The first use of glass dates back to 3000 BC. However, do not think of heat-treated glasses like today. According to research, glass was first used in floors, walls and ornaments as an alternative to precious and semi-precious stones in Mesopotamia.
The oldest known glass is a bead that belonged to a pharaoh in Egypt in the 1500s BC.
The greatest contribution of the Phoenicians, who existed in 1500 BC, to world culture and development is known as their invention of the 22-letter alphabet, which is the ancestor of today’s Latin alphabet. It is believed, however, that they accidentally produced the first artificial glass. Namely, Phoenician sailors set a fire in their camp, which they set up on a seaside near Syria. The next day, they see that the sand, interacting with the soda blocks and fire next to them, turns into a transparent liquid, that is, glass.
The first use of glass in large quantities was seen again in the Phoenicians in 1000 BC. Glass applications on ivory, especially used as ornaments have been used extensively. With the demand for this application, glass processing spread and developed in Phoenicia, and very good masters comparing to the period began to grow.
During these periods, glass was produced in large pieces and processed with cutting or abrasive tools. After ornaments, it started to be used to store valuable liquids such as medicine and perfume.
With the invention of the glass blowing rod and the use of wax molds in Egypt and Syria in 250 BC, the use of glass quickly spread, first to Rome and then to all of Europe. In the 1st century BC, they used glass windows in Roman architecture and glazed the glass with gold or silver as glass reflectors, that is, as today’s mirrors.
By the 15th and 16th centuries, the center of glass was no longer Mesopotamia and Egypt, but Venice and especially Murano. (The island of Murano is still famous for its glass art, and it attracts tourists from all over the world.)
After the scientific and technological developments of the last few centuries, glass has developed rapidly, has ceased to be an ornamental item, utensils or an architectural detail accessible to the wealthy, and has become an indispensable part of our daily life.