Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/597

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THE

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



MARCH, 1893.



THE GLASS INDUSTRY.
By Prof. C. HANFORD HENDERSON.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS. XVII.

AT the beginning of the eighteenth century the glass industry was practically dead. The latter part of the century witnessed its slow revival. Some of these enterprises were short-lived; others outlasted the century. No very striking improvements were made, the most noted change being the substitution of coal for wood. But an immense amount of experience had been gained, and meanwhile a home market had grown up. The nineteenth century, therefore, opened with very flattering prospects. A united people had taken the place of a group of scattered colonies, while the improved standards of domestic comfort made greater demands upon the glass-maker's skill. The majority of people were no longer willing to make oiled paper do duty for glass in their windows, though even now, at the close of the century, there are thousands of cabins throughout the South which are destitute of a single window of any sort whatever. There was also an increased demand for glass table furniture and articles of luxury. The invalidism of an aging civilization created an unhappy market for patent medicines and other nostrums which must needs be put up in glass bottles. Greater delicacy in diet gave rise to the preservation of fruit and vegetables for the winter season, and made the production of jars for the purpose almost a separate industry. Both technical conditions and social requirements have thus conspired during the present century to forward the development of glass-making. Its history divides into two