Glass:: From The First Mirror To Fiber Optics, The Story Of The Substance That Changed The World

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HarperCollins, Nov 1, 1998 - Science - 306 pages
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In prose as crystalline as his subject, the author celebrates the versatility and functionality of glass, and explains how a substance known to all but understood by few has been shaped and molded to serve mankind in innumerable ways. Readers will learn how glass has both shaped and been shaped by man's changing relationship to the environment; how it has brought vision to the sight-deprived and to humans beings huddling in the dark; and how glass enters the 21st century yielding an almost unlimited horizon of possiblities. With grace, charm and authority, Glass delves into history, invention, manufacturing, fine art, and the myriad faces and forms of this protean substance. Whether visiting the flamboyant glass artist Dale Chihuly, dissecting the creation of a twenty-ton telescopic mirror, sampling the history of Tiffany's magnificent lamps, or watching the design and construction of the greenhouses of Kew Gardens, this book treats its readers to a multifaceted vision of a material eternally destiend to die a violent death, and to be constantly reborn in a relentlessly changing world.

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About the author (1998)

William S. Ellis was an assistant editor and editorial staff member for National Geographic for twenty-seven years. He is the author of more than forty full-length National Geographic articles on subjects ranging from the homeless people of Bikini Atoll to the underground economy of Italy, and one of the magazine's most popular and frequently reprinted articles, "Glass, Capturing the Dance of Light," which was the inspiration for this book. His articles have also appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Nation, Reader's Digest, and many other publications. He lives with his wife in Sarasota, Florida.

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