National Geographic : 1943 Jan
Glass "Goes to Town" Off a Rotary Press Come Glass Pie Plates Such as Grandmother Never Used An ingenious feeder automatically deposits fiery gobs of molten glass into this turntable press which has 16 molds. Out come Pyrex pie plates. Tubes over each mold are air lines for cooling the glass. Such early American glasses often stamp indelible footprints of history in the sands of their times. One cup plate shows Robert Fulton's squat steamboat. Log cabin ink bottles became the vogue during William Henry Harrison's cam paign of 1840. A pictorial flask commemo rates the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 by Governor De Witt Clinton. Another flask has a pressed-in-glass portrait of Zachary Taylor with the slogan, "General Taylor Never Surrenders." Kossuth bottles were made when the Hun garian exile visited the United States; on the reverse side is pictured the steam frigate Mississippi which was to bring him over. "Success to the railroads," reads a bottle which shows a horse-drawn car on rails. Of later date are steam-locomotive bottles. Showman P. T. Barnum promoted the Jenny Lind bottles as publicity for the Swed ish singer's tour of this country. Blowing Glass Bubbles Such bottles-in fact, all bottles of the last century-were manufactured in substantially the same way that illuminations on medieval manuscripts show bottles were made in the Middle Ages. One workman mixed the simple batch of silica-sand, soda ash, and lime. Another sat before the furnace and blew a bubble of mol ten glass into shape. A third tended a cham ber wherein the product annealed by slow cooling. You can see such units now even in the most modern factories which make special containers.