5000 years of glass production - from the beginnings to the glass industry in the Thuringian Forest

TU Ilmenau Citizens' Campus

Topic:            5000 years of glass production - from the beginnings to the glass industry in the Thuringian Forest

Speaker:       Klaus Jahn, Ilmenauer Glastradition, until 2003 managing director of Ilmenauer Glasmaschinenbau GmbH

Time:             Friday, 16.09.2022, 3:00 p.m.

Place:            TU Ilmenau,Röntgenbau, Weimarer Straße 27

Admission:    5 Euro


As early as 3000 B.C., the first glass products were produced in the Near East, especially beads. In 1500 B.C., bowls and goblets were made by sand casting, and with the introduction of the glassmaker's pipe in 100 B.C., the production of hollow glass began. With the expansion of the Roman Empire into these areas, the Romans adopted the technology of glassmaking there and made it known in the Roman territories of Western Europe, especially in the Rhineland.

500 years after the fall of the Roman Empire, around the year 1000 A.D., monks revived glassmaking in Europe, challenged and encouraged by monasteries and manorial houses that had a need not only for sacred and tableware, but also for window glazing. In the following centuries, especially in the German low mountain ranges, glass melting places, forest and hiking glassworks were established, and in the 16th century the village glassworks in Langenbach in Bavaria and Lauscha in Thuringia.

In his lecture as part of the TU Ilmenau Citizens' Campus, Klaus Jahn of the Ilmenau Glass Tradition Association rolls up the entire history of glass. He recalls how glassblowing was introduced in Lauscha in the second half of the 18th century for the production of beads and knickknacks, and how it quickly spread throughout the region.and how it quickly spread throughout the Thuringian Forest. In 1840, it was in Stützerbach near Ilmenau that the first factory for the production of thermometers and barometers was established, which until then had been imported from France. Until the end of the Second World War, the region around Ilmenau, with its new technical and scientific facilities, developed into the metropolis of the technical glass industry.

After the political turnaround in 1990, recalls Klaus Jahn, who was managing director of Ilmenauer Glasmaschinenbau GmbH until 2003, the glassworks that had been established here had to accept drastic restrictions due to market and economic policies. However, some companies - Jahn concludes his lecture optimistically - not only survived the turnaround period: by further developing processes and techniques, they were able to assert themselves successfully and in some cases even as leaders on the world market.



Dr. Uwe Geishendorf
Central Institute for Education
3677 69-4675