GLASS - by Atri Sikdar

GLASS

H I S T O R Y

Glass making was discovered by potters in Mesopotamia, an area corresponding to today’s Iraq and Syria. As far back as 1300 BC, “secret instructions” for furnace building and glass making in Mesopotamia were written on clay tablets.

 

Commercial production of glass began around 1680 AD with the invention of a new technique of casting glass onto a table, marking a remarkable change from the older process.

 

The technology required to produce large panes developed only in the nineteenth century. At the same time innovations in the use of cast and wrought iron, and later, steel, offered the possibilities of creating huge light weight structural frames to form uncluttered spaces clad with glass and filled with natural light.

 

Today Glass Industry covers items such as Flat glass including Sheet Glass, Float Glass, Figured or Patterned Glass, Wired Glass, Safety Glass, Mirrors and Heat Reflective Glass. It also consists of Glass Hollow Wares, Vacuum Flasks, Laboratory Glass Ware, Fibre Glass and other items.

 

In India, the first sheet glass manufacturing factory was set up by late      Sri Ishwar Das Varshnei in the year of 1928 near Bahjoi of Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The name of the factory was The United Provincial Glass Works or The U.P. Glass Works.

 

His second son late Sri Harish Chandra Varshnei is regarded as the “founder” of Indian Sheet Glass Industry. The second sheet glass factory of the country was set up successfully by late Sri Harish Chandra Varshnei in Kandra; district Singbhum (Bihar) in 1942.

Although a sheet glass factory was also set up in Sodepur, West Bengal in 1941; it remained in production for a few years only and was later taken over by Japanese and renamed as Indo Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. in 1956.

 

With time the Indian glass industry and trade has also been progressing at a consistently impressive rate of growth after opening up of Indian markets and economy. But still India’s per capita consumption of flat glass is low among other developing countries like Thailand, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. However, given the abundant supply of raw materials and technical man power there is good scope of growth in Indian Glass Industry.