Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This research was concerned with the development of a glass chronology based upon manufacturing and stylistic attributes. In the past glass chronologies have not provided the continuity required for classification development, attribute comparison, and site interpretation results. The emphasis of this chronology is in the origins, developments, and industrial changes in glass technology and stylistic trends focusing on documented processes of formation, lipping, and finishing, trends in color, embossing, pattern, style, function, and maker's marks. These attributes provide relatively accurate date ranges of manufacture contributing to the interpretation of glass assemblages. Applied to two historic period sites in Illinois, this chronology was found to be a relatively accurate tool for assessing depositional and/or occupational ranges. Dating by glass attributes has also contributed to the interpretation and understanding of the history of glass manufacture, cultural patterns, and lifeways. By observing changes, frequencies, and amount of glass, combined with documentation, further analysis resulted. For example, these trends were noted for both sites: 1. An increase in sales, use, availability, and variation in glass products through time; 2. The scarcity of professional and sophisticated medicinal practices led the site owners to sell their expertise and medication to the surrounding inhabitants; 3. As indicated by functional types and the provenance provided by maker's marks and embossi~g, the glass industry began to move westward and specialize producing glass to meet increasing commercial demands; 4. The influence of social movements, such as temperance and local prohibition, affected consumption patterns, such as those noted for beverages at both sites; and lastly, s. · Glass artifacts showed depositional patterns which reflected site function. Other than providing an excellent interpretiv~ and dating tool, glass attributes provide the means for chronological continuity and refinement, answering current research questions, and applying new methodological approaches.

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