Along with ceramics, glass is the oldest material and the most commonly used by human beings to conserve and store products. The first use of glass as a storage container dates from 1500 B.C.
17TH CENTURY: THE FIRST WINE BOTTLE
19TH CENTURY: THE FIRST PRESERVE JAR
According to Historia de los utensilios del vino, by José
Peñín, Venice was one the first places that glass was used to contain wine, albeit as a luxury exclusive to the elites. From Italy it travelled to England, with a glass that was still rough, slightly translucent, but resistant and more accessible to people. In the middle of the century, Sir Kenelm Digby, a member of the British Court, created the first ‘modern’ glass bottle which was cylindrical with sloping shoulders, crowned by long neck, an ancestor of the present Bordeaux bottle. The English were also the first to use stoppers made of cork, which came from Spain and France. Thus, the airtight container was born, with the same properties as it has today.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the French Government offered a prize to anyone who discovered a practical and efficient method to conserve the food to be taken on the expedition to Egypt Napoleon was planning. The cook and confectioner Nicolas Appert found a solution: food packed in glass jars, sealed and then heated, kept its characteristics intact. Appert was the first entrepreneur to start a preserves factory in 1804. Years after his death, it was Louis Pasteur who explained the scientific bases of his discovery.
That was the moment that the glass container as we know it today was consolidated: a safe container, which does not alter the properties of the product it contains, is durable and airtight, with high chemical and heat resistance, keeps its shape and can be recycled.
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