Did you know that at one time
glass was as valuable as gold? For example, the ancient Egyptians
covered their windows with animal hides and cloth, not glass, because
they considered glass equal in rank to gold and other precious metals.
But the real story begins in Rome,
where glass blowers were so highly revered they were placed in a
special class all of their own; and their glass wares were considered
more valuable than gold or silver. As a result, Roman glass makers
grew quite wealthy, and Roman government began to heavily tax their
In places like Byzantium and Venice,
glass makers were held in such high esteem that they received highly
privileged treatment. Unfortunately glass makers were also prohibited
from leaving their own quarters, supposedly to keep them free from
the corruption of everyday life. This trend became so fanatical
that many glass makers were forbidden to leave their countries under
penalty of death.
"Stained Glass - As good as gold
but what do I do with it?"
by Alice Cotton
(the article goes on to explain
glass making history in Europe and America and then ends with some
tips on how to restore and maintain old stained glass)