Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. > Far East (excluding China)

Research into Japanese pressed glass industry, c.1870-1900

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Adam:
I can't contribute much here - other people know far more than I do about 19th century activities, Sowerby or otherwise.  One point - it wasn't the making of the iron castings which was highly skilled in mould making.  Although foundry work is skilled in its own right such skills were available world wide for years, probably centuries.  An iron casting is simply the starting point for the glass mould maker to apply his highly specialized skill.  I'm afraid I have no idea whether or not moulds might have been exported.

Probably of less interest to the GMB, I am curious to know why attempts at making sheet were abandoned; unfortunately David says no one knows.  In the 1860s sheet would either be made by the ancient spinning method (cf "bullseyes") or, more likely, by blowing cylinders, splitting and flattening them.  Both of these are essentially manual processes, certainly skilled but requiring little capital equipment or engineering apart, of course from the furnaces.  The next stage in evolution, the Lubbers process, which needed major investment might have been beyond the Japanese then but in any case it didn't appear on the scene until early 20th century.

Sorry, that's my lot!

Adam D.

krsilber:
Maybe it just wasn't economical; perhaps importing it was cheaper.  I wonder what kind of sand there is in Japan, it being a volcanic area.

Frank:
Minor correction David: British and Scottish men.  ;)

Nothing turning up on the Scottish side of this investigation yet.

Frank:
An idle thought, carving was a very high artform in Japan, carving a mould after casting would be no issue. Clues would be in the use of unusual combinations of design elements, as in other fields such as pottery, where items are made for export.

The importation of British (or American which were of good quality in that period) moulds is also highly likely as the imported men would utilise their own contacts. But it might be hard to get hard facts on that.

Anne:

--- Quote from: Frank on December 10, 2008, 10:14:59 PM ---Minor correction David: British and Scottish men.  ;)

Nothing turning up on the Scottish side of this investigation yet.

--- End quote ---

Despite the feelings of some Scots, Frank, Scotland is still part of Britain.  Did you mean English and Scottish?  >:D

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