Modern source for antique glass - Fine Homebuilding
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Modern source for antique glass

comments (0) March 25th, 2009 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Light Restoration is less distorting and closely resembles glass found in structures built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Approximate 3/32 thickness.
Full Restoration glass is more distorting and accurately represents much of the glass made in the 17th and 18th centuries.Approximate 1/8 thickness.
Click To Enlarge Photo: Courtesy of Manufacturer

Part of the unmistakable charm of an old house comes from the slight distortions, bubbles, pits, and imperfections of the glass used in the windows. So when one of these old panes breaks (or you want to add an additional window that fits the original look) it can be a hassle to find a suitable match.

I just learned of a New Jersey company called Bendheim, that exclusively imports a product called Restoration Glass from a company in Germany that still makes mouthblown glass using 70% recycled materials, and the same traditional cylinder method developed over 200 years ago. But the best part is that you can buy this old-style glass in full sheets or cut-to-size right from the ordering section of their Web site; no need for quotes either. Just plug in the dimensions, it tells you the price, and you click to buy. How’s that for the perfect marriage of old-school techniques and modern technology?

You can order a pair of glass samples, which are available in “light” and “full” restoration (click on the photos above, left). But if you are requesting samples solely to verify the quality, it should put your mind at ease to know that Bendheim Restoration Glass has been used on The White House, Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s house), Montpelier (James Madison’s house), Mount Vernon (George Washington’s house), Colonial Williamsburg, The Shaker Village in New Hampshire, and the impressive list goes on.

The company also offers laminated safety glass that retains the same classic distortions and bubbles…no more plain-jane windows just to meet the strict building codes.

The process used in making this handmade, mouthblown glass is also fascinating to watch…here's a slideshow and video from the manufacturer.

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posted in: Blogs, restoration, antique, glass

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