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1930: Insulated Glass

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Innovation:  Insulated glass
By: C.D. Haven
Year: 1930

For thousands of years, single pane glass blocked the wind, but allowed heat and cold to pass thru it easily.

Thomas Stetson invented and patented insulated glass in 1865, but did not get much use in the building industry until 1930, when C.D. Haven (U.S.) made insulated glass commercially available, calling it Thermopane.  It was commonly available by 1950 (post WWII) .[3]

Insulated glass provides increased thermal and sound insulation (though still only a fraction of what a wall provides).  This innovation eventually led to more research and development into ways of increasing the insulation properties of glass, and into methods of reducing the transmission of ultra-violet rays into a building.[2]  `

R-Values of glass systems (2012):
Single-pane glass, clear: R-1
Single-pane glass with low-E: R-2
Two-layer insulated glass, clear: R-2
Two-layer insulated glass with low-E, argon filled: R-4
Two-layer with suspended film ‘SeriousGlass’: R-5-R-8
Triple-layer high-performance glass: R-9
Quad high performance glass: R-14
for reference, a typical insulated wall has an R-value of R-13).

Current glass manufacturers that produce architectural glass:
Pilkington (website, pdf)
Schott (website)
PPG (website, pdf)
Bendheim (website, catalog)


Written by Gregory Brooks

October 7, 1930 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Glass

1913: Mass production of glass

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Image source:  1, 2,
Innovation:  Mass production of glass
By: Irving W. Colburn
Year:  1913

Historical evidence of glass making was found dating back to 3500B.C. in Mesapotamia.[1]In the the late 1890’s, Colburn visited the glass-bottle factory developed by Michael Owens.  Colburn began experimenting with methods for producing continuous flat glass disks, which led to him getting a patent in 1906.  The Toledo Glass Company purchased the patents in 1912, whom Colburn worked with to improve the process.  In 1913, flat sheet glass production became commercially viable for the first time.  The Toledo Glass Company eventually evolved into the Libby Owens Ford glass company, providing glass for automobile production.  In 1931, they produced the dual-pane windows for the Empire State Building, and in 1946 opened a Thermopane (insulated glass) plant.  The Libby Owens Ford company was purchased by Pilkington, Ltd. in 1985, one of the world’s leaders in architectural glass.  [1]  `Note:  The 6,514 windows for the Empire State Building were replaced/rebuilt in 2010, increasing the R-value of the windows from R-2 to R-values ranging from R-5 to R-8.

Written by Gregory Brooks

October 7, 1913 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Glass

3500 BC: The Wheel

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Innovation: The Wheel
Location: Unknown
Year: 3500 BC
By: Unknown

One of the 6 classical ‘simple machines‘.
Evidence of the invention of the wheel appears in several cultures beginning in the late Neolithic period (appx. 3500 BC). An example of a simple machine, the wheel is one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world. The first form of the wheel was carved out of large blocks of wood or stone. `

Source: 1

Written by Gregory Brooks

September 2, 0126 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized