Glass blowing was invented by Syrian craftsmen in the first century. The Phoenicians taught the first workshop about blowing glass on the Eastern borders of the Empire, in the birthplace of glassblowing in the areas that are now known as Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine. The glassblowing technique was also taking place in Egypt. When the middle ages rolled around, Venice was well-known for glassblowing and it is also moved on to Murano. It eventually spread to China, Japan, and the Islamic lands and became found everywhere in those areas. During the 1820’s, Bakewell got the patent for a process of mechanically pressing hot glass that would have an impact on how glass is used permanently. Prior to the year 1890, glass uses and manufacturing developed in a very timely manner. Michael Owens did something in 1903 that permanently changed the production of glassblowing.
In 1903, Michael Owens created the original automatic bottle blowing machine that can make millions of light bulbs on a daily basis. At the end of the 1950’s, Sir Alastair Pilkington invented the float glass production method by which ninety percent of flat glass is still made with today. Within a decade of its invention, a full range of glassblowing methods was created.
A full range of glassblowing methods was created within a decade of the invention of glassblowing. Prior to the invention of the metal blowpipes, the ancient glassblowers made clay blowpipes, also known as mouth blowers, since the clay was easily accessible during this time. Two major methods of glassblowing are free-blowing and mold-blowing. Free-blowing has been very important to the world of glassblowing since it was invented in the middle of the first century B.C until the late 19th century and it is still popular today. Mold-blowing is an alternative method of glassblowing that was invented after free-blowing. Glassblowing was passed from father to son or master to apprentice. From the beginning, the formulas and procedures used in glassblowing were kept confidential and telling the secrets resulted in a person’s death. The methods used in glassblowing have been in practice for more than 2,000 years, and, during this time, has undergone a lot of transformations in order to manufacture some of the finest pieces of art that have ever been made. Historians believe that glass was first used to make jewelry and accessories in coastal Mesopotamia.
Historians believe that glass was utilized to make jewelry and accessories in Mesopotamia around 2500-1500 B.C. right into the Hellenistic period of ancient Rome. It was first discovered in days of old when dry herbs were smoked by tribal chiefs and clansmen in Central Asia and Africa. The first blowing bongs and pipes were discovered in an Ethiopian cave and were dated back to between 1100 and 1400 CE. The first pipes were made out of animal horns, pottery, and some were made out of bamboo. The tobacco and glass industry continued to grow in the nineteenth century.
As the tobacco and glass industry continued to grow and become more popular especially in the nineteenth century, so did glassblowing. However, in the twentieth century, the industry came to a drastic end. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, it slowly came back into style. In the 1990’s, glass bongs and pipes were being sold throughout the United States. The industry was very profitable until the year 2003 when the sale of all bongs and blowing pipes was banned during a period of time when the products were bringing one billion dollars in profit annually. Today, the industry is once again profitable due to the fact that most of the retailers that sell blowing pipes and bongs sell them only for legal tobacco use. Glass bongs are more than bongs these days, they are also pieces of art.
Bongs are not just bongs these days. The pieces of glass that make them can be made into beautiful pieces of artwork. The cost of some of them is not inexpensive though. The Hitman Glass Dabuccino costs a mere $1,600. A Carsten Carlile “Starry Night” Skeletal Rib Cage Rig sells for $1,800 as does the Snoops Glass X Big Puzzle “Apocalypse Joe.” If you are wanting to buy the Deranged Lion Glassical Creations “Atlantis” Beaker, you “only” have to shell out $2,000. A Freeek Tube costs $3,799. The EF Norris Surfer Lego Man with Shark Set will “only” set the purchaser back $3,800. If it is a Preston Hanna Michael Jackson Thriller Rig you want, it is $4,000. The price of the bongs continues to rise as the next one I am going to tell you about is $4,600.
A Robin Hood Glass Triceratops Bubbler “only” cost $4,600. $6,000 will give you the Dosa-Reticello Dab Rig With Quav or the HitMan Glass Sandblasted Sundae Stack Torch Tube. For a mere $6800.95, a person can obtain the Killadelph Custom Triple Coil Beaker w/ Collin’s Pyramid Perc and Matching Showerhead Ash Catcher. The Burtoni & Euphoria “Squid Chopper” Hybrid and the ME Glass X Blitzkriega Balloon Giraffe “just” costs $7,000. $14,251 is the price tag for Scott Deppe’s Grateful 4 Mushrooms pipe. $20,000 will bring you the Scott Deppe’s Take Me To the Mothership Pipe or the Adam Whobrey X Steve Hops Hod Rod Bubbler. The Pirate Ship Builder Pipe costs $30,000. A Roor Skull Gun will only set you back $90,000. For those that truly want to go high-end the Scott Deppe’s Gold-Encrusted Skull Bong, the high dollar amount of this pipe is $100,000. If you want a pipe that is out of this world, you can get the Alien Space Lander.
Not only is the Alien Space Lander out of this world, it has an out of this world price of $30,000. A Hayabusa Satellite will set a person back $110,000. The Trilobite, Buck, & Darby has a price tag of $25,000. A Jungle Gun pipe cost $60,000. The Fab Egg Colab was bid on at an auction for $101,000. Another pirate ship piece costs $30,000. A Sedna costs $300,000. The price of these pipes that are also pieces of art is a great way to conclude an article.
I know this information is mindblowing. The meaning of glassblowing, how it evolved, what impact this process had during history, and how much some pipes cost is entertaining and informative.However, I hope it has not blown your mind enough so that you cannot blow through your pipe.