What is Scientific Glassblowing?

Glass and scientific advances have gone hand-in-hand throughout history. For centuries the knowledge and art of scientific glassblowers have been integral to the development of chemical, pharmaceutical, electronic and physics research. Some notable examples include Galileo’s thermometer, Edison’s light bulb, and the vacuum tubes of early radio, TV and computers. The qualities of glass and the skills of those who fashion it have contributed more recently to the advances in industries and research in fiber optics, lasers, atomic and subatomic particles, communications and semiconductors.

While basic hand skills, lathes and torches are still indispensable in modern glass shops, computer assisted furnaces, diamond grinding and lapping machines, even lasers and ultra-sonic mills for precision shaping and boring have found their way into our realm. More and more shops are adding ISO certification to their list of qualifications. Fortune 500 companies, major universities and research institutes throughout the world rely on professional scientific glassblowers who have found the ASGS to be a crucial resource. Scientific glassblowers provide highly specialized glass apparatus for all universities with graduate research programs, government, private, and industry research laboratories, production facilities, the semiconductor industry, and many other aspects of scientific research.

There are also many scientific glassblowers that use their skills to provide thousands of catalog glassware items for use by scientists throughout the world. These glass products range from making beakers and flasks to the production of highly specialized vacuum manifold systems, distillation, sublimation, and extraction apparatus. Each glass apparatus is designed and constructed by the scientific glassblower based on collaboration with individual researchers.