As preparations start for the world’s largest competition of its type within the United Nations Worldwide Yr of Glass, these hyperlinks in historical past are to be gloriously explored.

From an eminent founding father of glass analysis making a blue-fiber wedding costume for his future bride to the historical past of the oldest surviving blast furnace in Western Europe, it sheds new mild on the historical past of Yorkshire’s industrial heritage that survives to today. in profitable and creative work.

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For John Parker, Professor Emeritus of Glass Science and Know-how on the College of Sheffield, this recognition is lengthy overdue. First there was a yr of sunshine, now it’s the yr of vegatables and fruits. Glass, he emphasizes, is rather more fascinating.

Prof. John Parker with reveals within the Turner Museum of Glass. Picture: Simon Hulme

“Glass has been a vital a part of our lives for hundreds of years,” he stated.

“With out fiber optics, we’d have neither telephones nor the Web. Assume microscopes, telescopes, the tubes with vaccines. Since you look by means of it, you do not at all times see it.

“Glass is sidelined for some cause, however it’s story has so many threads.”

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Meet the brand new Cooper at Theakston Brewery at his North Yorkshire base.Prof. John Parker with reveals within the Turner Museum of Glass. Picture: Simon Hulme

The Worldwide Yr of Glass, as a part of the United Nations Humanitarian Objectives on Well being and Wellbeing, Schooling and Equality, and Sustainable Future, goals to have a good time the important position of glass in society and within the development of civilization all through historical past.

Below the route of Alicia Durán of the Worldwide Glass Fee, round 80 nations have already expressed their curiosity, with an introduction in Geneva and a level in Japan.

Prof. Parker, Regional President for England, helps coordinate giant museum exhibitions, college visits, commerce reveals and conferences. It is all going again to Sheffield College, he stated.

Right here the chemist and pioneer William Earnest Stephen (WES) Turner first based the Society of Glass Know-how and based the Turner Museum of Glass in 1943.

Prof. John Parker with reveals within the Turner Museum of Glass. Picture: Simon Hulme

Thought of essentially the most educated of his time, Turner can be recognized for his bridal design. It was he who, at a time when coupons have been scarce, created a blue fiberglass costume for his future bride, artist and engraver Helen Nairn Munro.

“The story is that she would have been pleased with a necklace or a brooch, and Turner was the one who made the entire pig,” mused Prof. Parker.

“It isn’t excellent news ultimately – I feel the costume proved uncomfortable.

Prof. John Parker with reveals within the Turner Museum of Glass. Picture: Simon Hulme

“It is such an thrilling instance of what is going on on,” he added. “One thing is occurring throughout the UK. It is all actually due to Turner. Yow will discover glass connections to Turner and Sheffield College nearly in every single place on this planet. “

As a part of the celebrations, there might be glass reveals on the College of Leeds, potential for a serious challenge on the Henry Moore Institute, and alternatives to discover fashionable productions and workshops.

One challenge may revolve round a brick kiln close to the M1 Parkway in Sheffield, which survives because the oldest glass kiln in Western Europe and was constructed centuries in the past as a part of a household feud.

Owned by the Fox household, the Catcliffe range was constructed on a will that it couldn’t be nearer than 10 miles from the unique household manufacturing facility. It was constructed at precisely 10.three miles.

“Like so many elderly buildings, its historical past is fascinating,” stated Prof. Parker. “This is a chance to find a few of it and be sure that it’s preserved for the following 300 years.”

Prof. Parker stated that South Yorkshire and Leeds specifically have lengthy been a serious middle of glass manufacturing, whereas Dearne Valley is thought for its glass manufacturing historical past.

“It is a part of the historical past of this county,” he stated. “There have been numerous adjustments with mechanization on the finish of the 19th century, however earlier than 1900 there have been numerous small glassmakers.

“Historical past has modified so much, however we now have a fairly necessary glass trade. It isn’t an enormous trade, however it’s an necessary one for drugs, science, even the Hubble House Telescope.

“The purpose right here is to make individuals conscious of how a lot glass is utilized in our on a regular basis lives.”

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