A HISTORY OF GLASS
The April 13, 1826 work began on the construction Opificio that January 15, 1827 started business with about 20 employees working for it, with peaks of 30 employees during periods of intense flux. In the 70s and 80s there was an increase in production with the increase of the employees who went from 20/30 to 60. In 1882, changes were made to the essential furnace that would no longer be fed with wood but with steam obtained from combustion of coal and as all other glass factories on the Italian territory, we adopted the new method of melting glass using a large basin instead of many separate crucibles. This experiment was very costly for the high cost of coal and the changes inside Opificio much that the factory was forced to close for the entire 1890. The work resumed in September 1891. The following year built a new oven Siemens system, which was joined an oven to pave the plates gas powered. In recent years some of the biggest factories of the sector plates and bottles, agreed to establish a joint regulation for the sale of products to avoid price competition of the various articles and also our became part of the group of "Factories glassmaking consortium" . During these years there was a notable increase in production and, despite the crisis period and the closing of 1890, he came to take on 140 employees, not only local, but from all over Italy (especially from Tuscany, Lombardy and Campania ) and especially from abroad: France, Austria, and the then Prussia. In the years following the glassware lived intermittently, between brief suspension of activities and periods of great excitement with several changes of ownership and the establishment of a Co-operative Society from some citizens and the municipality itself. The cooperative had a period of fifteen years after the expiration of the lease of the plant that went back to the old owner Fajella. In 1900 the number of employees was reduced to 123, but in 1907 he returned to work at full capacity with 140 employees. In 1913 the mill ceased its activities and 24 August 1915, the glass factory was sold to Limited Company Glassware Soratte. Glassware process again its activities in 1924, remaining in a state of neglect, so much so that, during the period of World War II was used as a shelter for weapons by the German command. After the war, in 1946 the glassworks was restored and made active again. Unfortunately, the first glassworks, and ours is no exception, stood in areas rich in forests in order to use wood as fuel, however, far from large urban centers. The replacement of wood with coal, the distance from markets, the problems related to the costs of transport of raw materials, the effort to compete with the other Italian glassworks on product quality, laboratory practice adopted by now that they were no longer forefront and make changes and technological innovations would be too expensive, caused its final closure in 1948. following the cessation of operations in 1949 plants that were the factory were fractionated, and sold for other and different activities, also with obvious building transformations. In 1981 the council decided, given the state of complete abandonment of the glassware, to expropriate and demolish much of the old factory, for the construction of a parking lot.
LIFE IN THE GLASS
The village of Poggio Mirteto, since its establishment, based its existence on an agricultural economy: In the late 1700s there was an economic transformation of the industrial type. Among all industrial activities present in Poggio Mirteto, the most important was represented by glassware "The Factory of Crystals" which carried flat sheets of white glass (transparent) and bells and that allowed the occupation of many people. The factory was built in 1826 and active in 1827. The factory was organized in workshops, equipped with ovens initially fueled by wood. The oven had a central position with respect to the glass, so as to make possible the working processes such as: the formation of frit (melted vitrifiable material), the preparation of boluses (portions of the glass mass) by blowing, the annealing of the objects produced. The process for the production of the frit consisted in heating the batch material - raw materials and scrap glass-up to completely eliminate the moisture, reducing the mixture to a uniform mass of pasty consistency which was subsequently merged after which subjected to further proceedings in order to remove the last impurities and air bubbles. At the end of these operations was obtained a fluid mass ready to be machined, or more technically blown. The operation of the entire factory was made possible by the creation of groups of skilled employees, working in teams, such jurisdictions. In the squares of a glass factory in flat sheets the first operations were performed by a operario called in slang ball-gatherers, who was in charge of collecting the fusion mass in the right amount of glass to form the plate with the aid of a cane called bellows, dipped repeatedly in 'opening the oven, imparting a rotational movement. After the rising, the barrel was delivered to the master blower, who, after having rallied the vitreous body still warm at the base of the barrel by means of a fork, reclined all in a steel tank with walls continuously cooled by water jets. The master blower, leaning on a cane iron, blew so strongly to expand the glass, forming a sort of sphere. After repeatedly heated glass, which was to return to a pasty state to be worked, the teacher resumed blowing, accompanying the blow of a wave motion, to stretch the material batch in the direction of the barrel, forming a kind of cylinder. When the blower had finished this operation, intervened another figure, that of size caps, which had the task to detach the two bases from the cylinder end, so-called caps, at this point then it intervened spaccalastre, which cut longitudinally of the cylinder by using pieces of iron (the diamond will be introduced only at a later time). The next step was the flattening of the plate by the flattener that, softened glass, thanks to the heat of another oven, treated him with a wire brush to the end of which was applied to a piece of wood. The flattener used the brush as if it was an iron and went in the same direction. The last figure on this square was the taglialastre that cut sheets depending on the size required. The feature of the glass factory was working glass white (transparent) its flagship products were flat sheets of glass, household articles (glasses, bottles, glass bells). The artifacts were thin, not perfectly transparent. Looking through the images are distorted and opaque; the effect is caused by the undulations which are formed at the time of working the plate. The objects had all bubbles and stretch marks. This means that the artifacts were not processed with industrial machinery but by a craftsman that every time brought unique pieces. The work was carried out from September / October to April / May, production was interrupted in the summer months when work was tiring because of the intense heat given off from the ovens. In this period, we proceeded to a complete overhaul of the entire system was procured and the fuel for the furnaces (coal and wood). In this period the glass did not perceive salary. The working day was divided into three eight-hour shifts. Within eight hours was given a break, which usually ranged between 20 and 30 minutes. The workers were staying in small houses, built in paca distance Opificio or just inside to avoid delays and facilitate replacement if someone was unable to work. To ensure that the shift change occurred without loss of time, the Regulations required fines for those who had presented late in the workplace. Wages which belonged to the workers of the glassworks were divided according to the tasks performed. The master blower was considered by the owner of the establishment as the head of the workers, in fact he had a salary higher than the other and sometimes was himself to determine the amount that it was, and arranged to pay the other workers. The masters blowers came to earn between 10 and 20 pounds per week, while other professionals perceived wages ranging from 7 pounds to get down to the lowest level of the hierarchy that was receiving approximately 1 pound. To make it even more inconsistent the remuneration of workers, intervened in a series of cuts that the owners of the factories included in contracts factory. Among the most incisive and cuts was that concerning the system of evaluation of the production quality of the glass. It had a breakdown of the first, second and third choice, and only in the first case the rate was paid in full, for the second choice, which consisted of pieces with slight imperfections, was paid the 60/70% of the fare. The third choice was not being paid.
ANCIENT GLASS TODAY
What remains today of the ancient Factory of Crystals? What remains of the entire industrial complex? At the center of the public parking towers insulated chimney made entirely of solid brick, has an overall height of ml. 34.60. The structure is composed of three distinct elements: the base, the base and stem. On the north side of the base until a few years ago was visible mouth conveying the fumes coming from the melter, from where it started the internal staircase maintenance metal pegs attached to the structure. Today said space was closed with masonry blocks. All along the structure are visible metal hoops consolidation put in place following the earthquakes of 1991 and 1997. At the center of the parking insists what remains of the building that was part of the core of the ovens, in which you can see still some construction characteristics compatible with the period of realization Opificio. Fortunately remained unchanged is the space that housed the warehouses of the silica, and despite the façade has undergone changes in height and the addition of a porch, inside have retained their charm the two rooms, topped by brick vaults red, always supported by columns of red brick. On the ceiling of the two rooms there are two openings in the roof outlets identifiable silica from the road above. And it is in this "piece of history" that the restaurant will host Peter Pan 2 to offer quality courtesy and professionalism.
News and photographic material is taken from the publication
THE FACTORY OF CRYSTALS Valeria Bacci