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The museum for (glass) machines that no longer exist

The small building seen in the header, situated to the right and slightly behind the main glassworks building, houses a fledgling museum for older glass "machines", machines that are no longer commonly used.

The museum will be open every day between 10 am and 4 pm, starting Saturday June 17, until and including Sunday August 13.

During the month of May we will be open Saturdays and Sundays between 10 am and 4 pm.

For other times, please book via e-mail kontakt@bergdala-glastekniska-museum.se

We are showing several older machines from the time when the "manual" glassworks were the only glass industry we had, here in Sweden.

The time we are talking about start at the middle 18th century and continues until the time when fully automated machines became common, during the 1940-50-ies. Before the fully automated machines existed, every possible glass jar, every window pane and every drinking glass had to be "mouth-blown". (There was a time when even the glass bubble for electric bulbs had to be manufactured manually... and that time lasted up until the 1950ies, at the glassworks at Flerohopp)
Certainly, there were sophisticated glass before that time, like for instance this rummer, with a cut and engraved pattern, from the 18th century. It was made at the glassworks in Kungsholmen (a part of Stockholm), and is now part of the collection of the Swedish museum of glass in Växjö.
Glasses like this were not for everyone...

Over time, various tools and machines were developed. They all made it cheaper to manufacture glass pieces, which meant that even "commoners" could afford to own glass.

The new machines are not yet on the website...

Let's take a short tour of our museum:

Starting outside the entrance (by the noth gable: turn left from the glassworks), the first you will see is a small exhibition of various applications for sheet glass. Don't miss the car windshield above the door!

Inside the door, to the left, you find a shelf with books for sale. On the doorframe there are brochures for self-guiding.

Here is also where you find our "donation jar": there is no entrance fee, but we welcome donations.

Turning left, we get to the shelf that holds, on the top shelf, glass decorated with decals - below that there are examples of pressed glass.
On the bottom shelf, there is a press mould that patterns the outside of the bowl. (Note that the mould sitting on the press gives a smooth outside, but slightly patterned inside.)
Behind the shelf, we find the presses, both the manual and the pneumatic.

A curiosity: in the corner, we display some of the glass tiles used at the underground station T-centralen in Stockholm. The station was inaugurated in 1958, and the tiles were made here in Bergdala and also in Skruf.
Note also the glass washboard.

Pass the planer, and we get to the big bottle mould - the small Absolut bottle did not shrink in the wash. The mould was used for a special order of 5-litre Absolut bottles some years ago.

To the right we can see the semi-automatic bottle machine.
In the window behind it, we have placed some typical bottles. The rightmost bottle was made in this very machine.

In the corner we find a couple of moulds for glass pots, and some info about glass furnaces through the ages.

The video is about 5 minutes long, and contains
- manufacturing of small salt cellars on a bottle machine like ours (Alvesta glasbruk 1977)
- manufacturing of bigger jars on a similar machine (Mozambique 1998)
- fully automated bottle machine (modern)
- a very short sequence showing our pantograph at Kosta (recordered 1947)
- pressing using a manual press

To the right we get a glimpse of what is used as our workshop. The filing cabinet under the stairs contains as many pantograph templates as we dared load it with (they are very heavy).

The long wall is adorned with pantograph templates (and a few glasses, beside "their" templates).
In total we have about 140 templates, most of them double-sided: thus we have well over 200 patterns.

As of now, we have only identified a few of the services, but we are working on that!

It is intriguing that Kosta has made so many hotel/restaurant glasses, and that so many of them are for London restaurants.
We really hope to get at least one example - but, considering they were made some 100 years ago, the chances probably are slim...

Last, but not least, in the middle of the floor: the pantograph itself!

On the narrow shelf we have collected examples of etched glass.
In the rightmost picture there are glasses patterned with this very machine.
There are also guilloché glasses, and one promotional glass which was transfer etched.