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UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
CHRISTOPHER W. MCLEAN, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

GLASS BUILDING-BLOCK AND BUILDING.
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C. W. McLean
1 of 2

SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 238,797, dated March 15, 1881.
Application filed July 30, 1880. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, CHRISTOPHER W. MCLEAN, of Chicago, State of Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Glass Building-Blocks and Buildings; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, and to the letters of reference marked thereon, which form a part of this specification.
    This invention relates to the use of glass as a material for buildings; and it consists, first, in the block of glass molded in proper form for building purposes; and, second, in the structure formed of molded glass blocks, substantially as hereinafter set forth, and pointed out in the claims.
    I particularly design to apply my invention in the foundation of buildings, or in contact with the ground, as being more indestructible than stone, by reason of its non-absorbent qualities, and as being, for the same reason, a perfect means of cutting off the superstructure from the effects of moisture derived from the earth in the use of stone foundations through absorption and transmission by the latter. An important advantage is also expected from the electric insulation afforded by such material. In any case it is obvious that inestimable sanitary benefits will be obtained from the use for human habitations of a substance which can afford no lodgment to the seeds of disease or other means for its communication. This characteristic of glass will especially fit that material for use as the body of the structure in hospitals and infirmaries, wherein I should employ the same to wholly form the walls, partitions, and floors.
    In another application for patent filed of even date herewith, I have set forth modes of using glass as an earth-covering-- as for pavements, cellar-bottoms, &c. Combining with the glass foundations or walls herein described the earth-floor referred to in said application, complete means are provided whereby the interior of buildings may be wholly cut off from all miasmatic and other destructive or harmful influences emanating from the soil.
    In many large cities there are extensive tracts of "made ground" derived from filling bogs and wet places. Such tracts are often
so favorably situated as to be of great value, but are, in fact, otherwise, because of the dampness communicated through the foundation-walls to the interior of buildings erected thereon, which dampness operates to render them unhealthy and uncomfortable, and to injure such objects and utensils as are liable to rust and mold. The employment of glass, if only as a substructure for such buildings and as a floor for the cellar, will wholly obviate this difficulty. The injurious and destructive effects of earth-moisture are not, however, peculiar to such special localities, but are present, to a greater degree than is commonly supposed, everywhere. In rarely-favored situations dampness and mold ultimately make themselves felt, and in the case of a class of articles requiring to be long or carefully preserved-- as papers, paintings, books and similar treasures-- they represent the very "tooth of Time." It is believed that glass may, with great economic and sanitary advantage, be employed in every variety of public and private buildings, on account of its non-absorbent and non-transmissive properties with reference to moisture.
    I have found that glass composed of coarse materials may be manufactured into blocks suitable for foundation-walls at a cost that will render this substance readily available for the purpose. I also believe that blocks of glass of suitable grade to enter into or wholly form the superstructure of buildings may be economically employed, in view of its many advantages, above in part pointed out.
    The drawing shows in perspective a large block, A, of glass adapted for building purposes in place of stone or bricks. R R are recesses in the hidden faces of the block, intended to lessen the quantity of material required in a block of given dimensions. Said recesses will depend, as to their relative size, upon the situation in the structure to be occupied by the block. In blocks resting on the ground said recesses may be absent, or may extend only part way through the block.
    G G are grooves or depressions in the horizontal faces of the block, intended to receive the cement with which the blocks are laid up in the wall, to more effectually prevent lateral movement of one upon another, to which they would possibly be liable if otherwise smooth on