This website is bilingual, written both in Swedish and English. For those of you preferring another language, we provide "google translate". Be aware that automatic translation sometimes gives very odd results...

Denna webplats är tvåspråkig, finns på både svenska och englska. För er som föredrar andra språk, har vi lagt till "google translate". Kom ihåg att automatiska översättningar ibland ger konstiga resultat...

- Our sheet glass exhibition
- Our pantograph
- Our guilloché machines
- Our presses
- Our semi-automatic bottle machine
- Our glass artefacts

Our pantograph

comes from Kosta glassworks (the oldest glassworks in Sweden, started 1742). The pantograph was in use from about (we think) the 1890ies up to th 1980ies - so, roughly 100 years.

To start: what is a pantograph used for? A pantograph like ours is (was) used to prepare glasses for etching. Our machine can take 24 glasses at one time. (At Reijmyre they had one for 36 glasses; at Pukeberg they had one for "only" 12.)

Etching is a way to mke patterns on glass, faster/easier than engraving.
After having seen enough etched glasses, it is relatively easy to see the difference: etched glasses have distinct lines which are "eaten into" the glass, always of the same width. (Today, the word etched is sometimes used when describing sand-blasted works - sand blasting is an entirely different process.) If a pantograph (or a guilloché machine) has been used, there are no etched "areas" - these machines always yield lines. To achieve a bigger surface, parallell lineas are used (compare hatching).
Thus: to produce line-patterned glasses, etching is excellent. The pantograph can make patterns with "loose ends" - a guilloché machine will always produce continuous patterns.

As far as we understand, many Swedish glassworks have owned a pantograph at some time - we know about Kosta, Målerås, Pukeberg, Reijmyre and Åfors, but several more had etched glass in their catalogues. The pantograph was seen as a machine to use for easy (and therefore cheap) production of patterned glass.

The principle of the pantograph is simple: a template is placed on the work table. The person in charge of the patterning follows, with a stylus, the lines engraved into the template. These movements are transmitted, by a couple of carriages and wheels, to the part of the machine which do the actual drawing on the glasses.
The glasses are placed on the "plates", 12 to the right and 12 to the left. The plates can move up and down, but do not turn. The arms holding the drawing pins do turn. As the work table allows for movements in all directions at the same time, the plates/drawing pins will move in the same way.
The templates are much bigger than the pattern will be on the glass (because it has to be easy to follow the template) - a more detailed description can be found on the page The pantograph, how it works

This is what our pantograph looks like at the moment: (the mechanics to transfer the movements are not yet connected)

Our pantograph here in Bergdala
from Steenberg-Simmingsköld: Glas
View over our pantograph: the work table with a template, the two plate lines with space for 12 + 12 glasses
Picture from the book Glas by Steenberg and Simmingsköld, probably showing this same machine

work table with template

the moving part of the work table
The template for the St Erik glasses on the work table. The stylus for following the pattern can be seen to the right.
The moving part of the work table, from which the movements are transferred to the pins that draw in the wax.

We got more than a hundred templates (most with patterns on both sides) with the pantograph. Most of them were probably for (catalogue) "sets". We have been able to identify some, but most are still to be identified.
There are about 20 templates that we know were for export, mostly to London-related hotels and restaurants. Some may also be private orders - it is near impossible to tell if the monogram "BH" is a private monogram or just the logo for Bergdala Hotel (which never existed, as far as we know...)

So far in our collections we have only a couple of "Elon" glasses.
We would really like to have a couple more "sets", or the odd rastaurant glass from London, or...
We do have two glasses showing St Erik (made for the Stockholm county for many years)

a bunch of templates

It was ...interesting... to get the pantograph "home". Since we are proud of how easy it turned out to be ('cos of good planning), we made a video of how it happened. Watch it on our blog, here (opens in new window - speaker talking Swedish).