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THF MAKING OF EXPENSIVE CUT GLASS IS A PICTURESQUE AND PROFITABLE L\ftr
CUT (JLASS MAKING.
JNTEHI^TIN'; PROCESSES AT A CORNING.
N. V.. FACTORY HOW TO TEIX
G<><>]> <;i,ASS FROM POOR.
The house was the ordinary frame dwelling "f
a workingman, and scores <•( Bimilar homes
■prawled o\er the Bide of ■■!■•<■ of the twin hi i
that shut the Chemung River in a beautiful
valley. It was the home <>f a man who might
earn |12 a daj enough in an up Sun.- city like
Corning to provide a large family with I
The ilonr of the dining room was oj ■ n i
table was set for the noonday meal. N
strange about that. Yet there was
strange about that table. Scattered about In
. bs profusion, looking a little out of
on the cheap red doth. w< re pieces of cut
—real <ut glass
There was no doubting their genuli
They gleamed with white light and pris
color, and their facets glittt r< d
fac< ta can. It *as the cut gl
boards ami tables "f the ri< h. A i i
Uon might have discovered Haws in c. ( . >.
perhaps a era* k in the neck of the vli
tie or a chip out of the base of a tall,
\ The slightest flaw is enough to prev.nl ;i
cut glass pie< •■ from •
through the door of that humble home il
b< . itifuL
And the stranger wondered how it came ih. re
— tii.it Is, until he rememben I that he a in
< ng. the cut glass city of New-York State,
In which, it is asserted, more high grade glass is
cut each year than in any other city in the
country. Thr> factory part of the city is in the
fiat at the foot of the hill, strung along the
/ .. h river.
A i reat glass works, where is blown n ■ I
thi rough ware which le smoothed and cut and
i ■ i Into shape In the cutting shops, o< cv
; the foreground, raising eight or ten loftj
chimneys into the air. Tiny fume day and
night the year round, for their work Is never
done. It beg n in I V( '.\ when the town was
only a post village, ;.nd factorj and town have
i : together.
s ttered through the town are the cutting
Bhops, nearly a dozen of them In all. Most of
the lass which thej use comes from Corning
f es, but they are lndep< nd< ni c< ■
Thej are advertised by the gentle humming <'f
manj wheels, for the cutting is done with ki ii n < 1
i ai.d rapidly revolving iron disks, and not
That 'hi- glassworks are not on exhibition is
Impressed upon the vi itor before he gets i»"
side the high fence which surrounds them,
ors Positive]} Not Allowed" glares at one
from .i signboard, and there Is a guard at each
gate to enforce the rule. There are people who
nave lived In Corning all their lives who have
n< vei i ■• ii Inside the works from which most "f
the cutting shops obtain their stock, and there
are parts of the works to which no visitors are
ii is this way. There are secrets In the mak
ing of glass which cannot 1»- covered by patent.
Al< si of them belong to the mixing room. There
are formulas which are known in part to the
men who make them up, but no <>n<- man knows
all except President Houghton and his sons.
This mixing room is an Interesting place, with
deep bins filled with materials of various colors,
the bases used in the manufacture of glass.
NEW- YORK TRIBUNE ILLUSTRATED SUPPLEMENT.
MAKING CRUCIBLES FOB MKI.TIXd GLAoft
Half the substance of which glass Is made Is
sand a Band bo One th.it only 1 out of 5,000
or I<mnn> parts is impure.
As the glassworks possess no furnaces in
which enough heat can be developed to melt the
sand, it is necessary to us.- bases. Oxide of
lead, soda, potash, lime, alumina and arsenic
are some of the elements. and the quality of the
ptoduct I ends upon the amount of basic ma
t. rial united with the sand. L'otash and soda
render the glass more fusibl ■; alumina dimin
ishes this fusibility; lime makes it harder, while
lead gives lustre and high refractory power.
By mixing sand with soda or potash, a simple
alkaline bis., a glass which is soluble In water
results, and the addition of an alkaline earth
or a metallic <>xide produces what is ordinarily
known as Window glass contains l»>th
potash and soda, and there is a still finer glass,
made without lead, called crown j;li>.s.
The finest quality of gtass Is neeessarj for
cutting, engraving and polishing, and grt-at care
attends every stag- of its manufacture. Oxide
iif I. ad must !■•• used, and .. general .i better
grade of smd and alkali. It l> called Hint glass,
t.. dlstiriKUlsh it from the lime glass, and it is
heavier. The Hint glass is more brilliant than
the greenish lime glass, and can be distinguished
!•■* the ilear tun- it gives forth when struck
!! color Is desired in Hint gla^s certain metal
lic oxides are mixed with tip- usual Ingredients.
<;>■!! gives a ruby red and if <>!>•■ doubts it the
workmen will convince one with a gold ring if
It shows a sufllcient number of carats. One can
drop it int.. a crucible in which the glass mixt
ure has been placed, and I he result will be red
Kla.ss. If one Is very anxious to have the ring
back they can reduce the glass and finally save
the gold. It is just as well to take their word
fur it, however. To make a white glass a black
substance, oxide of manganese, Is Introduced
into the mixture; oxide of copper Imparts a blue
color, and oxide of Iron a yellow.
When the different properties are thoroughly
mixed the whole is called a "batch," ami it be
conies glass when subjected to .i furnace heat
of 3,000 degrees. But before going to the fur
i a<-.- room of the works it is well to observe how
they make the crucibles, or clay pots, In which
the glass Is melted.
These crucibles must be just so, and Infinite
care Is taken In their construction. In spite of
the best efforts of Inventors and the expenditure
of more than $1,000,000 In experiments by dif
ferent glass manufacturers, no machinery has
been found fur working the clay into crucibles.
Every stage of the making is still done by hand,
and the expense is great.
When an old crucible Is taken out of a furnace
the glazing Is chipped off and thrown away.
The clay is ground up and mixed with a quan
tity of fresh clay from Missouri banks. After
a thorough wetting the mixture is placed In a
deep bin, and for three months men tread upon
it with their bare feet. They secure evenness
by moving the clay about the bin in sections,
and by the :ime it Is ready for the moulders it
has attained a degree of toughness that could
be secured In no other way.
The i lay is cut Into "sausages" with a wire,
and skilful modellers work it Into shape around
the moulds. They use no implement except
their fingers. The result Is a crucible which Is
absolutely without Beams. Then it is set aside
to dry, generally for not less than six months.
The cost of a finished pot Is at least $100, and it
may last six months or it may be destroyed the
first night it is use 1. If a furnace cools sud
denly the crucibles are likely to crack, and as
many as three have been !<-st in a single r.i^ht.
To return to the glass making operation. The
crucible is filled v. ith prepared materials and the
fires are started. After ten hours in the furnace
there has been a shrinkage ol at least one-third
of the contents'. More material is added until
the crucible is again full, and for thirty hours
the temperature is kept at the melting
point, if the glass Is not entirely ready it may
be left for two or three hours longer.
Thi furnaces stand in the centre of a long
r • \ i :!•!!•:- . on one side <>f them are the Im i
i ( t he blowers, .* i
a. There ar< ices in all.
ta< h ! m nty feet In The cru
ten for each furnace, are set In a circle. An
ar< hci ' ay cov> rs the Ii side of the fur
: keeps the !.--.tt from ria .: -:. A
i draught comes up fr.iu t': through the
. the centre four
feet In diameter. The heat which these fur
naces can develop Is tremendous, and the entire
furnace room, In .spite ..f many openings, has a
.-■ and summer. The
sufferli f the worki nis lessened by blasts
of cold air which are discharge d In front of tt.e
• pel ■:. pipes which run ar<>und
the furnai c.
A> . ■•• .- the glass has cooled sufficiently a
man or b ;. . km wn as the "gatherer," di[« the
end «>f an lp.n blowing tube Into tli>* "batch."
and, by turning it several times, gathers a ciiian
tity of glass. lit' carries It to a second work
man, whe rolls it on a Bat iron until it assumes
a circular shape, Then, still glowing In various
shades of red, though the gliati Itself Is rcaily
BLOWING IN A MOULJD IN TUE FURNACE ROOM.
ROLIiiIERS AT WORK
BXTEJUOB OF A