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Chinese failure to discover glass.

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J.A.W. View Drop Down
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  Quote J.A.W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Chinese failure to discover glass.
    Posted: 20-Mar-2016 at 04:13
Is there any research published about the 'clarity' aspects of Roman glass?

Natural volcanic glass 'obsidian' - was of course known & valued from neolithic times, but was any of it 'clear'?
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2016 at 08:28
I found about Roman glass, where a Chinese poem talks about its clarity surpassing the "purest winter ice". which implies it was very clear.   
http:// www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits/WondrousGlass/RomanGlass-Techniques.html

http://www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits/WondrousGlass/RomanGlass-Techniques.html

Edited by medenaywe - 25-Mar-2016 at 00:08
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2016 at 16:05
Originally posted by J.A.W.

Is there any research published about the 'clarity' aspects of Roman glass?
Natural volcanic glass 'obsidian' - was of course known & valued from neolithic times, but was any of it 'clear'?


Clear not that I'm aware of....natural glass eg. obsidian...

(tho that's not the only form natural glass might takes; tektites and Fulgurites etc.)...

is anything from black to peacock and geologically defined as translucent and vitreous.

The lighter forms being opaque if not dark...hence fire starting through magnification is out.


Otoh, you can start a fire through friction which Iron ie. sparking But you can do that with a number of minerals to include quartz.

See: http://www.cmog.org/collection/galleries/glass-in-nature
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  Quote J.A.W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2016 at 02:52
Thanks guys, one of my favourite furniture items is a stylish 1930s  'Art Deco' black-glass 'Vitrolite' topped coffee table..

( Edit: corrected typo.)



Edited by J.A.W. - 21-Mar-2016 at 02:54
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2016 at 09:27
Post a pic of that if possible. I'd like to see it. My uncle Jim used to make furniture while going to college and oddly enough tile and marble work as well (which an old timer in the business he worked in, taught him the basics). He almost opened his own shop and then....whoops along came SE Asia in 65.

College and furniture making with on hold.


Years later tho...he still, at age 78, turns a lathe to make stuff on occasion. He used to make miniature cedar chests as gifts. But Parkinson's has creped up and now it's harder.

And if I recall correctly, vitrolite 'toppings' were considerably cheaper than marble toppings and in many cases just as pretty.
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  Quote J.A.W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2016 at 05:40
Dunno if I can post pix on this forum C.V., but I'll try, in a discreet thread, & if not I'll P.M. you about it..

I have 3 Art Deco 'occasional' chrome/black glass tables, 2 have chrome bezels, one oblong & one is circular, with a single stem/ fluted dome base.. 

..but my fave - is the heavy top cantilever 'Vitrolite' rectangular table, which features a bevelled edge & a hidden wooden central base mount, sprouting a base - which consists of 4 grouped cylindrical tubes that then spread at at 45 - & 90 degree angles from 1/2 way down - to match the table corners for stability.

The 'blackness' of that heavy (~10mm) 'Vitrolite' table top is curiously intense.. glossy glass, yet dark-as..
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2016 at 19:12
If possible. And the rest sound like some classy stuff. Back in WW2 various gun makers toyed with the idea of a glass stock for civilian weapons as priority was of course for the use of woods by the military.

Glass also became an obvious priority for the same.

What ended up happening was a move, for example, by Stevens-Savage Arms, to use plastics...it was called tenite.

My son has his grandfathers model, seen in the link, to this day.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/921105847/Savage-Stevens-12-gauge-Model-311-Double-Side-by-Side-Tenite-Brown-Plastic-1955-to-1957-manufactured-Good-Condition-22-inch-Cylinder-Bore-C.htm
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  Quote J.A.W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2016 at 23:41
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

If possible. And the rest sound like some classy stuff. Back in WW2 various gun makers toyed with the idea of a glass stock for civilian weapons as priority was of course for the use of woods by the military.

Glass also became an obvious priority for the same.

What ended up happening was a move, for example, by Stevens-Savage Arms, to use plastics...it was called tenite.

My son has his grandfathers model, seen in the link, to this day.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/921105847/Savage-Stevens-12-gauge-Model-311-Double-Side-by-Side-Tenite-Brown-Plastic-1955-to-1957-manufactured-Good-Condition-22-inch-Cylinder-Bore-C.htm


Yeah, the Nazis had a thing about ultra-modern style, ( albeit the Luger was earlier, & pretty too)..
& with their MP 40 & StG 44 using steel stampings/plastic grips were way more stylish..
.. than a Sten, or 'Grease-gun' equivalent..

I recall hearing that General Curtis Lemay had so much fun shooting with the the AR 15 that he
ordered the M 16 for the USAAF, & so the then futuristic plastic furniture 'Black Death' got in that way..

Even if the staunch grunts who had to grudgingly hand in their meaty old-school M 14s reckoned
the lightweight 'plastic fantastic' M 16 was.. "Its swell, its made by Mattel." as the toy-ad slogan went..

No doubt you'll have your own hard-earned views on the subject, C.V...
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2016 at 08:27
My best friends dad worked for Dupont, he brought home the first production model, all plastic, semi auto 22 cal. made by Remington with Dupont plastic. 1961-2.

Most of us had grown up with things like the Mattel "Shootin Shell" series of toy guns. [Yes, a toy gun that actually shot a projectile] the irony is Mattel didn't make the guns from plastic, they were metal. The projectiles were plastic.
They were powered by "Greenie Stickum Caps".

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  Quote bigtop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-May-2016 at 20:39
It depends on your definition of "Middle Eastern". One usually casually defines it as everything from Turkey to Xinjiang to Pakistan to North Africa.
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  Quote hansun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2016 at 06:03
I think its against our nature to play with glass or want to use it. Especially for the anxious A-type personalities. It breaks, leaving shards everywhere, such that you can't walk around barefooted without worrying. Why go with that over porcelain East Asians typically did not wear shoes indoors, so that is probably why glass never really took off there and did not get attention or much tinkering with.
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2016 at 09:30
Originally posted by hansun

I think its against our nature to play with glass or want to use it. Especially for the anxious A-type personalities. It breaks, leaving shards everywhere, such that you can't walk around barefooted without worrying. Why go with that over porcelain East Asians typically did not wear shoes indoors, so that is probably why glass never really took off there and did not get attention or much tinkering with.


My education is in ceramics.  I've seen porcelain shards sharp enough to shave with. During WWII the Japanese used it to make mine casings.

How about - they didn't need to look for anything else, porcelain or stoneware worked just fine for what they needed.
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  Quote renaissance232 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2016 at 03:25
The Chinese civilization, though astonishingly scientifically advanced in many areas, was more focused on the artistic properties of glass as opposed to scientific advancements. There may have been many breakthroughs throughout the Chinese history of glass making, but these were overshadowed by the arts. The Zhou dynasty was particularly involved in pottery incorporating glass inlays. The Western Han tombs also involved glass vessels.
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  Quote amature historian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2017 at 01:33
The Chinese did know about glass, but the Chinese never used it anywhere near the extent it was used in the West, and in general the Chinese glass was inferior to western glass (I included mideastern glass in when I say "western", since even the Middle East is is west of China, and Europe & Middle East due share a lot of common cultural heritage - Greek philosophers influential in Euripean philosophy also contributed a lot to Islamic philosophers).

The chemical compositiion of Chinese glass was different from western (Roman, European, Islamic) glass, it frequently had a lot of Barium, and sources of I have read talked mention that the importrd glass was more robust than the native glass.  Some claim the different chemical composition of Chinese (and Indian) glass proves independent development, but that might not be the case, since medieval Forest Glass had a different composition from Roman glass, but was not an independent development.  The high quality of Chinese porcelain for  the use of glass for plates and cups may have reduced the incentive to develop better quality glass.

It the Chinese hqd trouble making good quality glass, that would have limited its use.  Another reason I have read is that that Chinese weren't as much into drinking wine, and didn't appreciate the ehancing effect of glass on the appeance of wine.  Although that argument doesn't seem likely, I am pretty sure the ancient Chinese drank wine, even if they did drink more tea.


The inferiority of Chinese glass (more delicate) might have discouraged its wider use among the Chinese, and the Chinese did seem to appreciate the glass they imported from the west.

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