The story starts about 1762 - about 150 years
Oops, it should read 150 years after
Stourbridge - mods, feel free to correct.
The manufacture of ruby glass has a quite interesting history. It appears that the Romans did make ruby glass, but it was Andreas Cassius, in 1676 who rediscovered it, so Mayer Oppenheim "re-invented" it in 1755 when the patent was granted by George III. However, it appears the art must have been lost to the UK (or perhaps the formula wasn't that good), as it wasn't until c.1850 (I'll have to find the exact date) when it is recorded that George Bontemps rediscovered it, whilst the manager of the Coloured & Ornamental Department at Chance Brothers. I'm not sure if this applies to other parts of the world, or just the UK, as I would begin to dispute the statement below (in purple).
ruby glass, deep-red glass deriving its colour from gold chloride. Originally known in the ancient world, its rediscovery was long sought by European alchemists and glassmakers, who believed it had curative properties. A Hamburg physician, Andreas Cassius, in 1676 reported his discovery of the red colouring properties of a solution of gold chloride, subsequently called purple of Cassius. Ruby glass was produced c. 1679 by a Potsdam chemist and glass technologist named Johann Kunckel von Löwenstern, who kept the recipe a secret. The difficulty in producing this colour lay in the fact that the glass at first appears gray and turns red only on reheating. This secret was rediscovered in the glassworks at Ehrenfeld at the end of the 19th century. Meanwhile, Bohemian glassmakers produced a ruby shade using copper, and glassware flashed with a thin ruby-glass casing became a characteristic 19th-century Bohemian product.
Not sure if anyone can add anything to this, but I'm all ears!
Mods: Could/Should this (the ruby part) be split off as a separate topic (e.g. The History of Ruby Glass) in the Glass section?