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World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

World Patent Information

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/worpatin

On the rst patents, key inventions and research manuscripts about

glass science & technology
Marcio Luis Ferreira Nascimento a, b, *, Edgar Dutra Zanotto c
a ~o de Jeremoabo s/n, Idioms Center Pavilion (PAF
Vitreous Materials Lab, Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, Federal University of Bahia, Rua Bara
IV), Ondina University Campus, 40170 - 115, Salvador, BA, Brazil1
PROTEC / PEI d Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic School, Federal University of Bahia, Rua
Aristides Novis 2, Federaa~o, 40210 - 630, Salvador, BA, Brazil2
CERTEV d Center for Research, Technology and Education in Vitreous Materials, Department of Materials Engineering, Federal University of Sa ~o Carlos,
13565 - 905, Sa~o Carlos, SP, Brazil3

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The objective is to describe the rst patents, key inventions and scientic papers related to glass science
Received 13 May 2016 & technology. According to the literature and the Guinness Book of Records, the rst English recorded
Received in revised form patent was granted to John Utynam in England in 1449 and a second in 1552. Regarding publications, the
12 October 2016
rst two papers on glass production were published in 1665 in Le Journal des Savans in France and the
Accepted 14 October 2016
Available online 19 October 2016
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in England. We illustrate our points using landmarks that
cover half a millennia and constitute advancements in modern life that are substantially connected to
and dependent on glass technology.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction approximately the time of the birth of Christ and attained new
heights of artistry, such as the use of different colours by the
1.1. Patents Christian church in the Middle Ages [1e5].
The English monarch awarded him exclusive rights to arrange,
An early historical landmark in glass technology monopolisation prepare, produce and manufacture stained glass. John Utynam
occurred when King Henry VI of England (1421e1471) issued a claimed to have invented a new technological process for produc-
special grant to the Flemish glassmaker John Utynam in 1449 to ing this special glass [1]. An imperial order was signed on April 3,
produce stained glass windows at Eton and King's Colleges, Cam- 1449, and John was granted this right for a twenty-year monopoly
bridge [1]. Utynam was also obliged to teach and instruct his art and because he knew a method for preparing colored glass that had not
technique to English apprentices at these two institutions. Science been introduced in England at that time. Fig. 1 illustrates the Court
historians learned that the technology of glass windows, in which of King's Bench at work around 1460.
the transparency of glass is exploited, had developed at Currently, this equivalent function of transmitting knowledge is
rewarded by patent specication publications. This register of
Utynam's grant is probably one of the world's rst formally recor-
ded patents in England, as noted by the librarian of the British
* Corresponding author. Vitreous Materials Lab, Institute of Humanities, Arts and Patent Ofce and researcher and historian of technology Arthur
Sciences, Federal University of Bahia, Rua Bar~
ao de Jeremoabo s/n, Idioms Center
Pavilion (PAF IV), Ondina University Campus, 40170 - 115, Salvador, BA, Brazil.
Allan Gomme (1882e1955) [1].
E-mail addresses: mlfn@ufba.br (M.L.F. Nascimento), dedz@ufscar.br Therefore, Utynam can be considered to be the rst recognized
(E.D. Zanotto). inventor of a recorded technical patent in the world. He obtained
www.lamav.ufba.br patent letters from King Henry VI of England, from France (only
3 indirect documents exist on this subject), and for restricted

0172-2190/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 55

Fig. 1. Illustration of the Court of King's Bench at work around 1460. It is considered the earliest known depiction of the English court. Source: The Inner Temple Library: www.
innertemplelibrary.org.uk (in public domain).

technological development in the province of Murano, which is claim and to verify possible technical improvements). However,
located near the Italian city of Venice [2]. Murano has a long history patents were regularly awarded beginning in the 1450s [5].
of glassmaking d approximately 25 centuries [3]. This particular According to Zarzycki, the glass industry ourished due to the
case illustrates that ideas about globalization or the international- development of glass technology that ensued after the invention of
ization of intellectual property are not new. Historians afrmed glass blowing in the rst century before Christ by Syrian craftsmen
with some certainty that the old Republic of Venice had started and was disseminated by Phoenicians over the Mediterranean Sea
issuing patents by indirect references to glassmakers in approxi- [3]. This particular technique that modied glass production and
mately the 1420s [4] (no documents are available to prove this the use of glass, as well as the cost of glass, became very popular.
56 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

New glass centers appeared in Cyprus, Rhodes, Greece, and the of the true fruits of the art of re (vetro 
e uno dei veri frutti dellArte
Italian peninsula. The Italians were the main developers of glass del fuoco).
vessels, containers, vases and tableware, starting with the Romans A few important artisans and glassmaker groups established in
and subsequently the Venetians. A major category was glass for Lorraine and in Normandy and subsequently moved to England,
hygienics, cosmetics and health, i.e., small asks, sprinklers, where coal furnaces were introduced in 17th century [9]. At this
dishes, boxes and medical bottles [4]. Vessels and windows, as well time, glass became increasingly valuable in commercial trade due
as mirrors, were produced by glass blowing, which was perfected to its particular properties, such as its beauty, transparency, lustre,
by Rome and its colonies [3]. In particular, the use of silvered glass hygienic, chemical resistance, insulation and storage capacity,
became widespread throughout Europe but also appeared in the because it can be employed in many vessel forms. For these reasons,
Middle East and Asia. many Venetian artists were tempted to establish their work abroad
The specialization in window glass developed two methods for by emigrating. Knowing the Venetian patenting system, they obtain
producing a sheet of glass - the cylinder and the crown methods. In a monopoly due to their knowledge about the new processes and
the rst method, a glassmaker blows a large bubble of glass, which methods that they introduced to foreign territories. For some
is spun until centrifugal force caused the molten glass to spin Venetian glassblowers who tried to practice their art abroad,
outwards and atten. The disc was subsequently cut into different however, a death penalty existed. At this time, glassmakers had an
sizes. In the second method, a glassmaker blows molten glass into a extraordinarily high reputation; however, to retain a monopoly,
cylinder and cuts off the ends and the cylinder lengthways. The they were strictly forbidden by governments to leave the country.
glass is subsequently reheated and rolled at. For example, in France, a special glass industry was created in 1665
After the fall of the Roman Empire, glass manufacturing did not to produce the large mirrors for the Palace of Versailles. Many glass
change until 12th century and was distributed throughout isolated artisans were assassinated by hired killers, including two glass-
sites in Western Europe. From approximately 14th century, the makers who were hired to create a at glass industry for the famous
Venetian provinces were predominant centers of a resurgent glass Hall of Mirrors in Versailles [10]. After this work, the Manufacture
industry in Europe, in which the rst glass with reasonable quality Royale des Glaces de France was founded by King Louis XIV; it
for lenses and prisms was produced; this glass was another tech- surpassed Venice as an exporting country for mirrors. This com-
nological advance. These new inventions led to the manufacture of pany subsequently became the worldwide famous Saint-Gobain
spectacles to improve human sight; eyeglasses rst appeared in [3].
Europe during the 13th century. This coincided with an increased The diffusion of patent systems of other countries began in this
interest in optics and mathematics (especially on perspective manner and motivated glass specialists, such as John Utynam, to
studies) during this time [6] and improved knowledge and tech- provide other places with improved security, special rights and
nology of glass production. One of the worlds' oldest glass advantages. However, the origin of patents for invention remains
manufacturing companies d Barovier & Toso of Murano (www. obscure; however, Britain has one of the longest continuous patent
barovier.com) d which started with a Venetian glassmaker, was traditions in the world, according to the Intellectual Patent Ofce
founded in 1295 A.D. and remains in business [7]. The invention of (www.ipo.gov.uk). Its history dates to the 15th century, when the
the Venetian cristallo glass d a material that is as clear as rock Crown began to issue specic grants of privilege to inventors,
crystal, without the slight green or yellowish color due to iron oxide traders and manufacturers. Since this time, patents have been
impurities d is attributed to the glassmaker Angelo Barovier (c. considered to be a form of intellectual property.
1400e1460) in approximately 1450 [4]. One hundred years after Utynam's rst (English technical) pat-
Frumkin [5] declared that the rst patents appeared in Italy by ent letter in 1449, no additional patents were granted in England.
royal concessions. Filippo Brunelleschi (1377e1446), who is the According to B. Spear [11], the second technical patent that was
great Italian architect who began to construct the outstanding granted for glassmaking, in a series of English patents with twenty-
cupola of the Florence Cathedral in 1419, was awarded with one of year monopolies granted by King Edward VI (1537e1553), was
the earliest patents on record. In 1421, the Italian State of Florence granted to Henry Smyth on April 26, 1552 [12].
granted him an exclusive right, which was applicable for three Granting patents was allowed as a royal prerogative in absolutist
years, to fabricate and use a machine of his invention for trans- England. Unfortunately, minimal information exists about Utynam
porting heavy loads on the Arno River and other bodies of water. A and Smyth or their works, with the exception that they were
penalty was also stipulated: the work of anyone who imitated his master glassmakers, as indicated in historical documents.
invention should be burned.
According to M. Frumkim in 1945 [5], the main expertise of 1.2. Scientic articles
Murano on glass making was jealously guarded, including all
mysteries and secrets of the ne art of glass production, such as the Approximately one century after the second glass patent was
beautiful Venetian cristallo, better lenses or even magnicent mir- granted, scientic printed discourses started to appear in Le Jour-
rors. As patents began to be systematically approved in the 15th nal des Savans [13] and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal
century, they issued a decree by which new and inventive devices Society [14]. Both journals were founded in 1665: the rst journal
had to be communicated to the Republic of Venice to obtain legal was founded by the French writer and lawyer Denis de Sallo
protection in opposition to potential infringers and to the increase (1626e1669), and the second journal was founded by the German
in commerce glass manufactures. The safeguard period was ten theologian, diplomat and natural philosopher Heinrich Oldenburg
years [5]. The majority of these patents were in the eld of (c. 1619e1677). De Sallo used the pen name Sieur dHe douville, and
glassmaking. Oldenburg signed as Henry. Both men were excellent writers.
During the Renascence, the Italian priest and glassmaker Maintaining contact with numerous persons around the world was
Antonio Neri (1576e1614) compiled some technical instructions an enormous responsibility. Oldenburg was a linguist d he was
and arts and secrets of glassmaking in L'Arte Vetraria (The Art of uent in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Latin [15,16].
Glass, see Fig. 2) in 1612 [8] to disclose Venetian secrets. This book The French journal imposed a new writing style and original
became a glassmaking world manual for at least two centuries. In methods for disseminating technological and scientic knowledge;
the book's preface (Al Curioso Lettore, or To the Curious Reader), everything was initiated by de Sallo hands. This journal also helped
the author expressed his passion, which he dened as glass is one to disseminate Cartesianism since the rst issue [13], and
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 57

Fig. 2. Title page of L'Arte Vetraria distinta in libri sette (1661 edition, in public domain) [8].

consequently, the scientic method. Regarding the English journal, century due to his skill at grinding and polishing objective lenses
Oldenburg is cited as the creator of the scientic peer review pro- with long focus. Some of these lenses were ordered by the Italian
cess. He began the practice of sending submitted manuscripts to mathematician, astronomer and engineer Giovanni Domenico
experts who could judge their quality and recommend improve- Cassini (1625e1712).
ments prior to publication. The word philosophical in the journal
title referred to natural philosophy, which was the equivalent of
2. The rst patents on glass: litterae patentes
the term science.
These journals intended to encompass a broad range of topics of
According to K. W. Dobyns [19], the beginning of specic letters
human knowledge. However, the rst scientic publications in both
that were referred to as patents in England was a privilege of the
journals were related to glass and astronomy, such as the im-
monarch. The English King issued patent letters for many functions.
provements and ndings of the Italian optician and astronomer
Originally, patent letters comprised open manuscripts from the
Giuseppe Campani (1635e1715). Campani made special glass len-
King to anyone who wished to read them. Privileges were estab-
ses for astronomical observations, his telescopes were famous at
lished by patents when the monarch and his staff were convinced
that time [17]. According to Trier and Gaulke [18], Campani was one
that inventions should be protected.
of Europe's foremost telescope makers and opticians in 17th
The word patent is derived from the Latin litterae patentes, in
58 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

the context of an open letter. R. A. Klitzike [20] noted that this name merchant, as presented in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls pre-
was addressed not to particular persons but to all to whom these served in the Public Record Ofce, Edward VI [22] (in public
presents shall come. The papers were traditionally sealed by the domain):
King to prevent them from being read without rupturing the seals.
These letters were employed by medieval royals to confer exclusive
rights and privileges to individuals. With an imperial seal, the let-
ters provided public proof of these rights.
According to Gomme [12], the word patent originates from the 26 April. Westminster
Latin patere, which means to lay open: to make accessible for
public examination, which predates the modern patent system. A Whereas Henry Smyth of London, merchant, intends to
grant of Patent Letters was a personal and direct award of a dignity, bring certain strangers into the realm expert in making
ofce, monopoly, franchise or other benet by the English monarch brode glasse such as is commonly called Normandy
via the exercise of the royal sanction and was registered on the glasse, whereby divers of the king's subjects may be sett
Patent Rolls in the Record Ofce. According to the Intellectual to worke and gett their lyyyng and in tyme learne and be
Property Ofce of the UK, the term patent usually refers to the right hable to make the said glasse them selfes and instruct
granted to anyone who invents any original, functional, and inno- others:
vative process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of Licence to the said Henry Smyth to bring from beyond seas
matter. such persons as are expedient for making the said grasse
The King Henry VI letter, as presented in the Calendar of the (sic); and for twenty years to make the said Normandy
Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Ofce [21] (in public glasse anywhere within the realm; and no person without
domain), is shown as follows: his authority shall attempte or presume to make any kynde
of the said brode glasse commonly wount to be caUed
Normandye glasse or any other fytte for wyndowes, on
pain of forfeiture of all glass so made.

April 3. Westminster By p.s.

Licence for life for John Utynam, born in Flanders, who has
returned, of late to England at the king's command, to stay
in the realm with his wife and children, sons and daughters, These patent grants can be considered to be the rst and second
and servants, as any liege of the king, and protection for the of the relatively numerous patent grants from the 15th century
same; grant also to him for life that he may engage in all onward. Smyth promised to train, instruct and educate persons
acts, works and sciences lawful and liberal without imped- about his new technology to ensure that the industry was capable
iment, and since he has come to make glass of all colours when the award nished.
for the windows of Eton college and the college of St. Other patent privileges to individuals had not granted monop-
Maryand St. Nicholas, Cambridge, appointment of him to olies but only privileges to practice their innovations in England.
take artificers, workmen and labourers and to set them to Prior to this time, organizations had been the exclusive recipients of
work at the king's wages, and wood, clay (lutum), stones, monopolies; however, individual inventors and persons who
ashes, metals and carriage therefor, and to commit to introduced new industries from abroad obtained monopoly con-
prison all rebellious herein to stay until they find security to cessions that were similar to the concessions received by the guilds.
serve faithfully; and grant that all glass made at his own Although the patent of John Utynam antecedes the Smyth pat-
costs and not for the use of the colleges may be exposed by ent by a hundred years, intervening documents were not available.
him for sale without payment of customs or subsidies Thus, John's patent remains unaccompanied in the 15th century;
thereon; and because the said art has never been used in the English system of monopoly patents to inventors for in-
England and John intends to instruct divers lieges of the novations started as a regular practice after the Smyth patent [23].
king in many other arts never used in the realm beside the Therefore, the English patent system derived from its previous
said art of making glass, the king retains him therefor for life medieval origins into the rst modern patent system, which
at his wages and fees and grants that no liege of the king recognized intellectual property to motivate innovation and in-
learned in such arts shall use them for a term of twenty vention; this legal foundation upon which the Industrial Revolution
years against the will and assent of John, under a penalty of (1760e1850) emerges and ourishes in subsequent centuries,
200l., whereof two parts shall be rendered to the king and starting with Utynam's and Smyth's patent letters.
one part to John, any liege who cannot levy that sum to
suffer imprisonment without delivery save by the king's 3. The rst papers on glass
special command. By K. etc.
Another historical landmark in the history of science, specif-
ically in glass science and technology, comprised the rst publica-
tions in the primary scientic journals in 1665: both Le Journal des
Utynam's letter was usually stamped with the King's Great Seal. Savans (subsequently renamed Journal des Savants) and the
In this letter, Utynam would produce his own glasses for sale but Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society unveiled the same
was obliged to pay a penalty of 200 if he did not complete the discovery by the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Campani, who
arrangement. related to his rst observations using special optical glasses. In
According to Klitzike [20], the English Crown was not the rst 1665, one of the largest and most important industrial glass com-
entity to grant patents to inventors; however, they were the rst panies of the world was created: Saint Gobain.
entity to develop a lasting patent law. In 1552, Edward VI granted Despite the fact that the Le Journal des Savans can be treated
another patent of invention to Henry Smyth, who was a London as the rst publication, which was followed in a few weeks by the
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 59

Royal Society periodical [16,24], the English journal is likely the

longest-running journal because the French publication was Ragguaglio Di Nuove Osservationi, da Giuseppe Campani
interrupted for almost a quarter century (between 1792 and 1816 in I2 In Roma
due to the French Revolution) [24]. Concerning the form, the table
of contents, the lexicographic sorting, the pagination, the citation  observer dans cet ouvrage.
Il y a trois choses principalles a
mode, and even the use of italic style are identical in both journals,
as presented in contemporary magazines. The English journal was La premier regarde l'excellence des grandes Lunettes
restricted to natural philosophy subjects [24], whereas the French d'aproche faites par Campani. Surquoy il faut remarquer.
journal presented a broader viewpoint.  le moyen de trav-
Premierement qu'il pretend avoir trouve
The readers were informed from the rst volume about the  present
ailler aux grandes Lunettes avec un tour iusqua
purpose of the French journal: the design of this journal is to make inconnu.
known all that is new in the Republic of Letters (le dessein de ce
Secondement, au lieu qu'on auoit iusqua  maintenant
Journal estant de faire savoir ce qui se passe de nouveau dans la
experimente  que les petites Lunettes sont a  proportion
Republique des lettres, as shown in L'Imprimeur au lecteur [13]).
meilleures pour voir sur la terre que les grandes: il dit en
According to the editor notes, one of the goals was to keep the
 galement bonnes a
avoir fait qui sont e  voir sur la terre, & a

reader informed about new books published in Europe. However,
observer dans le Ciel.
this feature did not consist of writing simple booknote lists; how-
ever, every report was expected to include a short description of the En troisieme lieu, il met trois oculaires a  ses grandes Lu-
book content and its subject area. According to Banks [24], the term nettes, sans qu'elles fassent voir dIris; ce qu'on ne scauroit
savans was based on the incorrect belief that the word was faire avec les Lunettes ordinaires.
derived from the Latin scire rather than sapere. Note that this
Sa seconde observation concerne le cercle de Saturne, dans
citation procedure was common during this time: books were the
 couvert de nouveau; mais ou il a seule-
lequel il n'a rien de
main source of knowledge. The rst scientic article on Le Journal
ment confirme  ce que Huggens en a publie  de
 s l'anne
des Savans was anticipated by two notes: the rst note was about
1659, dans son livre du Syste ^ me de Saturne.
the printed book Victoris Vitensis et Vigilii Tapsensis, provinciae
Bizacenae episcoporum Opera (Victor of Vita, and Vigile de Thapse, La troiseme Observation regarde Jupiter, dans lequel il a
on the assistance of the province of Byzacena) by the French Jesuit remarque  par la bonte de ses Lunettes, des advances & des
Pierre-Franois Chifet (or Petrus Franciscus Chifetius,  galitez beaucoup plus grandes que celles qu'on y auoit
1592e1682) on page 1; the second note was about Henrici Spel- veue s iusques a  present. Il observe maintenant, afin de
mani Glossarium, continens Latinobarbara, peregrina, obsoleta, et remarquer fices faillies ne changent point de situation;
novat signicationis vocabula (briey, Henry Spelman's Dictio- auquel cas il seroit constant que Jupiter tourneroit sur son
nary) by the English antiquary Sir Henry Spelman of Congham axe. Ce qui seruiroit beaucoup a  confirmer l'opinion de
(1562e1641) on page 2. The third note is assumed to be a scientic Copernic.
paper because its content presents observations, experiments and  dans les bandes de Jupiter, les om-
De plus, il a remarque
discoveries. These rst notes and articles had no authorship indi-
bres des Lunes ou satellites de cette planete, les a suivies, &
cation but one would presume that they were written by Sieur s sortir du disque.
enfin les a veue
dHedouville. Pages 3e5 [13] (now in public domain) read as
follows: Si cette observation se trouve veritable, il faudra recon-
The article is separated into three parts. The rst observation is noistre que les Lunettes de Campani valent mieux que les
related to the excellence of Campani's instruments; however, the autres puisque de tous ceux qui ont observe dans lEurope
author made three minor comments: on size, differences using en mesme temps que luy il est le seul qui ait remarque ces
small and large telescopes, and the last comment referred to the ombres: les uns ne pouvans pas s'imaginer qu'on les pust
large telescopes that could be used with three eyepieces and su- voir: & les autres ne les ayant veue s que comme des
perior focusing. Campani invented the composite lens eyepiece. He avances & des saillies dans les bandes de cette planete.
was an exceptional artisan who was able to construct a telescope
with four lenses, which consisted of a triple ocular and an objective
[17]. The second observation was related to Saturn's new ndings,
Cassini Intorno alle Ombre delle Stelle Medicee nel Volto di Giove, ed
which conrmed the discoveries of 1659 by the Dutch astronomer
altri Nuovi Fenomeni Celesti Scoperti Co suoi Occhiali (G. C.s Letters
and mathematician Christiaan Huygens (1629e1695). The third
to Mr. Giovanni Domenico Cassini about Medicean Stars' Shadows
observation was related to Jupiter's satellites. According to the
on the Face of Jupiter, and other New Heavenly Phenomena
article, the observations were in accordance with the Copernican
Discovered with His own Telescopes), which were also announced
system, primarily due to Campani's telescopes.
in Rome.
Campani completed noteworthy observations with his in-
The same discoveries and notes using the special lenses that are
struments, as cited by Murara [17]. His astronomical annotations
employed in large telescopes had been published a few weeks in
and descriptions about his telescopes were detailed in the
advance in an English periodical. The complete title of the English
communication cited in the previously cited text: Ragguaglio di
journal, as given by its rst secretary, Oldenburg, was Philosophical
Due Nuove Osservazioni, una Celeste in Ordine Alla Stella di Saturno, e
Transactions, Giving some Account of the present Undertakings,
Terrestre lAltra in Ordine aglInstrumenti (Report on Two New
Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the
Observations, the One Heavenly about Saturn, the Other Earthly
about Instruments), published in Rome in 1664 and 1665 [25].
In the Introduction on page 1, the journal intention was helping
According to Murara [17], due to the inuence of Cassini, Cam-
the Society in its stated aim of promoting Natural Knowledge,
pani's instruments were commonly employed at the Royal Obser-
bringing natural philosophers into communication with one
vatory in Paris and all of Cassini's discoveries were made using
another, and keeping the Society's correspondents abreast of news
Campani's telescopes. Campani also wrote to Cassini in a second
from the world of experimental learning. In the rst volume
communication in 1666: Lettere di G. C. al Sig. Giovanni Domenico
60 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

Philosophical Transactions (currently in public domain), pages 2e3 these letters were sent from person to person, they were not really
[14] read as follows: individual letters in the present day sense. These letters could be
copied, sent, or even read at meetings of intellectual societies in
many cases. Networks of correspondence were constructed based
on this method. In this context, the rst two academic journals
were created.
An accompt of the improvement of Optick Glasses.
Both articles have a structure that is similar to a letter in the
sense explained by Banks [24]. However, they were not signed, had
There came lately from Paris a Relation, concerning the
the same origin d Campani's book d and their arguments were
Improvement of Optic Glasses, not long since attempted at
divided into three parts. The majority of the existing basic aspects
Rome by Signor Giuseppe Campani, and by him discoursed
of professional and scientic writing, regarding form and content,
of, in a Book, Entituled Ragguaglio di Nuove Osservationie,
were implemented since these two articles were published. Open
lately printed in the said City, but not yet transmitted into
questions remain: the rst issue is related to the origin of the term
these parts; wherein these following particulars, according
news from Paris. Reports may be obtained from the Royal Ob-
to the Intelligence, which was sent hither, are contained.
servatory in Paris or a Royal Society's fellow in England. Oldenburg
The First regardeth the excellency of the long Telescopes, had been contacted by the authors of the French journal and invited
made by the said Campani, who pretends to have found a to supply accounts of new books and other scientic discoveries by
way to work great Optick Glasses with a Turne-tool, without Englishmen. He brought a copy of the rst French issue and a
any Mould: And whereas hitherto it hath been found by sample of a similar project but much more philosophical in nature
Experience, that small Glasses are in proportion better to to a meeting of the Royal Society. This sample may comprise a
see with upon the Earth, than the great ones; that Author sketch or draft of the rst issue of the Philosophical Transactions
affirms, that his are equally good for the Earth, and for magazine [16]. The second question is about the possible re-
making Observations in the Heavens. Besides, he useth viewer(s) from this note: Christopher Wren (1632e1723) and
three Eye-Glasses for his great Telescopes, without finding Robert Hooke (1635e1703) were founders, or secretary supporters,
any Iris, or such Rain-bow colours, as do usually appear in of the Royal Society. A second short article on page 3 invokes
ordinary Glasses, and prove an impediment to ndings of the Ingenious Mr. Hook about A Spot in one of the Belts
Observations. of Jupiter. A third name would be Huygens, who was active in both
English and French academies of that period. Because he was one of
The Second concerns the Circle of Saturn, in which he hath
the most important natural philosophers of this time, he also
observed nothing, but what confirms Monsieur Christian
published contributions to both journals. The quiet and young
Huygens de Zulichem his Systeme of that Planet, published
genius Isaac Newton (1642e1727) was a student during this period;
by that worthy Gentleman in the year, 1659.
he had just started correspondence with Oldenburg in 1672 (the
The Third respects Jupiter, wherein Campani affirms he topic was Newton's telescope) [15]. Bluhm [15] afrmed that the
hath observed by the goodness of his Glasses, certain majority of the early volumes were written by Oldenburg, who
protuberancies and inequalities, much greater than those summarizes in his own words all information he gathered from the
that have been seen therein hitherto. He addeth, that he is letters that he received. Fig. 3 shows an illustration of a meeting of
now observing, whether those sallies in the said Planet do the Royal Society in Crane Court, showing possibly Isaac Newton as
not change ther scituation, which if they should be found to president.
do, he judgeth, that Jupiter might then be said to turn upon
his Axe; which, in his opinion, would serve much to confirm 4. Some landmarks on glass inventions (patents and papers)
the opinion of Copernicus. Besides this, he affirms, he hath
remarked in the Belts of Jupiter, the shadows of this satel- Macfarlane and Martin [4,6] suggested that glass has an enor-
lites, and followed them, and at length seen them emerge mous relevance in the history of science because it changed the
out of his Disk. conditions of everyday life and promoted explorations in science
and technology.
We agree with Macfarlane and Martin [4] because is not a mere
coincidence that titans of science, such as Galileo Galilei
The rst part of the English article relates to Campani's (1564e1642), Rene  Descartes (1596e1650), Christiaan Huygens
masterpiece and his incredible lenses, which were produced (1629e1695), Antonj van Leeuwenhoek (1632e1723), Robert
without mould. Murara [17] afrmed that Campani elaborated a Hooke (1635e1703), Giuseppe Campani (1635e1715), Isaac Newton
lens-grinding machine the previous year; however, whether it was (1642e1727), Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711e1765), Joseph
able to grid and polish lenses without moulds was controversial. Fraunhofer (1787e1826) and Michael Faraday (1791e1867), had a
Additionally, he improved telescope tubes by constructing them strong interest in glass making (some of these scientists were glass
with wood rather than cardboard covered with leather. Even if this grinders). All used glass instruments in their discoveries and in-
design was somewhat difcult to handle, control, or address novations and extended their sights to new levels of
because it was large and heavy, it proved durable. Another inter- comprehension.
esting aspect was related to the lens effects (the rainbow image). In To cite some of the key milestones in glass science and tech-
the second part, the article presents ndings about Saturn, which nology after the rst and second glass patents, the inventions of the
conrms Huygens' proposal. The third part is related to Jupiter microscope (approximately 1595e1609 [26]) and telescope
belts and satellites. (approximately 1608 [27,28]), which altered all dimensions of the
A comparative discourse analysis of the rst issues was per- world, must be included. The German-Dutch Hans Lippershey (or
formed by Banks [24]. He observed that two methods for dissem- Johannes Lipperhey, c. 1570e1619), a master lens grinder and
inating new information and knowledge existed in the 17th spectacle maker, applied for the rst telescope patent in October 2,
century. The rst method involved books, which was a lengthy and 1608, which he named kijker (looker) and offered to the Dutch
expensive process. The second method involved letters. Although government and for which he requested a thirty-year exclusive
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 61

Fig. 3. Illustration of a meeting of the Royal Society in Crane Court, showing possibly Isaac Newton as president. From page 121 of volume 1 of Old and New London, Illustrated
(1873), by George Walter Thornbury (1828e1876). Original source: the British Library e www.bl.uk, now in public domain.

patent [29]. His invention was successfully tested but his applica- In 1814, the German optician Joseph Fraunhofer (1787e1826,
tion was rejected because the same claim for invention had also Fig. 6) invented the spectroscope, which is an instrument used to
been made by at least two other Dutch spectacle-makers [30] d measure the properties of light over a specic portion of the elec-
Jacob Metius (1572e1628) and Zacharias Janssen (c. 1585 - c.1632). tromagnetic spectrum [33]. In the course of his experiments using
As in the case of the telescope, the idea of combining lenses for a prisms and lenses with the highest quality, he discovered the bright
magnifying device independently occurred at approximately the xed line, which appears in the orange region of the light spectra
same time to more than one person. This case also applied to the when it is produced by re. This line enabled him to determine the
microscope, which was proposed between 1595 and 1609 by absolute power of refraction in different substances. Experiments
Zacharias Janssen and his father, Hans. Their microscope had two to establish whether the solar spectrum contained the same bright
lenses joined in a tube, in which the magnication could be varied line in the orange region as the bright line provided by re led him
by altering the distance between the lenses. However, no work by to the discovery of hundreds of dark xed lines in the solar spec-
the Janssens about observations using the microscope were pub- trum. His results and discoveries opened new branches in astron-
lished; instead, the two names associated with the origin of mi- omy and served as the basis for the quantum theory in the 20th
croscopy are Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek [26]. century.
Some glassmakers had been practicing Neri's suggestions from Another landmark was related to the invention of the refrac-
the Art of Fire [8] and began to note that glass can be crystallized tometer in 1871 by the German physicist and optician Ernst Karl
in a controlled manner by adequate heat treatment. However, the Abbe (1840e1905, Fig. 7). The refractometer is a bench-top device
French polymath Rene -Antoine Ferchault de Re aumur (1683e1757, for the high-precision measurement of the refraction index, which
Fig. 4) was the rst person to produce and publish results about his was published in 1874 [34]. With the German industrial Carl Zeiss
attempts to crystallize a glass after heat-treating soda-lime-silica (1816e1888) and the German chemist Friedrich Otto Schott
glass bottles in a bed of sand and gypsum during several days [31]. (1851e1935), Abbe laid the foundation of modern optics in the
Reaumur almost discovered the rst glass-ceramic because he medieval city of Jena, Germany. Abbe was a co-owner of Carl Zeiss
could not control the nal product, which was deformed. His AG (founded in 1846), which was the rst industrial optical glass
intention was to manufacture new materials by changing verre en company that produced high-quality astronomical telescopes, mi-
porcelaine but he only managed to crystallize his bottle on the croscopes, planetariums, cameras and other optical systems for
external surface (not in the interior as in a real glass-ceramic). military, medical and commercial devices. Another landmark in
Extensive studies on the chemistry of colored glasses were made glass technology was the foundation by Otto, Abbe and Zeiss of the
in Russia in approximately the 1750s. The Russian polymath Glastechnische Laboratorium Schott & Genossen (Schott & Associ-
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711e1765, Fig. 5) performed the ates Glass Technology Laboratory) in 1884.
rst detailed investigation of the inuence of the components and In 1884, the French Francois Barthelemy Alfred Royer de la
the composition of glass on their properties. He synthesized more Bastie (1830e1901) developed a method of tempering glass [35] by
than a 1,000 glass compositions [32]. quenching almost molten glass in a heated bath of oil or grease,
62 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

Fig. 4. Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Re aumur (1683e1757) by the French painter Jules

Pizzetta (1820e1900). Source: Galerie des naturalistes de J. Pizzetta, Ed. Hennuyer,
1893 (illustration in public domain).

Fig. 5. Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711e1765) by the Russian painter Leontiy

which created the rst toughened glass. The rst contemporary Semyonovich Miropolskiy (1759e1819) around 1787. This portrait is a copy of the
patent on an entire process to make tempered glass was held by the original work made during his lifetime by the Austrian painter Georg Caspar Prenner
American chemist of Austrian origin Rudolph Abraham Seiden (c. 1720e1766). Source: Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, now in public
(1900e1965) [36]. domain.

In 1898, the Russian chemist Gustav Heinrich Johann Apollon

Tammann (1861e1938, Fig. 8) [37] proposed and published the rst
modern scientic paper, which describes the behavior of glass- method of producing glass wool was established by the American
ceramic production by controlling the nucleation and growth rate engineer and inventor Russell Games Slayter (1896e1964) from
processes. Tammann investigated the crystallization of organic Owens Illinois Glass Co.. He applied for the rst patent on berglass
liquids and suggested a systematic procedure, which is now known on November 11, 1933 and published the patent on October 11, 1938
as the Tammann or development method. [41].
Laminated (or safety) glass, which was invented and named Two new glass innovations transformed modern life in the

triplex by the French chemist Edouard ne
Be dictus (1878e1930) in
1940's and 1950's d they are two of the most extensively reported
1903, applied for a patent in 1910 and published it in 1912 [38]. His methods for special glass manufacturing. Both were discovered by
discovery was a serendipitous invention: he was on a ladder looking the same prolic inventor d the American chemist Stanley Donald
for something on an elevated shelf when he knocked a glass Stookey (1915e2014) at Corning Glass. The rst method refers to
container to the oor. He heard the glass shatter; when he looked special glass that contain atomic elements that are capable of
down he discovered that the broken pieces of glass were stuck forming stable photographic gures or images into a transparent
together. Benedictus observed that the container housed a type of glass when exposed to light; it is referred to as photosensitive glass
plastic liquid that had evaporated and left a thin lm inside [39]. (patent US 2,515,937 applied on December 8, 1943 [42] and pub-
The British chemist William Ernest Stephen Turner lished in July 8, 1950). The second discovery occurred in 1953, when
(1881e1963), who joined the University College of Shefeld, UK as Stookey inserted a piece of a transparent glass based on lithium
a lecturer in 1904, established the Department of Glass Technology disilicate into a mufe furnace. This special glass was mistakenly
a century ago, in 1916. It was the rst academic department in the heated to a temperature of 900  C, which is 300  C higher than he
world to address all aspects of glass science and technology, intended. After the heat treatment, the astonished Stookey noted a
including art, history, design, and manufacture, as well as R&D dense and white (crystalline) material that had not deformed
applications. He was also the rst Professor of Glass Technology and instead of a melted pool of glass. He also accidentally dropped the
founded the Society of Glass Technology (www.sgt.org) in the same piece on the ground; however, it did not shatter into small pieces,
year. The SGT is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year! as expected. He also heard a metallic sound [43]. Probably surprised
The rst accurate and concise atomic picture of glass structure by the unusual toughness, Stookey had discovered by simple
by X-ray was prepared by the Norwegian-American physicist Fre- thermal treatment a new ne-grained crystalline material that was
drik William Houlder Zachariasen (1906e1979) in 1932 [40]. A new stronger, harder and higher in electrical resistivity. This innovation
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 63

Fig. 6. Joseph Fraunhofer (1787e1826). Source: Engraving in the Small Portraits

collection, History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries (public
Fig. 7. Ernst Karl Abbe (1840e1905) by the German photographer Emil Tesch
(1860e1931) before 1905. Source: Heritage Image, now in public domain.
was patented under number US 2,920,971, which was applied on
June 4, 1956 and published on January 12, 1960 [44]. He had acci-
dentally created the rst glass-ceramic d Fotoceram d by sufciently hard to be removed from the tin bath (without the
rediscovering in an independent manner the procedure invented typical rollers in contact with the bottom surface). Therefore, a
by Re aumur during the two previous centuries [43]. In this case, uniform thickness and bright, re-polished surfaces that do not
however, the metallic silver particles that were dispersed in the require polishing or gridding are formed [47]. Pilkington's inven-
glass acted as nucleating agents for the internal crystallization. tion substituted the twin polishing and grinding process for making
Another multimillion dollar glass innovation subsequent to plate glass.
Stookey's accidental discovery was achieved by the British engi- In 1969, the American materials engineer Larry Leroy Hench
neers Lionel Alexander Bethune Pilkington (1920e1995) and Ken- (1938e2015) et al. was credited with another outstanding inven-
neth Bickerstaff (c. 1922e1987): the Float process [45]. tion and innovation when he discovered the rst bioactive glass
Pilkington and Bickerstaff developed the world's rst commer- composition named Bioglass [49]. His discovery was published as
cially successful manufacture of high-quality at glass using their a peer reviewed paper in 1971 [49]. His paper includes a description
oat glass process [46]. In 1952, Pilkington conceived the idea of of the composition of the glass and an indication of its capability of
forming a ribbon of glass by oating the molten raw materials at bonding to bone by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The
elevated temperature over a bath of melted tin. One evening in results indicate that the bonded interface created a layer of growing
1952, Pilkington conceptualized the idea of oat glass when he was bone mineral that has interlaced with collagen brils generated by
washing dishes at home [47]. He was fascinated by the view of oil osteoblasts growing at the interface. This invention was disclosed
droplets and bubbles suspended in water and wondered whether as a patent in 1980 [50] and has remained in clinical use since 1985.
the principle could be applied to glass making. Thus, he day- Another multimillion dollar patent on self-cleaning glass was
dreamed as he observed a bar of soap oat in the slippery water and granted in 1997 and subsequently published [51]. This glass is a
visualized glass oating like a bar of soap. soda-lime-silica glass with a surface coating that eliminates dirt
According to US patent 2,911,759 [48], which he applied for the and grime. It has been in industrial production since 2001. The rst
next year, the ribbon is held in a chemically controlled atmosphere composition was based on a thin-lm titania coating [52].
at a sufciently high temperature and time to enable the irregu- In 2009, the Chinese electrical engineer and physicist Charles
larities to melt out and the surfaces to become at and parallel [46]. Kuen Kao (b. 1933) received a Nobel Prize in Physics for ground-
Because the surface of molten tin is at (melting point 231.9  C), the breaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in bers
glass is also at and operates from its molten state near for optical communication in a work done with George Alfred
1200  Ce600  C when it is a supercooled liquid, which converts Hockham [53]. In 1977, the Swedish Academy awarded the English
glass at approximately 550  C. The ribbon is continuously cooled physicist Nevill Francis Mott (1905e1996), the American physicists
while advancing across the molten tin until the surfaces are Philip Warren Anderson (b. 1923) and John Hasbrouck Van Vleck
64 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

would likely be fascinated by the technical and legal complexity of

the present patent system. The days when the King simply awarded
monopoly rights to an invention using his seal have passed. The
current patents process in the UK is regulated by the Patents Act of
1977. This specic legislation has been restructured over the years
by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. The bureaucratic
details of the patent system are restricted by the Patents Rules of
1995 and subsequent revisions.
Fig. 11 shows a similar trend for scientic publications in peri-
odicals. An exponential enhancement has occurred in this type of
publication. Searching for titles using the term glass, 165,624 arti-
cles were published since 1856 according to the Scopus database.
The limit of a hundred papers per year was surpassed in 1930s, and
a thousand papers were published in the 1970s. If the same key-
words are considered in the title or abstract, the number of papers
increases to 478,933 papers prior to 2015. Mauro and Zanotto have
recently conducted a data analysis concerning the last two hundred
years of glass science and technology [54].
Approximately 30 thousand scientic periodicals [16] exist; this
number is increasing. The number of patents issued worldwide
exceeds the number of published scientic articles, which may be
attributed to the high level of activity in industries. In 2015, science
celebrated 350 years of scientic discussions in academic journals
due to the ingenious work of de Sallo and Oldenburg in dissemi-
nating knowledge worldwide as pioneers of editing science papers.
However, advancements in modern science and technology can be
attributed to innovations in glass [55].

5. Conclusions

The rst English patent for invention was granted on April 3,

1449, to John Utynam, who attended a specic call from the
Fig. 8. Gustav Heinrich Johann Apollon Tammann (1861e1938) by the German reigning King. The crown issued him a Patent Letter that was sealed
photographer August Schmidt (1877e1934) around 1913. Source: Voit Collection, now with the King's Great Seal to guarantee John's privileges. Utynam's
in public domain. triumphant mission to protect his technological innovations gave
birth to a system that gave people ofcial sanction to enjoy the
economic benets of their own knowledge.
(1899e1980) with the Nobel Prize in Physics for their fundamental
The second English patent was granted to Henry Smyth by King
theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and
Edward VI on April 26, 1552. It is important to note that patents (i.e.,
disordered systems. Fig. 9 summarizes some landmarks of glass
monopolies) were granted for all types of things apart from tech-
history from the 15th century onward.
nical innovation, so the King could raise money or reward his as-
Great Britain was the rst country to undergo an Industrial
sociates. The English Statute of Monopolies established in 1624
Revolution and, consequently, was the rst region from which
ended this abuse and limited patents only to technical innovation.
patents evolved from an occasional curiosity to a monopoly and a
Since these two English patents, the Intellectual Property Ofce of
dominant commercial tool. Since the rst English patent in 1449,
the UK has granted more than 2,500,000 patents prior to 2013.
the Intellectual Property Ofce of UK granted more than 2,500,000
Currently, the European patent ofce has published over 3 million
patents. A landmark publication patent was issued on September
patent applications, and its database contains more than
11, 2013, under patent number GB 2,500,000. Since the 15th cen-
90,000,000 patent documents published around the world. There
tury, patent protection began when the English Crown granted
are 9 million published patents by the United States Patent and
monopolies to manufacturers, inventors and traders.
Trademark Ofce (USPTO). We have presented the evolution of the
The USA celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the Patent Act
patent system considering data starting in the1850s. We can
Celebration in 2015 and has issued more than 9 million patents
consider that the beginning of patent production ofcially began as
since 1790. The European Patent Ofce has published over 3 million
early as 1449 and that scientic publication production
patent applications, and presents a database, Espacenet, which
commenced in 1665. The number of glass patents that have been
contains over 90 million patents from many countries: Espacenet
led is approximately twice the number of scientic publications
(www.epo.org) prior to 2016. A specic search with the keyword
on glass worldwide; these numbers continue to increase.
glass yielded results in this database (see Fig. 10). Fig. 10 shows
Although Utynam or Smyth may not have been the rst in-
the exponential enhancement in patents since the rst registered
ventors of innovative glassmaking process, they were the rst in-
claims. Searching for titles using the term glass, 250,589 patents
ventors to be granted patents. However, John and Henry were the
were issued since 1859. If the same keywords are considered in the
rst inventors to be granted monopoly licenses under which they
title or abstract, the number of patents increases to 827,643 patents
can exclude other inventors from practicing their art for 20 years.
prior to 2015. Since this database was developed in the 1850s, more
These patents are probably the rst and second English technical
than a hundred patents were published per year culminating in a
patents for invention that are known in England today. These pio-
thousand patents in the 1930s.
neers in innovation contributed at least four glass-related discov-
King Henry VI, John Utynam, King Edward VI and Henry Smyth
eries of huge impact in modern life in the last seventy years: glass-
M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66 65

Fig. 9. Some landmarks of modern glass science and technology from the 15th century onward.

Fig. 10. Frequency distribution results for patent search using glass in the title and title or abstract, from 1859 to 2015. Data from www.epo.org.

ceramics by Donald Stookey, the oat process by Pilkington and Regarding scientic manuscripts, the rst volumes of the rst
Bickerstaff, bioactive glass by Larry Hench and optical bers as a scientic journals differed from the scientic journals of present
practical communication medium by Charles Kao and George times; however, they served the same function: to inform scientists
Hockham. These discoveries are some of the greatest revolutionary and other interested readers of the latest scientic discoveries that
inventions that changed the mass production of the twentieth promoted the dissemination of knowledge. These publications
century. initiated an entirely new genre d the scientic journal d and are

Fig. 11. Frequency distribution results for documents other than patents (primarily manuscripts) with a search using glass in the title and title or abstract from 1856 to 2015. Data
from www.scopus.com.
66 M.L.F. Nascimento, E.D. Zanotto / World Patent Information 47 (2016) 54e66

the oldest publications in print. The Philosophical Transactions Philosophical Transactions, E-rea Rev. Electron. dEtudes Monde Angloph. 8.1
started the peer review process, which has become the central
[25] G. Campani, in: Fabio de Falco (Ed.), Ragguaglio di Due Nuove Osservazioni,
foundation of scientic journals. This system proved to be an una Celeste in Ordine Alla Stella di Saturno, e Terrestre lAltra in Ordine
interesting approach to guaranteeing methodological rigor, excel- aglInstrumenti (Report on Two New Observations, the One Heavenly about
lence in practice and bonade (good faith) in science. Saturn, the Other Earthly about Instruments), 1664. Rome.
[26] R.S. Clay, T.H. Court, The History of the Microscope: Compiled from Original
We suggest that all inventors are Utynam and Smyth's heirs and Instruments and Documents, up to the Introduction of the Achromatic Mi-
that all scientists are de Sallo and Oldenburg's heirs. As a fasci- croscope, Holland Press, 1975.
nating, versatile and extraordinary substance, glass is central to [27] P. Allen, Problems connected with the development of the telescope (1609-
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Application of Hans Lipperhey. Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague, Mss.
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[31] R.-A.M. Re aumur, Art de faire une nouvelle espe ce de porcelaine, par des
moyens extre ^mement simples et faciles, ou de transformer le Verre en Por-
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support from grant numbers 305373/2009-9, 479799/2010-5, how to transform Glass into Porcelain), Hist. Acad. R. Sci. Paris 1 (1739)
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