Conservatories Etc - Bringing in the sunshine

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The Beginning Of The Glass Age?

18/09/2015

We tend to name the Ages of Mankind after the technologies of the era. Our species has thrived through the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. We are said to be living in the Nuclear Age or perhaps the Information Age. 


But take a look around you: in centuries to come, when archaeologists discuss what to name this era, one suggestion may be that we are living in the Glass Age. Innovations in the technology of glass has seen it become one of the premier building materials of modern times. It adorns our skyscrapers. Paired with steel, it is the architect’s dream material: it enables them to build taller and flashier than ever before. The brutalist concrete structures of the 20th Century are being knocked down and replaced by edifices of steel and glass. 


Architectural glass has come a long way from its origins. The messy process of producing the first sheet glass was pioneered in Sussex in the 13th Century. The glass would be blown into a cylinder as if for a bottle, then cut with shears whilst still malleable and shaped between iron plates. The result was predictably messy, resulting in bubbles and stress lines. Some innovations were introduced in the subsequent centuries, but remarkably most involved grinding and polishing hand blown glass. 


In the Twentieth Century, Alistair Pilkington patented the method that became known as Float Glass. His method involved rolling out the molten glass on to a perfectly smooth bath of molten tin and is the method by which nearly all glass is manufactured today. The weight of the molten glass is carefully calculated so that it produces perfectly flat sheets that cool to become the standard we all expect from modern glass. The Pilkington Group was bought out by a Japanese company in 2006 bringing to an end seven and a half centuries of British domination in the glass manufacturing industry. 


At Conservatories Etc, we source our glass from quality suppliers Celsius Glass where it is manufactured to our high specifications. This modern glass reflects excess heat away in summer so that you can enjoy your conservatory or orangery year round. 


If you are interested in adding a conservatory or orangery to your property, please call into one of our showrooms in Wymondham or Diss where our knowledgeable staff are waiting to answer all your questions. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01603 600505.


Glass conservatory