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Author Topic: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder  (Read 286 times)

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Offline ian.macky

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275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« on: April 14, 2019, 08:33:49 PM »
Hi all.  I was contacted just now by someone trying to ID a large cylindrical hunk of white/clear "beach glass" (i.e. frosted-looking) that was apparently found at Lake Erie (in the U.S.).  It's nothing I recognize, so ideas are welcome.

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Offline Anne

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 01:50:46 AM »
That's a serious chunk of glass, Ian! I can't imagine what it might have been for at all... let's see what others think.

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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 12:40:12 PM »
I was wondering how on earth the label had survived. On peering at it closely, I finally see it's a bank note.
I had realised it was big. I did see the orange.

It definitely has a surface texture that is deliberate. Could it be a garden seat? Table? Bird bath? (if hollow)

I'm not sure about the wisdom of chunks of glass that large, out in all weathers and subject to any sudden temperature changes.
Cheers, Sue (M)

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Offline Anne

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 02:58:55 PM »
Having slept on this and thought about it some more, three ideas come to mind:

1. Glass left over after a glassworks closed, and this was dumped.

2. A plinth for something big that's been separated from its object (perhaps object broken).

3. Ballast from a ship.

Probably none of them but just putting them out there as thoughts....

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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 03:35:07 PM »
"leftover" glass in a huge lump like that, would have needed quite a lot of time in an annealling oven. I can't see anybody wasting fuel like that on something "leftover".
And the texture on the sides looks deliberate and designed, I can't see it being used as ballast.
(Unless it was just something they'd picked up somewhere and repurposed.)

It could well be a plinth.  :)
Now I want to know what might have been on top of it!
Cheers, Sue (M)

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Offline Ekimp

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 05:20:38 PM »
Was the lake very cold when they found it?

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Offline essi

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 09:26:15 PM »
Two random ideas, natural rock crystal or optical glass before it is broken up for use.
How it got there, no idea.
Tim

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Offline Anne Tique

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 08:14:37 AM »
I don't know how flat the top is but imo it would look great with a glass top on it!

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Offline ian.macky

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 03:15:01 PM »
It takes a long time to anneal glass, and the thicker the section the longer it takes-- until finally it becomes prohibitive.  It's hard to see how something this big would have been a production item (as a pedestal, seat, etc).   As an example, "A 25 inch blank, 2 inches thick, is annealed for 9 days."

If it was just leftover glass (as from the bottom of a crucible), dumped at the end of a season (or when the crucible was no longer usable) I'd expect it to be in sad shape, damaged, with inclusions, etc.  But it looks like a nice solid hunk of glass with no defects (aside from the funky surface)...

...though the surface has a sort of tree-bark look to it, which looks like it may be intentional, as does the cylindrical shape.

Too fragile for balast.  Rocks are just as heavy and much tougher.

I'll see if I can find out more.

And yes, this would look great in my yard!

Found a story: Largest Piece of Beach Glass Found in Lake Erie to Be on Display at 2019 Great Lakes Beach Glass Festival
https://www.relishinc.com/blog/largest-piece-of-beach-glass-found-in-lake-erie-to-be-on-display-at-2019-great-lakes-beach-glass-festival/

Ashtabula, OH is on the shore of Lake Erie.

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Offline ian.macky

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Re: 275 lb (125 kg) white beach glass cylinder
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 06:54:53 PM »
More from the woman who asked about this:

Quote
The owner of the glass sphere has contacted Corning ( on Lake Erie ) and
they lay no claim to it but told her it went through annealing from 8 to 20
months due to the purity of the glass
University’s are also stumped
A Shipwreck “ expert “ thinks it was from a wreck
A fresnel lens has also been eliminated
May always be a mystery

She also provided a pic from when it was found:

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