper, Crown Glass Cutter & Glazier’s Manual (1835).

Image from: Science, Technology and Management, Birmingham Central Library

Flint glass production was similar to the making of Crown glass.  A ball of “metal” was placed on an iron rod, which the workman whirled around his head before rolling it on an iron slab.  The “metal” was then rendered hollow by blowing down the tube. The blower then sat on a chair with arms sloping downwards and rolled the tube rapidly on the arms of the chair.  A boy or “gamin” continued to blow down the tube at regular intervals until the desired dimensions were attained. Great care was needed to regulate the thickness of the glass and the workman constantly measured the glass with his compass and scale.  Flint glass was of a high transparency and was often used to make highly ornate pieces of glassware.  These were made principally by blowing molten glass into a hollow and then teasing the shape with hand tools or moulds to produce the desired article.


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