glass making

Fire Gods: The History of Glass

The fun folks at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash. put together this great animation film on the history of glass.  One thing you might learn? The expansio of the Roman Empire had a tremendous impact on the popularity of glass. Click below and see what fun trivia you can drop at your next get-together.

Why is Glass Green?

Source: Flickr, Slumped Green Glass by salient913

Believe it or not, this is a relatively common question we get about glass. While most glass is tranparent when it’s thin, the thicker glass gets, the more it takes on a green tinge.  Why?  Ordinary glass, which is made of a soda-lime base (no petroleum required in this material), contains iron-oxide.  For those of you into the chemical side, that’s FeO, also called ferris oxide. When thin, you don’t notice any color, but as this ordinary glass gets thicker, it takes on a green tinge from the iron-oxide impurities which are common.  Now, certain green soda or wine bottles you see take on that green hue thanks to the iron oxide, but also to the addition of chromium-oxide which makes it even more colorful.  On the opposite side, if you want to take out the green tinge to ordinary glass, you can add magesium-oxide. 

And who said chemistry wasn’t fun?