February 26, 2011

Glass-blowing Machine Patented – 1895 –

What has 6 to 20 arms and blows air into hot liquid?

Michael Joseph Owens's glass-blowing machine.

Glass blowing has been practiced since before the ancient Roman Empire, but Owens created a machine that could automatically make more than one bottle at a time. The machine cut loose the finished pieces, which were then carried by conveyor belt to the annealing oven, where they were slowly cooled. (Annealing helps to make glass stronger, less brittle.)

On this date in 1895, Owens received a patent for his invention. A later version of the machine could make four bottles per second. Altogether, Owens received more than 45 patents for glass-blowing apparatus.

Explore some more...

Check out glass blowing by hand on this video

And here is a video of a glass-blowing machine. 

Maybe there is a glass-blowing shop, class, or museum near you. If so, check it out!

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