Corrugated glass is one type of industrial and commercial glass that was once used almost exclusively in factories. Because of its strength, and ability to diffuse light and shadow to help increase privacy and security, it was in high demand during the early industrial revolution.
Corrugation is a form of folding that can add strength and stability to cardboard boxes, flexibility and drainage to metal awnings and roofs, and light refraction and diminished visibility to glass. Corrugated boxes, metal, and glass can bare heavier loads, and corrugated glass is thicker and more shatter resistant than regular flat glass of the same height and length.
In 1926, a United States patent was awarded to Walter Cox and Arno Shuman of the Philadelphia Wire Glass Company for the process that makes corrugated glass. The process of making corrugated glass is as follows:
· Place a crimped sheet of wire netting on a lengthwise corrugated table.
· Corrugate the sheet of wire by passing over it a corrugated roll.
· Embed the sheet of wire in the center of a corrugated sheet of glass by rolling the sheet of corrugated glass along the table, holding the netting, with the roller.
Fortunately, there is also some information contained within the patent that gives us some details about what makes corrugated glass so special.
According to US Patent US1156214 A, “Evidently the sheet is possessed of great mechanical strength. The distance from center to center of the corrugations is considerable and may be measured by saying that it is at least three times the thickness of the glass.” The patent also states that because a sheet of chicken wire mesh is pressed between each sheet of glass, the glass is thick but flexible which makes it ideal for use in industrial settings.
This glass is one-of-a-kind and because it was only made during the height of America’s industry period, the original, high quality corrugated glass is no longer in production. That means that every piece of corrugated glass made is a rare, high demand home décor item that can only be purchased from salvage experts who have the experience to safely and carefully remove the glass, the room to store the glass, and the skill and creativity to repurpose the glass into new glass panes, decorative pieces, tables, partitions, awnings, or anything else they can think of. One such salvage company is Olde Good Things.