Monday, January 09, 2012

Glass Pretties

I have had so much trouble dragging my brain into 2012 so I'm making an effort to post a teaser subject. I had to read about these so look and learn.



They are from the period 1850 - 1910.  Pretty aren't they, gorgeous colours and I bet you can't tell me what they are. You couldn't because I didn't know and I'm rooly smart.
These glass balls with a handle length neck and fragile walls were filled with a chemical, carbon tetrachloride or an ammonia/salt water solution and, wait for it, were an early form of fire extinguisher.

These fire grenades were mounted on walls in homes, hotels, schools and churches.  Thrown at a burning area, they would break and the chemical would eliminate any oxygen, albeit briefly, to help extinguish the flames.


The most common shape were balls about 6 inches in diameter and were fluted, quilted, diamond patterned or embossed with the makers name.  The colours were beautiful, cobalt blue, green, amber, clear or ruby red.
They went the way of the dinosaurs when hose style fire extinguishers took over in the early 1900's.  Much more effective but not quite as pretty.
Now I have to find a title that won't bring budding terrorists to the blog looking for grenades.

11 comments:

Andrew said...

I wasn't on fire when R threw something similar at me.

JahTeh said...

Obviously his aim was terrible, he should have used a 4x2 plank.

Ann O'Dyne said...

carbon tetrachloride is drycleaning fluid.
they are lovely bottles though.

JahTeh said...

They warn collectors not to take out the corks if there is any fluid left inside. As much as I love jewells, glass is fascinating.

Kath Lockett said...

I want the first two.

River said...

They certainly are pretty bottles. I thought they might have contained after shave or something else manly, because they look like bottles a man might have had on his dresser way back when...

Jayne said...

These are just splendid!
Gorgeous bottles, the shapes, texture, the whole thing is really lovely - and just to extinguish flames!
*Gazes off at the utilitarian red fire extinguisher blight on the wall*

JahTeh said...

Kath, you should be doing the rounds of the junk markets or don't they have them in the snow months?

River, when men went to their local barber, they usually had their own bottle of aftershave kept on hand and they were beautifully decorated.

Jayne, going foraging for glass in Dunolly or has it been well and truly done over?

The Elephant's Child said...

Just gorgeous. I love glass, and these are divine. Thank you.

You do show us some marvellous things.

Fenstar de Luxe said...

oh wow they're really pretty. No throwing those.

JahTeh said...

EC, you're going to love the next lot, it truly is out of this world.

Fen, a nice illustration with one of the images of a gentleman tossing one on a lady's burning train and bustle. One of the hazards of trailing draperies near open fire places.