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skoronesa

Huge piece of glass from W. Virgin

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Wow.  Wouldn't that be something to find out in the middle of nowhere?   ... or even in someone's house.  

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17 hours ago, Alan said:

What does a water wheel have to do with a glass furnace?

 

17 hours ago, lstmmrbls said:

Nothing at any of the glass making factories I have been lucky to visit

I don't know about in US, but water wheels were commonly used for powering the cutting tools at older European glass works

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 It is not uncommon the find glass in many WV streams.  I doubt that any water wheel had anything to do with glass production in WV.  Almost every town large or small at some time between 1920 and today had a glass factory. Window glass, lamp shades, all types of crystal, restaurant ware, plant and flower vases, 18-20 marble companies, every type of glass. Some lasted 100+ years. Glass industry was in the top three industries along with coal and timber in WV. Dean Six did a book on WV Glass factories. It has hundreds or thousand pictures and info on WV glass companies. Many of those factories were located near a water source and a railroad. Back in those years tons and tons of discarded glass went over a stream or river bank. They were not paying someone to dig a hole to bury it. There was no one hauling waste to a central landfill. The landfill was the low spot, a dip or hallow or a stream bank which was close to the operation. Preferably level or downhill from the factory building. Marbles and cullet have been found in every stream in sight of any WV marble factory. Most WV marble factories had a nearby stream or river in which cullet and marbles were discarded. Most all WV glass companies. If they produced to much, if production not as planned, non standard production, production that did not sell, etc. were discarded. They did not have any large warehouse for storage. Most of the structures were made of all wood. Another reason many went out of business or moved. Because they burned down.  WV had large numbers of different types of glass factories, small and large. Many WV streams and rivers contain different types of glass small and large.  

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 Why were so many glass factories located in WV ? In 1915 to the 1940's or 50's WV had some of if not the cheapest abundant natural gas in the world. The structures needed were built from wood and it was abundant and cheap. WV had the correct sand for glass making. WV had abundant natural water supplies. WV had north south east west railroads for shipping. It was not long until WV had abundant cheap glass workers. Why did Akro leave Ohio ? All of the above. They all needed water for the process and for safety. These were wood buildings. When you have 2000 degree red hot glass contact wood, fire happens. Most of the factory floor below equipment was covered with lime to prevent the floor from burning. But water was always close by. Much of which was not pumped, it was carried to the building ,stored in barrels or a cistern. Much of it was hillbilly common sense. If you have a wooden wheelbarrow with a steel wheel, no rubber tire. It is full of a hundred pounds of unsellable glass. The boss tells you to get rid of it, dispose of it. Are you going to take it out the door and go uphill or a long distance to dump the wheelbarrow?  No you go level or down hill as much as possible and as short a distance as possible.  Many of the factories were near water and usually built on a elevation out of flooding with the water someplace below. So many of the streams in WV located near a glass factory will contain glass.  

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 Many water wheels were used in WV during the 1800's for grist mills. Grinding corn for corn meal, flour and other uses.  No production of any glass marbles were being made in WV in the 1800's. Glass marble production began in WV during the early 1900's.  The blowers for the air to the glass furnaces were run by electric motors. Possible that a water wheel could have supplied power for blowers at a glass furnace in WV at some time. But I have never seen or heard anything about it, with WV glass. Most of the WV glass production began in the early 1900's. Because of the abundant cheap supply of natural gas.  I think the piece of glass found in the WV stream is more likely from the time period of 1900 to 1960. Most likely from 1930 to 1960 or later. 

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