What’s in your color glass?

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 1, 2010

This week I will give you a little history of glass making. Although it is not known exactly when or where glass was first made, evidence shows it originated in Mesopotamia, where pieces of well-made glass have been found. They are believed to date from the third millennium B.C. It appears that the Egyptians and perhaps the Phoenicians also made glass as far back as the second millennium B.C.

Glass was a lot less common back then than it is today. It was very precious, and in the Bible, glass has been compared to gold (Job 28:17).

It was very much later, around the end of the first century B.C., that a new method — glass blowing — would revolutionize glass production. Glass is a mixture of sand, flint, spar or various other silicon substances.

Other materials used in glass give the glass its color:

• Nickel, silver, copper or iron will turn glass green in color.

• Gold, copper or selenium will turn glass red in color.

• Uranium, gold or chromium turn glass yellow.

• Phosphates or fluorides are used to obtain the opal effects in glass.

• Cobalt will make the glass turn blue.

• Manganese or nickel will make glass turn a purple or black color.

Louisiana Treasures Museum has a number of glass collections with a majority of the glass bottles having been found in St. John Parish where homes once stood before the storm of 1915. Call me at 225-294-8352 for more information or museum hours.

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum located at 10290 Highway 22, West Pontchatoula.