Photographer's Note

I rather liked the distorted effect given through the old glass window of Chatsworth House looking out into Chatsworth Park. Hope you do too.

Though crown glass (the kind with a bullseye centre) was made up to the 1850s, it could not supply the need for bigger panes created by a growing population. The glass that could was cylinder glass (also called broad glass or sheet glass), and it dominated this industry for the rest of the century.

To make cylinder glass, the glassworker blew a large tube of glass. After cracking off the blowpipe, the glassworker cut off the ends and slit the tube down one side. From here these shawls were transferred to a special oven where they could wilt and unfold into a flat sheet.

By the 1870s, glass manufacturers were adding pits dug deep in the floor of the glass factory to allow blowers to swing the glass as they blew. The resulting cylinders were up to 18 inches in diameter and a remarkable 7 feet in length.

Two decades later, some manufacturers had mechanized the steps with cranes and compressed air. These cylinders made possible by the Lubbers process - the last before the switch to drawn-sheet glass manufacturing in this century - were several feet in diameter.

You can determine whether you have crown or cylinder glass simply by eye and feel. In crown glass, the spinning process leaves subtle curved swirls or ripples in the panes that appear when you look obliquely at the glass. In cylinder glass there are faint parallel ripples - the clash between the different inner and outer circumferences of the cylinder as the shawl is unfolded.

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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 66 N: 609] (2024)
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