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Bent Glass in Roman Windows

The first form of flat, colorless glass was invented in Ancient Rome. This early invention of the window, however, was very different from the glass we use in our modern windows. The windows were small, very thick, and opaque rather than transparent. Light traveled in, but you could not see clearly through the bent glass. These early windows are easily identified by a bull’s-eye pattern in the center of the bent glass. To create the bent glass, the glass-maker would blow a large bubble of glass, spinning it rapidly while the glass was still soft. This resulted in the formation of a glass disc which was attached to the blow pipe. The blow pipe was removed, and the disc was annealed (the process of cooling glass) and cut into small panes. The bull’s-eye pattern remained where the blowpipe has been attached.

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