The History of Glass

You might be surprised to learn this, but glass can actually trace its roots way back to 4000 BC, a full 5500 years before modern day man. What’s even more amazing is that back then a good glazier would have been impossible to come by because they didn’t exist – which meant that if any panels suffered with damage, they wouldn’t have been able to call upon the likes of a glass repair expert.

That being said, archaeologists are still baffled about what our ancient ancestors would have even used glass for. Some say that it might have been an early form of currency, while others state that it was merely used for decoration. Fewer still claim that the glass was fashioned into spear tips and used to puncture woolly mammoths and then break off, resulting in the prey dying soon after with minimal risk to the hunters.

When was the first glass discovered?

Archaeologists might have recently uncovered evidence that our ancestors were making glass back in 4000 BC, but it wasn’t until 1500 BC that the first find demonstrated that people were using the material as decoration. It’s also quite likely that at this point glass windows started to appear, especially in and around Europe where colouring material was all the rage (according to historical documentation).

Back then, people would have relied on natural dyes from berries and even animal blood to dye glass during the manufacturing process – a process that still resembles modern day techniques where sand particles are super-heated and rapidly cooled to form glass sheets. Back then however, and when people clearly had a lot more time on their hands, it wasn’t uncommon to find blown glass used as decorations, with records indicating that there were even competitions held.

If you think about it, the uses of modern day glass are actually quite mundane compared to how our ancestors used it creatively in the past. That being said – they didn’t get to enjoy the benefits of double glazing like we do now, so who really lost out?