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Plate Glass 



"The glass of fashion 

and the mould of form." 



|HE origin of "Glass" has been lost in the fog of 
antiquity, and it little concerns us now, how, 
when or where it had its origin. 

What we are interested in is " Plate Glass," 
and we know its history, for it dates back 
only a little over two hundred years. 

To France we are indebted for the crystal 
ws that ornament our thoroughfares, for the splendid 
mirrors that reflect the faces and forms of our beautiful women, and 
for the plate glass that shields our loved ones from the inclemency 
of the weather, and adds so much to the attractiveness and beauty 
of our homes. 


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VI-: have often been asked, what is plate glass made of ? How is it made? 
To answer these questions briefly, we say, first, that it is made of sand, 
soda and lime, fused at a very high temperature into a double silicate 
which is called glass. 

As to how it is made, we cannot do better than give the description of 
casting as written by Mr. M. A. Cochin : 

When one enters f,»r the first time into one- of the vast plate glass works at night, the 
furnaces are dosed, ami the- dull sound of a violent though eapti\ e lire alone interrupts the silence. 
From time to time a workman opens the working hole to look into the furnaee at the condition 
of the glass ; long bluish flames then light up the sides of the annealing ovens, the blackened 
beams, the heavy casting tables, and the mattresses on which half naked workmen quietly 
sleep. Suddenly the hour strikes ; the call is beaten on the iron slabs which surround the 
furnace, the whistle of the foreman is heard, and thirty strong men rise up. The maneuvers 
begin with the activity and precision of an artillery movement. The furnaces are opened, the 
glowing pots are seized, drawn out and raised int., the air by mechanical means : they pass like 
banging globes of (ire along the beams, then stop, and are lowered over the immense cast-iron 
table, placed with its roller before the open mouth of the annealing oven. The signal given, the 
pot is inclined quickly and the beautiful opal liquid, brilliant, transparent and unctions, falls 
and spreads over the table like ductile wax. 






f\ M) now twenty workmen provided with suitable 
fl tools quickly push the glass into the oven, 

where it is annealed by slowly cooling. The 
workmen then return the emptied pot to the furnace 
and begin again, without disorder, without noise, 
without rest, until all the pots of the furnace have 
been cast. The pots are refilled ; the furnace 
reclosed, darkness again falls, and the continuous 
noise of the fire preparing fresh work is again the 
only sound heard. 

THE process of taking it out of the ovens is 
less dramatic than the casting. And yet it 
is striking to see twelve workmen, with 
no other help than leather straps, raise and 
carry this large, thin and fragile glass upon 
its edge, walking in step, like drilled soldiers, from 
the annealing oven to the racks, where it is now- 
ready for the next process — the grinding and 

THE glass is now rough and opaque and must undergo the 
different processes of grinding and smoothing, to bring 
the surfaces to .1 perfect plane, and give it that satin- 
like finish, that is s ■( css.iry to its successful polishing. The 

grinding is done by the use of suc< essive grades of sand, 
beginning with the verj coarsest, and following grade by 
grade down to the very finest grain. The smoothing is then 
completed by following, in a similar manner, with emery 
carefully graded. 

THE glass is still opaque and must be polished to 
make it transparent. The polishing is one of 
the most delicate processes in the manufacture, 
for as it has to transmit or reflect light, there must 
be no defect in it to disperse or obscure the rays. 


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BY this mechanical work the glass loses at least 
one-third of its weight. A glass works 
producing a million square feet of finished 
plate glass annually would make about six million 
pounds of rough plate, and this when finished would 
only weigh three million five hundred thousand 
pounds, showing a loss in actual glass of two million 
five hundred thousand pounds, which passes off in 
the debris to the river. 

A jj /HEN we add to this the fact that about one-half of the weight 
V V of the lime and soda originally used to produce this glass, 
released by heat, escapes into the atmosphere in the shape 
of carbonic and sulphuric acid, one may get some idea of the vast 
waste of material and the consequent cost of converting such homely 
substances as sand, soda and limestone into such a beautiful article as 
plate glass. 

But right here comes the mistaken idea of the costliness of plate 
glass. Scarcely any article manufactured in this country has so greatly 
declined in price ; formerly it was looked upon as a great luxury, in 
which none but the wealthiest could indulge, but now, if it has not 
become a necessity, it has reached a point where any one who can 
build a home, however humble, can well afford to use plate glass in it, 
for there is nothing that so adorns the beauty of a home, gives equal 
delight to its possessor, or adds so much in value to it, at so slight a 
cost, as plate glass. 

The Mirror 

/^OLBERT, Minister of Finance to King Louis XIV., writing 
V on the 2d of June, 1673, to the Count of Avaux, who 
> had sent him from Venice the proffer of an Italian to 
go to France to manufacture large mirrors, said : " This 
might be injurious to other interests, and besides, there 
would be absolutely no sale for large mirrors in the King- 
dom ; there would be no one but the King who would have 
any use for them." 

Two hundred years afterwards the most modest home 
could indulge in a mirror such as King Henii IV. presented 
to the King of England. It has left the palaces of Kings 
to enter into the homes of all the world. 

One Way 

is to use common window glass, which 
is usually streaked, smoked and stained 
and full of minute air bubbles. Ob- 
jects seen through it become deformed 
and distorted. When sunshine falls 
upon it, it has the appearance of the 
battered bottom of a tin pan. It never 
looks clean, no matter 

how carefully it is The Other Way 

washed and dried. . g tQ use plate g]asS) whkfa glistens 

like a mirror from the outside in the 
sunshine and in the shadow reflects 
like one. Objects seen through it are 
clear, distinct and perfect. It has no 
imperfections, no air bubbles, no wavy 
effects. It is no trouble to clean, and 
when cleaned keeps clean a . long 


^WAYS ^ 

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HE mission of this little booklet is to interest you in Plate 
J Glass : to point out its merits and its beauty. 

If you contemplate building a home, to convince you of 
the advantages that will justify you in using it instead of 
common window glass. 

If you already have a home, and it is disfigured by 
common window glass, to show you how richly rewarded you 
will be through the increased comfort and enjoyment you will 
derive, as well as the value you will add to that home by 
substituting plate glass for this obsolete glass. 

There is nothing but the Diamond so limpid as good plate 

PLATE GLASS keeps a house warmer in winter and cooler in 
It adds to the beauty both within and without. 
It is a source of constant delight because so easily kept clean. 
It gives additional value to your home far beyond any cost it may 
have been to you. 

When you look through a plate glass window the view is clear, 
distinct and perfect. If you look at the plate glass window from the 
outside, in the shade it reflects like a mirror "the passing show" ; or, 
if you are so fortunate as to have your home in the country, 
it mirrors the landscape like a framed picture— because plate glass 
is mirror glass. 

^\ 9 /E can furnish you plate glass of any size or thickness. 

VV We can furnish it beveled, bent 6r silvered. 

Write to us for prices of any list of sizes you may 

We have our own Warehouses in Pittsburgh, New York, 
Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis, 
where wc keep large stocks constantly on hand. 

Write to the nearest one, and you will get a prompt reply. 

The Pittsburgh Plate 
Glass Company, 


Carnegie Building. 49-53 Lafayette Place. 30 Sudbury St. 442452 Wabash Ave. 


115-117 W. Front St. Cor. 12th and St. Charles Sts. 124-128 N. 3d St. ^^^^^^ 

PHILADELPHIA 138-140 Jefferson Ave. 
1012-1018 Filbert St. 

Plate Glass in a House 

Lifts its outside tone just as pictures and rugs and fine furniture 
lift its inside tone. Plate Glass does more. It helps the inside of 
the house as much as it helps the outside. It is in keeping with all the 
accessories that refinement calls for. It brings a refining influence 
of its own and helps every other feature of elegance in the house to 
be more elegant. It lets daylight into the rooms freed from every 
discordance — sublimated daylight, as it were. 

Children are healthier, plants are healthier, the whole household 
is healthier and happier for these crystal-clear sheets in the windows. 

No dollars are put into a house that count so much for real luxury 
and lasting delight as those that pay for Plate Glass. 

Even when Plate Glass was double its present price there would 
have been real economy in its use. Any house making pretense to 
style would have had an easy market value much in excess of the added 

But now, with electric lights crowding gas, as gas not long ago 
was crowding lamps and candles; with new opportunities for house 
beautifying and embellishment springing up on every hand : with 
the spirit of the age calling for everything that will make the home 
and its surroundings more elegant and more artistic, not to make free 
use of Plate Glass in the windows is as absurd as it would be to cling 
to 8-cent wall paper because fresco and mural paintings are more 
expensive. It is more absurd, for Plate Glass brings light and life as 
well as beauty. 

The cost of Plate Glass has been reduced very greatly in 
recent years. It is still more expensive, square foot for square foot, 
than sheet glass, but OH even a house costing no more than $1,500, 
it can be used with positive profit to the owner if he cares to 
sell— the extra outlay being more than offset by the increased 
beauty and market value of the house.