Glass production is thought to date to ~2500 BC and had found numerous uses by the height of the Roman Empire. Yet the modern view of glass-based chemical apparatus (beakers, flasks, stills, etc.) was quite limited due to a lack of glass durability under rapid temperature changes and chemical attack. This brief gives an overview of the history and chemistry of glass technology from its origins in antiquity to its dramatic expansion in the 13th century, concluding with its impact on society in general, particularly its effect on chemical practices.

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