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“What are you talking about ?''
suddenly, like toy balloons in the process of infla“Ah! it is very sad ; innocent and in ignorance, tion, giving him the appearance of having a goodthey cannot suspect their terrible fate."
sized apple in each cheek. Immediately upon his “Are you going mad?" I exclaimed, with some ceasing to blow, they flopped down again. concern for my friend's sanity.
We watched this old man until he had blown a “No," he replied; “I am not going mad; I number of bottles. The blow-pipe used is a tube was only thinking of the poor fellows who must of iron about four feet long. Inserting one end take the contents of those bottles sume day." of this through an aperture in the furnace, he gave The huge furnace was in the middle of the it a turn or two by a deft movement of the wrist,
and thus collecting a sufficient quantity of molten glass upon the tube he withdrew it, keeping it in constant motion, as, otherwise, the mass would run off. Then he rolled the lump slowly to and fro on the surface of a marble slab, blowing into it gently until its size was increased and its shape somewhat similar to the mould for which it was intended. From the slab he conveyed it to the mould, still blowing gently and keeping the tube in constant motion. The mould was in two sections, united by a hinge, and a boy sitting at the blower's feet in front of it shut it together with a snap. Then those toy balloons were inflated until I thought the poor old man had blown his entire existence through that iron pipe. This lasted for a few seconds, long enough to bring a pouring rain of perspiration upon the operator's forehead, when the cheeks Aopped down again, the strain relaxed, and the deed was accomplished. The little boy calmly broke the bulb of frail glass between the mould and the blower's tube with an instrument for that purpose ; and as it shattered with a sharp report he unclosed the mould, when, lo!' a bottle was brought to light with lettering upon it —the names of the manufacturer and his customer.
But this was not the end of the process. The bottle was not yet completed. It was still red-hot, but cooling rapidly, and the boy, taking it from the mould, passed it to another boy who rolled it
up and down a wooden trough with a paddle apartment, and its fire, urged by a steam blower, until its lurid tinge had departed; then yet another was darting white flame from every opening and boy came along bearing an iron rod with a cup crevice. The blowers, clad in scant attire, were upon the end of it. This cup just fit the bottle, hard at work, and, taking the whole crew together, and he scooped it up. they looked like an amateur brass band in full It might here be well to mention as a singular blast, with cheeks puffed out and eyes distended. thing, that, although the earthen floor of the The illusion was perfect, except that we were building was strewn with pieces of broken glass, spared from hearing any amateur band music. with their business ends upward, all of those boy
Our attention was particularly attracted to one assistants were running about in their bare feet, old man whose cheeks, from long service, had be- and it did not seem to make any difference whatcome stretched, and drooped in a disconsolate, ever. No doubt there is a knack in doing this, or baggy fashion. When he blew, they flopped up perhaps it is an exemplification of a certain In
dian's experience, who, having condemned himself to give that appearance we usually see in a to sleep on a bed of spikes for ten years as an porter bottle. Druggists' bottles are treated in atonement for some
like manner, except evil deed, found
that the rim is not upon the expiration
made so large. of that time that he
From the "glory could secure no rest
hole" it was conon the old-fashioned
veyed to its final buffalo robes of his
resting-place, before ancestors because he
packing and shipmissed the spikes !
ment, to the oven Be that as it may,
where the bottles those boys did not
are tempered. It is seem to mind it
spacious, and will a whit, not even
hold a vast numwincing when they
ber; but they canalighted upon the
not fill it entirely, 'most enterprising
since the bottles piece of glass.
nearer the door The boy scooped
would then cool up the bottle with
too quickly and be his cup on the end
likely to break of of its iron rod and
themselves. conveyed it to the
" Without this other side of the
process of annealbuilding to a smaller
ing," said Mr. Crafurnace. This fur
ven, “the glass is nace is the larger
so brittle that it one in miniature,
would crack and fly except that it con
to pieces as soon tains no glass. It
as exposed to cool has several open
atmosphere. I have ings through which
seen bottles explode the fire juts forth,
with great violence and these openings
from no apparent are called “glory
cause when taken holes," from the
from the works withvaried color of the
out being annealed. flame (red, blue,
To obviate this, we and white) issuing
put them in the from them.
oven and start a At the “glory
fire. The fire is hole'' the bottle re
fed until a certain ceived its mouth or
temperature be atlip. An operator
tained, and then took it from the
left to die out gradboy, handle and all,
ually. When perand thrust the neck
fectly cold, the ware into the fire. When it was sufficiently heated, he may be taken and packed, but if the oven has not took it out again, and then, with tools for the been properly attended to it will sometimes fall purpose, turned down a rim of the glass sufficient to pieces even then."
“Does this often occur with you ?" I asked. solution of the metals in the glass. Wine is some
“No, very seldom, though great care must be times put into bottles made of glass wholly unfit exercised to avoid it."
for the purpose, and its taste and color are affected “ But is there no way of making a glass less in a very few days by the salts produced by the brittle?"
corrosion. I have no doubt that serious mischief “ There is; lead, for instance, tends to make might occasionally arise from putting up domestic glass softer, more fusible, and more lustrous, wines, fruit-juices, and the like, in bottles not in. which fits it for optical and ornamental purposes, I tended for any such use."
but spoils it for bottles where a hard, infusible, Having now seen all it was possible to see at glass, not readily acted upon by chemical agents, that furnace, we passed through two others very is requisite. Lime, on the other hand, renders much like it, and thence to the packing-rooms, glass refractory and less susceptible to the action where the number of bottles on every hand caused of acids or alkalies. All acids act upon glass, us to wonder where they all go, and speculate especially if there is an excess of alkali in its upon the journey each one would have to make composition, or if it contains lead. Wine and from hand to hand before it would be finally other acid liquids kept in bottles have often been deposited on an ash-heap or rubbish pile. found contaminated with salt, resulting from the When we had decided upon the perambulations
necessary for one bottle to make and followed it The German clay is of a very light-yellow, to its final resting place in oblivion and ashes, we comes in cubes, and is ground to powder along bade Mr. Craven adieu, and left, with many with some old pots and a modicum of the same pleasant impressions of what we had seen.
clay which has been burned. This mixture is “Now that we are in the glass trade," said moistened and put in a trough, where an operator Frank, “let us go over to Quinton and look kneads it thoroughly. It is done with his bare through the window.glass factory there. The feet. The trough is filled only at one end with proprietor, Mr. George Hires, is a friend of mine, the glutinous mass, much resembling soft putty, and I know he will be pleased to take us through." and a workman then gets in upon it and slowly
“All right," I returned, “I am willing. We works it to the other end with his feet. This is may as well get to the bottom of this subject while repeated until the whole substance is thoroughly we are about it; but let us get some dinner first.” / mixed, and when the desired consistency is attained
Pursuing this suggestion, we returned to the hotel, partook of an excellent repast in which boys some fish (not of our own catching) held a promi- PUTEV nent position, and then were ready to start.
It was our intention to secure a team and drive over; but before we could accomplish this, Frank espied a vehicle coming up the road which seemed familiar to him.
“There is Mr. Hires now!" he exclaimed. “I will hail him."
On learning our desires, Mr. Hires said, “Jump right in, I am going to the works now."
We lost no time in complying with this invita- the pots may be made. They are formed in moulds, tion, and were soon speeding along over a level and when completed are about two and a half feet road, past fields of growing corn and pleasant high, with a diameter of perhaps three feet. views of meadow-land.
“It requires great skill in making these," obIt took but a short time to reach Quinton and served Mr. Hires, “and care must be taken that the works of Messrs. Hires & Co., when, alighting no foreign substances remain in the clay; for if from the carriage, we were ready for a tour of even a hair is permitted to remain, as soon as the inspection.
pot is used that hair will burn away in the furThe first place visited was the pot-house. Here nace's intense heat, leaving a hole which would the pots are made in which the glass is melted. be liable to crack the pot and lose the glass." It is a curious process, and by no means an unin- “How many of these pots are there in each teresting branch of the business. The material furnace ?" asked Frank. used in their construction is a particular kind of “Six in some and in others eight. I will show clay imported from Germany.
you the interior of one of the furnaces; there is “ There is an American clay for this purpose," one being rebuilt now." said Mr. Hires, “but it will not do, being unable We followed him to another building, 'where to stand the fire and liable to break.”
workmen were engaged upon a furnace, rebuilding
it. It was constructed of fire-clay, and the interior form inside which revolves, and the fire is at one was sufficiently high to admit of our standing up- end only. The cylinders of glass are placed upon right. The pots were arranged upon “ benches," marble slabs in motion, and as they revolve past or platforms of fire-clay, on either side opposite to the fire they become sufficiently heated to allow openings in the side of the furnace through which of their being flattened out with wooden blocks, the glass is taken.
which purpose is accomplished by men standing Having thoroughly examined everything of at the oven doors and striking the glass as it passes interest here, we then went to the factories in them. operation.
When transformed into a sheet of perhaps twelve Scarcely any one to look upon a pane of win- square feet, it is conveyed to cars, further away dow.glass would imagine that it had once been from the fire and moved slowly up and down until round, and yet such is the fact. The furnace quite cool. Then it is ready for the final process stands in the middle of the building, and on either of cutting.
In the room devoted to this, experienced hands are busily engaged trimming off all irregular edges and cutting the sheets into various sizes, and soon the crude glass comes forth to market as fine, clear window-panes.
On leaving the cutting-room, we returned to the furnace again, and watched the blowers as they swung their unwieldy burden of forty pounds to and fro, imagining them swinging it for hours in succession.
“I should think such exertion would be hard on one's muscles," suggested Frank.
“No," returned Mr. Hires; QUINTON, NEW JERSEY.
“the men get fat on it, and blow
ing expands the chest and lungs." side is a deep pit bridged over by narrow wooden “Well,” said Frank, “it is a wonderful probridges upon which the blower stands at his work. cess. The iron blow-pipe, weighing some fifteen pounds, “ Scarcely so wonderful as the new discovery is thrust into the furpace and about twenty-five in glass.” pounds of molten glass collected upon the end of “You refer to glass-cloth?' it. The blower then swings it below him in “Yes. This late departure is a near approach the pit and blows into the pipe until, by the to the malleable glass of ancient times, though I power of gravitation and the force of his breath, was not greatly surprised upon hearing of its the glass is elongated and expanded, forming a manufacture, for I can easily conceive of a very cylinder with elliptical ends, sometimes four feet fine glass thread being spun which may become long by one foot in diameter. This the blower soft and pliable by annealing. I have frequently continues to swing and blow into, until he con- noticed, when the blowers have been drawing siders it of a proper shape and thickness, when the their irons from the fire, that a small portion of ends are cut off and a hollow cylinder alone re- hot glass would adhere to the sides of the furnace mains. The cylinder (or “ roller," as it is termed) and thus be drawn out to a considerable length, is then split through its entire length, conveyed to and so fine as to resemble a cobweb.” the flattening-room, and put into a revolving oven. “Is there any glass-cloth factory in the United
The oven is circular, with a table of the same States?" I asked.