Among the Egyptians, glass-blowing—long supposed to be a modern art—-was carried on in great perfection. Glass was also cast, engraved and cut, and precious stones imitated successfully in that substance. Among the most beautiful productions of this manufacture were their richly colored bottles with waving lines, and their small inlaid mosaics. In these Last the most delicate designs were made ; and such was the fineness of the work that it must have required a strong magnifying power to put the parts together, as it does now to examine them, particularly the feathers of birds, the hair and other intricate details. They were composed of the finest threads or rods of glass—attenuated by drawing them when heated to a great length—which having been selected according to their color, were placed upright side by side, as in an ordinary mosaic, in sufficient number to form a portion of the intended picture. Others were then added until the whole had been composed ; and when they had all been cemented together by a proper heat, the work was completed. Slices were then sawn off transversely, and each section presented the same picture on its upper and under side.
This article was originally published with the title "Ancient Glass Manufactures" in Scientific American 13, 13, 102 (December 1857)