The technology that Began Steuben Glass

Jacob Israel Favela, Pamela Vandiver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Frederick Carder popularized art glass in America and is remembered as the founder and head of Steuben Glass Works. Carder, a designer and glass technologist trained in England, established the factory in Corning, New York, in 1903. The factory produced colored and highly decorated glass vessels that competed with but were less expensive than those of Tiffany Studios. To understand the differences in technology between the competing products of Carder and Tiffany, especially the type called "aurene," we analyzed and compared opalescent white glass formulations, iridized with thin-film, golden luster decoration and some examples decorated with combed trails containing silver. The methods of analysis are electron beam microprobe analysis and scanning-electron microscopy with simultaneous energy dispersive x-ray analysis. Analytical results show that Carder produced an affordable product by standardized processing that included opalescent compositions in a narrow range of soda-lime-silicate and lead-alkali-silicate glasses with calcium phosphate or boneash as an inexpensive but reliable opacifier, quite thick flashed "golden" lustrous coatings made from tin oxide or tin and silver, and relatively rough velvet- to satin-textured, iridescent, thin-film coatings that were formed during multiple rapid heat treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings - Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VIII
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2008
EventMaterials Issues in Art and Archaeology VIII - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 26 2007Nov 28 2007

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


OtherMaterials Issues in Art and Archaeology VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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