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UNIQUE and NEW ways to illustrate a point!
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Who: Sir Alastair Pilkington
Where: Great Britain
What: Float Glass (Pilkington Glass)
From — “ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLOAT GLASS”
- “somewhere between 1953 and 1957, Sir Alastair Pilkington revealed the idea of manufacturing float glass to the world.
- “the Pilkington method developed the ribbon of float glass using a molten tin in which molten glass would flow unhindered under the influence of gravity.
- “the Pilkington method, Sir Alastair was able to achieve profitable full-scale sales of float glass by 1960.
- Float glass is essentially a super smooth, distortion-free glass which is used for designing other glass items . . . .float glass provides users with a crystal-clear view. Float glass owes its unique name to the process by which it is manufactured wherein the molten glass is introduced into a bath of molten tin, causing the glass to float freely. 
- Before the 1950s. window glass was called “Cylinder Glass.”
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Key Biblical Thoughts:
- we see through a glass “darkly” / obscurely
- sight / viewing life
- trials / troubles
- biblical clarity
- living life distortion-free
- clear glass – Revelation 21
- glory to glory
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Sermonic Example: There are several distinct ways that one can use illustrative material.
(use whatever you find useful in the above details)
If you have ever watched “How’s It Made,” you may have been fascinated by how someone came up with the idea to do “that” or the various steps that are involved in the production of “that item.”
Have you stopped and watched someone working with glass? The process is intriguing as it moves from a semi-liquid to a solid creation. We probably rarely think about the processes that took place for us to look through a glass window or object.
You may have grown up in a home that had glass windows that distorted what was being viewed. Homes before 1950 used glass that was slightly thicker at the bottom than the top. You may have looked through some of those old glass windows, moving your eye left and right, up and down, as the objects you were viewing changed shape. It was kind of fun to see things distorted.
That was just the nature of glass production up to that time. Before 1950, a large ball of liquid glass was flattened and drawn upward between two rollers to create a thin sheet. Before it could cool completely, gravity created a sheet that would distort what you were seeing. The sheet of glass was increasingly thicker at the bottom than at the top.
It was an expensive, time-consuming process to grind and polish window glass, which would be free from distortion. The polishing process was only done for the glass used in the very rich homes, or when glass was needed for telescopes, microscopes, or eyeglasses.
However, in the 1950s, a different process was invented called “float glass.” It was developed by the Pilkington family. A ball of glass was floated on a bed of molten tin, flattened by its own weight, and then it slowly cooled into a uniform sheet. That process changed the glass-making industry and the clarity of window glass. Glass could now be made distortion-free.
Today’s homes use window glass that is free from the distortions of those old glass windows. You can see everything clearly now, without moving your head and eyes here and there.
The Fall has distorted everything we see in life. Sin has distorted how we see people, trials, money, work, relationships. sexuality, worship, even how we see sin. As the Scriptures state, we see through a glass darkly – obscurely is the word — It’s the word “enigma.”
It is the clarity of sight that the Bible gives us, that changes the way we view life and living, how we view . . . .
Other Information & Links:
1. From “All You Need To Know About Float Glass”
Process of Manufacturing Float Glass
As the most widely used form of glass in today’s world, it is essential to know about the manufacturing process of float glass. It all starts with a mixture of raw materials like sand, limestone, dolomite, soda, and salt cake. Next, these materials are melted in a furnace until they fuse together to form molten glass. To manufacture float glass, molten glass from a furnace is poured into a chamber containing a bed of molten tin. The tin tub is approximately 4 to 8 metres wide and up to 60 metres long. During the manufacturing process, the atmosphere inside the chamber is carefully controlled to ensure that float glass is manufactured correctly. The reason for using tin is that it is the only metal that remains stable in its liquid state at a high temperature of 600 degrees Celsius. The glass floating on the tin eventually takes the shape of the container and spreads from 90 to 140 inches wide with a varying thickness, which is determined during the time of manufacture.
Once the glass takes its proper shape, it is polished with fire. It is important to remember that only the upper surface, which is also known as the airside or score side, is fire-polished and the lower surface i.e., the tin side, is set to cool. For the cooling process, the glass is moved from the chamber to a temperature-controlled oven called a lehr. In this kiln, the glass is cooled slowly at a specific rate, which is known as annealing. Through the process of annealing, the glass is relieved of all internal stresses to create a sturdy, uniform ad smooth sheet of float glass. Establishing the right rate of cooling is a crucial step in the manufacturing process as wrong temperatures can result in the formation of air bubbles and internal stresses. Once the glass is removed from the lehr, it emerges as a continuous ribbon at room temperature, which is flat, has a fire-finished topcoat, and possesses smooth, parallel surfaces. The glass is then finished to perfection with automatic cutters that trim edges and cut the glass into the desired length. It can have a thickness range of anywhere between 0.4mm to 25 mm, depending on the requirements.”
2. A History of Wavy Glass Types
Wavy glass is the “cool-looking” glass commonly found in older window panes, doors, and furniture built prior to the early 1900s.
Generally, the further back in history you go, the wavier the glass is. As craftsmen improved their methods over time, the wave and distortion became less apparent.
Early manufacture of glass involved single sheets of glass manufactured by a craftsman by blowing through a tube, resulting in tiny bubbles called seeds.
As a result, glass produced in the 1700s tends to have more distortion than glass produced in the 1800s. In the early 1900s, increasing industrial advances led to machine-produced glass. This glass, while less wavy, still had imperfections and was widely used in the United States cities in the early 1900s.
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“Pilkington brothers and the glass industry”