Glass. The art of making; glass was Introduced into England from France, in the year 674, for the use of churches and monasteries. Benedict Biscop. who in that yearfounded a monastery, and attached to it an elegant church of stone, after the Roman manner, prevailed on some glass-makers in France to come over and glaze the windows. These artificers not only performed the work assigned to them, but also taught the English how to make windows, lamps, and drinking-vessels. Before that period, the windows of houses and churches were filled either with linen, cloth, or lattices of wood ; and even in the twelfth century, glass windows in private houses were very rare.
Discovery of Plate-Glass. Blancourt relates, as the mode in which the casting of plate-glass was discovered, that a person who was melting some of this material in a crucible, accidentally spilt it, while fluid, upon the ground. The metal ran under one of the large flag-stones wherewith the place was paved, which obliged the workman to take up the stone in order to recover the glass. He then found it in the form of a plate, such as could not be produced by the ordinary process of blowing. The man's attention being roused by this fact, he was unable to sleep, and conceiving at once the superiority of this method for forming mirrors, he immediately commenced experimenting, and before the "day had appeared, had proved the practicability of the improvement which the purest chance had thus placed within the sphere of his observation.