Crystal beads history

2012-09-18

While beads have been present in one form or another throughout history, glass and crystal beads did not become a manufacturable product until the 1200s, when glass factories started producing household items along with a small number of beads. Small factories were creating glass beads, but the turning point came in the 1500s when the glass industry became the leading industry in Stanovsko, Jablonec and Bedrichov, all major cities in the region of today's Czech Republic. Beads became fashionable and jewelry makers demanded product to fill the desires of the public.
When considering the history of crystal beads, mention must be made of the creation of leaded glass or crystal itself. While history doesn't show an inventor of the glass itself, there have been pieces discovered that suggest that the addition of the lead to the glass may have been accidental. However, the patent for mass producing lead crystal glassware shows George Ravenscroft of Venice as discovering the formula that creates the clear sparkling shine inherent in crystal. Once his patent expired, most of the major glass manufacturers converted their processes and began to produce his crystal.

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