As a materials person, do you feel left behind by the boom of all things “e” in the last 20 years? If so, don’t despair. As a member of the glass and ceramic community, you are part of an old and necessary profession. For example, while vacationing in the historic Jamestown-Colonial Williamsburg area of Virginia this past summer, I was amazed and pleased to learn that some of the first entrepreneurial ventures attempted in English North America involved the making of glass and brick.
Jamestown was established by the Virginia Co. of London in May 1607. As a commercial venture (it was not initially funded by the English government, nor protected by the English military), its primary duty was to provide a profitable return to its investors. While the company hoped to reproduce Spain’s success in locating gold and silver, its directors were also pragmatic, so they decided to attempt to produce glass in the colony.