Types of Glass Packaging

It’s a good chance that you’ve not considered the glass that you use every day, whether it’s in the refrigerator, the medicine cabinet or the glass of the window that you look out of every day. If glass containers are essential to your business, it’s important that you know all about them. Let’s take a look at the different types of glass.

Blue Glass

When it comes to the history of blue glass, no one is entirely sure when it was made. The late 1700s were a considerable time for innovation and invention with the beginning of the industrial revolution. Bristol Blue glass has a combination of fine cobalt oxide with led crystal, and this is what created the deep blue colour that you see today.

Richard Champion, a Bristol merchant and potter, used the glass furnace technology to make porcelain. At that time, porcelain was highly sought after, and Champion succeeded in his efforts. He patented the porcelain he had created, and alongside a chemist named Cookworthy; they began their search for the cobalt oxide to allow for blue decorations on the porcelain. Cookworthy controlled all the cobalt oxide coming into Britain, and it’s this that contributed to the blue glass we have now.

Green Glass

There were ten green bottles, not blue or amber or clear. There are more shades of green bottle glass than any other bottle colour out there. There are considerable amounts of amber glass in many variations, but still not as much as there are green. Several colouring agents are found in the creation of green glass, and with the impurities in the glass making process, the colours all vary. Iron and copper produce very different green glass shades, and chemicals like chromium oxide produce a yellow-green colour.



Amber Glass

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, amber glass was very common. The natural impurities in the iron and manganese created the amber colouring, and colour additives like nickel and sulfur were added to glass in the form of materials like charcoal or wood chips. There are many variations of amber, and the different densities of the glass colour vary, too.

Clear Glass Bottle

Colourless is the word that is preferred over “clear” or “white” glass. Clear glass bottles were always the goal for glass manufacturers, but it’s much harder to produce than the coloured varieties. It was challenging to find impurity-free material, and Venetian glassmakers produced crystal glass from the 15th century. In the 18th century, glassmakers in England created flint glass from quartz rock, but the improvements in chemistry and the methods used for glassmaking in the late 19th and early 20th centuries made creating clear glass easier.

History of Glass Bottles

Every single glass bottle that is used today is part of a deep history going back thousands of years. It’s an old material, having been used in art and architecture, and the story begins even before Mesopotamia. Masters worked out how to make glass with natural consequence. Glass forms at extreme temperatures, and as quartz sand melts and cools down, glass is the result. The earliest evidence of glass as a tool comes from 7000 BC. At about 1500 BC, Egyptians were the first to produce glass containers – similar to the bottles of today. They used them for ointment and oils. Moving up to the 11th century, Venice became the centre point for glassmaking in the West. They were able to produce elegant, pure crystal glass that we see in the drinking glasses today. It wasn’t until the 12th century that crown glass was discovered and the holes in castles for light were filled with glass.

There are examples of Egyptians that managed to create window glass, but it wasn’t popular until the Gothic period. Glass was pressed into flat discs and fused with lead to join them together to form larger pieces. It was the late 1800s when Friedrich Siemens created the continuous bassin furnace. This machine sped up the industrialisation of glass products, which was a huge leap toward the future of glass production.

In the early 1900s, Michael J Owens invented an automatic bottle blowing machine. IT was considered an engineering masterpiece, using the suck and blow process to create 2,500 bottles per hour. Later in the 20th century, electronically controlled machines were introduced, and these made lightweight glass that could preserve energy sources and protect the environment all around. It’s now one of the most popular materials for packaging, from food bottles to bottles used in pharmaceuticals.