Different types of traditional glass

Traditional glass is an integral part of the aesthetics and character of historic buildings as a whole, but it is often maligned for perceived imperfections. Fortunately, traditional glass is being appreciated more and more; which allows it to be enjoyed for years to come.

So, how can you tell if your property contains any historic glass? Below are some of the different traditional glass varieties seen and this should provide a way to identify it in your own home.

  1. Cylinder

This type of glass is made by blowing molten glass into a cylinder shape, which is then cut at the ends and along the sides before being flattened in a furnace. It is also called sheet, broad or muff glass and was popular in construction until the mid-1700s.

Cylinder glass can be identified by a slightly bumpy surface texture with ripples that run in mostly the same direction. It is usually accompanied by a long air bubble pattern located on straight, parallel lines.

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  1. Plate Glass

To make the initial plate glass, thick cylinder or ground glass is cast down to make it flat and then polished to a smooth surface. Due to the heavy labour-intensive process in making this kind of glass, it was very expensive. It was used from the late 1600s onwards, especially for mirrors and glazing in high profile buildings. Whether your glass windows are historic or completely contemporary, when it’s time to repair or replace, visit a Double Glazing Swindon business like Kingfisher, a Double Glazing Swindon supplier.

  1. Crown Glass

Crown glass is made by blowing molten glass and then spinning it into a large thin disk called a table. The whole disc will then be cut into smaller panels. This type of glass often featured gently curving lines, typically in a half-circle, called the ream. It has a greater shine, is thinner and produces a better brightness than cylinder glass. There is normally a highly visible series of concentric circles and may also feature a small thicker circle area of glass like a “bullseye” in the middle.

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  1. Patent plate

James Chance invented the process of creating a ‘patent plate’ glass in 1839. This process allows for grinding and polishing of thinner sheets of glass than traditional techniques provided. Manufacturers could then make more of the glass but use the same amount of raw materials.

  1. Drawn flat sheet

The production of glass became more mechanical during the early 1900s. Various methods were designed to enable continuous sheets of glass to be pulled out of the molten glass furnace. Each sheet is passed through a series of rollers and cooled, and then ground and polished mechanically. This made glass production a much faster process.


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