This photo essays shows the steps glass blowers took to create intricate hand-blown glass items (from bubble to goblet). It originally appeared in the February 1938 issue of American Collector magazine, a publication which ran from 1933-1948 and served antique collectors and dealers.
Although the gaffer and servitor seen in these pictures wear the clothes of today, they are actually following the same steps and using the same tolls that glass blowers have used for centuries. These pictures taken at the Steuben works of the Corning Glass Company, show the successive steps in making a piece of fine hand-blown glass. The tools, blow pipe, pontil rod, bench, tongs, and wooden paddles are practically the same as those used in making the rarest off-hand specimens of American glass.
The Start, Blowing the Bubble: Standing before the furnace, a glass bower has expanded the gather of molten glass on his blowpipe. When finished this will be the upper part the goblet.