Republication of The Chemical Technology of Glass (1913)

The Chemical Technology of Glass (1913) is an important book that critically discusses the state of glass science and technology almost exactly a century ago. The book was written by Eberhard Zschimmer (1873–1940), one of the first appropriately qualified applied scientists to devote the whole of his professional career to studying glass. Having studied mineralogy, he was already knowledgeable about both optical phenomena and the properties of silicate minerals when in 1898 he joined the Jenaer Glaswerke Schott und Genossen, a glassworks run by Otto Schott. Zschimmer soon became Schottʼs senior scientist and a member of the board of directors. He left the firm in 1921, when he was appointed to the staff of the Technical University in Karlsruhe. He remained as a professor at the university from 1924 until his retirement.

Fig. 1. The book cover.

Fig. 1. The book cover.

Zschimmer dedicated the book to Otto Schott, and it was designed to assist the staff of his company in their exploration of the types of glass that could be made and their properties. It is full of data about glass compositions and properties, which are set out in over 300 tables. Unfortunately, Otto Schott decided that the information it contained was too valuable to be made available outside the company and he suppressed the book, purchasing the whole print-run. The work was then neglected for almost a century, and only two original copies, both in the companyʼs archives, are known to exist.

Professor Michael Cable has translated the text into English from the original German. It includes a preface by Professor Cable, and an appreciation of Zschimmer by Professor Adolf Dietzel from 1940, as well as photographs of the author. The book is available online here.

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