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our readers the drawing of a furnace for flint-glass,¹ with the
interior of a glass-house as used by the Venetians, at the highest
point of the art, in the sixteenth century.|
The workmen in glass will see, that, as compared
with the factories of the present day, the Venetians in their instrumentalities
were subjected to many difficulties,-- they were oppressed by the furnace
smoke, and in no way protected from the heat of the furnace, or enabled to
breath fresh atmospheric air; in fact, the impression prevailed in those
days that the external air, drawn into the glass-house, was detrimental to
the business, and therefore it was most cautiously guarded against.
The drawing is taken from an ancient work on glass,
and although limited in the view, shows the general plan. The factory wall
was conical, and rose like a large chimney, with a few windows for the
admission of light. Exposed to the heat of the summer sun of Venice, and
of the furnace within, neither the comfort nor health of the workman was
secured. The construction of the annealing department shows two tiers of
pans, the use of which must have been attended with great loss of materials.
¹ See Drawing No. 1, at end of book.