About the book
A narrative history of glass from discovery, through antiquity, the Enlightenment, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions to the present. It charts the history of the technology but also the enabling effects of glass on such aspects of civilization as experimental science, perspective, astronomy, zoology and all manner of scientific instrumentation - plus the central role of window-glass technology in making the colder north habitable. The authors show how the divergence in glass technology between west and east (China and Japan) explains differential aspects of E/W development. The last chapter develops the intriguing thesis that glass is one of the principal factors in the development of western civilization.