National Geographic : 1943 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine A Giant Test Tube? No, Embryo Panes for Scores of Windows This historic photograph was published in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE of May, 1919. Then window glass was blown into enormous cylinders. The ends were cracked off by electric wires, the cylinder cut down the side, and then flattened out. Stained glass still is made that way (Plate V). Most modern window glass rolls off presses in continuous sheets as does the plate glass shown in Plate III. where he often preached from an ornate pul pit, and he crossed the Atlantic to learn about foreign glass. But the bubble burst. The "grand man" of colonial glass crashed financially. They sold his mansion, his other "towers" or "forts," even the glass of his own making-resplend ent enameled pieces, and others of incompa rable amber, amethyst, emerald green, and sapphire blue. Today some Stiegel items sell for more than his relentless creditors realized from his entire collection. Two generations later Deming Jarves, the Paul Revere of New England glass, helped found a glass company at Sandwich, on Cape Cod, because thereabouts were extensive stands of virgin timber for furnace fuel. Jarves lacked the color of promoter Wistar and baronial Stiegel, but he made glass history. A carpenter employee suggested that instead of blowing glass in molds, the molten metal be ladled into the molds and then pressed into shape with a plunger. Jarves and his associates developed a press ing device. In 1827 they turned out the first pressed-glass tumbler. Thus a hundred-mil lion-dollar industry was born! Housewives Know the Feeling! That cherished first tumbler was a top flight American collectors' item until 1876, when it was taken to the Philadelphia Centennial. The exhibitor tenderly lifted it from its case to show it to a group of connoisseurs, let it fall through his nervous fingers, and his tears dampened the dustpan. The Sandwich plant operated till 1888, the year of a general strike among glassmakers. Sandwich workers were ordered out; the com pany said if the fires went down they would never be rekindled. The Sandwich crews none too willingly walked out, and the New Eng land company kept its word. Collectors seek especially the highly deco rated Sandwich cup plates. Emily Posts of earlier days prescribed these for dainty ladies at parties. They rested the cups on the plates after they poured their hot tea into the deep saucers, from which they drank with their little fingers sticking straight out.