Material facts

28th January 2000 at 00:00
Glass facts

* The earliest known glass dates from Egypt in around 2500BC.

* Glass blowing began in Syria 2,000 years ago.

* Safety glass was patented in 1909.

* Glass is made from the fusion of sand at high temperatures.

* Window glass is not a liquid or a solid.

* Window glass is flowing, albeit incredibly slowly, which is why old windows are thicker at the bottom than the top.

* Elizabethan glass was so expensive people often took their windows when they moved.

* The bullseye in old glass is where the blowing pipe was cut off.

Wood facts * Trees use the Sun's energy to turn liquid water and carbon dioxide gas into wood through photosynthesis.

* Wood cells are added to trees during the summer, thickening the trunk and producing "growth rings".

* Pine is often used for window frames. Oak, cypress, male, walnut and birch are used for staircases, floors and doors.

* Cladding may be made from redwood or cedar which produce weather-proofing oil.

Brick facts * House bricks absorb water.

* The earliest known brick houses were built in Jericho (Palestinian West Bank) 12,000 years ago. 3,000 years later they were first fastened with mortar.

* The first kiln-fired bricks were made in Mesopotamia around 3000BC.

concrete facts * Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand and gravel.

* Cement is made by burning lime and clay which sets like stone when mixed with water.

* The first known concrete was from around 200BC in the Roman town of Palestrina in Italy.

* Reinforced concrete was invented in the mid-19th century.

* Pre-stressed concrete - reinforced with metal bars - was invented in 1886.

John Stringer

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now